Can you use the right words to make a long story short?


“TO MAKE a long story short . . .”

People sometimes say that.

Not realizing they just added six words to their story.

Brevity sometimes is essential.

Brevity is to the point.

In speeches and writing, I sometimes use this example:

Woman’s husband dies.

She goes to the newspaper to place his obituary.

Roger Summers
Roger Summers

Editor explains she can have a ten-word obit for free. Extra words will be $1 each.

She dictates the obit:

“John Smith, 72, died Friday. For sale: Red Ford pickup.”

Brevity drives the point home.

The point I want to drive home here is about a word of the sports world that is overused and annoying.

The word is “adversity.”

I hear grown men and women playing and/or reporting on sports speak of adversity in and around games.

Kids games played by grownups.

“We overcame adversity . . . ’’

I am a sports fan like many of you, but please, please, please let’s drop the word adversity from the sports lexicon.

It doesn’t fit. Doesn’t belong there.


Let’s reserve the word for those times in which it truly applies — such as when a 7-year-old girl lives through a plane crash that killed her mother, father, sister and cousin and then bravely walks alone and bloodied and without shoes through the woods and thick brush in the dark to get help.

Roger Summers is a journalist.

Please click the book cover to read more about the short story collection of Roger Summers in Heart Songs From a Washboard Road.


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