Why It Matters

“If you can't write clearly, you probably don't think nearly as well as you think you do.
~Kurt Vonnegut

“The logic of writing is simply logic; it is not some system of arbitrary conventions interesting only to those who write a lot. All logical thought goes on in the form of statements and statements about statements. We can make those statements only in language, even if that language be a different symbol system like mathematics. If we cannot make those statements and statements about statements logically, clearly, and coherently, then we cannot think and make knowledge. People who cannot put strings of sentences together in good order cannot think. An educational system that does not teach the technology of writing is preventing thought.” ~Richard Mitchell, “The Underground Grammarian,” author of Less Than Words Can Say

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” ~Voltaire

“Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so.” ~Bertrand Russell

“False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.” ~Socrates

“The real winners in business are going to be the clear companies. Clarity is what everybody really wants and appreciates.” ~Jason Fried, software entrepreneur

“In discourse about public affairs, words matter much more than most people appreciate. We live immersed in language so twisted and abused, in part by the design of interested parties and in part by the sloth of inattentive speakers and listeners, that we often fail to notice or object to linguistic miscarriages that pass for intelligent expression.” ~Robert Higgs, historian
“There is no getting around it: meaning implies convention, and the discovery that meanings change does not alter the fact that when convention is broken, misunderstanding and chaos are close at hand. True, the vagaries of those who pervert good words to careless misuse seem more often ludicrous than harmful. This might give us comfort if language, like a great maw, could digest anything and dispose of it in time. But language is not a kind of ostrich.  Language is alive only by a metaphor drawn from the life of its users. Hence every defect in the language is a defect in somebody.”
   ~Jacques Barzun, On Writing, Editing, and Publishing