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    william safire Quotes

    Dangling punch lines to forgotten stories remain in the language like the smile of the Cheshire cat.
    — William Safire
    tags: language  smile  cat  stories 
     
    I think we have a need to know what we do not need to know.
    — William Safire
    The perfect Christmas gift for a sportscaster, as all fans of sports clichés know, is a scoreless tie.
    — William Safire
    tags: gift  christmas 
     
    The remarkable legion of the unremarked, whose individual opinions are not colorful or different enough to make news, but whose collective opinion, when crystallized, can make history.
    — William Safire
    tags: opinion 
     
    If you re-read your work, you can find on re-reading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by re-reading and editing.
    — William Safire
    tags: work 
     
    Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
    — William Safire
    Adjective salad is delicious, with each element contributing its individual and unique flavor; but a puree of adjective soup tastes yecchy.
    — William Safire
    You don't want lopsided government. You don't want one side running roughshod over the other.
    — William Safire
    Create your own constituency of the infuriated.
    — William Safire
    Writers who used to show off their erudition no longer sing in the bare ruined choir of the media.
    — William Safire
    tags: media 
     
    Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care.
    — William Safire
    tags: care  speech  ignorance 
     
    Remember to never split an infinitive. The passive voice should never be used. Do not put statements in the negative form. Proofread carefully to see if you words out. And don't start a sentence with a conjugation.
    — William Safire
    The Latin motto over Poindexter's new Pentagon office reads Scientia Est Potentia - "knowledge is power." Exactly: the government's infinite knowledge about you is its power over you.
    — William Safire
    tags: power  government  read 
     
    A man who lies, thinking it is the truth, is an honest man, and a man who tells the truth, believing it to be a lie, is a liar.
    — William Safire
    tags: truth  men  lies  thinking  liar 
     
    Only in grammar can you be more than perfect.
    — William Safire
    The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.
    — William Safire
    tags: right 
     
    Never assume the obvious is true.
    — William Safire
    tags: true 
     
    When articulation is impossible, gesticulation comes to the rescue.
    — William Safire
    tags: impossible 
     
    It is in the nature of tyranny to deride the will of the people as the voice of the mob, and to denounce the cry for freedom as the roar of anarchy.
    — William Safire
    As long as one American is hungry... then we have unfinished business in this country.
    — William Safire
    tags: business  american 
     
    If you want to "get in touch with your feelings," fine, talk to yourself. We all do. But if you want to communicate with another thinking human being, get in touch with your thoughts. Put them in order, give them a purpose, use them to persuade, to instruct, to discover, to seduce. The secret way to do this is to write it down, and then cut out the confusing parts.
    — William Safire
    Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected.
    — William Safire
    English is a stretch language; one size fits all.
    — William Safire
    Took me a while to get to the point today, but that is because I did not know what the point was when I started.
    — William Safire
    To communicate, put your words in order; give them a purpose; use them to persuade, to instruct, to discover, to seduce.
    — William Safire
    Don't expect others to do your work for you.
    — William Safire
    tags: work 
     
    On the analogy of 'Dictionary Johnson,' we call Fred R. Shapiro, editor of the just-published Yale Book of Quotations (well worth the $50 price), 'Quotationeer Shapiro.' Shapiro does original research, earning his 1,067-page volume a place on the quotation shelf next to Bartlett's and Oxford's.
    — William Safire
    tags: book  research  worth 
     
    [Senators John Kerry & John Edwards] have risen high in Democratic polls with a brand of class resentment and soak-the-rich rhetoric rooted in the old-fashioned liberalism of Ted Kennedy.
    — William Safire
    Gridlock is great. My motto is, 'Don't just do something. Stand there.'
    — William Safire
    Do not be taken in by 'insiderisms.' Fledgling columnists, eager to impress readers with their grasp of journalistic jargon, are drawn to such arcane spellings as 'lede.' Where they lede, do not follow.
    — William Safire
    Never look for the story in the 'lede.' Reporters are required to put what's happened up top, but the practiced pundit places a nugget of news, even a startling insight, halfway down the column, directed at the politiscenti. When pressed for time, the savvy reader starts there.
    — William Safire
    tags: time  insight  stories 
     
    Of higher value than any one leader is the cause.
    — William Safire
    tags: value  leader 
     
    Have a definite opinion.
    — William Safire
    tags: opinion 
     
    The first ladyship is the only federal office in which the holder can neither be fired nor impeached.
    — William Safire
    The most fun in breaking a rule is in knowing what rule you're breaking.
    — William Safire
    tags: knowing  fun  rules 
     
    ... it's Bush's baby, even if he shares its popularization with Gorbachev. Forget the Hitler 'new order' root; F.D.R. used the phrase earlier.
    — William Safire
    tags: shares 
     
    Give your main clause a little space. Prose is not like boxing; the skilled writer deliberately telegraphs his punch, knowing that the reader wants to take the message directly on the chin.
    — William Safire
    tags: knowing  space 
     
    Adapt your style, if you wish, to admit the color of slang or freshness of neologism, but hang tough on clarity, precision, structure, grace.
    — William Safire
    tags: grace  clarity  wishes 
     
    Never put the story in the lead. Let 'em have a hot shot of ambiguity right between the eyes.
    — William Safire
    tags: right  eyes  stories 
     
    I'm willing to zap conservatives when they do things that are not libertarian.
    — William Safire
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