An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





No iron can pierce the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place.


Isaac Babel (1894-1941, Jewish writer)


From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.


Joan Didion (1934-, American essayist)


Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.


Robert Frost (1875-1963, American poet)


My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green. You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.


Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American writer)


Grammar is the grave of letters.


Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American author, publisher)


Grammar, which can govern even Kings.


Jean Baptiste Moliere (1622-1673, French playwright)


The writer who neglects punctuation, or mispunctuates, is liable to be misunderstood for the want of merely a comma, it often occurs that an axiom appears a paradox, or that a sarcasm is converted into a sermonoid.


Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1845, American poet, critic, short-story writer)


I never made a mistake in grammar but one in my life and as soon as I done it I seen it.


Carl Sandburg (1878-1967, American poet)


Sometimes you get a glimpse of a semicolon coming, a few lines farther on, and it is like climbing a steep path through woods and seeing a wooden bench just at a bend in the road ahead, a place where you can expect to sit for a moment, catching your breath.


Lewis Thomas (1913-1993, American physician, educator)


When I hear the hypercritical quarreling about grammar and style, the position of the particles, etc., etc., stretching or contracting every speaker to certain rules of theirs. I see that they forget that the first requisite and rule is that expression shall be vital and natural, as much as the voice of a brute or an interjection: first of all, mother tongue; and last of all, artificial or father tongue. Essentially your truest poetic sentence is as free and lawless as a lamb's bleat.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


From one casual of mine he picked this sentence. "After dinner, the men moved into the living room." I explained to the professor that this was Rose' way of giving the men time to push back their chairs and stand up. There must, as we know, be a comma after every move, made by men, on this earth.


James Thurber (1894-1961, American humorist, illustrator)


Damn the subjunctive. It brings all our writers to shame.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language.


Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951, Austrian philosopher)


Commas in The New Yorker fall with the precision of knives in a circus act, outlining the victim.


Elwyn Brooks White (1899-1985, American author, editor)


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