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comment HMAC for short messages
Without answering your question too fully: HMACing a short message does not expose meaningfully more key information than HMACing a long message, since the first step in HMAC is to hash the message (appended to a transformation of the key). In HMAC (K,m) = H ((K ⊕ opad) || H ((K ⊕ ipad) || m)), the message m is nested inside of two hash functions.