Axios “Smart Brevity” for loved ones

“Optimize your essential communications”

Jeffrey Denny
4 min readOct 27, 2023


Jeffrey Denny

Writers love when money-enslaving nonwriter bosses constructively suggest they read “Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less.”

Then the nonwriters give the writers vague ideas to add. Because writers are telepathic. And while adding vague ideas, make the writing shorter. Because writers, like René Descartes, can defy the Newtonian laws of physics.

To be brief, Smart Brevity, by the founders of the “market-disruptive innovator” Axios news platform, is a 224-page death march. It’s about how to write for today’s short-attention-span “readers.”

“Smart Brevity is a clever, concise book that will make you a sharper communicator and a better leader,” says Axios, which pioneered the clever, concise news style for the “skimming, scanning generation” to read on the phone while driving or blindly walking into heavy traffic.

“Axios’s innovation was that it just cut to the chase,” The New Yorker — renowned for the best long-form magazine writing on Earth — put it in “The Dubious Wisdom of ‘Smart Brevity.’” “Axios’s biggest advantage was that it promised its readers that they wouldn’t have to wade through excess text in order to get to the nuggets of news.”

Beloved people in our lives also shouldn’t have to pull on fly-fishing gear to indulge our logorrhea with their critical listening skills. The Axios news style can optimize our personal communications with nuggets of meaning. For instance:

Headline: Sorry guys can’t make Sunday brunch.

Why it matters: Can’t pick up an unfair portion of the check as always.

Between the lines: As I’ve muttered, I always get stuck with paying more because I don’t eat or drink as much as everyone else because it makes me sleepy all afternoon and my Sunday Sadness worse.

What’s next: More Sunday happy “me time” to stream my shows instead of talking about what everyone else is streaming. But we should get together soonest. [Cheery emoji]


Headline: Sorry I need to break up.

Why it matters: You’ll never see me again, if there’s a Gott in Himmel.

Yes, but: Sure, our two dates were … fun. But I can’t deal with your 14 cats. It’s about you, not me. I’m still hacking hairballs and mainlining Zyrtec.

Catch up fast: Our relationship began to end when I met your 14 cats. It’s weird for a guy to have that many cats. Anyway, I’m more of a dog person. But I stuck it out for a couple of dates. So I didn’t seem like the typical woman who flees at the slightest red flag.

The latest: No, I’m not ghosting. Please stop calling, texting, and showing up because you think I’m the typical woman who doesn’t know what she wants.

The bottom line: I’ve changed phones, moved to an undisclosed location, and published a Medium piece about you. [Scared emoji]


Headline: The laundry is piling up, honey.

Why it matters: We’re running out of clothes to wear.

Behind the scenes: We agreed in our wedding vows that you would at least do the laundry because you don’t work. While I struggle to balance work with life and parenting to realize my dream to be the first woman to make partner at my law firm. And hate to mention, but I’m paying for everything here.

What they’re saying: Divorce will ensue.

The big picture: Laundry is a metaphor.


Headline: I can’t stand when your parents visit.

Why it matters: They’re horrible Trumpers and election deniers. They remind me why, and I say this with all my love and understanding, that you have both mommy and daddy issues.

By the numbers: Biden beat Trump 306 to 232 in electoral votes and 81 million to 74 million in the popular vote. Several Trump election deniers have pled guilty for a multitude of state and federal crimes to avoid prison by ratting out each other. Fox News paid $787 million for its election lies.

Flashback: When we met, your parents were honorable, decent, rational Republicans. Now not so much after a steady diet of Fox News.

What they’re saying: The whole Speaker of the House thing was a conspiracy by the anti-America liberal Socialist Soros pedophile big government Deep State. They infiltrated the Republicans to spread chaos to destroy our country by making patriotic real American white people a minority.

Between the lines: Nobel Laureates in medicine were too busy inventing vaccines to defeat the Covid pandemic to work on a “smart pill” for MAGAs. To be marketed in Fox News ads as TRUMPEROL® showing peaceful J6 patriot tourists so they’ll swallow it every day. Side effects include saving our democracy.

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.



Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.