They Say, I Say: A Writer Wednesday Post

They Say/ I Say, photo & all text © Irene O’Garden, 2014

Flipping through notebook pages recently, I came across a little game I played with myself earlier this summer, and thought you might enjoy playing it as well—

A great resource for any writer, Stanley Fish’s excellent book, “How To Write A Sentence” references “They Say/I Say,” a book on rhetoric and academic writing whose authors suggest using “they say/I say” to practice building arguments.

Build an argument if you like–I think it’s fun to just to see what your brain does with the proposal. Take a piece of conventional wisdom and contradict or modify it.

Here are a few I came up with:

They say practice makes perfect, but I say practice outlasts perfection.

They say living well is the best revenge, but I say revenge is deadly.

They say hope is for suckers, but I say it’s for creators.

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but I say a loving word is worth a thousand pictures.

They say you can do whatever you put your mind to, but I say not without your heart.


What do you say?

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