Quotes about Language

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These are quotes tagged with "language".

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Language is political. That's why you and me, my Brother and Sister, that's why we supposed to choke our natural self into the weird, lying, barbarous, unreal, white speech and writing habits that the schools lay down like holy law. Because, in other words, the powerful don't play; they mean to keep that power, and those who are the powerless (you and me) better shape up --mimic/ape/suck --in the very image of the powerful, or the powerful will destroy you --you and our children.

I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigrees of nations.
Language is the pedigree of nations.
Language most shows a man, speak that I may see thee.
If the Romans had been obliged to learn Latin they would never have found time to conquer the world.
Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man.
Those who know nothing of foreign languages, knows nothing of their own.
The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words.
Might, could, would --they are contemptible auxiliaries.
The common faults of American language are an ambition of effect, a want of simplicity, and a turgid abuse of terms.
I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse.
The downtrodden, who are the great creators of slang.
One can say of language that it is potentially the only human home, the only dwelling place that cannot be hostile to man.
I do not mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is an language I do not understand.
Methinks the human method of expression by sound of tongue is very elementary, and ought to be substituted for some ingenious invention which should be able to give vent to at least six coherent sentences at once.
Language is a part of our organism and no less complicated than it.
Poetry is the language of feeling.
As advertising blather becomes the nation's normal idiom, language becomes printed noise.
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.
Numbers constitute the only universal language.
The living language is like a cowpath: it is the creation of the cows themselves, who, having created it, follow it or depart from it according to their whims or their needs. From daily use, the path undergoes change. A cow is under no obligation to stay
A mind enclosed in language is in prison.
The universal principle of etymology in all languages: words are carried over from bodies and from the properties of bodies to express the things of the mind and spirit. The order of ideas must follow the order of things.
How many languages are there in the world? How about 5 billion! Each of us talks, listens, and thinks in his/her own special language that has been shaped by our culture, experiences, profession, personality, mores and attitudes. The chances of us meeting someone else who talks the exact same language is pretty remote.
There is no such thing as the Queen's English. The property has gone into the hands of a joint stock company and we own the bulk of the shares!
Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.
Language is the amber in which a thousand precious and subtle thoughts have been safely embedded and preserved. It has arrested ten thousand lightning flashes of genius, which, unless thus fixed and arrested, might have been as bright, but would have also been as quickly passing and perishing, as the lightning.
The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express.
We are armed with language adequate to describe each leaf of the filed, but not to describe human character.
Language can only deal meaningfully with a special, restricted segment of reality. The rest, and it is presumably the much larger part, is silence.
If the announcer can produce the impression that he is a gentlemen, he may pronounce as he pleases.
The word of man is the most durable of all material.
A linguistic system is a series of differences of sound combined with a series of differences of ideas.
Language furnishes the best proof that a law accepted by a community is a thing that is tolerated and not a rule to which all freely consent.
If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you've got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you're dumb and blind.
My God! The English language is a form of communication! Conversation isn't just crossfire where you shoot and get shot at! Where you've got to duck for your life and aim to kill! Words aren't only bombs and bullets -- no, they're little gifts, containing meanings!
When a language creates -- as it does -- a community within the present, it does so only by courtesy of a community between the present and the past.
We might hypothetically possess ourselves of every technological resource on the North American continent, but as long as our language is inadequate, our vision remains formless, our thinking and feeling are still running in the old cycles, our process may be revolutionary but not transformative.
You can't write about people out of textbooks, and you can't use jargon. You have to speak clearly and simply and purely in a language that a six-year-old child can understand; and yet have the meanings and the overtones of language, and the implications, that appeal to the highest intelligence.
Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.

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