“The right word is as important to the writer as the right note to the composer or the right line to the painter. . . . A writer needs an ‘ear’ as much as a musician does. And without this ear, he is lost and groping in a forest of words, where all the trees look much alike.”
— Sydney J. Harris, Last Things First 266 (1961). (Quote via Bryan Garner’s daily blog on Modern American Usage) Harris’s weekly column in the newspaper was required reading in my household in the 1960s!