Semantics Quotes

Quotes tagged as "semantics" (showing 1-30 of 49)
J.R.R. Tolkien
“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Douglas Adams
“Arthur: If I asked you where the hell we were, would I regret it?
Ford: We're safe.
Arthur: Oh good.
Ford: We're in a small galley cabin in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.
Arthur: Ah, this is obviously some strange use of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Michael Pollan
“He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
“We must think things not words, or at least we must constantly translate our words into the facts for which they stand, if we are to keep to the real and the true.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

João Tordo
“Existem várias maneiras de destruir um assunto, de deteriorar a realidade até não sobrar coisa nenhuma. Passa-se com as palavras o mesmo que com as coisas: quantas mais vezes as proferimos menos substância têm, as palavras e as coisas, porque as palavras podem tirar ou roubar às coisas o seu sentido. [...] Imagina agora o que acontece quando as palavras se reportam somente a si próprias. As palavras Deus ou Amor, por exemplo. Imagina o género de esvaziamento que acontece quando as usamos de maneira desenfreada e as pronunciamos milhares ou milhões de vezes todos os dias. 'Amo-te'. 'Amo-te'. 'Amo-te'. 'Meu Deus'. 'Meu Deus'. 'Meu Deus'. Palavras que não têm qualquer referente no mundo que lhes devolva o sentido. Palavras que são somente isso: a junção aleatória de vogais e consoantes; e, contudo, palavras que movem montanhas.”
João Tordo, Anatomia dos Mártires

Howard Tayler
“Kevyn, Ennesby tells me you are building a time machine.

Actually I'm finished.

In one afternoon? Wow... Does it work?

After a fashion.


I put a whole lot of energy into it, and the next thing I knew it was time for dinner.
-Captain Tagon & Commander Andreyasn”
Howard Tayler, The Tub of Happiness

“All our work, our whole life is a matter of semantics, because words are the tools with which we work, the material out of which laws are made, out of which the Constitution was written. Everything depends on our understanding of them.”
Felix Frankfurter

“We live in a highly complex, technological world – and it's not entirely obvious what's right and what's wrong in any given situation, unless you can parse the situation, deconstruct it. People just don't have the insight to be able to do that very effectively.”
Christopher Langan

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“It is a sign of intellectual maturity to always crawl to conclusions.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Amos Tversky
“[Metaphors] replace genuine uncertainty about the world with semantic ambiguity. A metaphor is a cover-up.”
Amos Tversky

Thomas Aquinas
“God is not, like creatures, made up of parts. God is spirit, without bodily dimensions. Firstly, no body can cause change without itself being changed. Secondly, things with dimensions are potential of division. But the starting-point for all existence must be wholly real and not potential in any way: though things that get realized begin as potential, preceding them is the source of their realization which must already be real. Thirdly, living bodies are superior to other bodies; and what makes a body living is not the dimensions which make it a body (for then everything with dimensions would be living), but something more excellent like a soul. The most excellent existent of all then cannot be a body. So when the scriptures ascribe dimensions to God they are using spatial extension to symbolize the extent of God's power; just as they ascribe bodily organs to God as metaphors for their functions, and postures like sitting or standing to symbolize authority or strength.”
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae: A Concise Translation

Umberto Eco
“Colorless green ideas sleep furiously
three old owls on a chest of drawers
were screwing
the daughter of the doctor.
But then the mother called them,
colorless green ideas slepp furiously.”
Umberto Eco, How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays

Jerry A. Fodor
“One man's modus ponens is another man's reductio, as epistemologists are forever pointing out (In Critical Condition, p. 70)”
Jerry Fodor

Patricia Cornwell
“franklin," she said sternly, "you know your daddy told you not to play with matches!"
"no he didn’t," franklin countered. "he told me not to let him catch me playing with matches. and I’m not going to let him catch me.”
Patricia Cornwell, Ruth, A Portrait: The story of Ruth Bell Graham

Blaise Pascal
“Miracle does not always signify miracle.”
Blaise Pascal, Pensées

Alfred Korzybski
“An individual cannot be considered entirely sane of he is wholly ignorant of scientific method and structure of nature and so retains primitive semantic reactions.”
Alfred Korzybski

Alfred Korzybski
“An individual cannot be considered entirely sane if he is wholly ignorant of scientific method and structure of nature and so retains primitive semantic reactions.”
Alfred Korzybski

“In order to understand what happened, we'll use words in the way that they exist: as drawers of distinction between ideas.”
John Hadac, The Project

Thomas Aquinas
“Causes of individuals presuppose causes of the species, which are not univocal yet not wholly equivocal either, since they are expressing themselves in their effects. We could call them analogical. In language too all universal terms presuppose the non-univocal analogical use of the term *being*.”
Thomas Aquinas , Summa Theologiae: A Concise Translation

D.A. Carson
“But if we decide contextually specific questions of synonymy on the basis of the total semantic range of each word, any synonymy in any context is virtually impossible.”
D A Carson

John Green
“[...] meanwhile I was thinking that if half the cells in side of you are not you, doesn't that challenge the whole notion of me as a singular pronoun, let alone as the author of my fate?”
John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

Vijay Fafat

Speech discriminates between listening ears
even if sound does not.”
Vijay Fafat, The Ninth Pawn of White - A Book of Unwritten Verses

Ron Brackin
“Words are wonderfully elastic. They can be mispronounced, misspelled, misused or mistranslated. Even the most precise technical term can be stretched into a verb or adjective, slang or idiom, stretched all the way around until it finds itself facing itself, a mirror image, the exact opposite of itself. Mark my words, it can.”
Ron Brackin

Grace Metalious
“...and often Lisa thought bitterly of the ideas she had held on "college life" before coming to Denton, ideas and images culled from a hundred magazine stories and as many movies. Where were the convertibles, the secret bottles of liquor, the gay young men and their wild girl friends?”
Grace Metalious, The Tight White Collar

James Rollins
“you say carjacking, i say borrowing.”
James Rollins, The Judas Strain

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Most social media users sometimes like statements they do not understand.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Our agreement or disagreement is at times based on a misunderstanding.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Leland Lewis
“it is not necessary to convince anyone of anything..... and the words do not matter much. it is the knowledge and experience that is transcendent.”
Leland Lewis, Random Molecular Mirroring

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