“If something can’t be described in plain English, maybe you shouldn’t base an entire society on it” – Charlie Brooker
Tag Archives | quotes
“I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.”
“…look through the lattice-work of her neat sentences, joined together with the bright nails of craftsmanship, painted with the gay varnish of wit…”
Rebecca West, 1928
Ted Striker: Surely you can’t be serious.
Rumack: I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley!
Rumack: You’d better tell the Captain we’ve got to land as soon as we can. This woman has to be gotten to a hospital.
Elaine Dickinson: A hospital? What is it?
Rumack: It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.
Rumack: Captain, how soon can you land?
Captain Oveur: I can’t tell.
Rumack: You can tell me. I’m a doctor.
Captain Oveur: No. I mean I’m just not sure.
Rumack: Well, can’t you take a guess?
Captain Oveur: Well, not for another two hours.
Rumack: You can’t take a guess for another two hours?
Rumack: I won’t deceive you, Mr. Striker. We’re running out of time.
Ted Striker: Surely there must be something you can do.
Rumack: I’m doing everything I can…and stop calling me Shirley!
You might enjoy this extract from a news report by Adam Loria, spokesman for the Emergency Medical Service Canada, about a man who had been attacked and lost part of his ear:
He was missing a body part to the side of his head due to the assault. Luckily he was (in) stable and non-life-threatening (condition).
Missing a body part to the side of his head? Remember, never use nine words when one or two would do!
Source: Plain English Campaign ‘Golden Bull’ award winner 2010
“Can he name a kitten? By this test I am condemned, for I cannot.”
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), novelist
This is the quote that inspired my old blog post ‘The hardest writing in the world is naming a kitten‘. I’ve been looking for it ever since! So pleased I finally found it.
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
Reminds me of this joke:
Q. What’s the best way to make an elephant sculpture?
A. Take a block of marble and a chisel, and chip away anything that doesn’t look like an elephant.
I has ritten a book and it is so exciting nobody can put it down. As soon as you has red the first line you is so hooked on it you cannot stop until the last page. In all the cities people is walking in the streets bumping into each other because their faces is buried in my book and dentists is reading it and trying to fill teeths at the same time but nobody minds because they is all reading it too in the dentist’s chair. Drivers is reading it while driving and cars is crashing all over the country. Brain surgeons is reading it while they is operating on brains and airline pilots is reading it and going to Timbucktoo instead of London. Football players is reading it on the field because they can’t put it down and so is Olympick runners while they is running. Everybody has to see what is going to happen next in my book and when I wake up I is still tingling with excitement at being the greatest riter the world has ever known until my mummy comes in and says I was looking at your English exercise book last nite and really your spelling is atroshus and so is your puntulashon.
The BFG, Roald Dahl
Once again that sad winsome look came into the BFG’s eyes. ‘Words,’ he said, ‘is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life. So you must simply try to be patient and stop squibbling. As I am telling you before, I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiff-squiddled around.’