Tag Archives | quotes

Words of wisdom

“The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible. “
George Burns

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw

“Most of the disputes of the world arise from words.”
William Murray, Morgan v Jones 1773

“I can do it fast. I can do it cheap. I can do it well. Pick any two.”
Thom Rose

“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.”
Dr Samuel Johnson

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”
William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

“I am sorry to write you such a long letter – I didn’t have enough time to write a short one.”
Attributed to G K Chesterton, Winston Churchill and others

“There is a weird power in a spoken word.”
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim 1900

“A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, It is the skin of a living thought.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Towne v Elsner 1918

“All words are pegs to hang ideas on.”
Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit 1887

“[Warren Harding’s] speeches leave the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea.”
William G McAdoo, The Fine Art of Political Wit 1964

“Advertising is a tax for having an unremarkable product”
Robert Stephens

“The more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.”
Joseph Priestley (1733-1804)

“News should be put before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.”
Joseph Pulitzer

“Poor or fuzzy communications are major time-wasters. Take the time to be crystal-clear in your communications with others.”
Brian Tracy

“Writing is the gold standard of communication. Learn to do it well and see more gold.”
Chris Widener

“Communication goes beyond the words we choose.”
Tony Jeary

“No use beeg words son. Dey for losers.”
Larry the Croc, in Pearls Before Swine

“Remember to stop speaking before the audience has stopped listening.”
Dorothy Sarnoff

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
Douglas Adams

“Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”
Walter Smith

“A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together.”
Margaret Atwood

“Inspiration is the act of drawing the chair up to the writing table.”
Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
Hans Hoffman

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
Mark Twain

“If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”
Woodrow Wilson

“The human brain is a wonderful thing. It works from the moment we are born until the time we stand up to give a speech”
Howard Grossman

“Better than a thousand useless words is one single word that gives peace.”

“Imagine the silence if people said only what they know.”
“The moment a thing is expressed lucidly, it’s immediately evident if it’s true or false.”
“A writer should be like a baker baking bread for everyone.”
“One day, I’d like to write a book that would be so good and strong as to grip a person suffering from an inflamed tooth.”
Karel Capek (novelist, dramatist and inventor of the word ‘robot’)


From ‘Through The Looking Glass’ by Lewis Carroll

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. ‘They’ve a temper, some of them – particularly verbs: they’re the proudest – adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs – however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!’
‘Would you tell me, please,’ said Alice, ‘what that means?’
‘Now you talk like a reasonable child,’ said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. ‘I meant by “impenetrability” that we’ve had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you’d mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of your life.’
‘That’s a great deal to make one word mean,’ Alice said in a thoughtful tone.
‘When I make a word do a lot of work like that,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘I always pay it extra.’