The Lightning-Bug and the Lightning

20 Apr 2013 /
Mark Twain

This picture was taken just after I said to Mark Twain, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — it’s the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.”

And Twain said, “That’s a good one! I’ve got to write that down!”

Actually, the Twain statue is just inside the main entrance of Doe Library at UC Berkeley. I asked the nerdy-looking Asian girl at the front desk, “Who’s the guy on the bench?” She stared at me for a second. “Kidding,” I said.

“At first, I thought it was Albert Einstein,” she said, “so it doesn’t surprise me when people don’t know.”


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