Brief descriptions. Simple sentence structure.
"Omit needless words.
—The Elements of Style
Plain words. Few figures of speech. Sometimes intentional.
Witty when effective. Otherwise, dull. Use carefully.
, Fun with Acronyms
, Brevity Is Wit
, Laconic Wiki
Contrast Wall of Text
, Purple Prose
A Terse Talker
speaks in this.note
open/close all folders
- HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead.
- Burma Shave:
He Kissed the Miss
And Missed the Curve
- Many advertising spots end with various disclaimers being spouted in this way by a motor mouth.
Dealer may sell or lease for less. Transport and preparation included. Taxes extra. See dealer for details.
- For pharmaceutical advertisements, this may actually be half of the spot in itself.
- An entire subgenre called "script format", by people who have no idea what a script is like.
- My Immortal, usually. Except when discussing
Enoby Ebory Ebola Ebony's appearance. Then it turns purple.
- legolas by laura: "and then one of the orcs striped her and then he raped her and then laura said 'go away you bastard'."
- Soulless Shell
Ahh he yelled as he slashed him his blood hit the floor
- Mark Moore a.k.a. Tuxedo Mark writes some of the most boring fanfics imaginable. Here's an example that's sometimes nicknamed "Linda! Laundry!"
She got a plastic box off of the shelf in the closet and opened it. She put the comforter into the box and closed the box. She put the box back on the shelf in the closet.
Linda put fresh sheets on the bed.
She put the old sheets in the laundry basket.
- Reads like fiction written by a computer, once offered in The Book of Lists II.
- Gurren Jesus, a crossover fic. Gurren Lagann and The Bible. Makes it better.
- Anything by S-Michael.
- Dark Secrets. Its sequel? Moreso.
- Daughter of Niënor: "Only a few months later, the sons of Fëanor came and my world was again destroyed. This time, it was less scary and more sad and annoying, like I was getting used to it."
- A good majority of what Incendiarist writes is in this style. Notable is Perennial Tears (Descend In Gems). Because Tropes Are Not Bad.
Green light, unnatural shine.
Voice grating, ethereal.
Prophetic nightmare, she's terrified.
("What did I say?")
- The Darker Knight
- Calvin At Camp
- Pretty much all of the descriptions in Sherlock Season 4 uses this. For example, this is the first sentence:
Sherlock wsa seated at home typin on his compter stting on chair and solvin logic puzzles in hed.
- The majority of Ojamajo Doremi Rise Of The Shadows and its sequel is written with little, if any, description. The author does try to turn it purple during action scenes and whatever other scene is important.
"Let me go!" Jou-Sama started to struggle in Evil Rin's hold, but it was no use. "Let me go!"
"Fighting will do you no good." Black Queen said. "Besides, with you, my other prisoner won't be so lonely."
- Used to hilarious effect in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure.
"You foal! Why did you capture Liara? She's just a background pony so Twillight will not care if I kill her." screamed Celesia and started to kill the guard.
"No we captured the other lesbian called Rainbow Dash. The one who's part of the harmony elements." said the almost death guard.
"Oh that are very good news so I'm not killing you." said Celesia and stopped killing the guard.
"Thanks my Queen." said the guard and left the room and lived happily even after.
- Sephirothslave's Shinra High SOLDIER.
- Some of POV chapters in the Gensokyo 20XX series can be more or less written like this, depending on who is narrating and how much they have to say. In 20XXV, this is noted, when Reimu narrates chapter 87. She isn't very descriptive and neither are the sentences very long, although it is to show how detached from world that she is, as such a worldview doesn't give her much an understanding, along with the fact that she doesn't talk much. However, Reimu will only narrate like that if a chapter demands.
- Isaac Asimov is well known for this. A tendency that he pokes fun at later in Gold, where a bunch of frustrated film writers desperately try to cobble together a screen adaptation of an Asimov story (The Gods Themselves), cursing Asimov's dialogue-laden, non-descriptive, and beige prose the entire way.
- Beetleborgs villain's description of last time they tried this plan: "Been there. Done that. Got beat."
- Screenwipe once did an hour special on writers. One of them was famed for writing realistic dialogue on EastEnders, his method was to write the sentence and then cut down any unnecessary words. So "See you later, we must do this again some time" would after a series of cuts simply become "Later".
