March 28, 2017

“The pen is mightier than the sword”


“Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword.”

       Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)
       British politician and playwright
       In his play Richelieu (1839) 
       Although Bulwer-Lytton’s line “The pen is mightier than the sword” is the most famous use and is often cited as the first, the basic concept was already proverbial and has many predecessors.

Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart


“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.” 
       Adrian Carton de Wiart (1880-1963)
       British Army officer and war hero 
       In his autobiography, Happy Odyssey, first published in 1950 
       De Wiart’s comment undoubtedly reflects his experiences as a soldier in the Boer War, World War I and World War I. In the course of those conflicts, he lost his left eye, part of an ear, and his left hand. He is considered one of the bravest badasses in military history.

Matthew Russell


“If the pen is mightier than the sword, what does that say about the tweet?”
       Matthew A. Russell
       American computer scientist and author
       An observation he made in his 2011 book Mining the Social Web. It seems even more prescient in view of the role Twitter has played in the rise and presidency of Donald Trump.

Steve Lonegan-8x6


“We cannot allow the pen to be mightier than the sword!”
       Steve Lonegan 
       Republican politician who became Senior Policy Director for “Americans for Prosperity”
       Speaking against the Democrats’ proposed “Affordable Health Care Act” (a.k.a. “Obamacare”) at a December 15, 2009 “Tea Party” protest

Jon Stewart with Lonegan-8x6


“And, that is why, today, I’ve written my speech with my sword, and...We can’t let the pen be mightier than the sword [!?!] — because that’s ONLY THE BASIS OF OUR CIVILIZATION!
       Jon Stewart 
       American comedian and political satirist
       Making fun of Steve Lonegan’s quote on The Daily Show on December 16, 2009

Get Thee To a Punnery, Richard Lederer-8x6


“The pun is mightier than the sword.” 
       Richard Lederer 
       American word and phrase maven, author, speaker, and teacher 
       One of the puns in his book Get Thee to a Punnery (1988)

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