As the title, what does "talk more and say less" mean in the following paragraph:

“As usual, Charlie has given the full answer, but I’ll still talk more and say less.” – On Berkshire’s decision to avoid T-Bills recently.

  • 1
    Sounds like politician.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 17, 2022 at 14:09

2 Answers 2


It's self-irony. The speaker inverts the common phrase

Talk less, (and) say more

which I cannot find in dictionaries but is commonly used with the meaning that you are more likely to convince your interlocutors with concise, but stronger assertions. Indeed, sometimes if you talk less, you do say more. e.g.

They would talk less and say more and be less frivolous in their conversation if they made it a rule to think before speaking , instead of afterwards. (Edward John Hardy, The Business of Life: A Book for Everyone)

In the case of your quote, the speaker praises Charlie's answer but skilfully adds his own with self-irony, inverting the phrase to say that

What I will say now may not be as good as what has already been said, or might dilute the strength of what has been said, but I will still say it.

  • Point taken, thank you!
    – fev
    Dec 17, 2022 at 11:38

To "Talk more and say less" is to avoid making a meaningful statement, or avoid admitting something embarrassing, by speaking a lot but not addressing the issue raised.

Politicians often do this in radio and TV interviews when the interviewer asks a question that they do not want to answer: the interviewee will often answer a similar question which the interviewer has not asked but for which they have a prepared answer.

Sales people sometimes use a similar technique in which they use a large volume of technical (or pseudo-technical) language in an effort to impress and, sometimes, confuse the potential customer. In this case it is usually an attempt to hide the salesperson's ignorance.-

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