a word that perfectly describes itself
As a language, German is credited for having great words. Words that hit a certain nuance that isn't fully translatable. ‘Schadenfreude’ is a well known example. We Dutch have it too, we call it ‘leedvermaak’. To be fair, German and Dutch have a big advantage as they allow, or actually demand, that you ‘paste’ words together. ‘Schaden’ and ‘leed’ mean misfortune, ‘freude’ and ‘vermaak’ mean joy or entertainment. We simply glue them together.
But back to English and the word concise. I love it. It’s defined as: “giving a lot of information clearly and in a few words; brief but comprehensive.” In case you’re wondering, we don’t really have a word for that in Dutch. We use the literal translation of ‘brief but comprehensive’, ‘kort en bondig’.
What furthers my love, is that the word describes itself in a Droste effect kind of way. Using the word concise is a very concise way to describe conciseness. Apparently, that’s called ‘autological’, I learnt something today!
Conciseness, to me, is something of real virtue. Using just enough, while being wholly on point. Not only in writing, but also in building software, and just life in general. Being careful, deliberate, exactly on target, without producing waste. I guess that’s the link to my love for Agile, Lean, Kaizen and a minimum viable product. Just enough product, but also: exactly enough. Puritan conciness takes extraordinary effort. As people attribute Blaise Pascal ‘I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.’
If I ever start a business of my own and need an English name, I’ll call it concise. Be warned y’all, I’m sure this counts as prior art in some court, somewhere.