Brevity is the source of wit (in Ancient Greek: το λακωνιζειν εστι φιλοσοφειν  ) – Georgios Ardavanis (Ph.D.)

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Being able to speak allows man to be a logical being, capable of both reasoning and expression. He uses speech to convey his ideas and emotions or, to put it more simply, to form speech logic. It is widely acknowledged that speech is the myth that guides us to the depths of human life and that it reflects the entire psycho-spiritual universe of man.

The phrase “laconizein esti philosophein” from the Ancient Greeks describes a philosophical attitude and outlook on life as communicating succinctly and thoroughly. Being able to communicate clearly and succinctly demonstrates intellectual development, proficiency in the language, as well as substance and frugalness in both thought and behavior.

The Ancient Spartans invented the short, to-the-point discourse, which became ingrained in their general, uncomplicated manner of life.

Brevity stems from the individual’s need to express himself precisely, avoid exaggerations, and presuppose skill and thoughtfulness. Simple and concise expression facilitates communication and therefore improves the quality of human relationships. It gives weight to words, turns them into content, and therefore promotes thought, making communication more clear, meaningful, and honest.

On the contrary, extensive and chatty speech often hides the truth and does not help people to meet, as in the case of demagogues and plagiarists. For the same reason, impressive figures of speech and rhetorical expressions are mainly used. Many words hide traps.

Brevity is pure speech without unpleasant surprises and false promises. So, her role is educational. It is no coincidence, after all, that the wisdom of individuals and peoples is crystallized in epigrams, and even what the human memory selectively preserves is expressed succinctly.


Georgios Ardavanis – 21/11/2023

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