December 3, 2012 11:28 pm

Pascal apologised for being wordy

Blaise Pascal by Philippe de Champaigne©Corbis

Pascal: soul of brevity (usually)

From Ms Kasia Olszewska.

Sir, As an A-level student studying French and History, I agree with Ian Walker’s sentiments in “Leveson wins on long-windedness” (Letters, November 30). However, it was not Voltaire who originally apologised to his friend for not having enough time to make his letter shorter. It was Pascal who first used this phrase in a letter to a friend in 1656; before Voltaire was born. I hope this letter isn’t too long for publication. If I’d had more time I would have made it shorter.

Kasia Olszewska, London NW2, UK

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