Semantics Quotes

Quotes tagged as "semantics" Showing 1-30 of 73
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, or There and Back Again

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

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Ambition’ is ‘greed’ rebranded.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

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.

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

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Reading, seeing, and hearing happen way more often than understanding.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“To millions of children, a condom is nothing but a balloon.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana, On Friendship: A Satirical Essay

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“In a way, trying to say exactly what something is, is like trying to take a picture of the entire universe—and that has nothing to do with the non-existence of a capable camera.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana, On Friendship: A Satirical Essay

Kirsten Gillibrand
“Ultimately, our tangled views of ambition come down to word choice. Just as many women reject the word 'feminist' but believe in opportunity and equality for all, many women reject the word 'ambition' but believe in trying to achieve difficult goals.”
Kirsten Gillibrand, Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World

Paul Graham
“If you understand McCarthy's eval, you understand more than just a stage in the history of languages. These ideas are still the semantic core of Lisp today. So studying McCarthy's original paper shows us, in a sense, what Lisp really is. It's not something that McCarthy designed so much as something he discovered. It's not intrinsically a language for AI or for rapid prototyping, or any other task at that level. It's what you get (or one thing you get) when you try to axiomatize computation.”
Paul Graham

Richard Lederer
“It is now time to face the fact that English is a crazy language — the most loopy and wiggy of all tongues.

In what other language do people drive in a parkway and park in a driveway?
In what other language do people play at a recital and recite at a play?
Why does night fall but never break and day break but never fall?
Why is it that when we transport something by car, it’s called a shipment, but when we transport something by ship, it’s called cargo?
Why does a man get a hernia and a woman a hysterectomy?
Why do we pack suits in a garment bag and garments in a suitcase?
Why do privates eat in the general mess and generals eat in the private mess?
Why do we call it newsprint when it contains no printing but when we put print on it, we call it a newspaper?
Why are people who ride motorcycles called bikers and people who ride bikes called cyclists?
Why — in our crazy language — can your nose run and your feet smell?Language is like the air we breathe. It’s invisible, inescapable, indispensable, and we take it for granted. But, when we take the time to step back and listen to the sounds that escape from the holes in people’s faces and to explore the paradoxes and vagaries of English, we find that hot dogs can be cold, darkrooms can be lit, homework can be done in school, nightmares can take place in broad daylight while morning sickness and daydreaming can take place at night, tomboys are girls and midwives can be men, hours — especially happy hours and rush hours — often last longer than sixty minutes, quicksand works very slowly, boxing rings are square, silverware and glasses can be made of plastic and tablecloths of paper, most telephones are dialed by being punched (or pushed?), and most bathrooms don’t have any baths in them. In fact, a dog can go to the bathroom under a tree —no bath, no room; it’s still going to the bathroom. And doesn’t it seem a little bizarre that we go to the bathroom in order to go to the bathroom?

Why is it that a woman can man a station but a man can’t woman one, that a man can father a movement but a woman can’t mother one, and that a king rules a kingdom but a queen doesn’t rule a queendom? How did all those Renaissance men reproduce when there don’t seem to have been any Renaissance women?

Sometimes you have to believe that all English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane:

In what other language do they call the third hand on the clock the second hand?
Why do they call them apartments when they’re all together?
Why do we call them buildings, when they’re already built?
Why it is called a TV set when you get only one?
Why is phonetic not spelled phonetically? Why is it so hard to remember how to spell mnemonic? Why doesn’t onomatopoeia sound like what it is? Why is the word abbreviation so long? Why is diminutive so undiminutive? Why does the word monosyllabic consist of five syllables? Why is there no synonym for synonym or thesaurus?

And why, pray tell, does lisp have an s in it?
If adults commit adultery, do infants commit infantry? If olive oil is made from olives, what do they make baby oil from? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian consume? If pro and con are opposites, is congress the opposite of progress? ...”
Richard Lederer

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“A fist is not a thing but a particular state of a particular thing.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“We misunderstand the messages behind some of our most favourite songs.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

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

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“That statues are motionless would be true only if the earth were the universe.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Brian Andreas
“I don't think of it as avoiding, he said. I think of it as another opportunity to practice ignoring things that bug me.
—Steady Practice”
Brian Andreas, Theories of Everything

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“A statement can be truthful when it is said or written, but untruthful when it is heard or read.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“Subhuti, do not believe that the well-traveled one ever thinks, 'I ought to present a system for teaching spiritual truths.' You should never entertain such an idea. Why? Because if anyone thinks this way, they will not only be misunderstanding the teachings of the well- traveled one, but they will be slandering as well. Furthermore, what has been referred to as 'a system of teaching' has no meaning, because truth cannot be cut up into pieces and arranged into a system. The words can only be used as figures of speech.”
The Diamond Sutra

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Half of mathematics is the art of saving space.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Completely different impressions of someone can each be created by a selection of facts, or even a single fact, from the very same collection of facts about them.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“We can know, not what a thing is, but what its name is.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Poetry is the art of hiding the inadequacy of language.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“How the seen looks depends on how the seer sees.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Sometimes a fool says something wise without the intention to do that, and the awareness of having done that.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Only in the mind is the mouth separate from the anus.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Dmitry Dyatlov
“So... I've been thinking about starting a wedding planning Business... You know, like an arranged marriage sort of thing. So... who wants to be in the presence of True Love??”
Dmitry Dyatlov

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