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Quotes

Under all speech that is good for anything, there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as eternity; speech is shallow as time.

—Thomas Carlyle, 1838

The gift of a common tongue is a priceless inheritance and it may well some day become the foundation of a common citizenship.

—Winston Churchill, 1943

Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test.

—Samuel Johnson, 1780

When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.

—Ursula K. Le Guin, 1969

I live by good soup, and not on fine language.

—Molière, 1672

I rather think the cinema will die. Look at the energy being exerted to revive it—yesterday it was color, today three dimensions. I don’t give it forty years more. Witness the decline of conversation. Only the Irish have remained incomparable conversationalists, maybe because technical progress has passed them by.

—Orson Welles, 1953

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

—Carl Sandburg, 1959

Man is the one name belonging to every nation upon earth: there is one soul and many tongues, one spirit and various sounds; every country has its own speech, but the subjects of speech are common to all.

—Tertullian, c. 217

God never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he might make the message clear for them.

—The Qur’an, c. 620

Making a film means, first of all, to tell a story. That story can be an improbable one, but it should never be banal. It must be dramatic and human. What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out?

—Alfred Hitchcock, 1962

The only authors whom I acknowledge as American are the journalists. They indeed are not great writers, but they speak the language of their countrymen, and make themselves heard by them. 

—Alexis de Tocqueville, 1840

No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.

—Bertrand Russell, 1961

It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.

—Thomas Hardy, 1874