Mar
25
2010

The 500 Word Limit


I hate the 500 word limit.

So what if it promotes brevity and conciseness of thought?  Not everything can be encapsulated into this stifling limitation.  How much can you really fit into 500 words if you have a lot of things between your ears that you want unleashed upon your captive reading public?  Does this mean that those with a penchant for verbal diarrhea will have to conform to this puritanical law of anal-retentive, number-crunching, grammar elitists?

I dread the 500 word limit.

I know I’m guilty in this blog of spewing words with reckless abandon, the same way a sewer drain unloads its deadly cargo everyday.  When I was a little Pinoy boy with limited grasp of language, I dreaded writing classes.  I always wished that one paragraph, or even one sentence, was enough. It was neither laziness nor ignorance, but rather, the inability to articulate what I wanted to say onto a written medium.  But as I progressed through grade school, and proceeded to the secondary academic circus, I learned how to write more than just a title and a cacophony of jumbled randomness.  Upon reaching that savage  jungle we know as “college,” I was a virtual writing machine.  I loved writing almost as much as I loved reading.  Whenever someone imposed limits on how much I can write, I flipped the literary middle finger by writing twice as much.  Sometimes my figurative protest was heeded, but mostly I received a reprimand, or a demand for a re-write.  All because I surpassed the word limit.

I am confused by the 500 word limit.

So why the 500 word limit, really?  Why not a 755 word limit that doesn’t count the swear words?  What strictly counts as a word, anyway?  Are antecedents, conjunctions and simple prepositions counted as words? Is an acronym, or an abbreviation, or even a “forced” contraction (i.e. ’twas, ’twasn’t, etc)  counted as a word?  Is the number “500” even considered a word?  If not, can I get away with writing a lot of numbers to offset the 500 word limit?  If I write out the value of Pi, is that considered a work of literature to rival Tolstoy’s War and Peace? Come to think of it, if I spelled S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G out, is each letter counted as a word?  Worse yet, is punctuation counted as a “word,” too???!!!!…

And what…

about…

paragraph breaks

?

I laugh at the 500 word limit.

It may be a necessary evil in order to prevent meaningless ramblings, or to make sure your article fits canvas space, but I snicker at it.  I am amused beyond comprehension.  The sheer audacity of the powers that be to LIMIT what I can write, just so it’ll fit a predesignated column space, or maybe because the attention span of the proposed reader is as focused as a flying plastic cup in the middle of a busy freeway, staggers me.  But I guess, in the end, so be it…

This blog entry meets the 500 word limit…  asshole.

This blog entry meets the 500 word limit

This blog entry meets the 500 word limit


Written by Tolitz in: Rants and Raves | Tags: , ,

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