Re: More than 2¢ worth - much more
OK, so, Judy, I have revised my statement:
"If you can't explain Einstein's special theory of relativity to a boy scout, you don't know what you are talking about"
"If you can't condense your photography statement to a t-shirt, you don't know what you are talking about".
Now, THAT'S distillation at its best. WOW, you've got my mind totally working on a new photo assignment...
PS My favorite tshirt I saw in New Orleans last spring was "I'm kind of a big thing".
But there's also specialized vocabulary that can be used badly (as can any vocabulary), but used well enhances expression and concision. What would you say for instance when you mean "trope" but "trope"? The closest my (old) dictionary comes is "figure of speech," but that's lame. For instance, when a T-shirt says, as Frank Rich recently wrote in the Times, a propos of "voters of faith," that "all they got for their support of Republicans in the previous election year was a lousy Bush Cheney T-shirt," he's using a familiar format (I have about 6 variations, beginning with "My mommy and daddy went to Florida but all I got was this lousy T-shirt") best described as "trope." (Tropes are RAMPANT on T-shirts, which feed off each other 24/7, and as I comment re a particularly obscene one, which I will not quote for fear of folks fainting at their monitors, finding a new one is like finding a new form of clay tablet in Mesopotamia.)