A speaker at a conference on campus recently shared this perspective:

When Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, there were approximately 20,000 words in use.

When Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address, there were 60,000 words in our language.

Today, there are approximately 1 million words available to us.

Yet has the expansion of language done anything to help improve communication?  No.

Dr. Seuss began wrote Green Eggs and Ham after his publisher (Bennet Cerf) bet him that he could not complete a book using just 50 different words.  Obviously, he did, and the tale of Sam’s eating habits went on to become the fourth-best selling English-language book of all time.

It does not require fancy words and complex structures to share your story.  In fact, your message often gets lost in the rambling.

I do not like oblique and labyrinthine writing.  I do not like it beth I am.

— beth triplett



William Mayo former VP of Caterpillar at Streamlines Conference, November 2014

Wikipedia, Green Eggs and Ham

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