I meant to get to this over the weekend, but I was busy getting a sack-beating from a postdoc application. Following up on Friday's post, the abstract I'm working on is supposed to be really short. It's supposed to go on the front page of my CV, and still has to leave room for all the other crap that goes there. I've got it down to 125 words, which I think is pretty damn good. In comments, Sisyphus says she's supposed to have a 50 word blurb about her dissertation. I think that's insane.
However. I do have a blurb that's even shorter than that. It's not for the job market. It's not even really for academics. It's for the situations (which Dr. J aptly calls "quagmires") where civilians think politeness demands they ask what my research is about. The blurb I have for that? Seven words longs. I can bust that out and then suavely segue to more convivial subjects with nothing so much as a, "Could you please pass guacamole?"