Quotation by Mark Twain

An average English word is four letters and a half. By hard, honest labor I've dug all the large words out of my vocabulary and shaved it down till the average is three and a half.... I never write "metropolis" for seven cents, because I can get the same money for "city." I never write "policeman," because I can get the same price for "cop." ... I never write "valetudinarian" at all, for not even hunger and wretchedness can humble me to the point where I will do a word like that for seven cents; I wouldn't do it for fifteen.
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910), U.S. author. speech, Sept. 18, 1906, to Associated Press, New York City. "Spelling and Pictures," Mark Twain's Speeches, ed. A.B. Paine (1923).
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