haiku, humor, language

Are Short Words Better than Long?

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Yes, short words are better.  But not always.  It depends on what U want to do.  Here is a little silliness with self-reference in response to [Diminutive ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #90], which displays a good use of a long word.

tiny

Wanting Five
 Ah, “diminutive”!
 Big word for “tiny” fills out
 first line of haiku.

Hmmm.  Would anybody want a long synonym for “tiny” in a 5-7-5 haiku?  Nah.

BTW, self-reference in language really is a big deal, as explained (among other places) here and here.  It has also been joked about in other haiku.  Some examples are here and here.

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6 thoughts on “Are Short Words Better than Long?

  1. Very fun discussion! Long or short — I love words — especially those that express what they mean, and mean what they express — like slink and hack!

    power brokers slink
    hack out ego flattery
    tainted to their core

    Liked by 1 person

  2. At the moment, I’m hunting short words instead of long ones for creative writing. Long, Latinate words remind me of bureaucracy and institutional paperwork. John Major former British prime minister was notorious for saying things like ‘it is not inconceivable that…’
    For me, having said all of that, one of my favourite words is Reciprocity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So far as I know, “reciprocity” has no shorter synonym. Dunno how anybody could say much about the pleasant concept w/o using the long and mildly unpleasant sounding word.

      The use of a double negative to make a tepid positive (as in Major’s “not inconceivable”) is indeed pretentious. Maybe there was a little ironic humor in the first few uses, but now it is just annoying (and common in bad academic writing). One of the few good things about politics on my side of the pond is that our pols avoid it.

      Like

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