Usage Quotes

Quotes tagged as "usage" Showing 1-12 of 12
Lewis Carroll
“Then you should say what you mean," the March Hare went on.

"I do," Alice hastily replied; "at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know."

"Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hatter. "You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!”
Lewis Carroll

Anne Fadiman
“I come from the sort of family in which, at the age of ten, I was told I must always say hoi polloi, never "the hoi polloi," because hoi meant "the," and two "the's" were redundant -- indeed something only hoi polloi would say.”
Anne Fadiman, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

“To this day, good English usually means the English wealthy and powerful people spoke a generation or two ago.”
Jack Lynch, The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of "Proper" English, from Shakespeare to South Park

Aristotle
“If, however, the poetic end might have been as well or better attained without sacrifice of technical correctness in such matters, the impossibility is not to be justified, since the description should be, if it can, entirely free from error.”
Aristotle, The Rhetoric & The Poetics of Aristotle

“Write like you speak with the 'rhythms of human speech,' as William Zinsser said, and in as few words as possible. Use action verbs to carry water.”
Sandra E. Lamb

Will Advise
“Being skilled in Catsism is like being a ninja only deadlier and not so silent. The only bad thing is the sickening grammar you have to use.”
Will Advise, Nothing is here...

Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma
“One sock can't house two feet. If it does, it’s of no use.”
Vikrmn, You By You

Jacqueline Patricks
“I've met people I didn't like. I've met people who've used words in ways I didn't like. I've never met a word I didn't like.”
Jacqueline Patricks

Ammon Shea
“Among people who might be described as having at least a passing regard for the English language, there are few instances of usage that evoke a desire to mutilate more than the perceived misuse of literally.”
Ammon Shea, Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation

Ammon Shea
“No one is yet using figuratively to mean literally; the confusion, such as it is, is all in one direction.”
Ammon Shea, Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation

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

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
“FIGARO Usage, Mr Clerk, is often another name for abusage. Every client with a rudimentary education always has a better grasp of his own case than some floundering lawyer who loves the sound of his own voice, knows everything except the facts, and is no more concerned about ruining his client than about boring the court and putting their worships to sleep. And afterwards he is as pleased with himself as if he’d personally written the oration Pro Murena, Cicero’s finest.”
Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, The Barber of Seville / The Marriage of Figaro / The Guilty Mother