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The pen is not mightier than the sword. (1 Viewer)

semtecks

Senior Member
Ever heard the phrase "The pen is mightier than the sword." what a load of crap. whoever said that had probably never seen a sword. A sword is about three feet long--and very sharp--wheras a pen is about four inches long, plastic and has a tiny nib.

I've come to believe that phrase is very subtle code. I think it's just a shakespearian way of saying ' I have a small penis, but it's better than a large one.'

Hey lets face it, only a fool--or an Englih teacher--would take a pen to a swordfight.
 

Tyson

Senior Member
Didn't we already have this disscusion? Maybe not, anyways, it is not literal and I think you know that, if you don't oh my get a life. I do belive that I like to write more then I like to fight, so in that sense it is more, I can write to people to stop fighting, and it solves it. Physically yes the pen is mighter then the sword, but well duh.
Tyson
 

TheUberManlyMan

Senior Member
This just off the top of my head, but think of Marx's Communist Manifesto. That had a HUGE impact on the entire world that something like a war could not have amounted to. Then again, maybe you were just making a joke. *shrug* If that's the case, I have to admit that the line about the penis, while not having a particularly convincing argument, nevertheless succeed in making me chuckle.
 
I

Ilan Bouchard

semtecks said:
Hey lets face it, only a fool--or an Englih teacher--would take a pen to a swordfight.

True, but would you bring a sword to a penfight; that of more modern age warfare. I think you already understand this expression, but if not, I'll explain it to you.
President Bush has not yet held a sword, or in this case a gun/missile, during his presidency. And yet, with just a signature on a treaty, he started a war, which is more than a single sword can do. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it (I love that phrase.)

If this was just supposed to be funny, then I admit it made me smile.
 

semtecks

Senior Member
ok i admit it. when i turned up to my exam with a samurai sword(instead of a biro like everyone else) i didn't do so well. Shouldn't have taken it litterally, i know.

But when marx wrote Daz Kapital, i think thats what he wrote. Was wealth distibuted equally?No, everyone was poor, except those in power. And did the rules--that he wrote--get followed?for a while. Because in the end, the pen makes people pick up their swords, but swords are always more persuasive(especially when they are pointed at your throat).

As for president bush.....can he actually write? he probably got someone else to sign for him.lol
 

valeca

Patron
I've always taken it to mean you can do a lot more damage with words than a physical wound.

You can crush someone in the eyes of others with a few well chosen words..and potentially it could follow them the rest of their lives, colouring anything that person says or does from that point on. You can never completely erase that sort of stain from the public eye. It's like a weeping wound that'll never heal.

Whereas a physical wound will heal over time, and won't diminish the individual in the eyes of others on a long term basis. Even the loser in a battle gains some sort of respect for having fought.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
val...
while your take on it is certainly true in many cases, the saying has most commonly been taken to mean [as originally meant] that people can be moved to action by writings and overcome the power of those who hold them in thrall with 'the sword'...

it first appears in 'proverbs' of the bible... and has since been used by ben franklin, among others... its current form owes its 'life' to lord lytton, of purple prose fame [infamy!]:

Edward George Bulwer Lytton (1803-1873), an English novelist, wrote this for the first time in 1839. He wrote, "Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword."

per the 'new dictionary of cultural literacy' 3rd ed. 2002:

The pen is mightier than the sword

Human history is influenced more by the written word than by warfare.
 

Jp

Senior Member
You can kill a man, but you can't kill what he stands for. Idea, notions, and thoughts live on far after blood has been shed.
 

Kane

Senior Member
I think the underlying truth to the phrase is this:

The sword represents fear.

The pen represents knowledge.

Although fear of physical death can bring people to heel, knowledge can incite the masses to rise up in the face of that fear to overthrow tyranny.
 

semtecks

Senior Member
I think this argument is raging out of control, in a way disproving my point, i only really said it as a joke, but it has caused a heated argument, so i'll try to be more serious this time.

This is what i think. there is a machine, which i call the human killing machine. Writing a piece of stirring litterature(book, essay, poetry etc) can cause this machine to splutter to life. But no amount of writing can stop this machine, because the machine is more powerfull than whatever wakes it's from slumber. Like a snowball falling down a mountain and causing an avalanche, the avalanche is more powerfull than the snowball.
and a man who sets off a nuclear bomb is not as powerfull as the bomb he sets off. That is what i meant.
 
I

Ilan Bouchard

If that's what you really meant, then I have to say I have no idea what that means.
 

Tyson

Senior Member
Jp said:
You can kill a man, but you can't kill what he stands for.
Very nice, I like how you said that Jp, I can always count on you for a good thing to hear. I wouldn't say its getting out of hand, just people are expressing their ideas.
Tyson
 

valeca

Patron
I think I missed the heated arguement part.

Demmit! I hate when that happens. :p

Actually, I saw a lot of points I hadn't considered about that particular phrase before.
 

semtecks

Senior Member
okay, lets suppose you are a reporter in some war-torn country, and you write an artical exposing massive corruption in your government. The artical causes people to riot. Could you control the rioters?
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
i didn't see any real argument, heated or otherwise... just a variety of views on the subject...

seems to be just a lively discussion... nothing wrong with that, right?
 

semtecks

Senior Member
I suppose you're right, mamamia. I wansn't trying to be argumentative, I was just messing around. Don't get me wrong the pen is mighty, i just don't think it's as mighty as the power it controls.
 
I

Ilan Bouchard

Well, I know a sword wouldn't let us have a discussion like this. And while a pen doesn't let us do so here either, it represents public knowledge and exposure that we're dependent on to converse here.

I think we need someone else to disagree with this phrase to make this a nice, even debate.
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
The sword is forceful, making a person bend to its will whether they want to or not. The pen is not, it allows the freedom of choice. The pen is not mightier than the sword, more are just willing to follow it.
 

Kane

Senior Member
One thing that both the sword and pen have in common is that they are only as strong as the arm that wields them. You must look at them as tools and nothing more. The real power, then, comes from the mind. Power is an idea.

Lets put this in perspective:

One warrior with a sword might be able to cut down several unarmed men before he becomes tired, or faces too many enemies.

One author with a published work can theoretically reach billions of people.

Here is another way to look at it:

A man with a sword has the power to take a life.

A man who expresses his idea with the pen can change a life. In turn, the man whose life has changed can share the idea and change the life of another.

So you see, while the sword can be used to kill and end life, it does not have the ability to sustain thought and spread ideas throughout the minds of men.

If you think about it, you should be able reach the conclusion that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.
 
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