Word Choice Quotes

Quotes tagged as "word-choice" Showing 1-30 of 45
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

Tom Robbins
“Well,' said Can o' Beans, a bit hesitantly,' imprecise speech is one of the major causes of mental illness in human beings.'

Huh?'

Quite so. The inability to correctly perceive reality is often responsible for humans' insane behavior. And every time they substitute an all-purpose, sloppy slang word for the words that would accurately describe an emotion or a situation, it lowers their reality orientations, pushes them farther from shore, out onto the foggy waters of alienation and confusion.'

The manner in which the other were regarding him/her made Can O' Beans feel compelled to continue. 'The word neat, for example, has precise connotations. Neat means tidy, orderly, well-groomed. It's a valuable tool for describing the appearance of a room, a hairdo, or a manuscript. When it's generically and inappropriately applied, though, as it is in the slang aspect, it only obscures the true nature of the thing or feeling that it's supposed to be representing. It's turned into a sponge word. You can wring meanings out of it by the bucketful--and never know which one is right. When a person says a movie is 'neat,' does he mean that it's funny or tragic or thrilling or romantic, does he mean that the cinematography is beautiful, the acting heartfelt, the script intelligent, the direction deft, or the leading lady has cleavage to die for? Slang possesses an economy, an immediacy that's attractive, all right, but it devalues experience by standardizing and fuzzing it. It hangs between humanity and the real world like a . . . a veil. Slang just makes people more stupid, that's all, and stupidity eventually makes them crazy. I'd hate to ever see that kind of craziness rub off onto objects.”
Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All

Sophocles
“To speak much is one thing; to speak to the point another!”
Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus

Amy Neftzger
“Words and magic are two powerful forces that can change the world.”
Amy Neftzger, The War of Words

Harold Bloom
“One breaks into the canon only by aesthetic strength.”
Harold Bloom, The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

Harold Bloom
“Emily Dickinson sublimely unnames even the blanks.”
Harold Bloom, The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

“Language itself is so value-laden as to render value-neutrality almost impossible. Growing up in England I was introduced to the American Revolution by a 'footnote' to colonial history about the 'revolt' of the American colonies. Word choice and the organization of material gave the game away.”
Arthur F. Holmes, The Idea of a Christian College

Alexis de Tocqueville
“Human understanding more easily invents new things than new words.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Philip Zaleski
“Words are catch-basins of experience, fingerprints and footprints of the past that the literary detective may scrutinize in order to sleuth out the history of human consciousness.”
Philip Zaleski, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams

Harold Bloom
“Samuel Johnson said Alexander Pope's translation of the Iliad, "tuned the English tongue.”
Harold Bloom, The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

Rebecca Solnit
“You can use the power of words to bury meaning or to excavate it.”
Rebecca Solnit, Men Explain Things to Me

Rick Perlstein
“One does not hold a conversation with him. One holds a symposium. – Elizabeth Drew”
Rick Perlstein, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

Philip Zaleski
“The authors disclose that in less than a century the word "tension" grew from signifying a literal electric charge to a metaphor for emotional stress between two people. Writes Owen Barfield, "The scientists who discovered the forces of electricity actually made it possible for the human beings who came after them to have a slightly different idea, a slightly fuller consciousness of their relationship with one another.”
Philip Zaleski, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams

Philip Zaleski
“In the infancy of society every author is necessarily a poet, because language itself is poetry. – Owen Barfield”
Philip Zaleski, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams

Philip Zaleski
“Language construction will BREED a mythology. J.R.R. Tolkien”
Philip Zaleski, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams

Harold Holzer
“Only a writer "with Bennett's craft and brass could manage to praise and insult his readers at the same time.”
Harold Holzer, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

Harold Holzer
“The letter is too belligerent. If I were you, I would state the facts as they were, without the pepper and salt. Abraham Lincoln”
Harold Holzer, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

Barbara W. Tuchman
“His only weakness was the habit of prophesying war within the next fortnight. George Bernard Shaw”
Barbara W. Tuchman, The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914

“John F. Kennedy responded, as he often did when at his best, skillfully mixing dollops of wit with, self-deprecation, and the principle of not-really-going-near-the-question.”
David Pietrusza, 1960--LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies

Jen Pollock Michel
“Desire, if it is to be trusted, is to be inspired by a holy vocabulary.”
Jen Pollock Michel, Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition & the Life of Faith

Olga Tokarczuk
“I had my Theory about interjections of this kind: ever single Person has their own expression which he or she overuses. Or uses incorrectly. These words or phrases are the key to their intellect. Mr. "Apparently," Mr. "Generally," Mrs. "Probably," Mr. "Fucking," Mrs. "Don't You Think?," Mr. "As If,". The President was Mr. "In Truth." Of course there are entire fashions for some words, just like the ones that for some crazy reason suddenly make everyone going about in identical shoes or clothes - people just as suddenly start using one particular word or phrase. Recently the word, "generally" was fashionable, but now "actually" is out in front.”
Olga Tokarczuk, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Harold Holzer
“Lincoln bought a German language newspaper.”
Harold Holzer, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

Harold Holzer
“I have not done enough for effect." Horace Greeley”
Harold Holzer, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

Harold Holzer
“Greeley knew no language but his, but of that, he possessed a most extraordinary mastery. An employee”
Harold Holzer, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

Harold Holzer
“At times, said the founder of the Chicago Tribune, Lincoln seemed to reach into the clouds and take out the thunderbolts.”
Harold Holzer, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

Harold Holzer
“Lincoln on a desire to hear Horace Greeley speak: "In print, every one of his words seems to weigh about a ton.”
Harold Holzer, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

Barbara W. Tuchman
“House Speaker Thomas Reed could destroy an argument or expose a fallacy in fewer words than anyone else. His language was vivid and picturesque. He had a way of phrasing things which was peculiarly apt and peculiarly his own.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914

Greg Cootsona
“CS Lewis's humor supported his exposition but never dominated or diminished it.”
Greg Cootsona

Lisa Kemmerer
“People also tend to refer to nonhuman animals as “it” or sometimes “he,” regardless of the individual’s sex. This one-sex-fits-all approach objectifies and denies individuality. In fact, nonhuman animals who are exploited for food industries are usually females. Such unfortunate nonhumans are not only exploited for their flesh, but also for their nursing milk, reproductive eggs, and ability to produce young. When guessing the gender of a nonhuman animal forced through slaughterhouse gates, we would greatly increase odds of being correct if we referred to such unfortunate individuals as 'she'.”
Lisa Kemmerer, Sister Species: Women, Animals and Social Justice

Tamara Lechner
“Tthe words we choose create the life we live. When you say that sad, angry, disappointed or frustrated are “fine”, eventually your physiology will be tricked into believing it’s true.”
Tamara Lechner, The Happiness Reset: What to do When Nothing Makes You Happy

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