Fry's English Delight on Radio 4 on the 18th of July was dedicated to brevity. So I will keep this short.
During the programme he talked about the Haiku, one of my favourite forms when writing poetry, with Caroline Gourlay. She said the Haiku captures a moment, it brings us to an awareness, it brings us to silence.
I had a big meeting last week and I lost my voice. I wrote:
the week I am to be heard,
my voice crawls away.
I found I wanted to change the last line to: my voice croaks because of the double meaning (to die). I'm still not sure which I prefer, however, the first version gives me the syllables normally required for a Haiku. Although, as Gourlay also suggested, I know the syllable 'rule' for the Haiku could be seen as spurious, given that the Chinese and Japanese languages (where the form originates) uses characters and not words which can be broken down as ours can.