Brevity is the Soul of Wit

At high school, we had a teacher in German who kept criticizing us with the following sentence whenever we tended to be too long-winded:

Brevity is the Soul of Wit.
26 digits. In twitter, that would mean you have 114 left!

In those days, I also perceived a friend of mine who was a genius and whose name was Herbert being constantly in a clash with exactly this teacher (and vice versa).

German exam time. We had three topics to choose from. One of them was “A Worldly Wisdom“.

My friend took his worksheet and wrote one line on it. After that he handed the paper to the teacher.

The teacher took the paper, read it within seconds, marked it with a huge red “6” and returned it to my friend – who took it and left the classroom. All was over in no time.

This is the kind of thing you remember during a bike journey. But that is what it was like in the late 1960-ies of the last century in Augsburg at the Jacob-Fugger-Gymnasium, and probably at other schools as well. Everything was done very efficiently.

Shortly afterwards, my friend left school to become a rather successful journalist.

(translated by EG)

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