- Jon Lajoie's "I Kill People" rap is written this way to lay bare common rap subjects. Sample lyrics:
I buy a lot of expensive things, because I have a lot of money
You can't afford expensive things 'cause you don't have a lot of money
Ha ha, you want these things, but you cannot afford them
That means that you're not cool 'cause you're just a poor person
- The Minutemen's "Take 5, D":
Tub has to be properly caulked prior to any showering
Walls are drenched
Both roofer and plumber here
Had to pay for two service calls
- Lyrics taken straight from a landlady's note about a leaky bathtub. D. Boon thought Mike Watt's old lyrics for the song were "too spacey". He changed them to something mundane.
- The title to track to The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails. The lyrics are sparse, spoken instead of sung, and are mostly bare description. "Eraser," from the same album, could count as well - it only has a few lines, all two words long with just a verb and a noun (either "you" or "me").
- Haiku, the poetic form, is essentially this.
- William Carlos Williams.
The Red Wheelbarrow so much depends
/ upon / a red wheel / barrow
glazed with rain / water / beside the white / chickens. This Is Just To Say
I have eaten / the plums / that were in / the icebox
and which / you were probably / saving / for breakfast
Forgive me / they were delicious / so sweet / and so cold
- This poem from Ogden Nash:
- Some poetry by Yoko Ono :
- Epigrams, the Greek ones however could be a lot longer and almost indistinguishable from elegies. Modern ones are only a couple of lines long. The most famous one was written by a Roman named Catullus.
- This piece by Alexander Blok (translated from Russian):
Night, square, apothecary, lantern,
Its meaningless and pallid light.
Return a half a lifetime after –
All will remain. A scapeless rite.
Then die, then have a new beginning,
And all will turn the same as ere:
Night, rippled water's frigid grinning,
Apothecary, lantern, square.
- This is the entire shtick of "Blac-U" Weather forecaster Ollie Williams, from Family Guy. The man gets his weather forecasting across with this, and a combination of No Indoor Voice.
Tom Tucker: We now go to Ollie Williams, for the "Blac-U" weather report. Ollie?
Ollie: IS' GON' RAIN!
Tom Tucker: Thanks Ollie.
- Stan Smith lapsed into a similar pattern when he tried to get back on the dating scene.
- The Transformers, both Soundwave and Omega Supreme: Dialogue limited.
- South Park: Butters's writing style in his book The Poop that Took a Pee.
- And now, the poetry stylings of Maud Pie.
Maud: Rock. You are a rock. Grey. You are grey.
- The Spartans, whose simplicity of speech gave rise to the word "laconic," after their dialect of Greek.
- Calvin Coolidge, a.k.a. "Silent Cal." Possibly apocryphal example:
Party Guest: Mister Vice-President, I bet my friends over there I could get you to say three words tonight.
Coolidge: You lose. (he leaves the party)
- Some versions of the story have the party guest being Dorothy Parker.
- Another example:
After church one Sunday, notoriously terse Calvin Coolidge was asked what the preacher had talked about.
"Sin", replied Coolidge.
"What did he say about it?"
"He's against it."
- Police reports.
- Many military messages
- Simple English Wikipedia.
- Omit needless words.
- The artificial language Toki Pona based on Taoist philosophy of the virtue of simple thought, life, and communication. It takes this to pretty extreme levels - for example, "pona", the word for "good", is intentionally designed to also mean "simple", and "ike" for "bad" or "evil" intentionally also means "complicated".
- Guy Steele once gave a talk on computer language design, "Growing A Language", in which he restricted himself to using English words of one syllable, and allowed himself to use longer words only when he defined them first.
- San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is known for speaking like this. Here's a sample interview:
ESPN sportscaster Doris Burke:
Pop, what happened offensively in that period? Popovich:
What about on the defensive end? They had their most productive quarter, what'd you see there? Popovich:
- "The enemy came. He was beaten. I am tired. Goodnight." Vicomte Turenne, Message sent after the battle of Dunen, 1658
- Some Latin American Spanish dialects (like Mexican Spanish) prefers to going straight to the point, compared with the European Spanish dialect, who prefers the opposite.
- People with Aphasia can have fragmented speech.