When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

23 January 2006

Thought for the day: Socrates on Writing

While they're not, strictly speaking, about technical writing, Plato's thoughts should strike fear into the hearts of all of us who try to communicate for a living:

Socrates. He would be a very simple person… who should leave in writing or receive in writing any art under the idea that the written word would be intelligible or certain; or who deemed that writing was at all better than knowledge and recollection of the same matters?

Phaedrus. That is most true.

Socrates. I cannot help feeling, Phaedrus, that writing is unfortunately like painting; for the creations of the painter have the attitude of life, and yet if you ask them a question they preserve a solemn silence.

(Plato, Phaedrus - translated by B. Jowett)

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