Posted by: Jack Henry | March 28, 2023

Editor’s Corner: Aphorisms

Good morning, everyone,

Let’s just jump right into today’s literary term: aphorism. Merriam-Webster defines it as:

: a concise statement of a principle

: a terse formulation of a truth or sentiment : adage

: an ingeniously terse style of expression : aphoristic language

It’s also described by many resources as “a pithy statement” about a truth. I have never seen “pithy” as many times as I have while researching this topic. As you can see, it is also compared to an adage. The following are a few statements from Writing Explained that are labeled aphorisms, though I don’t find them particularly “pithy”:

· Actions speak louder than words.

· He who hesitates is lost.

· Easy come, easy go.

· The early bird gets the worm.

· “ ‘Tis better to have loved and lost/ than never to have loved at all.” –Alfred, Lord Tennyson

And a few more aphorisms with accompanying explanations:

· All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

This statement is used to emphasize the necessary balance between work and leisure. If all we do is work, it’s more difficult to maintain an interesting personality.

· Forgive and forget.

This statement reminds us that when we are wronged it is important to forgive the offender and move on with life.

· What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any other word would smell as sweet.

In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, he expresses that names are meaningless and do not predetermine a person or thing’s traits.

· Common statement: a penny saved is a penny earned.

This aphorism is used to convey the importance of frugality.

Next time, something a bit more fun: fables.

Happy spring!

Kara Church | Technical Editor, Advisory | Technical Publications

Pronouns: she/her | Call via Teams |

Editor’s Corner Archives:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: