~ Peggy Noonan~
Clarity should not be confused with brevity. A text message is brief by design, but is often unclear. Often text messages contain the gift of confusion and raw emotion within their few characters. Their brevity and lack of context may lead to misunderstanding by the recipient. If they are used to convey or confirm basic facts, however, text messages can quickly offer clarity. Texts should not be confused with advanced communications.
Most folks don’t sit down to write long letters anymore; it’s become something of a lost art. The value of a thoughtful letter was the process of explaining thoughts, clearly and completely, since the feedback loop took some time to complete. Once mailed, you must wait…..back in the era before air transportation and instant communications, the wait could be months for a reply. Lack of clarity took ages to correct and therefore writers paid extra attention to what they were trying to say.
Today’s ubiquitous emails offer the appearance of a letter with the instant nature of an electronic message. They become challenging to read and digest due to the volume received and, you guessed it, the lack of clarity that many contain. To achieve clarity requires careful thought before clicking “send”, because you can’t take the words back. A few extra moments to ponder phrasing and to avoid letting emotion creep in can make a huge improvement in message quality. Fewer words, chosen for their clarity, will result in happier experiences for both sender and recipient.
Clarity of purpose, intent, and content work together.