TL;DR, or tldr for short, has not just entered my world, its threatening to take over! It has only been in the last few months that I have become familiar with this acronym which stands for “too long; didn’t read", but how darn useful is it?
Looked at my email list this morning, and it was just so long that I tldr-d it. Previously I would have had to deal with those pesky emails and put some of the yucky ones, the ones that I would have to actually think about, into the “too hard” basket. But that has always been a problem area because it was like admitting defeat and I was taking the blame for the failed communication. Also, I just knew that it was only a matter of time before I had to deal with each one of those dreaded emails.
Applying TLDR gets you off the hook.
If I can put tldr next to something, I am putting the blame where I think it belongs. It implies that it’s somebody else’s fault that you didn’t read what they sent you. The author of those emails are the rotten sods who thought that I wanted to read all that guff. If they can’t get to the point quickly, then I reserve the right to place their rubbish communication effort where it belongs, in the trash. Don’t complain to me if I didn’t respond to your long-winded email, it’s your own fault.
Read on. Don’t you dare tldr me!
Our lives have become too busy. The acceleration of the information age that we live in means that we are forced to tldr more and more. Newspapers have responded to the evolving reading habits of a generation that gets weary after one or two sentences; simple ones at that. Nobody, it seems, has the stamina for complex sentences anymore. News has become more like entertainment. Newspaper articles are sensationalised in an effort to sell papers. Anyone’s dirty laundry can be aired if it is deemed to be “in the public interest”. Is the public really that interested in the tawdry affairs of politicians?
So, what is the point?
The point is, get to the blooming point! Say what is needed in as few words as possible because we have to face the fact that the bombardment of communications we face in the information age means that we have less time to spend reading. Our computers and our NBN are so much faster but our brains still work at much the same pace.
So, please choose your wordsmith wisely.
Your copywriter needs to have an excellent understanding of tldr because either consciously or unconsciously we are all tldr-ing.
Thank you so much for staying to the end. I hope you have found this enlightening and that you can feel justified in tldr-ing every boring thing that comes your way.