When Important Decisions Need to Be Made
Let an Attorney Lead the Way

Never Just Enough

While many among us pretend to some penchant for exactness, we would be but fools, in everyday life, to attempt to match output, supply, ideas, etc. WITH JUST ENOUGH to complete our plans. Nature, whether in delivering sperm or dropping seedlings, always provides far more than is necessary. The astute among us draw up backup and contingency plans and utilize redundancy, both to assure adequacy and to address situations that may go awry.

But this notion “never just enough” applies to speech and communication as much as to anything else. We should not just use just enough words to transmit the idea, but we do well to “lock in” the meaning with cross-checks and redundancy. When we spell, we may remind others that “A” as in Apple, “D” as in delirium or dud. When a pilot uses the number “9" he/she says "Niner” to avoid confusion. With ten bits of information in a byte, computers “lock in" transmissions by using stop and start bits.

When describing events, it is naive to use the adjective “intelligent” when we may mean cunning, witty, astute, sensitive, analytical, resilient, observant, open-minded, flexible, inter-culturally aware, and other words that limit, circumscribe, suggest, and dimensionalize the point that we are attempting to convey. A single adjective may suffice to impress readers in a novel, but anyone in the business of science, math, law, social history, economics, etc., would do better by “honing in” on the precise configuration of concepts that should accompany the message.

Given the fact that the English language, for instance, has more than 3,000 expressions relating to inebriation and many dozens of verbs relating to ambulation and speech, we loathe to employ dull crude expressions such as “walk” and “talk” when we might otherwise convey some expression of focal alacrity. True we shorten messages with lame and corrupted words such as “every,” “exact," "infinite," “everyone,” (literal,” etc., but do so at the expense of displaying our cognitive baseness.