Monthly Archives: October 2010

Minimalist

vanderrohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the "less is more" guy, whom everyone ignores.

“Less is more.”
—Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Holistic, thematic, simplistic, methodology Are we seeing a trend here? Where once most lexicides sprang from roughly twinned sound-alike words (stagnant for static, fortuitous for fortunate), these days it’s the suffixes that bedevil us.

So add one more: minimalist, which means “of or relating to minimalism in art or music” (New Oxford American Dictionary), but is instead used thusly:

“Can the copy be more minimalist?”

“Our department is operating on a minimalist budget.”

“We only have time for minimalistic changes.”

(Minimalistic, by the way, is not in the dictionary.)

Being minimalist does not mean to edit, excise or abbreviate, nor is it the same as being minimal. Minimalism is an aesthetic movement championed by painter Frank Stella, composer John Adams and architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, whose defining statement has ironically gone unheeded by corporate hacks across America. Call them the “new minimalisticists.” In fact, this inspires me on a new way to make those minimalist copy changes:

So much depends
Upon three lousy letters
Propping up a word
Within a whitepaper

— Otto E. Mezzo