The Importance of Revising

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Levinson Joke

The picture above is a scan of two “joke cards” by Sam Levinson. Levinson was a comedian and his papers are part of a special collection at Brooklyn college.

Levinson took his comedy very seriously. Above you can see a joke he wrote:

My father used to say that the beauty of having many children was that you could always hope that one would turn out better than the others. We were already eight kids before papa realized that we were getting worse, not better.

That’s not a terrific joke, but Levinson took the time to type it up, and file it away under the category “Large Family.” He later managed to do a better job:

The beauty of a large family is that at least one of the kids turns out better than the others.

So after a bit of revision, after iterating, the joke improved.