Vocabulary Quotes

Quotes tagged as "vocabulary" Showing 1-30 of 132
Milan Kundera
“The Greek word for "return" is nostos. Algos means "suffering." So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return.”
Milan Kundera, Ignorance

Pete Wentz
“We’re sick of hearing people say, “That band is so gay,” or “Those guys are fags.” Gay is not a synonym for shitty. If you wanna say something’s shitty, say it’s shitty. Stop being such homophobic assholes.”
Pete Wentz

Alan Bradley
“Anyone who knew the word slattern was worth cultivating as a friend.”
Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Henry Hazlitt
“A man with a scant vocabulary will almost certainly be a weak thinker. The richer and more copious one's vocabulary and the greater one's awareness of fine distinctions and subtle nuances of meaning, the more fertile and precise is likely to be one's thinking. Knowledge of things and knowledge of the words for them grow together. If you do not know the words, you can hardly know the thing.”
Henry Hazlitt, Thinking as a Science

Baltasar Gracián
“A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one.”
Baltasar Gracián

Woody Allen
“I'd call him a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse.”
Woody Allen

Stephen King
“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you're maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
James D. Nicoll

Abigail Adams
“We have too many high sounding words and too few actions that correspond with them.”
Abigail Adams

Alexander Theroux
“Will I have to use a dictionary to read your book?" asked Mrs. Dodypol. "It depends," says I, "how much you used the dictionary before you read it.”
Alexander Theroux, Darconville’s Cat

Mark Twain
“Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”
Mark Twain

A.S. Byatt
“Vocabularies are crossing circles and loops. We are defined by the lines we choose to cross or to be confined by.”
A.S. Byatt

Sheri S. Tepper
“As vocabulary is reduced , so are the number of feelings you can express, the number of events you can describe, the number of the things you can identify! Not only understanding is limited, but also experience. Man grows by language. Whenever he limits language he retrogresses!”
Sheri S. Tepper, A Plague of Angels

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“The limits of my language are the limits of my universe.”

“Few activities are as delightful as learning new vocabulary.”
Tim Gunn, Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style

John Dewey
“Every one has experienced how learning an appropriate name for what was dim and vague cleared up and crystallized the whole matter. Some meaning seems distinct almost within reach, but is elusive; it refuses to condense into definite form; the attaching of a word somehow (just how, it is almost impossible to say) puts limits around the meaning, draws it out from the void, makes it stand out as an entity on its own account.”
John Dewey, How We Think

Stephen Chbosky
“So what's the point of using words nobody else knows or can say comfortably? I just don't understand that.”
Stephen Chbosky

Alberto Manguel
“We are losing our common vocabulary, built over thousands of years to help and delight and instruct us, for the sake of what we take to be the new technology's virtues. ”
Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night

Sally Gardner
“I collect words--they are sweets in the mouth of sound.”
Sally Gardner, Maggot Moon

Terry Pratchett
"You can get there!"
"I can get there!"
"You're a natural at counting to two!"
"I'm a nat'ral at counting to two!"
"If you can count to two, you can count to anything!"
"If I can count to two, I can count to anything!"
"And then the world is your mollusc!"
"My mollusc! What's a mollusc?”
Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms: The Play

Margaret Edson
“My only defense is the acquisition of vocabulary.”
Margaret Edson, Wit

Alexis  Hall
“There should really be a word for the feeling you get when you do a thing you don't particularly want to do to support somebody else but then realise they didn't actually need you and nobody would have noticed if you'd stayed home in your pyjamas eating Nutella straight from the jar.”
Alexis Hall, Boyfriend Material

Jack Vance
“I understand the gist of your speculation,' said Rhialto. 'It is most likely nuncupatory.”
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous

Howard Tayler
“Spy' is such a short ugly word. I prefer 'espionage.' Those extra three syllables really say something.”
Howard Tayler, Emperor Pius Dei

Jaclyn Moriarty
“Emily said ... Well, I read that it's important to sleep. While you sleep, the hippopotamus in your brain replays things that happend during the day, e.g. what you studied. So therefore it remembers it for you.”
Jaclyn Moriarty, The Ghosts of Ashbury High

Chris Gardner
“There was a language specific to all things. The ability to learn another language in one arena, whether it was music, medicine, or finance, could be used to accelerate learning and other arenas, too.”
Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness

Charles Harrington Elster
“To enjoy and learn from what you read you must understand the meanings of the words a writer uses. You do yourself a grave disservice if you read around words you don’t know, or worse, merely guess at what they mean without bothering to look them up.

For me, reading has always been not only a quest for pleasure and enlightenment but also a word-hunting expedition, a lexical safari.”
Charles Harrington Elster

Roy Peter Clark
“All of us possess a reading vocabulary as big as a lake but draw from a writing vocabulary as small as a pond. The good news is that the acts of searching and gathering always expand the number of usable words.”
Roy Peter Clark, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer

José Saramago
“Human vocabulary is still not capable, and probably never will be, of knowing, recognizing, and communicating everything that can be humanly experienced and felt.”
José Saramago

T. Geronimo Johnson
“The powerful intellect leashed by an impoverished vocabulary is a myth. Without a vocabulary, a language, the intellect cannot develop.”
T. Geronimo Johnson, Welcome to Braggsville

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