Language Quotes

The language of priorities is the religion of socialism.

Aneurin Bevan

Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.

Robert Charles Benchley

The English language may hold a more disagreeable combination of words than "The doctor will see you now." I am willing to concede something to the phrase "Have you anything to say before the current is turned on?" That may be worse for the moment, but it doesn't last so long. For continued, unmitigating depression, I know nothing to equal "The doctor will see you now." But I'm not narrow-minded about it. I'm willing to consider other possibilities.

Robert Charles Benchley

I learned to understand their language and to speak it a little. Immediately the news spread throughout the kingdom that two little wild men had been discovered. We were smaller than everybody else because the wilderness had provided us with such bad food. And it was a genetic defect that caused us to have forelimbs that weren't strong enough to support us. This belief gained strength through repetition despite the priests of the country. They opposed it, saying that it was an awful impiety to believe that not only animals but monsters might be of the same species as they.

Cyrano Hercule Savinien de Bergerac

Flowers are Love's truest language.

Park Benjamin, Sr.

You had to form for yourself a lucid language for the world, to overcome the battering of experience, to replace everyday lifes pain and harshness and wretched dreariness with no not with certainty but with an ignorance you could live with. Deep ignorance, but still a kind that knew its limits. The limits were crucial.

Gregory Benford

"Equestrian," by the by, is the gayest word in the English language. In fact, I thought Brokeback Mountain should have been called "Two Equestrians."

Lewis Niles Black

We are alive within mystery, by miracle. "Life," wrote Erwin Chargaff, "is the continual intervention of the inexplicable." We have more than we can know. We know more than we can say. The constructions of language (which is to say the constructions of thought) are formed within experience, not the other way around. Finally we live beyond words, as also we live beyond computation and beyond theory. There is no reason whatever to assume that the languages of science are less limited than other languages.

Wendell Berry

We know enough of our own history by now to be aware that people exploit what they have merely concluded to be of value, but they defend what they love. To defend what we love we need a particularizing language, for we love what we particularly know.

Wendell Berry

I could teach you how to speak my language, Rosetta Stone.


The old view was that delicacy of language was part of the nature, the sacred nature, of eros and that to speak about it in any other way would be to misunderstand it. What has disappeared is the risk and the hope of human connectedness embedded in eros. Ours is a language that reduces the longing for an other to the need for individual, private satisfaction and safety.

Allan David Bloom

As it stands, philosophy is just another humanities subject, rather contentless, without a thought of trying to take command in the crisis of the university. Actually it contains less of the exhilarating presence of the tradition in philosophy than do the other humanities disciplines, and one finds its professors least active of the humanists in attempts to revitalize liberal education. Although there was a certain modesty about ordinary language analysis We just help to give you clarity about what you are already doingthere was also smugness: We know what was wrong with the whole tradition, and we dont need it anymore. Therefore the tradition disappeared from philosophys confines. ... [Todays jargon] was produced by philosophy and was in Europe known to have been produced by philosophy, so that it paved a road to philosophy. In America its antecedents remain unknown. We took over the results without having had any of the intellectual experiences leading to them. But the ignorance of the origins and the fact that American philosophy departments do not lay claim to them are in fact just as ignorant of them as is the general publicmeans that the philosophic content of our language and lives does not direct us to philosophy. This is a real difference between the Continent and us. Here the philosophic language is nothing but jargon.

Allan David Bloom

Positivism and ordinary language analysis repel students who come with the humanizing questions. Professors of these schools simply would not and could not talk about anything important, and they themselves do not represent a philosophic life for the students.

Allan David Bloom

Our language is the product of extraordinary thought and philosophical greatness. There is a lifetime and more of study here, which would turn our impoverishing certitudes into humanizing doubts.

Allan David Bloom

Physics is to be regarded not so much as the study of something a priori given, but rather as the development of methods of ordering and surveying human experience. In this respect our task must be to account for such experience in a manner independent of individual subjective judgement and therefor objective in the sense that it can be unambiguously communicated in ordinary human language.

Niels Henrik David Bohr

We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.

Niels Henrik David Bohr

Proceeding from the simple fact that I think, I tried to find out how a musical language could be built from scratch.

Pierre Boulez

The idea of an Afrikaner people as a cultural entity and religious group with a special language will be retained in South Africa as long as civilisation stands.

Pieter Willem Botha

Because you could not translate the word apartheid into the more universal language of English, the wrong connotation was given to it.

Pieter Willem Botha

To be universal you've got to stain the consciousness of the people. You've got to dig out a truth that everybody knows, but they don't want to hear, then tell it in a manner that's so articulate and so aesthetically indignant, so beautiful, that they've got to accept it back in their lives again. That's what I want to do. Touch something universal in your own language.

James Dean Bradfield

Two keen eyes had watched every move of the party from the foliage of a nearby tree. Tarzan had seen the surprise caused by his notice, and while he could understand nothing of the spoken language of these strange people their gestures and facial expressions told him much.

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Job Control Language is the worst programming language ever designed anywhere by anybody for any purpose.

Frederick Phillips Brooks, Jr.

Language performs an essentially social function; it helps us to get along together, to communicate and achieve a great measure of concerted action. Words are signs which have significance by convention, and those people who do not adopt the conventions simply fail to communicate. They do not "get along" and a social force arises which encourages them to achieve the correct associations.

Colin Cherry

All instincts immature, All purposes unsure, That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the man's amount: Thoughts hardly to be packed Into a narrow act, Fancies that broke through language and escaped; All I could never be, All, men ignored in me, This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped.

Robert Browning
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