by Randy Petersen
“The desire to write grows with writing.”
That quote is attributed to the Reformation-era scholar Erasmus, though I’ve been unable to hunt down the source. But I found a few other gems from this witty writer.
In his book Adages, Erasmus referred to “those who make a point of speaking obscurely, and in riddles; or those who out of inexperience or a superstitious veneration for unknown words write in such a complicated way that they need a prophet rather than a reader.”
I recognize my younger self in those lines. Sometimes it’s painful to reread stuff I wrote in college.
Erasmus also cites a Greek writer mentioned by Aristotle, saying his “obscurity arose from an ambiguous arrangement of words, since it was uncertain whether the word in question belonged to what went before or to what followed after.”