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Alexander Woollcott

In matters of speech, it’s not elegance that interest me but exactness. Precision. Surgical precision. Let me give an illustration—in the pattern of the old story about Noah Webster, the man who wrote the dictionary. Of him it used to be told that his wife once caught him in the pantry in the act of kissing the cook. “

Why, Mr. Webster,” she said, “I’m surprised.”

“No, my dear,” he replied. “I’m surprised’ you’re amazed.”

Howard Teichmann, Smart Aleck

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