Nah, you haven’t thought it through, Steve. (I didn’t know we were on a first-name basis.) Eloquence is “the power of fluent, forceful, and appropriate speech,” it’s “characterized by forceful and appropriate expression,” and it’s “movingly expressive.” That’s just what the dictionary says.

Meanwhile, your article says eloquence is all about simplicity and brevity. You use the word “simple” ten times in your article, and you say, “The essence of eloquence is conveying a lot with few words.” Perhaps that’s your interest in Stoicism getting the better of you.

Do you see your fallacy now? Yes, emotionally powerful language may make the most out of few words, but you lay all the emphasis on the words’ mere quantity and simplicity, not on the need for their emotional depth. That makes your article a distraction from eloquence, from the aim of writing with emotional intensity.

And your reason for producing that distraction is likely just the one I suggested. You wrote that article not to show people how to be eloquent, but to provide excuses for the degraded forms of communication that pass on electronic media. You’re not even ashamed to say your writing style is inspired by a popular self-improvement writer. Are you supposed to be unaware that the self-help movement is a blight on thought and a lamentable watering-down of philosophy and religion? I doubt you are.

Simplicity and brevity don’t suffice for eloquence but praising those standards would make writers feel better about selling out in the Twitterverse. Are all tweets eloquent just because they’re short and simple? Why even write whole articles? Why not just tweet? As digitization continues to trivialize art and thought, will you supply the excuse for why our descendants will write only in ones and zeroes?

I see that you work in marketing. That explains your conflict of interest, doesn’t it?

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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