October 1, 2006
Verbal Economy: The Four-Word Component Review
When I started reviewing audio components back in 1997, I was given some advice that has stuck with me to this day. Marc Mickelson, our editor-in-chief then and now, stated that I should tap into my sense of verbal economy. I loved the term, although he could just as easily have said Get to the point or Just say it. The point was to make a point, and not go on and on. It takes more thought to make it short. Recall French philosopher Blaise Pascals proclamation: "I have made this [letter] longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter."
I was listening to ESPN Radio the other day and Colin Cowherd of The Herd (10 a.m. EST weekdays) was talking about The Four Word Film Review, an online publication dedicated to, well, four-word film reviews. Cowherd proceeded to give various NFL teams their four words in the sun, encapsulating the 2006 season team by team. It struck me as the ultimate example of verbal economy. Looking at some of the reviews on The Four Word Film Review, I was impressed at just how complete and accurate some of these were, not to mention funny. Some examples: Snakes on a Plane could be summed up as "Hiss Hiss, Bang Bang." Jaws might be "Gone with the Fin," while The Blair Witch Project might be described as "Tense. Intense. In Tents." And how about Vin Diesels XXX: "Why? Why? Why? Why?"
So in the interest of verbal economy, Ive decided to take a look at some of the components Ive reviewed over the past couple of years and give them their own four-word reviews. Take them for what theyre worth.
And why confine my four-word reviews to components alone? Some other high-end issues:
And, from my esteemed colleague Jim Saxon:
Id love to hear your own four-word component reviews. Send em along and we may just publish em. The only criteria: creative, clean, not copyrighted.
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