Most personal correspondence of today consists of letters the first half of which are given over to an indexed statement of why the writer hasn't written before, followed by one paragraph of small talk, with the remainder devoted to reasons why it is imperative that the letter be brought to a close.
I suppose that one of the psychological principles of advertising is to so hammer the name of your product into the mind of the timid buyer that when he is confronted with a brusk demand for an order he can't think of anything else to say, whether he wants it or not.
When we think back to our forefathers, with their sedentary lives of forest-chopping, railroad-building, fortune-founding, their fox-hunting and Indian taming, their prancing about in the mazurka and the polka, with their coattails flying and their bustles bouncing, to say nothing of their all-day sessions with the port and straight bourbon,... we must realize that we are a nation, not of neurasthenics, but of sissies and slow-motion sports.
The way to go to the circus, however, is with someone who has seen perhaps one theatrical performance before in his life and that in the High School hall. ... The scales of sophistication are struck from your eyes and you see in the circus a gathering of men and women who are able to do things as a matter of course which you couldn't do if your life depended on it.
The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him. That remark in itself wouldn’t make any sense if quoted as it stands. The average man ought to be allowed a quotation of no less than three sentences, one to make his statement and two to explain what he meant. Ralph Waldo Emerson was about the only one who could stand having his utterances broken up into sentence quotations, and every once in a while even he doesn’t sound so sensible in short snatches.
There is probably not more than one hundred dollars in cash in circulation today. That is, if you were to call in all the bills and silver and gold in the country at noon tomorrow and pile them on the table, you would find that you had just about one hundred dollars, with perhaps several Canadian pennies and a few peppermint Life Savers.
But a dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down--very important traits in times like these. In fact, just as soon as a dog comes along who, in addition to these qualities, also knows when to buy and sell stocks, he can be moved right up to the boy's bedroom and the boy can sleep in the dog house.
If you are one of the hewers of wood and drawers of small weekly paychecks, your letters will have to contain some few items of news or they will be accounted dry stuff.... But if you happen to be of a literary turn of mind, or are, in any way, likely to become famous, you may settle down to an afternoon of letter-writing on nothing more sprightly in the way of news than the shifting of the wind from south to south-east.
One of the great natural phenomena is the way in which a tube of toothpaste suddenly empties itself when it hears that you are planning a trip, so that when you come to pack it is just a twisted shell of its former self, with not even a cubic millimeter left to be squeezed out.
I can't quite define my aversion to asking questions of strangers. From snatches of family battles which I have heard drifting up from railway stations and street corners, I gather that there are a great many men who share my dislike for it, as well as an equal number of women who ... believe it to be the solution to most of this world's problems.