Skip to main content

The Very Short, Laconic Texts in Everyday Speech and Literature

Nicolas likes to study connections and interconnections between thinking and speech

Literary Shortest Stories

Once, Ernest Hemingway made a bet about a short story which would consist from six words only. Moreover, it would be able to touch any reader. The author managed to win it. The text had this sentence - "For sale: baby shoes, never used"

Frederick Brown, science fiction author, composed the shortest terrible story among ever written: "The last man on the Earth was sitting in the room. Somebody knocked at the door..."

American author, O'Henri, won the contest for the shortest story, which has all components of traditional short story such as foreignness, setup, and denouement:"The driver smoked and bend down the gas- tank to determine how many benzine left. The departed had twenty three years".

Anecdote Against Official History

Sometimes, political anecdote gives us more objective information about political events than official historical manuscript. Adding humour and satire, this kind of shortest text helps in real understanding of many historical things, even processes. This is anecdote about hard life in the former USSR. One old woman saw the camel the first time in his life. She wept. When she was asked why, the answer was: "Look, to what the Soviet power finalized the horse!"

My favourite one concerns to Leonid Brezhnev and Alla Pugatcheva. As you remember, the first was the former leader of powerful nuclear state, the Soviet Union, the second - the famous singer, the star for many generations. It sounds: "Who is Leonid Brezhnev? A minor cleark in a time of Alla Pugatcheva."

Very Short Stories I recommend to Read to You

Very Short StoriesTitles and AuthorsAbout


The Outing, Lydia Davis

The Role of What Happened


Likeable, Deb Olin Unferth

Unlikeable woman


Sticks, George Saunders



Miracles, Lucy, Corin

Temporal swerve


The Swan as Metaphor for Love, Amelia Grey

Several facts about swans


The Huntress, Sofia Samatar

A huntress (or two)


Taylor Swift, Hugh Behm-Steinberg

Language and form


Girl, Jamaica Kincaid

Triumph of voice


Aubade, Joy Williams

Firm wink


Housewife, Amy Hempel

it packs a lot of dramas in the single sentence

Punctuation Has a Great Meaning Also

Victor Hugo sent to the editor the manuscript of his historical novel "Les Miserables" with the attached letter:


Scroll to Continue

The answer was no less laconic:


The History of If

The classic example of laconism in Spartans' life referred to the letter of the Makedonia's tsar Phillippe, the Second, conquered many Greek towns: "I advice you to give up immediatly, because if my army enters your lands, I will destroy your gardens, town, and enslave your people. For this, the Spartan Ephores answered with one word: "If". If._ of Redyard Kipling, remember, the same. One Word Is a Small Spool but Precious.

Probably, You Will to create the Shortest Text Thanks to Painting of Jacek Yerka

Jacek Yerka


Mind Fields: The Art of Jacek Yerka, the Fiction of Harlan Ellison

Mind Fields was originally conceived as a collection of Jacek Yerka's paintings. Moreover, when Harlan Ellison was approached to write the introduction, he was so amazed that instead he penned a short story for each picture. The result of this synergistic melding of talents, Mind Fields is two masters at their best. Each of the three dozen stories in this volume is completely unlike any of the others, and together they contain a rich panoply of, humor, and surprise. Produced in a beautiful cloth edition worthy of the art within, Mind Fields is a unique work and a must for any Ellison reader.

The Last Line

The Shortest Bio

The old French woman won the contest about the shortest bio:"When I was young, I had a smooth face and a screaped skirt. Nowadays it is vice versa."

From the Writer of This Article


Already and Yet

Sometimes, I should like to write the short texts like it, for example: "I have had 60 years yet, and she did already of 30s."


Raisa on June 06, 2020:

Thank' was wery interesting for me. Espesslaly "If"

Related Articles