The Power of Short Words: A Mini Assignment

Hey guys. I’m going to try out a mini assignment that Shelley has posted to our Canvas page. It’s all about learning to utilize the power of short words—those that are only a single syllable (I’m not doing a great job it thus far). The assignment is to write a 200 word description of a place that I am familiar with using only monosyllabic (lol, the irony) words. I’m allowed to use three multisyllabic words which I will number using parentheses. Let’s see how it goes.


Room one-one-nine is small. It is green with a blue floor. The trim on the door is brown. The door is not to close—such is the way of the psych ward. The top of the door has been cut so as to strip any edge from which a noose could hang—such is the way of the psych ward. Art sits on one wall, and the rest are blank. Light comes through a large window (1) off to the side. A bed is set on the far wall. White sheets lie on the bed; Maia lies on top of the white sheets on the bed in the small, green room with the blue floor in the psych ward.

She has cut her body. They are small cuts, like those from paper (2). But they are still cuts. They still bleed. She needs help.

She is here for the week. She will go on to Denver soon, where she will stay for one month. I go to see her twice while she is here. Each time she is bored—not by me but by life in the psych ward. Each time we read and play cards. There is no more for us to do. We talk. Joey came a few days back. She says he has been well. Joey is a good guy. Maia loves him.

I love Maia. I want her to be well. I want her to love herself (3).


Wow—that was much harder than I would have expected. I think I cheated. “Maia” and “Joey” are actually both two syllables. So is “Denver.” At least I kept the descriptive words to single syllables (other than “herself”). The rest were nouns. This is the website I used to ensure that each word was monosyllabic.

Try this! It’s tough!

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