As a communicator, I look for ways to say more with less. The ‘gold standard’ for brevity was set two centuries ago by the French poet, playwright, novelist and essayist Victor Hugo.
The story goes like this. Victor Hugo was travelling out of town and wanted to know how his latest book was selling. He messaged (telegraphed?) his agent: ?
The agent, not to be outdone, replied: !
Enough said. How I wish I could beat that economy of words…
I have a fondness for both question marks and exclamation marks — I used a good deal of both in my own speaking and writing. I use these as a metaphor in a tribute I just wrote about one of my mentors: Ray Wijewardene.
Ray Wijewardene: An Extraordinary Thinker and Tinkerer has just been published by Groundviews.org. It also appears on the official website about Ray Wijewardene, being formally launched today.
Here are the opening paras of my essay:
“If I had to condense the multi-faceted and fascinating life of Ray Wijewardene, I would reduce it to a whole lot of question marks and exclamation marks. In his 86 years, Ray generated more than his fair share of both.
“He was unpigeonholeable: engineer, farmer, inventor, aviator and sportsman all rolled into one. Whether at work or play, he was an innovative thinker who rose above his culture and training to grasp the bigger picture.”
Full essay: Ray Wijewardene: An Extraordinary Thinker and Tinkerer
The website was built by my team at TVE Asia Pacific (TEVAP) as a public education resource. read TVEAP News story:
TVEAP unveils new website on outstanding Sri Lankan scientist and visionary