This mini essay is exactly 140 words.

The world of Twitter has an infinite demand for your 140 character episodes, but it's not a satisfying place to compose something that has depth or nuance to it. My daily column of 500 words on AnnArbor.com takes an hour or more to write, and I never have the sense that I can dash it off casually.

Perhaps the best approach is to aim for a happy medium. What if the unit of composition is 140 words, not 140 characters? That is three compact paragraphs, with enough space to advance a thought without dragging on forever. 

This mini essay is exactly 140 words. It's concise but not telegraphic, and in writing it I removed as many words as I typed in order to fit it into this small space. The form imposes constraints, but it also leaves enough room to utter more than chatty quips.

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