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Quotes

I have often repented speaking, but never of holding my tongue.

—Xenocrates, c. 350 BC

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.

—Virginia Woolf, 1899

Words pay no debts.

—William Shakespeare, 1601

Language is the armory of the human mind and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests. 

—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1817

Language is a part of our organism and no less complicated than it.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1915

Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.

—Jane Austen, 1818

I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the papers.

—Albert Camus, 1957

Information can tell us everything. It has all the answers. But they are answers to questions we have not asked, and which doubtless don’t even arise.

—Jean Baudrillard, c. 1987

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

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

—Samuel Johnson, 1773

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

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1921

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

—Thomas Hardy, 1874