Quotes About English Language

Quotes tagged as "english-language" (showing 1-30 of 50)
George Orwell
“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.”
George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

Kasie West
“I don't like the words 'I'm fine'. My mom tells me those two words are the most-frequently-told lie in the English lenguage.”
Kasie West, The Fill-In Boyfriend

John Keats
“Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
No--yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.

Glanzvoller Stern! wär ich so stet wie du,
Nicht hing ich nachts in einsam stolzer Pracht!
SchautŽ nicht mit ewigem Blick beiseite zu,
Einsiedler der Natur, auf hoher Wacht
Beim Priesterwerk der Reinigung, das die See,
Die wogende, vollbringt am Meeresstrand;
Noch starrt ich auf die Maske, die der Schnee
Sanft fallend frisch um Berg und Moore band.
Nein, doch unwandelbar und unentwegt
MöchtŽ ruhn ich an der Liebsten weicher Brust,
Zu fühlen, wie es wogend dort sich regt,
Zu wachen ewig in unruhiger Lust,
Zu lauschen auf des Atems sanftes Wehen -
So ewig leben - sonst im Tod vergehen!”
John Keats, Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

Christopher Hitchens
“I have not been able to discover whether there exists a precise French equivalent for the common Anglo-American expression 'killing time.' It's a very crass and breezy expression, when you ponder it for a moment, considering that time, after all, is killing us.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Lynne Truss
“What the semicolon's anxious supporters fret about is the tendency of contemporary writers to use a dash instead of a semicolon and thus precipitate the end of the world. Are they being alarmist?”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

H. Beam Piper
“English is the product of a Saxon warrior trying to make a date with an Angle bar-maid, and as such is no more legitimate than any of the other products of that conversation.”
H. Beam Piper, Fuzzy Sapiens

John McWhorter
“Prescriptive grammar has spread linguistic insecurity like a plague among English speakers for centuries, numbs us to the aesthetic richness of non-standard speech, and distracts us from attending to genuine issues of linguistic style in writing.”
John McWhorter, Word on the Street: Debunking the Myth of "Pure" Standard English

Stephen Fry
“The worst of this sorry bunch of semi-educated losers are those who seem to glory in being irritated by nouns becoming verbs. How dense and deaf to language development do you have to be? If you don’t like nouns becoming verbs, then for heaven’s sake avoid Shakespeare who made a doing-word out of a thing-word every chance he got. He TABLED the motion and CHAIRED the meeting in which nouns were made verbs”
Stephen Fry

Pat Conroy
“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.”
Pat Conroy, A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life

“English is now ours. We have colonized it, too.”
Gemino Abad

Robert Aickman
“You speak English beautifully, which means you can't be English.”
Robert Aickman, The Wine-Dark Sea

John Varley
“The English language was a delight to them, so illogical and fertile and well-suited to their natural desire to confuse, obfuscate, and generally side-step clear meaning whenever possible.”
John Varley, Demon

Bill Bryson
“All Indo-European languages have the capacity to form compounds. Indeed, German and Dutch do it, one might say, to excess. But English does it more neatly than most other languages, eschewing the choking word chains that bedevil other Germanic languages and employing the nifty refinement of making the elements reversible, so that we can distinguish between a houseboat and a boathouse, between basketwork and a workbasket, between a casebook and a bookcase. Other languages lack this facility.”
Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way

Rod Longuestte
“Shakespeare was so ahead of his time that people still don't talk that way.”
Rod Longuestte

“If there is method here, it is hard to discern it. Let it be repeated: the use of capitals is a matter not or rules but of taste; but consistency is at least not a mark of bad taste.”
H. W. Fowler

“Finally, I would like to point out that now in the age of English, choosing a language policy is not the exclusive concern of non-English-speaking nations. It is also a concern for English-speaking nations, where, to realize the world’s diversity and gain the humility that is proper to any human being, people need to learn a foreign language as a matter of course. Acquiring a foreign language should be a universal requirement of compulsory education. Furthermore, English expressions used in international conferences should be regulated and standardized to some extent. Native English speakers need to know that to foreigners, Latinate vocabulary is easier to understand than what to the native speakers is easy, child-friendly language. At international conferences, telling jokes that none but native speakers can comprehend is inappropriate, even if fun. If native speakers of English – those who enjoy the privilege of having their mother tongue as the universal language – would not wait for others to protest but would take steps to regulate themselves, what respect they would earn from the rest of the world! If that is too much to ask, the rest of the world would appreciate it if they would at least be aware of their privileged position – and more important, be aware that the privilege is unwarranted. In this age of global communication, some language or other was bound to be come a universal language used in every corner of the world English became that language not because it is intrinsically more universal than other languages, but because through a series of historical coincidences it came to circulate ever more widely until it reached the tipping point. That’s all there is to it. English is an accidental universal language.

