Language Quotes

Quotations
Quote of the Day
What language are you talking in now? It appears to be Bollocks.
Richard Wilson

[on understanding] The definition is this: to understand something is to know what it means, to know what its significance is. To understand a sentence is to know what it means, to understand a language is to know what its words and sentences mean, to understand a phenomenon more generally is to know its significance.
Tim Crane

Two nations divided by a common language.
Winston Churchill

Viewed freely, the English language is the accretion and growth of every dialect, race, and range of time, and is both the free and compacted composition of all.
Walt Whitman

Accuracy of language is one of the bulwarks of truth
Anna Brownell Jameson

Poetry should help, not only to refine the language of the time, but to prevent it from changing too rapidly.
T S Eliot

Where nature's end of language is declined,
And men talk only to conceal the mind
Edward Young

Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute.
J G Ballard

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
Nelson Mandela

If the word 'No' was removed from the English language, Ian Paisley would be speechless.
John Hume

If you say, I love you, then you have already fallen in love with language, which is already a form of break up and infidelity.
Jean Baudrillard

Real programmers can write assembly code in any language.
Larry Wall

On contract clauses: 'There's all this language where you can't jump out of a plane or ride motorcycles. You have to go home and just sit there.'
Ben Affleck

To invoke a Kierkegaardesque figure of speech, the beauty of the language of the Bible can be like a set of dentist's instruments nearly laid out on a table and hanging on a wall, intriguing in their technological complexity and with their stainless steel highly polished--until they set to work on the job for which they were originally designed. Then all of a sudden my reaction changes from 'How shiny and beautiful they all are!' to 'Get that damned thing out of my mouth!'
Jaroslav Pelikan

I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain.
Lily Tomlin

When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language
James Earl Jones

Language has not the power to speak what love indites: The soul lies buried in the ink that writes
John Clare

Political chaos is connected with the decay of language... one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.
George Orwell

FEAR is an acronym in the English language for 'False Evidence Appearing Real'
Neale Walsch

Life is a foreign language: all men mispronounce it (Thunder on the Left)
Christopher Morley

Speaks cheerful English and in the past has written this language with a paintbrush that talks.
Jimmy Breslin

Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man.
Martin Heidegger

Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear.
Ezra Pound

I don't mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don't understand.
Edward Appleton

Language... has created the word 'loneliness' to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word 'solitude' to express the glory of being alone.
Paul Tillich

A vain, idle and sinful game at which there was much of the language of the accursed going on [on tennis]
James Hogg

Even if people are suspicious of the motives I think that learning and speaking two languages can only be a good thing for people.
Stephen Harper

Semantics, or the study of meaning, remained undeveloped, while phonetics made rapid progress and even came to occupy the central place in the scientific study of language.
Roman Jakobson

On his own history with mathematics, and connection with John Nash: 'I had a bit of a hiccup in the third year of high school. The school I was at hired a non-English speaking Hungarian who was a professional of some great standing in Eastern Europe. But he hadn't learned the English language yet. He probably is a great asset to the teaching staff now, but we were his first class. That was when mathematics and I parted ways.

'There's a lot of mathematics in music. It's all in groups of eight, mate, y'know. The one thing that I may have in common with John is that the subject matter I do know, the driving part of my life, my work life, there's a point where structure and scaffolding is left behind and intuition takes over. That's the difference between John and the next 100 mathematicians. He's fully prepared to leave the scaffolding behind and get into the ether of the equation and find the answer quicker. The bane of his existence, however, is finding the proof.'
Russell Crowe

The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words
Hippocrates

Every legend, moreover, contains its residuum of truth, and the root function of language is to control the universe by describing it.
James Baldwin

I wonder what language truck drivers are using,
now that everyone is using theirs?
Beryl Pfizer

The English language has a deceptive air of simplicity; so have some little frocks; but they are both not the kind of thing you can run up in half an hour with a machine.
Dorothy L Sayers

To have another language is to possess a second soul.
Charlemagne

Comedy is something that we can all share, no matter what language we speak or our background, it has the power to unite us all.
Paul Goodman

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
George Orwell

No language is rude that can boast polite writers.
Aubrey Beardsley

I came up with new leads for game stories by being observant and clever, by using the many gifts of the English language to intrigue and hook a reader.
Dick Schaap

We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language
Oscar Wilde

Our thirty year old belief that there is only one kind of computer is the basis for our belief that there is only one kind of programming language.
John Backus

I do not mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I do not understand.
Sir Edward Appleton

Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.
Carl Sandburg

A language is a more ancient and inevitable thing than any state.
Joseph Brodsky

French is the language that turns dirt into romance.
Stephen King

The language and concepts contained herein are guaranteed not to cause eternal torment in the place where the guy with the horns and pointed stick conducts his business
Frank Zappa

When one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language.
John Donne

The lapse of ages changes all things - time, language, the earth, the bounds of the sea, the stars of the sky, and every thing 'about, around, and underneath' man, except man himself.
Lord Byron

Your purpose is to make your audience see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Relevant detail, couched in concrete, colorful language, is the best way to recreate the incident as it happened and to picture it for the audience.
Dale Carnegie

If the whole of the english language could be condensed into one word, it would not suffice to express the utter contempt those invite who are so deluded as to be disciples of such an imposture as Darwinism.
Francis Morris

'Two peoples separated by a common language' - About the Americans and English
George Bernard Shaw



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