Friday, June 10, 2005

Mark Twain Tonight!

On Writing

"I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice."

"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph."

On Chicago

"When you feel like tellin a feller to go to the devil--tell him to go to Chicago--it'll anser every purpose, and is perhaps, a leetle more expensive."

"Satan (impatiently) to New Comer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous."


-Mark Twain

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