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Indifference to style ... is almost always symptomatic of the dogmatic sclerosis of content. ~ Theodor Adorno

Style is a manner of doing things, especially a fashionable manner, involving both behavior and appearance.


  • Indifference to style ... is almost always symptomatic of the dogmatic sclerosis of content.
    • Theodor Adorno, "Reconciliation under Duress," in Aesthetics and Politics (Verso: 1977), p. 154
  • The world will accept you changing your style for them, but pretty soon they’re going to demand that you change your substance. They’re going to demand that you – well, they liked the fact that you’ve taken their method, but they’re going to demand you change your message.
    • John F. MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel: When the Church Becomes Like the World (1993)
  • Expression is the dress of thought, and still
    Appears more decent as more suitable;
    A vile conceit in pompous words express'd,
    Is like a clown in regal purple dress'd.
  • The flowery style is not unsuitable to public speeches or addresses, which amount only to compliment. The lighter beauties are in their place when there is nothing more solid to say; but the flowery style ought to be banished from a pleading, a sermon, or a didactic work.
    • Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique portatif ("A Philosophical Dictionary") (1764), Style.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 758-59.
  • A chaste and lucid style is indicative of the same personal traits in the author.
  • The style is the man.
    • Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, discourse on taking his seat in the French Academie (Aug. 25, 1753). Le style c'est l'homme même. Œuvres Completes (1778). Histoire Naturelle (1769). Le style est de l'homme. Discours sur Style.
    • Original text:
      Le style c'est l'homme.
  • And, after all, it is style alone by which posterity will judge of a great work, for an author can have nothing truly his own but his style.
  • Style! style! why, all writers will tell you that it is the very thing which can least of all be changed. A man's style is nearly as much a part of him as his physiognomy, his figure, the throbbing of his pulse,—in short, as any part of his being is at least subjected to the action of the will.
  • The gloomy comparisons of a disturbed imagination, the melancholy madness of poetry without the inspiration.
    • Junius, To Sir W. Draper, Letter No, VIII.
  • Neat, not gaudy.
  • For style beyond the genius never dares.
    • Petrarch, Morte di Laura, Sonnet 68.
    • Original text:
      Che stilo oltra l'ingegno non si stende.
  • When Croft's "Life of Dr. Young" was spoken of as a good imitation of Dr. Johnson's style, "No, no," said he, "it is not a good imitation of Johnson; it has all his pomp without his force; it has all the nodosities of the oak, without its strength; it has all the contortions of the sibyl, without the inspiration."
  • All styles are good except the tiresome kind.
    • Voltaire, L'Enfant Prodigue, Preface.
    • Original text:
      Tous les genres sont bons, hors le genre ennuyeux.
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