If “TL;DR” perplexes, pay attention. When your audience uses or even thinks them, you’re sunk. It originated in corners of the ‘Net where shortcuts rule, but proved too useful to be cabined there.

“Too Long; Didn’t Read” means your intended audience was either intimidated by your writing’s length, didn’t get grabbed by it, or maybe just can’t pay attention right now.

Dealing with complicated messaging where nuance matters, I’ve sometimes been disappointed – but very rarely shocked – by decreasing attention spans. But curse not the darkness; light a candle instead:

·      Write and re-write. Strike unnecessary words.

·      Model journalists and military briefers. Essential info first; details later.

·      Link to ancillary material; don’t clutter your argument.

·      Semicolons are your friends; use them effectively.

·      Active voice rules.

·      In our highly visual culture, an image helps you break through the clutter.

Succeed, and no one posts “RL; RE” (Right Length; Read Everything). But you will persuade and influence.