Saturday, August 29, 2015

Omne Trium Perfectum, or The Rule of Three

You have probably heard of 'The Rule of Three'- an effective communication principle that grew out of the ancient oral storytelling tradition and has continued to this very day. We have seen it in politics, religion and music (among other things). And even if you haven't heard the term, you are surely familiar with them.

According to experts, we as humans process information through pattern recognition, with the most effective communication being done with the smallest pattern possible. What's the smallest number required to make a pattern? Three. III. 3.

Storytelling and Fairy Tales
The most obvious use of the Rule of Three in stories is in how they're structured (Beginning/Middle/End).

We also see it used in the themes of many of our favorite stories and fairy tales:

Three Little Pigs
Three Blind Mice
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Goldi Locks and the Three Bears
The Three Musketeers

Veni, vidi, vici.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen- lend me your ears.

Advertising, Real Estate and Public Safety

Some of the most powerful advertising slogans in our culture have used this principle:
Just Do It!
I'm Loving It!
Snap, Crackle and Pop!
Finger Lickin' Good!

Of course, a real estate agent is nothing more than a salesman- looking to sale real estate.
Location, Location, Location!

Who doesn't remember being a child and being taught these public safety messages:
Stop, Look & Listen!
Stop, Drop & Roll!

A blonde, a brunette and a redhead all die. In order to get to heaven, they must go up 100 steps, each containing a joke. The trick is they must not laugh. The brunette makes it up one step, the redhead up two.... The blonde got up 99 steps before she laughs. God asks her, "you were so close, why'd you laugh?" She relied, "I just got the first joke!"


The U.S. Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches our our government

Sworn oaths in our courtrooms: "I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God."

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: "...government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

 For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory. Amen. (The Lord's Prayer)

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19- The Great Commission and the basis for the Trinitarian formula of baptism)

Prophet, Priest and King- the Threefold office of Christ

I recently won these three Murphy cards in three different eBay auctions- all were from the same seller- for a grand total of $7.56 plus shipping. I suppose that they communicate to my readers my interest in the 2-time N.L. MVP (he should have won a third, in 1987).

No comments:

Post a Comment