Quotes on being brief

  • “It was a delightful visit;—perfect in being much too short.” —Jane Austen

  • “My liege, and madam, to expostulate
    What majesty should be, what duty is, Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
    Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.
    Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
    And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
    I will be brief.” ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet

  • “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 the French)

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

  • “The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.” ―George Burns

  • “This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers, present company included, don't understand very much about what they do —not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad. I figured the shorter the book, the less bullshit." —Stephen King, On Writing 

  • “Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.” —Franklin Delano Roosevelt