Definition of Concise in English

Concise, from the Latin concīsus, is something that has conciseness. This term (conciseness), for its part, is linked to economy of means and the brevity to express a concept with precision and accuracy.

For example: “The judge asked the defendant to be concise and to limit himself to answering what was being asked”, “The writer was applauded after a concise speech in which he did not leave any loose ends”, “Gómez, be it more concise with your answers, please ”.

According to DigoPaul, the concise, therefore, is usually associated with language and expression. There is no set number of words spoken to refer to conciseness, as certain explanations require further development. On the other hand, the conciseness varies depending on the context.

If one person asks another what time it is, a concise answer would be: “It’s half past five. On the other hand, if the subject answers: “When you started with your question it was 17 hours, 31 minutes and 4 seconds, but at this moment it is already 17 hours, 31 minutes and 15 seconds”, we will be faced with a not very concise answer.

It is possible to associate the concise with the essential to generate meaning. Anything superfluous or accessory, therefore, escapes conciseness. A dog can be defined as a “four-legged animal that barks” or as a “mammal that belongs to the canine family, is quadruped and communicates through barking. Both expressions allow us to understand that we are talking about a dog, but the first is more concise. If the expression is “four-legged animal”, it is more concise, but it can cause confusion, since a cat, a cow or a horse are also four-legged animals.

Concise in literature

In the field of letters, there is a concept known as linguistic economics, although some writers prefer that of linguistic savings. This notion is used to refer to those texts of a concise nature, where a lot is said with a few words.

According to the theory of linguistic savings, every statement should try to offer the greatest amount of information using the least amount of words possible, based on what is present in the context, which would help to achieve a full meaning of the message.

In the “Decalogue of the good storyteller” created by Horacio Quiroga the maxims of linguistic economy are expressed. Quiroga, one of the greatest storytellers in history, said that the author should not abuse the reader. Every story must be the product of a detailed work, and must, therefore, be a refined novel of rubble. Thus, Quiroga expressed the importance of being concise when writing a story.

The clearest example of linguistic saving, and one that appears in the Guinness Book of Records, is a word of Yagan origin: “mamihlapinatapai.” According to the definition given by René Haurón, this word means nothing more and nothing less than “looking another person in the eye, with the desire and hope that they will look back at us inviting us to carry out together an action that two of us are waiting but neither dares to start ».

The Yaganes were a group of indigenous people who inhabited Tierra del Fuego around 6,000 years ago. They were nomads who moved in canoes along the estuary and fed on what they collected from the sea. With regard to his language, he was characterized by putting the concept of linguistic savings into practice with great perfection: long words that brought together different ideas. Although today we do not know much about this population, could you say that you have never suffered a mamihlapinatapai?