On the Regressive Politics of TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read)

One of the latest and most odious acronyms used on the Internet is TLDR, which stands for too long, didn’t read. This four-letter dismissive is usually typed when a person disagrees with your message but doesn’t want to make any sort of intellectual investment in your argument’s content. I describe the acronym as odious because its popularity exemplifies today’s war on intellectualism. We live in an age when, for many, reading a single paragraph is deemed too rigorous. This is, perhaps, an implication of the Twitter age. Any statement longer than a sentence paradoxically appears meaningless.

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Our obsession with word economy might help explain the political rise of megalomaniac Donald Trump, a man who offers entertaining, single-sentence insults but struggles to provide detail about any sort of policy he might enact. Countries aren’t run by a guy whose most complex and repeated sentence is, “I’m great.” What’s the point in typing TLDR? Trumpeting intellectual laziness is hardly something to take pride in.