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Quotes About Language

Quotes tagged as "language" (showing 1-30 of 1,089)
T.S. Eliot
“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Zadie Smith
“The past is always tense, the future perfect.”
Zadie Smith

Patrick Rothfuss
“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

George Carlin
“Meow” means “woof” in cat.”
George Carlin

Rumi
“silence is the language of god,
all else is poor translation.”
Rumi

John Steinbeck
“But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Rumi
“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”
Rumi

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

J.K. Rowling
“Anyone can speak Troll. All you have to do is point and grunt.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

David Levithan
“i do not say 'good-bye.' i believe that's one of the bullshittiest words ever invented. it's not like you're given the choice to say 'bad-bye' or 'awful-bye' or 'couldn't-care-less-about-you-bye.' every time you leave, it's supposed to be a good one. well, i don't believe in that. i believe against that.”
David Levithan, Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Stephen Fry
“It's not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.”
Stephen Fry, Moab Is My Washpot

George Orwell
“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
George Orwell, 1984

C.S. Lewis
“Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”
C.S. Lewis

John Green
“You do not immortalize the lost by writing about them. Language buries, but does not resurrect.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

N.H. Kleinbaum
“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.”
N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society

Jarod Kintz
“I often fantasize about torturing some of the lazier letters of the alphabet, like C, U, and E, because together they only manage to accomplish as much as the solitary letter Q.”
Jarod Kintz, It Occurred to Me

Markus Zusak
“The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn't be any of this.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Nelson Mandela
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Nelson Mandela

Lemony Snicket
“Instead of the word 'love' there was an enormous heart, a symbol sometimes used by people who have trouble figuring out the difference between words and shapes.”
Lemony Snicket, The Carnivorous Carnival

Jane Wagner
“I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.”
Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

Stephen Fry
“Language is my whore, my mistress, my wife, my pen-friend, my check-out girl. Language is a complimentary moist lemon-scented cleansing square or handy freshen-up wipette. Language is the breath of God, the dew on a fresh apple, it's the soft rain of dust that falls into a shaft of morning sun when you pull from an old bookshelf a forgotten volume of erotic diaries; language is the faint scent of urine on a pair of boxer shorts, it's a half-remembered childhood birthday party, a creak on the stair, a spluttering match held to a frosted pane, the warm wet, trusting touch of a leaking nappy, the hulk of a charred Panzer, the underside of a granite boulder, the first downy growth on the upper lip of a Mediterranean girl, cobwebs long since overrun by an old Wellington boot.”
Stephen Fry

W.H. Auden
“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”
W.H. Auden, The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Prose: Volume II. 1939-1948

Margaret Atwood
“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.”
Margaret Atwood, Der blinde Mörder

J.K. Rowling
“From this point forth, we shall be leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Muriel Barbery
“I thought: pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language.”
Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Melina Marchetta
“Because without our language, we have lost ourselves. Who are we without our words?”
Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock

James Joyce
“He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.”
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

David Sedaris
“On my fifth trip to France I limited myself to the words and phrases that people actually use. From the dog owners I learned "Lie down," "Shut up," and "Who shit on this carpet?" The couple across the road taught me to ask questions correctly, and the grocer taught me to count. Things began to come together, and I went from speaking like an evil baby to speaking like a hillbilly. "Is thems the thoughts of cows?" I'd ask the butcher, pointing to the calves' brains displayed in the front window. "I want me some lamb chop with handles on 'em.”
David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day

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

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