English Language Quotes

Quotes tagged as "english-language" Showing 1-30 of 69
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

Olga Tokarczuk
“There are countries out there where people speak English. But not like us - we have our own languages hidden in our carry-on luggage, in our cosmetics bags, only ever using English when we travel, and then only in foreign countries, to foreign people. It's hard to imagine, but English is the real language! Oftentimes their only language. They don't have anything to fall back on or to turn to in moments of doubt. How lost they must feel in the world, where all instructions, all the lurics of all the stupidest possible songs, all the menus, all the excruciating pamphlets and brochures - even the buttons in the lift! - are in their private language. They may be understood by anuone at any moment, whenever they open their mouths. They must have to write things down in special codes. Wherever they are, people have unlimited access to them - they are accessible to everyone and everything! I heard there are plans in the works to get them some little language of their own, one of those dead ones no one else is using anyway, just so that for once they can have something just for them.”
Olga Tokarczuk, Flights

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

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 H. McWhorter, Word on the Street: Debunking the Myth of "Pure" Standard English

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

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

Kevin Ansbro
“I am nothing if not misanthropic," declared Sebastian.
"I think you mean philanthropic," said Henry.
"God, you are so perdantic."
"That would be pedantic."
"See! You're even perdantic about the word perdantic.”
Kevin Ansbro, The Fish That Climbed a Tree

“It is critical to our union that we only have one dominant language - English.”
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr, The Pursuit of Happiness: A Book of Poems

Ash Gabrieli
“In the whole world, only the English language gives the most accurate and clear description of a woman. Only one word defines our whole being. That is “Female.” The first two letters “Fe,” coming from Latin word Ferrum, in the periodic table indicate iron and “male” means man. “Female” because our gender is as solid as iron. We can go through the fire, water, endless trials, but remain as strong as before.”
Ash Gabrieli, Petrichor

Hank Bracker
“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...."

Tapan Ghosh
“If English is here to stay, the least we Indians can do is to promote Hinglish. The best of two languages will make Hinglish user-friendly.”
Tapan Ghosh

Nitya Prakash
“India, where English is a medium to 'Impress' not 'Express'...”
Nitya Prakash

Terry Fallis
“Some people contend that the English language is a living, breathing organism wherein the definitions of words and rules should change to reflect their mass misuse. I contend that English is already an extraordinarily difficult language to teach. Monkeying with English to legitimize common errors would not make the language easier to learn and love. English should not stoop to embrace the lowest common denominator. Rather, society should step up and grant the language the respect it deserves.”
Terry Fallis, The Best Laid Plans

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

“Hawaiian English is like kahiko, the ancient dance, the kanaka dance of tradition, she says, harsh moves, slaps, and full of pounding force.”
Garrett Hongo, Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai'i

“Profesora Shields explained that in English there was no usted, no tu. There was only one word—you. It applied to all people. Everyone equal. No one higher or lower than anyone else. No one more distant or more familiar. You. They. Me. I. Us. We. There were no words that changed from feminine to masculine and back again depending on the speaker. A person was from New York. Not a woman from New York, not a man from New York. Simply a person.”
Cristina Henriquez, The Book of Unknown Americans

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa
“Let our voices be heard in all of our lunges. Not just English. I am an American and I speak Spanish and English.”
Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

“When we teach English, the use of a language is a better identification (sometimes) than the one in your wallet. How we use the language, our words choice - tells people who we are, and what we think, and what we feel about them...Literature is the hallmark of history...”
James T. Cross

William Shakespeare
“What is past is prologue.' - Shakespeare (The Tempest)”
William Shakespeare, Tempest & Gulliver's Travels

Stewart Stafford
“The goal of American English speakers appears to be to rob the mother tongue of direct meaning and replace it with needlessly-complex jargon.”
Stewart Stafford

“The English language is somewhat ‘GLOBAL’ or widespread because it has reached many nations but it is not truly an ‘INTERNATIONAL’ language! Actually, it will be international when all the countries accept it or if the words from all the existing languages are added to it or if an entirely new language is created with the presence of words, grammar etc. from all the current languages in the world!”
Md. Ziaul Haque

Neel Burton
“In America, they use exclamation marks to make everything terrific, in France to make everything terrible, but here in England we don't use them at all.”
Neel Burton

A.D. Aliwat
“English is not logical, it’s expressive.”
A.D. Aliwat, In Limbo

Stewart Lee Beck
“Once upon a time, a human belittled another human who spoke broken English, until the first human discovered English was the second human's third or fourth language, and then the first human felt rather stupid and decided to shut the f*** up.”
Stewart Lee Beck

Eckhard Gerdes
“Bret Easton Ellis, taking on the narrative garb of a mass murderer in American Psycho, was, surprisingly, never himself a mass murderer (at least according to a lot of people–I won’t comment on what he sometimes does to an English sentence).”
Eckhard Gerdes, How to Read

Voltaire
“If you have a mind to understand the English comedy, the only way to do this will be for you to go to England, to spend three years in London, to make yourself master of the English tongue, and to frequent the playhouse every night.”
Voltaire, Letters on England

Ellen Palestrant
“Language is art, language is imagery, music, rhythm, thought, responsibility and communication. With the extensive English vocabulary available to us, an abundance of words allow for precision of depiction - well almost”
Ellen Palestrant, A Fantasist & A Scientist In Conversation: Creativity, Imagination, and Scientific Verification

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