Apparently, I really like the idea
cutting down communication to it’s purest form. (that’s really pompous sounding)- I like short writing. I like the idea that you have to pack as much as possible in just a few words.
Boing Boing has come through again by finding a book dealing with 6 word memoirs by a variety of writers.
My two favorites are below.
Yes, you can edit my biography. — Jimmy Wales
Must remember: people, gadgets. That order. — Brian Lam
I might simplify the idea for students and make them obituaries- it also avoids any of their work getting sucked into the Oprah memoir furor (nothing worse than having to apologize to Oprah on national TV). Give them bonus points for working in vocabulary words etc.
Here a more academic example that I took a shot at (I listened to this Tesla podcast recently- interesting stuff).
Eccentric Serb electrifies science. Dies poor. — Nikolai Tesla
I guess it all boils down to- well, boiling things down. There’s a lot of processing and thinking that goes into trying to sum up a life or period in just a few words. In the end it’ll help everyone. Have them vote on the best sentence. Post them individually in a blog and install the star rating plugin. Make your life painless while creating a study resource and getting your students excited. If you tag them by people, time period or other relevant category it’ll double your pleasure and fun.