The Saturday Writing Quote — the importance of gestures

“To say, ‘Leave the room,’ is less expressive than to point to the door. Placing a finger on the lips is more forcible than whispering, ‘Do not speak.’ A beck of the hand is better than, ‘Come here.’ No phrase can convey the idea of surprise so vividly as opening the eyes and raising the eyebrows. A shrug of the shoulders would lose much by translation into words.”

—  Herbert Spencer, Philosophy of Style 17-18 ([1871]; repr. 1959). (Via Bryan Garner, Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day blog.)

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