Friday, November 6, 2009

Are you a more or less?

In my vast experience in life (okay, so I've pretty much lived in the same town my whole life) I have come to discover that there are only mores and lesses. Please note: I do tend to make up words and hope that you catch my meaning.

What is a "more"?
A more is someone who generally always gives more than is needed in the situation. This is the father that gives their adult child $100 when they asked to borrow "$50 bucks or so for groceries". This is the writer who constantly has to cut down scenes, cut out descriptions and generally "cut" their ms because they put in more than necessary. This is the overachiever in high school who had a basic presentation due but found a way to incorporate Excel, PowerPoint and Access and make all the other kids feel inferior. This is also the person in the grocery store who is looking for a 15 oz. can of cream of mushroom for a recipe and upon finding out that the store only carries 14 oz. cans, buys two.

A more can easily spread themselves too thin and make a project way more complicated then it is supposed to be. Mores have a tendency to stress when events or projects are relying on them.

What is a "less"?
A less is someone who is not extravagant about anything for the most part. A less is (hopefully) wise to not include too much information or talk too much. They make their point and they aren't prone to exaggeration. This is the matter-of-fact neighbor who tells you point-blank that "you need to water your grass; it is ugly, it's almost dead" but won't stop to make other types of conversation with you. This is the writer who finds themselves going back again and again to add dialogue or scenes. This is the person who has a 3/4 page resume and two line blog posts. This is the guy who played Ben Stiller's Dad in Along Came Polly. Philip Seymour Hoffman's character (Stiller's best friend since childhood in the movie) could not remember hearing Ben's father ever talk ... but in a final scene, when he was really needed, he stepped in and said something profound. This is also the person in the grocery store who is looking for a 15 oz. can of cream of mushroom for a recipe and upon finding out that the store only carries 14 oz. cans, buys one and figures it is close enough.

Lesses tend to let other people take the lead and the blame and can sometimes be mistaken for people who are shy or private people because they don't offer tons of information without being prodded.

So these may be highly exaggerated generalizations about mores and lesses, but, what can I say, I'm a more, I tend to exaggerate. What about you? In your writing, business or life, are you a more or a less?
photo: FranUlloa

P.S. Head over to Lisa and Laura's Blog for a fun contest with an awesome prize (I'll give you a hint, it starts with "K" and ends with "indle"). They've just signed a contract for their book so leave them a congratulations note too!


  1. I'm more or OK, I have had too much coffee.
    I can be on both sides of this but I think I lean toward the more.

  2. I find that I'm somewhere in between. That often times I'm a more in situations to create a "safety net" but less in other situations because I'm trying not to overdo things. It really depends on the situation.

  3. I'm a Less in my personal life, a More in my professional life, but maybe you would disagree?

  4. Always more!

    Better to have to cut the fat than run out of meat.

  5. Marsha- I agree. I'm kind of a both as well.

    Bethany- Its good to be adaptable.

    Wes- I think you are more of a more in your personal than you probably realize, but I generally agree with your statement.

    Bane- How is the new job going?

    Susan- I think I would have guessed that from how useful your blog is!

    Tamika- I'm with you on that phrase.

  6. Let's see... more when it comes to school. I'm an over achiever there and expect the same with my students.

    More when it comes to being a wife. I do the really nice things like make chocolate chip pancakes, stock bourbon in the house, and take a night off from writing if my hubby's had a bad day.

    Other than that, I'm less. I have a tendency to do too much, too quickly to devote too much time to any one person or one thing. I blame technology. And yes, I'm working on this!

  7. It depends on my focus. I'm a perfectionist in most things. So I'm a "more" in life 90% of the time. But if it's something I hate doing I can be a "less". In writing I'm somewhat the same. If I'm focused (or very angry) things tend to go well. If I'm tired and discouraged that 10% comes out and wins the war...