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A Word Can Paint A Thousand Pictures

November 8, 2010

Yeah… It’s not funny. *shrugs*

Warning: This post is incredible brief.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Who hasn’t heard that before? If you’re raising your hand, it’s time for you to Google more. This is classic… and something I love to argue about. My argument, as both a writer and a reader, is that a word can paint a thousand pictures.

I’ll admit that my argument isn’t quite sound, as it really does require a bit more than one word, but look at it this way: A single sentence, whether short or long, paints a different picture in the minds of every single person that comes across it. The pictures can be similar or distinctly different, depending on how descriptive the sentence is, but ultimately they are individual. They are different and unique, every one of them.

In fact, my mom, cousin, and I once sat down and compared the versions of Bella Swan’s room in our minds. We even doodled on napkins. In the end – even if they all had rocking chairs and desks – the rooms were very different. The ingredients the author offered us could be mixed/blended/mashed in so many ways.

It’s astounding to think that a single sentence can create thousands or millions of ideas. If I described my room for you in one, simple sentence, every one of you would have a totally different picture – particularly me. Let’s try it out:

The walls are pink, the furniture is white, and there are books on the floor.

It’s a super vague, incredibly boring sentence, yet I’m certain your mind played tricks with it and created an entire bedroom. And so did hers and his and theirs.

So, next time your artistic friend claims that a picture is worth a thousand words, stand up for your art, and say that a word can paint a thousand pictures.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2010 4:43 PM

    Oh, I love that last sentiment. I might have to print that out for inspiration…

  2. November 9, 2010 6:43 AM

    Great post. It reminds me of when people say actions speak louder than words and in return I often think that words inspire action.

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