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Quotes About English

Quotes tagged as "english" (showing 1-30 of 195)
Henry James
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Henry James

Jeffrey Eugenides
“Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever. ”
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Jodi Picoult
“In the English language there are orphans and widows, but there is no word for the parents who loses a child.”
Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

P.C. Cast
“Don't fuck with an English major. They keep lots of useless crap trapped in their heads. Once in a while they let some of it out and it bites you square on the ass.”
P.C. Cast, Divine By Mistake

Lemony Snicket
“Of course, it is boring to read about boring thing, but it is better to read something that makes you yawn with boredom than something that will make you weep uncontrollably, pound your fists against the floor, and leave tearstains all over your pillowcase, sheets, and boomerang collection.”
Lemony Snicket, The Grim Grotto

Christopher Hitchens
“The governor of Texas, who, when asked if the Bible should also be taught in Spanish, replied that 'if English was good enough for Jesus, then it's good enough for me.”
Christopher Hitchens

Jarod Kintz
“I’m bilingual, speaking English and body language. I prefer the latter, because I can speak it silently and without listening and while my back is turned.”
Jarod Kintz, This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks

Stephen Fry
“The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American. Military, naval, legal, corporate, criminal, jazz, rap and ghetto discourses are mingled at every turn. The French language, like Paris, has attempted, through its Academy, to retain its purity, to fight the advancing tides of Franglais and international prefabrication. English, by comparison, is a shameless whore.”
Stephen Fry, The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within

Pat Conroy
“The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave
anything out. I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the
genius of English teachers touched me with the dazzling beauty of language.
Because of them I rode with Don Quixote and danced with Anna Karenina at a
ball in St. Petersburg and lassoed a steer in "Lonesome Dove" and had
nightmares about slavery in "Beloved" and walked the streets of Dublin in
"Ulysses" and made up a hundred stories in the Arabian nights and saw my
mother killed by a baseball in "A Prayer for Owen Meany." I've been in ten
thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers
in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous
English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and
women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me
when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English
language. ”
Pat Conroy

Karl Marx
“...[G]reat progress was evident in the last Congress of the American 'Labour Union' in that among other things, it treated working women with complete equality. While in this respect the English, and still more the gallant French, are burdened with a spirit of narrow-mindedness. Anybody who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without the feminine ferment. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex (the ugly ones included).”
Karl Marx, Selected Letters: The Personal Correspondence 1844-1877

Jeaniene Frost
“My father was English. He date-raped my mother so she's hated English men ever since. You know my boyfriend's English, and I'm, uh, I'm half-English, which she's never been real happy about. If she finds out I'm dating someone English, she'll ah, think I' turning my back on her and becoming a foreigner.'
Cathy, that's the stupidest reason I've ever heard.”
Jeaniene Frost, Halfway to the Grave

Gerard Nolst Trenité
“Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!”
Gerard Nolst Trenité, Drop your Foreign Accent

Robert A. Heinlein
“Its very variety, subtlety, and utterly irrational, idiomatic complexity makes it possible to say things in English which simply cannot be said in any other language.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Lemony Snicket
“The hallway was lined with numbered doors, odd numbers on one side and even numbers on the other, and large ornamental vases, too large to hold flowers and too small to hold spies.”
Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril

Julie Garwood
“You have many flaws, he announced... “But there was one flaw that made all the other imperfections pale in comparison.”
“Was?” she asked. “I don't have this flaw any longer?”
“No, you don't.”
“Pray tell,” she muttered in exasperation, “what was this terrible flaw?”
He grinned. “You used to be English.”
Julie Garwood, Ransom

David Eddings
“Its a perfectly good face, Sparhawk."
"It covers the front of my head. What else can you expect from a face?”
David Eddings, The Diamond Throne

Anatole France
“J'ai toujours préféré la folie des passions à la sagesse de l'indifférence.”
Anatole France

Craig Ferguson
“When in doubt about who's to blame. Blame the English.”
Craig Ferguson

Joseph Conrad
“Writing in English is like throwing mud at a wall.”
Joseph Conrad

Jonathan Stroud
“Literature offers the thrill of minds of great clarity wrestling with the endless problems and delights of being human. To engage with them is to engage with oneself, and the lasting rewards are not confined to specific career paths.”
Jonathan Stroud

Upamanyu Chatterjee
“We are men without ambition, and all we want is to be left alone, in peace so that we can try and be happy. So few people will understand this simplicity.”
Upamanyu Chatterjee, English, August: An Indian Story

Aravind Adiga
“Neither you nor I speak English, but there are some things that can be said only in English.”
Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

Jonathan Safran Foer
“She wanted more, more slang, more figures of speech, the bee's knees, the cats pajamas, horse of a different color, dog-tired, she wanted to talk like she was born here, like she never came from anywhere else”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

E.M. Forster
“They had nothing in common but the English language.”
E.M. Forster, Howards End

“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
James D. Nichols

David Eddings
“Sparhawk grinned. "If Martel finds out that he's drinking again, he'll reach down his throat and pull his heart out." "Can you actually do that to a man?" "You can if your arm's long enough, and if you know what you're looking for.[...]”
David Eddings, The Diamond Throne

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