I was working on a copy for a workshop for the PRSA Counselors Academy’s annual conference and subsequent articles on improving writing skills for the PR profession and had slid into a creative morass. Having been a journalist, I turned to the proven ploy of using research to find brilliant people I could quote, then benefit from the halo effect. The quest turned up a few gems I may or may not use, but thought I would share them for the good of the order:
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
— Robert McCloskey, State Department spokesman
It’s not easy getting up there and saying nothing. It takes a lot of preparation.
– White House spokesman Barry Tiov
Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach’s ‘St. Matthew’s Passion’ on a ukulele.
— Bagdikian’s Observation
Every journalist has a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it.
— Russell Lynes
I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.
– Tom Lehrer
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.
— Daniel J. Boorstin
There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
— W. Somerset Maugham
Where facts are few, experts are many.
— Donald R. Gannon
What’s another word for Thesaurus?
— Steven Wright
I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.
— Peter De Vries
Don’t use a big word where a diminutive one will suffice.
If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole.
Avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
Last, but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.