I ate too much and it made me heavy and slow.
Using too many words is like eating too much.
It makes communication heavy and slow.
Short sentences hit harder.
Nouns and verbs are fists that deliver punches.
Adjectives and adverbs are gloves that soften the blows.
Unless they are unexpected.
A brass-knuckled uppercut is an unexpected adjective that modifies a noun you didn’t see coming.
“Your soup tastes like old socks that have been marinated in diesel, sprinkled with urine, and baked for three days covered in a sack that’s been used to wipe a donkey’s backside.”– Richard Poole, Death in Paradise, Season 1, episode 6
Soup is the subject.
Tastes, marinated, sprinkled, baked, covered, used, and wipe are the verbs.
Socks, diesel, urine, days, sack, and backside are the nouns.
Unexpected words unleash vivid images when they splash onto your mind.
We’re driving through Mike’s Express Car Wash in Indianapolis.
A 4,000,000 BTU heater ensures the water never drops below 180 degrees. Hot water cleans better than cold water because it delivers more stored energy.
Soap unleashes hungry electrons and the road film clinging to our car is dissolved.
Pressure pumps give the water kinetic energy as it is fired from the nozzles of the guns.
Brushes and mitters deliver mechanical vibration, a fourth kind of energy.
The soft-water rinse is chased by a tornado that rocks our car and leaves never a trace of moisture.
Emerging from the tunnel, we look like we’re driving off the showroom floor.
A well-written paragraph unleashes bright colors like a car wash in Indianapolis.
Similes and metaphors allow us to use the known and familiar to reveal the unknown and unfamiliar, like a father telling his son about the birds and the bees.
Paired opposites give us the power to shine light in dark places and bring wellsprings of water to thirsty deserts.
Rhythms of stressed and unstressed syllables make our words memorable. Meter is music. Meter is magic.
Alliteration gives us the ability to accelerate all 43 phonemes, like many mumbling mice making midnight music in the moonlight. Mighty nice.
The names of shapes and colors and familiar things allow us to project images onto the movie screen of the mind.
Words give us the power to speak worlds into existence.
What future will you set in motion today?
Roy H. Williams