“Essential truth spoken concisely is true eloquence.”

Chaitanya Caritamrta Adi 1.106

“Matra laghava matram putrotsavah” translation: “”If I could shorten something by even half a syllable I would be as happy as if I just had a son born to me””

Jiva Goswami from Hari Namamrta Vyakaranam (the Sanskrit Grammar of the Holy Name)

“Brevity is the soul of wit.”


“Be brief, brother, be brief”


“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.”

Blaise Pascal, (1623-1662) Lettres provinciales.

“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”

Marcus T. Cicero (106-43 BC) (This is arguable, it is attributed to many including Pascal, Twain, Voltaire, Hemingway (though this has been proven wrong), T.S. Eliot, and Proust. Pascal (1623-1662) seems to get the most love for this (but in French, so see alternative translation above) and since he is older than the more modern writers it might be safe to assume the others were quoting him, but I went with Cicero, because he is the oldest of them all and maybe Pascal was quoting him. Good writers borrow, great writers steal :-) )

“Sorry for the letter, i didn’t have time to write a postcard.”

George Bernard Shaw

“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”

Henry David Thoreau

“You know that I write slowly. This is chiefly because I am never satisfied until I have said as much as possible in a few words, and writing briefly takes far more time than writing at length.”

Karl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855)

“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.”


“No one who has read official documents needs to be told how easy it is to conceal the essential truth under the apparently candid and all-disclosing phrases of a voluminous and particularizing report.”

Woodrow Wilson

“If you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I am ready today. If you want only a five-minute speech, it will take me two weeks to prepare.”

Mark Twain

“The more you say, the less people remember. The fewer the words, the greater the profit.”


I ran across this collection of quotes somewhere, added a couple, and posted. I then thought  that I had done some other posts in the past about writing which I occasionally dig out and send to people interested in writing.  I thought this might be a good one to add to that list, but then thought further in how to save myself the time of looking for those articles so I  gathered them  together and put them on a Page that has a link in the header of my blog.

Anyone interested can see them here:

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