I have been looking for this speech for weeks. Google, Bing, and Wikipedia were of no help. Although finally, based on a tip from a recent University of Michigan emailer, I was finally able to locate it  amongst my folders and sub-folders. It is a speech given by a man named Louis Lipson (1921-1996) in 1979 a the Yale Law School graduation ceremony.

It is remarkable for consisting entirely of one-syllable words.

Sound impossible?

Yale apparently enjoyed it, because they had him repeat it again in 1992.

The speech lacks nothing, and is as inspiring as any other commencement speech – and yet all the words are so straighforward and simple.

Lipson was obviously trying to make a point: simple doesn’t mean you give anything up.  There is also a lesson in this for Web writing.I believe the majority of Websites could be rewritten with one-syllable words (or certainly more understandable words) and it would be a better world.

Go, Louis.

Read the Louis-Lipson-Speech.

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