A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

Written by: Tony Harris, February 18, 2016


-So the saying goes; how true it is. The saying is attributed to various people in the early 20th century. The forms differ slightly: “a look is worth…” “a picture is worth…” David Gates, of the musical group Bread, penned “If a picture paints a thousand words” in his song “If” in 1971.

Perhaps the earliest record of the idea is in Ivan Turgenev’s novel when he writes “The drawing shows me at one glance what might be spread over ten pages in a book.” This, in his novel “Fathers & Sons” published in 1862. I have to agree with him. By that I mean I agree with the saying, not all his views on nihilism or his pessimistic outlook on the future.

E&I has been working with a couple of customers recently and were trying to understand the problems that they were having with their application. E-mails had gone back and forth, as well as phone calls and text messages. But we were unable to resolve the issues. Then they sent us a picture of their set-up.

These are not pictures, as you can see below, that are going to win any awards for photography.

They did however, communicate immediately, the source of the problem. So to quantify the postulate, I went back and just looked at the last e-mail on each issue. The first has a word count of 2,579 and the second of 2,140.

And our customer’s response to direction we gave after seeing the pictures:

  1. “We did what you guys told us, and now it’s for real, this amp is a beauty”
  2. “On our side, everything is going well, the amp and transformer work perfectly”

A Picture Paints a Thousand words – QED.

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