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Quotes

Language is the archives of history.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height.

—E.M. Forster, 1910

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

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

—Molière, 1672

History does not merely touch on language, but takes place in it.

—Theodor Adorno, c. 1946

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

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1821

I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigrees of nations.

—Samuel Johnson, 1773

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

—George Orwell, 1944

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

The chief merit of language is clearness, and we know that nothing detracts so much from this as do unfamiliar terms.

—Galen, c. 175

Speak and speed; the close mouth catches no flies.

—Benjamin Franklin, c. 1732

Words pay no debts.

—William Shakespeare, 1601

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