In short, Chris Brown's a tool

New tattoo ... Chris Brown.
New tattoo ... Chris Brown.

This week, celebrities called bullshit on one of the world's most renowned maxims.

''Brevity is the soul of wit,'' Lord Polonius says in Hamlet, and pretty much anyone who's ever taken a breath has agreed. If you've got a point to make, the more succinct it is, the smarter you will look.

And then came Chris Brown. Photographs of the rapper with a new tattoo of a bashed-up woman's face surfaced this week.

Brown is, of course, famous for having been convicted of assaulting his ex, Rihanna, in 2009.

Brown's representatives said the tattoo had nothing to do with Rihanna, even though the woman's bruised eye and battered lip bear more than a passing resemblance to his ex's injuries.

(It is, instead, a Mexican ''Day of the Dead'' skull.)

Brown's word count: 0. Impression of intelligence: do doughnuts have sentient thoughts? No? Doesn't matter. He still couldn't beat a glaze-dipped cruller at Yahtzee. Gwen Stefani didn't do herself any favours, either, when she told Marie Claire magazine why her marriage to fellow musician Gavin Rossdale was such ''a miracle''.

''Marriage is something that I always wanted to do successfully,'' the singer said. ''It was a dream of mine. I like the official-ness and the family-ness of it all, having the same name and making decisions together.''

Word count: 34. Impression of intelligence: is she the secret love child of Jessica Simpson and Madonna? I'm mindful, though, that we shouldn't be too hard on the stars for struggling with brevity. (Except for Brown, who is as big a tool as a human can be without sharing DNA with a garden hoe.)

Even the greatest minds sometimes have trouble keeping their words to a minimum.

This week, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Philip Roth proved this with his ''Open Letter to Wikipedia''.

Coming in at a whopping 2655 words, the screed is Roth's way of complaining that the website incorrectly attributed the writer Anatole Broyard as the inspiration behind Roth's book The Human Stain, about a literature professor who is accused of racism.

It was actually Roth's friend and writer Melvin Tumin. (Nine words!)

Am I a genius?

No. I simply took notes from Will Ferrell's website, Funny or Die, which often sums up tricky concepts in bite-size phrases.

As someone from the site tweeted this week: ''Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively got married just to make sex between everyone else look bad.''

Perfection in 16 words.

This story In short, Chris Brown's a tool first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.