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

Some authors write nonsense in a clear style, and others sense in an obscure one; some can reason without being able to persuade, others can persuade without being able to reason; some dive so deep that they descend into darkness, and others soar so high that they give us no light; and some, in a vain attempt to be cutting and dry, give us only that which is cut and dried. We should labor, therefore, to treat with ease of things that are difficult; with familiarity, of things that are novel; and with perspicuity, of things that are profound.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Style is indeed the valet of genius, and an able one too; but as the true gentleman will appear, even in rags, so true genius will shine, even through the coarsest style.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

When I meet with any persons who write obscurely or converse confusedly, I am apt to suspect two things; first, that such persons do not understand themselves; and secondly, that they are not worthy of being understood by others.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

An era is fast approaching when no writer will be read by the majority, save and except those than can effect that for bales of manuscript that the hydrostatic screw performs for bales of cotton, by condensing that matter into a period that before occupied a page.
      - Johann Friedrich Cotta

Let us not write at a loose rambling rate, in hope the world will wink at all our faults.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon

You gain your point if your industrious art can make unusual words easy.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon

An author can have nothing truly his own but his style.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

And, after all, it is style alone by which posterity will judge of a great work, for an author can have nothing truly his own but his style.
      - Isaac D'Israeli,
        Literary Miscellanies--Style

Chaucer, I confess, is a rough diamond, and must be polished ere he shine.
      - John Dryden

In all you write be neither low nor vile:
  The meanest theme may have a proper style.
      - John Dryden

Justness of thought and style, refinement in manners, good-breeding and politeness of every kind, can come only from the trial and experience of what is best.
      - Barry Duncan

Style is only the frame to hold your thoughts. It is like the sash of a window; if heavy, it will obscure the light.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Style! style! why, all writers will tell you that it is the very thing which can least of all be changed. A man's style is nearly as much a part of him as his physiognomy, his figure, the throbbing of this pulse,--in short, as any part of his being is at least subjected to the action of the will.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

Burke's sentences are pointed at the end, instinct with pungent sense to the last syllable. They are like a charioteer's whip, which not only has a long and effective lash, but cracks and inflicts a still smarter sensation at the end.
      - John Foster (1)

There is nothing in words and styles out suitableness that makes them acceptable and effective.
      - Joseph Glanvill

Generally speaking, an author's style is a faithful copy of his mind. If you would write a lucid style, let there first be light in your own mind; and if you would write a grand style, you ought to have a grand character.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Mannerism is always longing to have done, and has no true enjoyment in work. A genuine, really great talent, on the other hand, has its greatest happiness in execution.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The style of writing required in the great world is distinguished by a free and daring grace, a careless security, a fine and sharp polish, a delicate and perfect taste; while that fitted for the people is characterized by a vigorous natural fulness, a profound depth of feeling, and an engaging naivete.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The unaffected of every country nearly resemble each other, and a page of our Confucius and your Tillotson have scarce any material difference. Paltry affectation, strained allusions, and disgusting finery are easily attained by those who choose to wear them; they are but too frequently the badges of ignorance or of stupidity, whenever it would endeavor to please.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

The way to acquire lasting esteem is not by the fewness of a writer's faults, but the greatness of his beauties, and our noblest works are generally most replete with both.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

Montesquieu had the style of a genius; Buffon, the genius of style.
      - Baron Friedrich von Grimm, Friedrich Melchior

When you doubt between words, use the plainest, the commonest, the most idiomatic. Eschew fine words as you would rouge, love simple ones as you would native roses on your cheek.
      - Augustus William Hare

Any one may mouth out a passage with a theatrical cadence, or get upon stilts to tell his thoughts; but to write or speak with propriety and simplicity is a more difficult task. Thus it is easy to affect a pompous style, to use a word twice as big as the thing you want to express; it is not so easy to pitch upon the very word that exactly fits it.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

To write a genuine familiar or truly English style is to write as anyone would speak in common conversation, who had a thorough command and choice of words, or who could discourse with ease, force, and perspicuity, setting aside all pedantic and oratorical flourishes.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Self-plagiarism is style.
      - Alfred Hitchcock

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