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Is a picture really worth a thousand words?


I was boasting to a friend the other day that I’ve written more than 30 thousand words in the last couple of months in these daily emails. She’s a painter and her response was, "Oh, that’s like 30 pictures for me." We laughed at it, and moved on.

You’ve heard of the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Right?

Today I learned that this is a plagiarized quote. The original quote is attributed to Henrik Johan Ibsen, a Norwegian playwright and theatre director. His version, in my opinion, is much more powerful.

A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed.

So, I called her back and explained how her paintings aren’t worth a thousand words. Her deeds are. asked her to leave my words alone and find a different unit to compare with her art.

I love writing (and I think I do have a bit of a skill in it). I love paintings (even though I have no skill in the manner).

I find it funny that a quote I have heard, liked and used so often doesn’t seem that powerful to me any more. Have you ever had a moment like this?

Living and learning,