Verba volant, scripta manent

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Verba volant, scripta manent is a Latin proverb. Literally translated, it means "spoken words fly away, written words remain".

This phrase seems to come from a speech of Caius Titus of the Roman Senate,[1] who suggests that spoken words might easily be forgotten, but written documents can always be conclusive in public matters. A related meaning is that if two people want to establish a formal agreement about something, it is better to put it in writing, rather than just having an oral agreement. It could also[by whom?] to refer to the subsequent increase in recalling words that are written down than those that are merely spoken or thought about[citation needed].


  1. ^ Jean-Pierre Bois, Centre de recherches sur l'histoire du monde atlantique, Université de Nantes (2004). Dialogue militaire entre anciens et modernes. Presses universitaires de Rennes. ISBN 2-7535-0078-9. [verification needed]