Quotes

For centuries great thinkers have expressed the importance of concision. Below are some of their thoughts:

Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.”  –Alexander Pope

“For me writing biographies is impossible, unless they are brief and concise, and these are, I feel, the most eloquent.” –Alfred Nobel

The best sentence? The shortest.” –Anatole France

“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.” –Antoine de Saint Exupéry

“Conciseness is the sister of talent.” –Anton Chekhov

“The broad spectrum of knowledge, the ability to probe into the meaning of an event and the ability to write clearly and concisely in newspaper style are the essence of professionalism.” –Betty Southard Murphy

“If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.” –Blaise Pascal

When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men’s minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.” –Cicero

So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” –Dr Seuss

I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” –Elmore Leonard

Never use a long word where a short one will do.” –George Orwell

If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.” –George Orwell

In publishing, less is invariably more. Critical content is precise and to the point. In this information overloaded world there has never been a greater case to keep it short, simple and snappy.” –Gerry McGovern and Rob Norton

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

“Many a poem is marred by a superfluous word.” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Brevity and conciseness are the parents of correction.” –Hosea Ballou

“Online when it comes to informational, marketing or promotional content, more is almost never more.”    —Kristina Halvorson

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.” –Mark Twain

As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out.” –Mark Twain

If you have nothing to say, say nothing.” –Mark Twain

“The most important lesson in the writing trade is that any manuscript is improved if you cut away the fat.” –Robert Heinlein

“Say what you have to say, and then stop.” –Rudolph Flesch

“When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.” –Shakespeare

“Less is more.” –Stephen Sondheim

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” –Thomas Jefferson

“I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.” –Truman Capote

“The secret of play-writing can be given in two maxims: stick to the point, and, whenever you can, cut.” –W Somerset Maugham

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subject only in outline, but that every word tell.” –William Strunk and EB White

“It is vain to do more with what can be done with less.” –William of Occam

“Be grateful for every word you can cut.” –William Zinsser

“Writing improves in direct ratio to the things we can keep out of it that shouldn’t be there.” –William Zinsser

“Whenever we can make 25 words do the work of 50, we halve the area in which looseness and disorganization can flourish.” –Wilson Follett

“Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.” –Winston Churchill