Sayings > Ideas > Words & Writing

I try not to speak more clearly than I think. -- Niels Bohr

The media is always accurate, except when they are talking about things I know.

The theory of a free press is that truth will emerge from free discussion, not that it will be presented perfectly and instantly in any one account. -- Walter Lippmann

Eloquence is logic on fire.

Television reporting and punditry are the tributes that entertainment pays to the democratic ideal of discourse. -- Todd Gitlin, The Rise of Anti-Intellectualism

Reading is like consciousness in that nothing happens. -- Stephen Mitchelmore, E. M. Cioran: To Infinity and Beyond

However many holy words you read,
However many you speak,
What good will they do you
If you do not act upon them. -- Buddha

Talkers are no good doers. -- William Shakespeare, Henry VI

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after. -- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I am not so lost in lexicography as to forget that words are the daughters of earth, and that things are the sons of heaven. -- Samuel Johnson (1755), Preface to American Heritage Dictionary

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. -- Mark Twain

My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Everybody drinks water. -- Mark Twain

Words must be weighed, not counted.

The pen, having written, moves on ... -- Santayana (?)

There are some people who read too much: The bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as others are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing. -- H. L. Mencken

Authors (and perhaps columnists) eventually rise to the top of whatever depths they were once able to plumb. -- Stanley Kaufman

MacDonald has the gift of compressing the largest amount of words into the smallest amount of thoughts. -- Winston Churchill

Omit needless words. -- William Strunk (1869-1946), The Elements of Style

I have made this letter longer then usual because I lacked the time to make it shorter. -- Blaise Pascal (?)

What no spouse of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out the window.

This book is a mirror; if a monkey looks in, no sage peers out. -- Heidegger

A room without books is a body without a soul -- Cicero, 106-43 BC

I caught this insight on the way and quickly seized the rather poor words that were closest to hand to pin it down lest it fly away again. And now it has died of these arid words and shakes and flaps in them - and I hardly know any more when I look at it how I could ever have felt so happy when I caught this bird. -- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 298

A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought, and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used. -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, opinion, Towne v. Eisner, January 7, 1918

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