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Brevity is the soul of wit

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Intelligent speech and writing should aim at using few words. This proverb comes from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

MORE ABOUT BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT

What does brevity is the soul of wit mean?

Brevity is the soul of wit is a proverb that says smart, funny speech and writing should be short. The proverb comes from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

You would use brevity is the soul of wit when you wanted to express your enjoyment of lively, clever humor. You might also use it when you’re criticizing speech or writing that you think is long, boring, and rambling.

Because Shakespeare is one of the most famous writers in history, brevity is the soul of wit may also be quoted when a person is saying how much they enjoy Shakespeare’s writing or plays.

Example: Yorick always tells long, boring stories. Didn’t anyone ever tell him that brevity is the soul of wit?

Where does brevity is the soul of wit come from?

Brevity is the soul of wit comes from the play Hamlet, written by English poet William Shakespeare around 1603. Polonius says it in act 2, scene 2. Simply put, brevity is the soul of wit means that clever people can express intelligent things using very few words.

The line itself is actually an example of Shakespeare’s humor, because Polonius tends to have long, rambling speeches to say simple things. By saying brevity is the soul of wit, Polonius is unintentionally admitting that he himself is not witty because he doesn’t know how to be brief.

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How is brevity is the soul of wit used in real life?

Brevity is the soul of wit is a well-known quote used to express a fondness of Shakespeare or of short, clever writing and speech.

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True or False?

Brevity is the soul of wit says that using many words is a sign of intelligent writing or speech.

How to use Brevity is the soul of wit in a sentence

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