Get Wit Quick

Benjamin Errett
Quick tips from great wits, distilled into a weekly brief. In the words of Stephen Fry: "The email of the species is deadlier than the mail."
Created 19 Oct 2018
  • Are headlines obsolete?
    16 Dec 2021 • 2 min read • 10 4
    The out-of-date is really having a moment. By the rules of cultural journalism, upon which I cut my teeth, three isolated incidents may legally be described as a trend. (Though if you can only scrape ...
  • Better living through jumpology
    09 Dec 2021 • 3 min read • 10 0
    What is a cliché but a clever idea too widely adopted? Consider the classic picture of the bridal party jumping in mid-air, the bane of nuptials everywhere. “Someone inevitably screws it up in each at...
  • What the clerihew can do for you
    02 Dec 2021 • 3 min read • 10 0
    When young Edmund Clerihew Bentley was bored out of his cranium in chemistry class, he made up a genre of light verse. Forced to consider the work of Sir Humphry Davy, the inventor of electrochemistry...
  • Everything rhymes with Billie Eilish
    25 Nov 2021 • 3 min read • 11 0
    What, precisely, is a bop? In the parlance of our times, it is a winning pop song, a three-minute melody that firmly implants itself into your brain, that will induce gluteal movement and incite vehic...
  • The parasocial Lazlo Toth
    18 Nov 2021 • 3 min read • 6 0
    When you scream into the void, the void rarely screams back. But every once in a while, it sends you a form letter. Or in the words of Lazlo Toth: “You send out letters, you get back letters, that’s f...
  • Inventing Oscar Wilde
    11 Nov 2021 • 4 min read • 8 0
    Oscar Wilde stood out from his contemporaries like a green carnation on a purple lapel. Which is why the most interesting part of his life was when he was just another aspiring poet jockeying for atte...
  • BoJo calls the COP26
    04 Nov 2021 • 3 min read • 8 0
    Boris Johnson is to Get Wit Quick what Alfred E. Neuman was to MAD magazine. Or, if you must, what Sylvester P. Smythe was to Cracked magazine. I just can’t quit that shaggy-haired mascot, mainly beca...
  • The art of the list
    28 Oct 2021 • 3 min read • 7 0
    Are lists worth the big to-do? This thought bubbled up from the lamentations for the late literary magazine The Believer. Writing in Gawker, Nicholas Russell recalled how he started at the publication...
  • Ricky Jay's slight of tongue
    21 Oct 2021 • 2 min read • 6 0
    Next week, you have the rare opportunity to get your hands on a complete guide to the base practices of highwaymen, sharpers, swindlers, money-droppers, duffers, setters, mock-auctions, quacks, bawds,...
  • Cursing and the bloody class struggle
    14 Oct 2021 • 2 min read • 7 0
    The bleeding has stopped. According to a recent analysis of how the British swear, use of the adjective bloody in everyday speech has dropped 80% since the 1990s. What was once England’s most frequent...
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