Brevity Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 32 quotes )
Against the censurers of brevity. - Something said briefly can be the fruit of much long thought: but the reader who is a novice in this field, and has as yet reflected on it not at all, sees in everything said briefly something embryonic, not without censuring the author for having served him up such immature and unripened fare.
How very paltry and limited the normal human intellect is, and how little lucidity there is in the human consciousness, may be judged from the fact that, despite the ephemeral brevity of human life, the uncertainty of our existence and the countless enigmas which press upon us from all sides, everyone does not continually and ceaselessly philosophize, but that only the rarest of exceptions do.
With the organization and brevity of a drill sergeant, she began arranging them to her liking."Alan here..." She took him by the arm and stood him between his parents' chairs. "And Shelby." She nudged Shelby beside him. "Caine, you sit in the foor." She tugged on his hand, until grinning, he obliged her. "And Diana-" Caine pulled his wife down on his lap before Gennie could finish. "Yes, that'll do. Justin over here with Rena. And Grant-"I'm not-" he began."Do as you're told, boy," Daniel bellowed at him, then spoke directly to his grandson. "Leave it to a Campbell to make trouble."Grumbling, Grant strolled over behind Daniel's chair and scowled down at him. "A fine thing when a Campbell's in a MacGregor family portrait."Two Campbells," Shelby reminded her brother with alacrity.
Conversation! Supple sentences, with first and second meanings and overtones beyond, outrageous challenges with cleverly planned slip-points, rebuttals of elegant brevity; deceptions and guiles, patient explanations of the obvious, fleeting allusions to the unthinkable. As a preliminary, the conversationalist must gauge the mood, the intelligence and the verbal facility of the company. To this end, a few words of pedantic exposition often prove invaluable.
The word itself has another color. It’s not a word with any resonance, although the e was once pronounced. There is only the bump now between b and l, the relief at the end, the whew. It hasn’t the sly turn which crimson takes halfway through, yellow’s deceptive jelly, or the rolled-down sound in brown. It hasn’t violet’s rapid sexual shudder or like a rough road the irregularity of ultramarine, the low puddle in mauve like a pancake covered in cream, the disapproving purse to pink, the assertive brevity of red, the whine of green.
It is a way now, approximately, of being at home. The forum has become one of the most consistent places of her life, like a familiar cafe that exists someone outside geography and beyond time zones. There are perhaps twenty regular posters on F:F:F:, and some muchlarger and uncounted number of lurkers. And right now there are three people in Chat. But there's no way of knowing exactly who until you are in there, and the chat room she finds not so comforting. It's strange even with friends, like sitting in a pitch-dark cellar conversing with people at a distance of about fifteen feet. the hectic speed, and the brevity of the lines in the thread, plus the feeling that everyone is talking at once, at counmter-purposes, deter her.
Say farewell to luck when winning. It is the way of the gamblers of reputation. Quite as important as a gallant advance is a well-planned retreat. Lock up your winnings when they are enough, or when great. Continuous luck is always suspect; more secure is that which changes. Though half bitter and half sweet, it is more satisfying to the taste. The more luck pyramids, the greater the danger of slip and collapse. For luck always compensates her intensity by her brevity. Fortune wearies of carrying anyone long upon her shoulders.
A skillful literary artist has constructed a tale. If wise, he has not fashioned his thoughts to accommodate his incidents; but having conceived, with deliberate care, a certain unique or single effect to be wrought out, he then invents as may best aid him in establishing this preconceived effect. If his very initial sentence tend not to the outbringing of this effect, then he has failed in his first step. In the whole composition there should be no words written, of which the tendency, direct or indirect, is not to the one pre-established design. And by such means, with such care and skill, a picture is at length painted which leaves in the mind of him who contemplates it with a kindred art, a sense of the fullest satisfaction. The idea of the tale has been presented unblemished because undisturbed: and this is an end unattainable by the novel. Undue brevity is just as exceptionable here as in the poem; but undue length is yet more to be avoided.
There came to him an image of man’s whole life upon the earth. It seemed to him that all man’s life was like a tiny spurt of flame that blazed out briefly in an illimitable and terrifying darkness, and that all man’s grandeur, tragic dignity, his heroic glory, came from the brevity and smallness of this flame. He knew his life was little and would be extinguished, and that only darkness was immense and everlasting. And he knew that he would die with defiance on his lips, and that the shout of his denial would ring with the last pulsing of his heart into the maw of all-engulfing night.
The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth. However elegant and memorable, brevity can never, in the nature of things, do justice to all the facts of a complex situations. On such a theme one can be brief only by omission and simplification. Omission and simplification help us to understand - but help is, in many cases, to understand the wrong thing; for our comprehension may be only of the abbreviator's neatly formulated notions, not of the vast, ramifying reality from which these notions have been so arbitrarily abstracted.