Mark Twain – and Oscar Hammerstein

August 5, 2014

MARK TWAIN famously said about words, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.

Translation: The right words are a skill in exactitude and ingenuity that never grows tiring.

So here’s a glass of champagne to the librettist Oscar Hammerstein who wrote one of the greatest descriptive lines in all literature. In the musical “Oklahoma” Curly (Gordon McCrae) sings in the opening scene, “The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye.”

Hammerstein struck lightning.