Archive

Quotes

My language is the common prostitute that I turn into a virgin.

—Karl Kraus, c. 1910

Anyone who doesn’t know foreign languages knows nothing of his own.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1821

The more the pleasures of the body fade away, the greater to me is the pleasure and charm of conversation.

—Plato, c. 375 BC

Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.

—Jane Austen, 1818

What a glut of books! Who can read them? As already, we shall have a vast chaos and confusion of books; we are oppressed with them, our eyes ache with reading, our fingers with turning.

—Robert Burton, 1621

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

A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.

—Arthur Miller, 1961

Language is the house of being. In its home human beings dwell. Those who think and those who create with words are the guardians of this home.

—Martin Heidegger, 1949

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

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1921

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

—Carl Sandburg, 1959

Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.

—George Orwell, 1944

Unexemplary words and unfounded doctrines are avoided by the noble person. Why utter them?

—Dong Zhongshu, c. 120 BC