Merriam-Webster Top-10 Favorite Word Quotations

#4: Wit
“Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.”
– Dorothy Parker, interview in Paris Review, 1956

#5: The Smallest Ideas
“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.”
– Abraham Lincoln, quoted in Frederick Trevor Hill’s Lincoln the Lawyer, 1906

#7: Clear Language
“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.”
– George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946

#10: Lightning
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
– Mark Twain, 1888


About Chris Russell
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