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What is the origin of the expression "you argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel"? I heard it on the news and I would like to know who coined the expression.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 10 down vote accepted

It basically means don't pick a fight with the press or media.

It sometimes called "Greener's Law" and attributed to William Greener, but according to this page, it was Congressman Charles Brownson who coined it in 1964.

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In a speech from August 14, 1884, Twain said it.

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Citation please? –  Mohit Feb 21 at 8:55

Mark Twain wrote that. The original quote is "Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel."

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Please cite where Twain wrote this. Many people misattribute quotations to him, especially cynical witticisms. –  Bradd Szonye May 26 '13 at 19:56

Mark Twain. From his famous quotes...


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Link only comments are subject to link rot. If you can quote the relevant portion, it would be appreciated. –  medica Apr 7 at 23:09

Will Rogers, commenting on Orson Welles' runin with Hearst....

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Answers on this site are expected to be authoritative. Can you cite a source for your information. –  Jim May 9 '13 at 3:38

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