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[ Also see Art Authorship Books Criticism Eloquence Language Literature Obscurity Oratory Originality Poetry Rhetoric Speech Taste Thought Writing ]

There is a certain majesty in plainness; as the proclamation of a prince never frisks in its tropes or fine conceits, in numerous and well-turned periods, but commands in sober, natural expressions.
      - Bishop Robert South

If I were to choose the people with whom I would spend my hours of conversation, they should be certainly such as labored no further than to make themselves readily and clearly apprehended, and would have patience and curiosity to understand me. To have good sense and ability to express it are the most essential and necessary qualities in companions. When thoughts rise in us fit to utter among familiar friends, there needs but very little care in clothing them.
      - Sir Richard Steele

As the air and manner of a gentleman can be acquired only by living habitually in the best society, so grace in composition must be attained by an habitual acquaintance with classical writers.
      - Dugald Stewart

D'Alembert tells us that Voltaire had always lying on his table the "Petit Careme" of Massillon and the "Tragedies" of Racine; the former to fix his taste in prose composition, and the latter in poetry.
      - Dugald Stewart

Proper words in proper places, make the true definition of a style.
      - Jonathan Swift

Set off with numerous breaks and dashes.
      - Jonathan Swift

Simplicity, without which no human performance can arrive at perfection.
      - Jonathan Swift

The scholars of Ireland seem not to have the least conception of style, but run on in a flat phraseology, often mingled with barbarous terms.
      - Jonathan Swift

One tires of a page of which every sentence sparkles with points, of a sentimentalist who is always pumping the tears from his eyes or your own.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

As for style of writing, if one has anything to say, it drops from him simply and directly, as a stone falls to the ground.
      - Henry David Thoreau

Clearness ornaments profound thoughts.
  [Fr., La clarte orne les pensees profondes.]
      - Luc de Clapier de Vauvanargues,
        Reflexions et Maximes (4)

Obscurity is the realm of error.
  [Fr., L'obscurite est le royaume de l'erreur.]
      - Luc de Clapier de Vauvanargues,
        Reflexions et Maxims (5)

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.
      - Gore Vidal

A great writer possesses, so to speak, an individual and unchangeable style, which does not permit him easily to preserve the anonymous.
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire)

All styles are good except the tiresome kind.
  [Fr., Tous les genres sont bons, hors le genre ennuyeux.]
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire),
        L'Enfant Prodigue--Preface

The flowery style is not unsuitable to public speeches or addresses, which amount only to compliment. The lighter beauties are in their place when there is nothing more solid to say; but the flowery style ought to be banished from a pleading, a sermon, or a didactic work.
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire),
        Philosophical Dictionary--Style

I look upon paradoxes as the impotent efforts of men who, not having capacity to draw attention and celebrity from good sense, fly to eccentricities to make themselves noted.
      - Horace (Horatio) Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford

Submit your sentiments with diffidence. A dictatorial style, though it may carry conviction, is always accompanied with disgust.
      - George Washington

Some have a violent and turgid manner of talking and thinking; they are always in extremes, and pronounce concerning everything in the superlative.
      - Isaac Watts

The censure of frequent and long parentheses has led writers into the preposterous expedient of leaving out the marks by which they are indicated. It is no cure to a lame man to take away his crutches.
      - Archbishop Richard Whately

The first requisite of style, not only in rhetoric, but in all compositions, is perspicuity.
      - Archbishop Richard Whately

A composition which dazzles at first sight by gaudy epithets, or brilliant turns or expression, or glittering trains of imagery, may fade gradually from the mind, leaving no enduring impression; but words which flow fresh and warm from a full heart, and which are instinct with the life and breath of human feeling, pass into household memories, and partake of the immortality of the affections from which they spring.
      - Edwin Percy Whipple

Every style formed elaborately on any model must be affected and straight-laced.
      - Edwin Percy Whipple

Unconsciousness is one of the most important conditions of a good style in speaking or in writing.
      - Richard Grant White

Obscurity in writing is commonly an argument of darkness in the mind. The greatest learning is to be seen in the greatest plainness.
      - Bishop John Wilkins

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