Quotations about languages
: "So many languages you know, so many time you are a man" ( , ). , , :
The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951), Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922)
A different language is a different vision of life.
Federico Fellini (1920 - 1993)
Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.
Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967), New York Times Feb. 13, 1959
Words are the leaves of the tree of language, of which, if some fall away, a new succession takes their place.
Field Marshall John French
Grammar and logic free language from being at the mercy of the tone of voice. Grammar protects us against misunderstanding the sound of an uttered name; logic protects us against what we say have double meaning.
Works of imagination should be written in very plain language; the more purely imaginative they are the more necessary it is to be plain.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834)
Language is not an abstract construction of the learned, or of dictionary makers, but is something arising out of the work, needs, ties, joys, affections, tastes, of long generations of humanity, and has its bases broad and low, close to the ground.
There is a certain age at which a child looks at you in all earnestness and delivers a long, pleased speech in all the true inflections of spoken English, but with not one recognizable syllable. There is no way you can tell the child that if language had been a melody, he had mastered it and done well, but that since it was in fact a sense, he had botched it utterly.
Annie Dillard, _Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Poetry cannot be translated; and, therefore, it is the poets that preserve the languages; for we would not be at the trouble to learn a language if we could have all that is written in it just as well in a translation. But as the beauties of poetry cannot be preserved in any language except that in which it was originally written, we learn the language.
England and America are two countries separated by a common language.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain.
Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner
Use soft words and hard arguments.
Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)
Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.
William Penn (1644 - 1718)
Elegance of language may not be in the power of all of us; but simplicity and straight forwardness are. Write much as you would speak; speak as you think. If with your inferior, speak no coarser than usual; if with your superiors, no finer. Be what you say; and, within the rules of prudence, say what you are.