“Sharpening Pencils” by patrisyu via freedigitalphotos.net
"The pen is mightier than the sword" was written by novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, in his historical play Cardinal Richelieu. It is being quoted a lot in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings.
Terry Pratchett has been quoted as saying "The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp."
I think I'm with Terry Pratchett on this one.... it just seems like a saying that clever people say to try to make themselves feel better, without it actually meaning anything. It would be nice to live in a world where the worst weapon available was the written word but....