Quotes About Language

Quotes tagged as "language" (showing 121-150 of 1,816)
Frances Hodgson Burnett
“How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

Elizabeth Kostova
“Never before had I known the sudden quiver of understanding that travels from word to brain to heart, the way a new language can move, coil, swim into life under the eyes, the almost savage leap of comprehension, the instantaneous, joyful release of meaning, the way the words shed their printed bodies in a flash of heat and light.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian

David Mamet
“It's only words... unless they're true.”
David Mamet

المهدي المنجرة
“لا توجد أي دولة في العالم انطلقت في المجال التكنولوجي دون الاعتماد على اللغة الأم.”
المهدي المنجرة

David Sedaris
“What's the trick to remembering that a sandwich is masculine? What qualities does it share with anyone in possession of a penis? I'll tell myself that a sandwich is masculine because if left alone for a week or two, it will eventually grow a beard.”
David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day

Jean-Paul Sartre
“The aim of language...is to communicate...to impart to others the results one has obtained...As I talk, I reveal the situation...I reveal it to myself and to others in order to change it.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

Jeanette Winterson
“Language always betrays us, tells the truth when we want to lie, and dissolves into formlessness when we would most like to be precise.”
Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry

Marguerite Duras
“The words emerge from her body without her realizing it, as if she were being visited by the memory of a language long forsaken.”
Marguerite Duras, Summer Rain

David Foster Wallace
“When I say or write something, there are actually a whole lot of different things I am communicating. The propositional content (i.e., the verbal information I'm trying to convey) is only one part of it. Another part is stuff about me, the communicator. Everyone knows this. It's a function of the fact there are so many different well-formed ways to say the same basic thing, from e.g. "I was attacked by a bear!" to "Goddamn bear tried to kill me!" to "That ursine juggernaut did essay to sup upon my person!" and so on.”
David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

Kathy Griffin
“So yes, I say things I regret constantly, and I just can't help it.”
Kathy Griffin

Nizar Qabbani
“When a man is in love
how can he use old words?
Should a woman
desiring her lover
lie down with
grammarians and linguists?

I said nothing
to the woman I loved
but gathered
love's adjectives into a suitcase
and fled from all languages.”
Nizar Qabbani

Ludwig Wittgenstein
“Language disguises the thought; so that from the external form of the clothes one cannot infer the form of the thought they clothe, because the external form of the clothes is constructed with quite another object than to let the form of the body be recognized.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Andrew Davidson
“With every fragment of rock that fall from me, I can hear the voice of Marianne Engle. I love you. Aishiteru. Ego amo te. Ti amo. Eg elska pig. Ich liebe dich. It is moving across time, coming to me in every language of the world, and it sounds like pure love.”
Andrew Davidson, The Gargoyle

Siri Hustvedt
“Every sickness has an alien quality, a feeling of invasion and loss of control that is evident in the language we use about it.”
Siri Hustvedt, The Shaking Woman, or A History of My Nerves

Iris Murdoch
“Yes, of course, there's something fishy about describing people's feelings. You try hard to be accurate, but as soon as you start to define such and such a feeling, language lets you down. It's really a machine for making falsehoods. When we really speak the truth, words are insufficient. Almost everything except things like "pass the gravy" is a lie of a sort. And that being the case, I shall shut up. Oh, and... pass the gravy.”
Iris Murdoch

Franz Kafka
“Every word first looks around in every direction before letting itself be written down by me.”
Franz Kafka

David Sedaris
“I find it ridiculous to assign a gender to an inanimate object incapable of disrobing and making an occasional fool of itself.”
David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day

Amy Tan
“No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached.”
Amy Tan

Samuel Beckett
“there is [...]
a last even of last times of saying
if you do not love me I shall not be loved
if I do not love you I shall not love”
Samuel Beckett, Cascando and Other Short Dramatic Pieces

Jodi Picoult
“I don't understand why people never say what they mean. It's like the immigrants who come to a country and learn the language but are completely baffled by idioms. (Seriously, how could anyone who isn't a native English speaker 'get the picture,' so to speak, and not assume it has something to do with a photo or a painting?)”
Jodi Picoult, House Rules

Catherynne M. Valente
“To touch a person...to sleep with a person...is to become a pioneer," she whispered then, "a frontiersman at the edge of their private world, the strange, incomprehensible world of their interior, filled with customs you could never imitate, a language which sounds like your own but is really totally foreign, knowable only to them.”
Catherynne M. Valente, Palimpsest

Haruki Murakami
“It is cognition that is the fantasy.... Everything I tell you now is mere words. Arrange them and rearrange them as I might, I will never be able to explain to you the form of Will... My explanation would only show the correlation between myself and that Will by means of a correlation on the verbal level. The negation of cognition thus correlates to the negation of language. For when those two pillars of Western humanism, individual cognition and evolutionary continuity, lose their meaning, language loses meaning. Existence ceases for the individuum as we know it, and all becomes chaos. You cease to be a unique entity unto yourself, but exist simply as chaos. And not just the chaos that is you; your chaos is also my chaos. To wit, existence is communication, and communication, existence.”
Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase

Bernard Levin
“If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger; if your wish is farther to the thought; if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise -why, be that as it may, the more fool you , for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness' sake! What the dickens! But me no buts! - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.”
Bernard Levin

Slavoj Žižek
“Ideology is strong exactly because it is no longer experienced as ideology… we feel free because we lack the very language to articulate our unfreedom.”
Slavoj Žižek, In Defense of Lost Causes

“Humor is a universal lanuage.”
Joel Goodman

“To really change the world, we have to help people change the way they see things. Global betterment is a mental process, not one that requires huge sums of money or a high level of authority. Change has to be psychological. So if you want to see real change, stay persistent in educating humanity on how similar we all are than different. Don't only strive to be the change you want to see in the world, but also help all those around you see the world through commonalities of the heart so that they would want to change with you. This is how humanity will evolve to become better. This is how you can change the world. The language of the heart is mankind's main common language.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

John O'Donohue
“When you steal a people's language, you leave their soul bewildered.”
John O'Donohue

Sidney Sheldon
“Just remember, when someone has an accent, it means that he knows one more language than you do.”
Sidney Sheldon, Windmills of the Gods

Confucius
“If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.”
Confucius, The Analects of Confucius

Friedrich Nietzsche
“What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms – in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

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