Dictionary Love Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Dictionary Love. Here they are! All 200 of them:

A DEFINITION NOT FOUND IN THE DICTIONARY Not leaving: an act of trust and love, often deciphered by children
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
livid, adj. Fuck You for cheating on me. Fuck you for reducing it to the word cheating. As if this were a card game, and you sneaked a look at my hand. Who came up with the term cheating, anyway? A cheater, I imagine. Someone who thought liar was too harsh. Someone who thought devastator was too emotional. The same person who thought, oops, he’d gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Fuck you. This isn’t about slipping yourself an extra twenty dollars of Monopoly money. These are our lives. You went and broke our lives. You are so much worse than a cheater. You killed something. And you killed it when its back was turned.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
misgivings, n. Last night, I got up the courage to ask you if you regretted us. "There are things I miss," you said. "But if I didn't have you, I'd miss more.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
It scares me how hard it is to remember life before you. I can't even make the comparisons anymore, because my memories of that time have all the depth of a photograph. It seems foolish to play games of better and worse. It's simply a matter of is and is no longer.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
abyss, n. There are times when I doubt everything. When I regret everything you've taken from me, everything I've given you, and the waste of all the time I've spent on us.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
love, n. I'm not even going to try.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
libidinous, adj. I never understood why anyone would have sex on the floor. Until I was with you and I realized: you don't ever realize you're on the floor.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
breathtaking, adj. Those mornings when we kiss and surrender for an hour before we say a single word.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
abstraction, n. Love is one kind of abstraction. And then there are those nights when I sleep alone, when I curl into a pillow that isn't you, when I hear the tiptoe sounds that aren't yours. It's not as if I can conjure you up completely. I must embrace the idea of you instead.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
The key to a successful relationship isn’t just in the words, it’s in the choice of punctuation. When you’re in love with someone, a well-placed question mark can be the difference between bliss and disaster, and a deeply respected period or a cleverly inserted ellipsis can prevent all kinds of exclamations.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything.
David Bowie
It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
Which is more stubborn, the love or the two arguing people caught within it?
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I want you to spend the night,” you said. And it was definitely your phrasing that ensured it. If you had said, “Let’s have sex,” or “Let’s go to my place,” or even “I really want you,” I’m not sure we would have gone quite as far as we did. But I loved the notion that the night was mine to spend, and I immediately decided to spend it with you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
There has to be a moment at the beginning where you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lovers’ face.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I am not the first person you loved. You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers. We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night. Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come. I think that has to be part of its miracle. This is how we heal. I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar of your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you. And I will not be afraid of your scars. I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know: whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the nights you collapse into my lap your body broken into a thousand questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I will love you when you are a still day. I will love you when you are a hurricane.
Clementine von Radics
He is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen and it's not about his face, but the life force I can see in him. It's the smile and the pure promise of everything he has to offer. Like he's saying, 'Here I am world, are you ready for so much passion and beauty and goodness and love and every other word that should be in the dictionary under the word life?' Except this boy is dead, and the unnaturalness of it makes me want to pull my hair out with Tate and Narnie and Fitz and Jude's grief all combined. It makes me want to yell at the God that I wish I didn't believe in. For hogging him all to himself. I want to say, 'You greedy God. Give him back. I needed him here.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
recant, v. I want to take back at least half of the “I love you”s, because I didn’t mean them as much as the other ones. I want to take back the book of artsy photos I gave you, because you didn’t get it and said it was hipster trash. I want to take back what I said about you being an emotional zombie. I want to take back the time I called you “honey” in front of your sister and you looked like I had just shown her pictures of us having sex. I want to take back the wineglass I broke when I was mad, because it was a nice wineglass and the argument would have ended anyway. I want to take back the time we had sex in a rent-a-car, not because I feel bad about the people who got in the car after us, but because it was massively uncomfortable. I want to take back the trust I had while you were away in Austin. I want to take back the time I said you were a genius, because I was being sarcastic and I should have just said you’d hurt my feelings. I want to take back the secrets I told you so I can decide now whether to tell them to you again. I want to take back the piece of me that lies in you, to see if I truly miss it. I want to take back at least half the “I love you”s, because it feels safer that way.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
And still, for all the jealously, all the doubt, sometimes I will be struck with a kind of awe that we're together. That someone like me could find someone like you --- it renders me wordless. Because surely words would conspire against such luck, would protest the unlikelihood of such a turn of events.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Here it is love that is the frame we see them in.
