A few quotes for when things get long-winded

Very short fiction celebrates the concise. Following, gleaned from a number of internet quotation archives, is what a range of writers and commentators have had to say on brevity.

It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. ~Robert Southey

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

I have made this [letter] longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. ~Blaise Pascal, Lettres Provinciales, 1657, translated from French

That writer does the most, who gives his reader the most knowledge, and takes from him the least time. ~Charles Caleb Colton

If any man will draw up his case, and put his name at the foot of the first page, I will give him an immediate reply. Where he compels me to turn over the sheet, he must wait my leisure. ~Lord Sandwich

If you can’t write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don’t have a clear idea. ~David Belasco

It wasn’t by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. ~ Ernest Hemingway

I will be so brief I have already finished. ~ Salvador Dali

Brevity is the soul of wit. ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Brevity is the soul of lingerie. ~Dorothy Parker


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