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Mary January 13, 2014

Interesting post Shujaat. There's a plain English movement in the UK that is attempting to do as you suggest. And, Pascal wasn't the only one to think this way... various other quotations along similar lines show that Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw, Voltaire, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Winston Churchill, Pliny the Younger, Cato, and Cicero all had a similar view. http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/04/28/shorter-letter/
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Hannah January 14, 2014

Thanks for this interesting posting. I agree with your main point on the value of clear and concise writing, and the sometimes painful process of learning how to do this. But I'm not sure I agree that SMS and Twitter-style communication help us to achieve that. I think we need more than 140 characters to express most ideas beyond 'look at this!' Twitter may be useful for sharing information and finding others with similar interests - but I don't see much actual exchange and development of ideas in Twitter. I'd be interested to hear other views on this.
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Shujaat (not verified) January 14, 2014

Mary - thanks for the other references. It's interesting how certain trends seem to be cyclical. Re: plain English - an interesting movement with some debate around concerns of "degradation" of language (as opposed to seeing it evolving). Thoughts?
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Shujaat (not verified) January 14, 2014

Hannah - it can definitely be a debatable point; I think it may depend on what is being discussed and to what level an exchange is required. But I've seen some beneficial exchanges on Twitter and even personally, there have been times that I have experienced development of ideas through LinkedIn. But I'd agree that these tools generally may be more useful to initiate conversations that can later develop into a (more) meaningful exchange separately - touched upon it in this post: http://www.diplomacy.edu/blog/are-phones-still-phones-guest-blog

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