If more English native speakers walked through the doors of other languages, they would discover undreamed-of landscapes. Perhaps some of them might then begin to think that the truly blessed are not they themselves, but those who are eternally condemned to reflect on language, eternally condemned to marvel at the richness of the world.”
Minae Mizumura, The Fall of Language in the Age of English

Neetu Sugandh
“There are some who are born with talents and there are some who develop them in the form of skills. I am a part of the latter." - Neetu Sugandh!”
Neetu Sugandh

Anurag Shourie
“The time is ripe for young Indian authors writing in the English language.”
Anurag Shourie, An Ode Towards Hope –

Chigozie Obioma
“English, although the official language of Nigeria, was a formal language with which strangers and non-relatives addressed you. It had the potency of digging craters between you and your friends or relatives if one of you switched to using it.”
Chigozie Obioma, The Fishermen

“The English Language is a form of communication! Words aren't only bombs and bullets - no, they're little gifts, containing meanings. What is true in love, is equally true at law”
Phillip Roth

Abhijit Naskar
“If Bengali is my mother, then English is my father and friend.”
Abhijit Naskar, Human Making is Our Mission: A Treatise on Parenting

Abhijit Naskar
“English is the language through which I reach hearts from various corners of the world. English is the language through which I flirt with my species. English is the language through which I make my species think.”
Abhijit Naskar, Human Making is Our Mission: A Treatise on Parenting

NoViolet Bulawayo
“And then the problem with those who speak only English is this: they don't know how to listen; they are busy looking at your falling instead of paying attention to what you are saying.”
NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

Yuval Noah Harari
“Why is English so widespread today, and not Danish?”
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

“If you don’t believe you can hit that 7+, you won’t be able to.”
IELTS Training

“You must know in what way you are going to use the morphology and syntax to build your 'how”
Frederick Vanderbuilt

“How are you going do your writings? How can the others understand you through words describing places, sensations, thoughts, feelings, hope, love, separations on a maze of phrases and paragraphs cemented with your ability to 'knit' your story? Maybe, 'how' is more relevant to provide for your readers a consistent path to build a story from the beginning to the end than 'what' and 'why'. Of course, you are not going to dismiss them. These ones – 'what' and 'why' –, they are pretty damn good too.”
Frederick Vanderbuilt

“The fact of English supremacy is something most native speakers of English unknowingly suppress, all the while enjoying the privileges that come with it. Many non-English-speaking populations, however, cannot afford to suppress that fact but are forced to face it in one way or another, though their writers generally turn their backs on the linguistic asymmetry lest they end up too discouraged to write, overwhelmed by the unfairness of it all.”
Juliet Winters Carpenter, The Fall of Language in the Age of English

Bill Bryson
“One of the undoubted virtues of English is that it is a fluid and democratic language in which meanings shift and change in response to the pressures of common usage rather than the dictates of committees. It is a natural process that has been going on for centuries. To interfere with that process is arguably both arrogant and futile, since clearly the weight of usage will push new meanings into currency no matter how many authorities hurl themselves into the path of change.”
Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way

“Is It True?
English is a really a form of Plattdeutsch or Lowland German, the way it was spoken during the 5th century. It all happened when Germanic invaders crossed the English Channel and the North Sea from northwest Germany, Denmark and Scandinavia to what is now Scotland or Anglo Saxon better identified as Anglo-Celtic. English was also influenced by the conquering Normans who came from what is now France and whose language was Old Norman, which became Anglo-Norman.
Christianity solidified the English language, when the King James Version of the Bible was repetitively transcribed by diligent Catholic monks. Old English was very complex, where nouns had three genders with der, die and das denoting the male, female and neuter genders. Oh yes, it also had strong and weak verbs, little understood and most often ignored by the masses.
In Germany these grammatical rules survive to this day, whereas in Britain the rules became simplified and der, die and das became da, later refined to the article the! It is interesting where our words came from, many of which can be traced to their early roots. “History” started out as his story and when a “Brontosaurus Steak” was offered to a cave man, he uttered me eat! Which has now become meat and of course, when our cave man ventured to the beach and asked his friend if he saw any food, the friend replied “me see food,” referring to the multitude of fish or seafood! Most English swear words, which Goodreads will definitely not allow me to write, are also of early Anglo-Saxon origin. Either way they obeyed their king to multiply and had a fling, with the result being that we now have 7.6 Billion people on Earth.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One...."

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