Language Quotes

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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

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

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

Language is a form of human reason, which has its internal logic of which man knows nothing.
Claude Levi-Strauss

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

Two million dollars gate at one fight! That's some cabbage in any man's language.
Wilfrid Diamond

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

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

Language is the dress of thought.
Samuel Johnson

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

But here's old Ken - he's been crass, he's been insensitive and thuggish and brutal in his language - but I don't think actually if you read what he said, although it was extraordinary and rude, I don't think he was actually anti-Semitic.
Boris Johnson

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

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

Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms
Penelope Lively

Two nations divided by a common language.
Winston Churchill

Dreams say what they mean, but they don't say it in daytime language
Gail Godwin

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

In language, the ignorant have prescribed laws to the learned. (Maxims, 1830)
Richard Duppa

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

The quality of our thoughts is bordered on all sides by our facility with language.
J Michael Straczynski

Great art speaks a language which every intelligent person can understand. The people who call themselves modernists today speak a different language.
Marshall McLuhan

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

Language is a wonderful thing. It can be used to express thoughts, to conceal thoughts, but more often, to replace thinking.
Kelly Fordyce

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

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

What language are you talking in now? It appears to be Bollocks.
Richard Wilson

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

On Sylvester Stallone: 'You have this preconceived notion of him as a big, tough guy, but he speaks four languages and he likes to watercolor.'
Rachael Leigh Cook

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.
Martin Buber

Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It 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

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

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

Money speaks sense in a language all nations understand.
Aphra Behn

He attempts to use language which he does not know
Persius

Works of imagination should be written in very plain language; the more purely imaginative they are the more necessary it is to be plain.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

My first language was shy. It's only by having been thrust into the limelight that I have learned to cope with my shyness.
Al Pacino

Language is not only the vehicle of thought, it is a great and efficient instrument in thinking.
Humphrey Davy

Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language.
Henry James

Nothing knits man to man, the Manchester School wisely taught, like the frequent passage from hand to hand of cash (The Language of Art)
Walter Sickert

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

No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut.
Sam Rayburn

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

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

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

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

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

A mind enclosed in language is in prison.
Simone Weil

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

I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity. Vulgarity is the ugliest word in our language. I stay in the game to fight it.
Coco Chanel

Snogging is the universal language of the world
Mark Feehily



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