ಕಲರವ

The word laconic, meaning terse, pithy, expressing a meaning in few words, has an interesting origin that dates back to the Greek wars, more than 2600 years ago.

The people of Laconia, a state of ancient Greece, were famous for their valor and for their brevity of speech. They never used more words than were strictly necessary to express themselves. Philip of Macedonia, desiring to become the emperor of all Greece, raised a huge army and waged war against all the states one by one, until each acknowledged him as their overlord. Finally, he sent a letter to the Laconians, which read “If I go down into your country, I will level your great city to the ground.”

In a few days, an answer was brought back to him. It contained a single word – “If”. This short, but telling reply effectively took the wind out of his sails.

The Laconians’ brevity of speech has been immortalized in the expression laconic, which today means ‘expressing oneself in few words’.

-Abhay Kumar, II yr MBBS, BMCRI

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ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 2008
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