always seems to me like a bland
, vaguely negative word; it reminds me of the pith
in certain plants, which is basically organic styrofoam
, with no real substance or texture or interest at all.
But, at least when the term is properly used, pithy when applied to a piece of writing is a high compliment, indicating that the language is simple and direct,
without fluff or decoration, packing a maximum amount of meaning into a minimum amount of words. Pithy writing is the verbal equivalent of Saint-Exupéry's classic definition of good design, in engineering or other fields:
"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing nothing more to take away."