The Inefficiency of Words.
Robert Cormack

No, I don’t feel addressed by this piece. But it ended up in my ‘feed’. It is just another piece to get clicks. That’s okay, of course. Why shouldn’t someone make a living off content creation?

The truth though, lays deeper and won’t meet the superficial eye, or the equally shallow mind.

Writing is talking without interruption, with the added benefit of being able to tweak it long enough to make sense, or to sound good, or to to be read easily and fluently.

As a short time student of Psycholynguistics, I was introduced to the deeper machinations of what people say, when they say it and how they say it. A complex neuronal network is doing all the work. People might be taking credit for what, when and how they say it, but the credit due must be spread among all those who contribute to a vivid language by default.

“Inefficient” is in itself a painfully inefficient word, since it means nothing. It is impossible to use it without the context it is used in. Example given:

Search result using DDG — from Big Huge Thesaurus

No matter how I turn it, one aspect is not emphasized. The origin of the context. Someone may use this word in their writing. Why? Is there maybe a reason a person writes the way they are writing? Of course there is. You’re not a Ernest Hemingway, or a Jane Austen and neither am I. We cannot be who we are not. Both of us could potentially write a novel and be celebrated as much, as great writers were always lauded.

There is a book about Hemingway “Hemingway The Writer as Artist”. Now, when we look at the term ‘Artist’, what comes to mind? Someone that uses only words that exist at the time? Problematic for a visionary that wants to express a situation, or emotion that was simply not available at the time.

Like, making a few folks that never rode a train before, step into the Pullman and off they go. Ask them at the end of the one mile they were enduring at the frightening speed of 12 mph, what they felt, how the ride was. “It felt like a chariot without horses!” “There were no sounds of hooves.!” “There was this thick smoke blowing into our windows!” and so forth.

When the writer, that is typing these words, cares to convey a point of view (and it is always a point of view that creates the words), anything goes. That’s why I call myself an Artist above being a writer. As an Artist, I am only committed to the point of view I care to convey. In a true co-dependency of the point of view I want to share with the language that I can peruse, it will be impossible to break free and use my own colors.

Yes, words to me are identical to the colors a painter uses. There is an important difference between VanGogh and William Turner. Alone by the colors.

Forever will the words of James Joyce reverberate behind my calcium shell:

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. HE held the bowl aloft and intoned:…”

Based on the experts that have so far responded to the notion of “inefficient” words, this, considered one of the greatest works in literature, would fail the scrutiny of people hunting down bits and parcels of the language they speak. Yes, I studied writing — on my own terms — utilizing the greatest literature ever, absorbing the Oxford series on writing — strictly adhering to the Do’s and Don’ts in literature at that time.

Yes, my auto correct spell checker was immediately correcting James Joyce’s words. Am I surprised? Absolutely not. Language is a living organism. It grows and changes, adopts and adjusts to an ever evolving society.

When I was young, I was reading Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in Old German. All available works in Old German:

Old German Script

Today, with the exception of some scholars of German literature and history, people are no longer able to read it, lest to write it.

In conclusion, I believe there are no “inefficient” words. Why? Because “efficiency” has nothing to do in literature. It may be a necessary part and parcel for content providers — the people that write stuff to make their living — but these same content providers follow rules and regulations of marketing and ‘search engine optimizations’ over rules and regulations inherent in the English language.

As a degree-less Psycholinguist I like to convey the naked truth (according to what I learned) about whether a word is “efficient”, or “inefficient”:

It lies in the eyes of the beholder. It is the receiver that makes this call.

Please, please, please, write a piece about the destruction of the English language synonomy via the perversion of the meanings for a rather large number of its words’.

Example given:






I enjoyed Your writing skills very much, as I enjoy all well written material. But no cake for the “efficiency factor in writing”. :-) Now back to writing the novel, that will become the novel of all novels. Although I promise to not publish it on Medium — the Mecca of content providers for clicks.