Conduct is more convincing than language.
For the purposes of this page, we're also including quotations on
we will have to stop overevaluating the word. We shall learn to
that it is only one of the many bridges that connect the island of our
the great continent of common life. . . the broadest, perhaps, but in no
way the most refined.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand
them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp
their history, appreciate their poetry, or savor their
Long Walk to Freedom
Talking about one's feelings defeats the purpose
of having those feelings. Once you try to put the human experience
into words, it becomes little more than a spectator sport.
Everything must have a cause, and a name. Every random thought
must have a root in something else.
|Don't tell me anymore. You should have your
dream, as the old woman told you to. I understand how you
feel, but if you put those feelings into words they will
turn into lies.
after the quake
can destroy. What we call each other ultimately
becomes what we think of each other, and it matters.
Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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can't eat language
but it eases thirst.
you have spoken the
word, it reigns over you.
When it is unspoken,
you reign over it.
is lofty can be said in any language.
What is mean should be said in none.
are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have
power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds
of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.
The Name of the Wind
But if thought corrupts
language, language can also corrupt thought.
was getting a headache. He had such a congestion of
incoherent images in his mind--cherry trees and hymn sheets
and steam irons--that he had to keep stopping in order to work
out what exactly it was that Rich was talking about. He wished
the man would honor the true meaning of words,
instead of using them as ammunition.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
|The limits of my language mean the limits of my
you talk to a person in a language he or she understands,
that goes to his or her head. If you talk to someone
in one's language, that goes to one's heart.
is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if
I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of
my words. My language trembles with desire.
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Thinkers - the people behind the words
grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words
are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city
destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time
people will solemnly vote against their own interests.
she said, was just our way to explain away the wonder
and glory of the world. To deconstruct. To dismiss. She said
people can't deal with how beautiful the world really is. How it
can't be explained and understood.
does have the power to change reality. Therefore, treat your
words as the mighty instruments they are - to heal, to bring into
being, to remove, as if by magic, the terrible violations of
to nurture, to cherish, to bless, to forgive--to create from
the whole cloth of your soul, true love.
Daphne Rose Kingma
person with a scant vocabulary will almost certainly be a weak
The richer and more copious one's vocabulary and the greater one's
awareness of fine distinctions and subtle nuances of meaning, the
fertile and precise is likely to be one's thinking. Knowledge of
and knowledge of the words for them grow together. If you do
not know the words, you can hardly know the thing.
Thinking as a Science
Language exerts hidden power,
like the moon on the tides.
Rita Mae Brown
The power of words has gone to
people’s heads in more than one way.
To define has come to mean almost the same thing as to understand.
More important still, words have enabled people to define
label a certain part of one's experience “I.”
The Wisdom of Insecurity
Probably the most common use made of language is for the
purpose of imparting information, to inform someone of
something, to explain something. The teacher
instructs the class clearly, "Always print your name
in the upper right-hand corner of your
assignments." Ask teachers how many times
papers come back with names on the left-hand side, the
middle of the page or not written on the page at
all. How often have you asked for black coffee and
had the waiter immediately ask, "With cream and
sugar?" Having language, obviously, has nothing
to do with communication. Communication requires
dialogue. Most of us constantly find ourselves
engaging in monologues. The great philosopher Martin
Buber was very much concerned with human
monologue/dialogue. He writes of technical
dialogue, the type of communication in which we give
information, requiring no feeling. He then moves on
to monologue disguised as dialogue, in which one
individual speaks to the total indifference of the
other. He illustrates this with what he calls lover's
talk, in which both parties alike often enjoy their
own glorious souls and precious experience. . . .
Buber continues by defining true dialogue. He
sees it as one in which the speaker has the other person's
individuality and special needs in mind. He states
that in this type of communication "one sees in the
passing parade, not a crowd or a mass, but a collection of
individuals, each of whom, without exception, can be
seen as a person." Buber wants the major goal
of all true dialogue to be the welfare of the loved ones,
and the enhancement of their fulfillment, and continued
sustenance and unending respect for their potential.
It is another way of saying that, "I want what I say
to stimulate you, to bring you peace, to help you to grow
to your ultimate potential. I want what I say to
bring us totally together. You have dignity and
therefore my interaction with you must offer you all that
you deserve, the total me at the
moment." Wouldn't it be wonderful to have such
communication with those we love? How splendid,
rewarding, and nourishing it would be.
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|To speak well supposes a habit
of attention which shows itself
in thought; by language we learn to think and,
above all, to develop thought.
Carl Victor de Bonstetten
aware of the words that go into your mind, both conscious and
unconscious, because words and ideas can be great tools for your
mind to use in coming to appropriate decisions. Remember that
a statement spoken in spiritual consciousness can contain great
spiritual power. Speaking powerful words of love changes
and outer circumstances as well as consciousness itself.
Worldwide Laws of Life
in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment
which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words.
Their meaning can only be articulated by the inaudible language of
Luther King, Jr.
Words on Words
success The Saturday Review may have had was
directly connected to its respect for the place of
ideas and the arts in the life of the mind.
This emphasis takes on special significance in the
light of the sleaziness that has infected the
national culture in recent years. There seems
to be a fierce competition, especially in
entertainment and publishing, to find ever-lower
rungs on the ladder of taste. . . .
is the curious notion that freedom is somehow
synonymous with gutter jargon. At one time
people who worked in the arts would boast to one
another about their ability to communicate ideas
that attacked social injustice and brutality.
Now some of them seem to feel that they have struck
a blow for humanity if only they can use enough
debasement of language not only reflects but
produces a retreat from civility. The
slightest disagreement has become an occasion for
violent reactions. Television has educated an
entire generation of Americans to believe that the
normal way of reacting to a slight is by punching
someone in the face.
* * * *
Cousins was a long-time editor of The Saturday
Review. These words probably were written in
lead to deeds. . . . They prepare the soul, make it ready,
and move it to tenderness.
No Heroics, Please
The words we
choose can build communities, reunite loved ones, and
inspire others. They can be a catalyst for change.
However, our words
also have the power to destroy and divide: they can start a
a lifelong relationship to a collection of memories, or end a life.
Simon S. Tam
There’s often a
distressing disconnect between the good words we speak
and the way we live our lives. In personal relations and politics,
media, the academy and organized religion, our good words tend to
away even as they leave our lips, ascending to an altitude where
reflect nor connect with the human condition.
We long for words like love, truth, and justice
to become flesh and dwell
among us. But in our violent world, it’s risky business to wrap
our frail flesh
around words like those, and we don’t like the odds.
Parker J. Palmer