Frederick Buechner (Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter's Dictionary)
I want to know what it means to be in love. But in my dictionary 'in love' is indefinable.
Ellen Hopkins (Identical)
The more familiar two people become, the more the language they speak together departs from that of the ordinary, dictionary-defined discourse. Familiarity creates a new language, an in-house language of intimacy that carries reference to the story the two lovers are weaving together and that cannot be readily understood by others.
Alain de Botton (On Love)
I want to tell you exactly how I feel but there isn't a single goddamned word in the entire dictionary that can describe this point between liking you and loving you, but I need that word. I need it because I need you to hear me say it.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
lover, n. Oh, how I hated this word. So pretentious, like it was always being translated from the French. The tint and taint of illicit, illegitimate affections. Dictionary meaning: a person having a love affair. Impermanent. Unfamilial. Inextricably linked to sex. I have never wanted a lover. In order to have a lover, I must go back to the root of the word. For I have never wanted a lover, but I have always wanted lover, and to be loved. There is no word for the recipient of the love. There is only a word for the giver. There is the assumption that lovers come in pairs. When I say, Be my lover, I don't mean, Let's have an affair. I don't mean Sleep with me. I don't mean, Be my secret. I want us to go back to that root. I want you to be the one who loves me. I want to be the one who loves you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
For I have never wanted a lover, but I have always wanted to love, and to be loved.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
When I say, Be my lover, I don't mean, Let's have an affair. I don't mean, Sleep with me. I don't mean, Be my secret. I want us to go back down to that root. I want you to be the one who loves me. I want to be the one who loves you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
These kinds of fights can never be won - even if you're the victor, you've hurt the other person, and there has to be some loss associated with that.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
contiguous, adj. I felt silly for even mentioning it, but once I did, I knew I had to explain. "When I was a kid, "I had this puzzle with all fifty states on it--you know, the kind where you have to fit them all together. And one day I got it in my head that California and Nevada were in love. I told my mom, and she had no idea what I was talking about. I ran and got those two pieces and showed it to her--California and Nevada, completely in love. So a lot of the time when we're like this"--my ankles against the backs of your ankles, my knees fitting into the backs of your knees, my thighs on the backs of your legs, my stomach against your back, my chin folding into your neck--"I can't help but think about California and Nevada, and how we're a lot like them. If someone were drawing us from above as a map. that's what we'd look like; that's how we are." For a moment, you were quiet. And then you nestled in and whispered. "Contiguous." And I knew you understood.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I want to take back the secrets I told you so I can decide now whether to tell them to you again. I want to take back the piece of me that lies in you, to see if I truly miss it. I want to take back at least half the “I love you”s, because it feels safer that way.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
About time, what I really learned from studying English is: time is different with timing. I understand the difference of these two words so well. I understand falling in love with the right person in the wrong timing could be the greatest sadness in a person's entire life.
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
Love?' he asked himself, giving no sense of recognition for that word in the dictionary of his mind. It was the only battle he had lost in life, the only thing that had been snatched away from him, before he could even claim it.
Faraaz Kazi (Truly, Madly, Deeply)
ineffable, adj. these words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convoy. Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
elliptical, adj. The kiss I like the most is one of the slow ones. It’s as much breath as touch, as much no as yes. You lean in from the side, and I have to turn a little to make it happen.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
The way you argued with me, you would have thought that we were debating the existence of God or whether or not we should move in together. These kinds of fights can never be won – even if you’re the victor, you’ve hurt the other person, and there has to be some loss associated with that.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I want to take back at least half of the “I love you”s, because I didn’t mean them as much as the other ones.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
dumbfounded, adj. And still, for all the jealousy, all the doubt, sometimes I will be struck with a kind of awe that we're together. That someone like me could find someone like you - it renders me wordless. Because surely words would conspire against such luck, would protest the unlikelihood of such a turn of events. I didn't tell any of my friends about our first date. I waited until after our second, because I wanted to make sure it was real. I wouldn't believe it had happened until it had happened again. Then, later on, I would be overwhelmed by the evidence, by all the lines connecting you to me, and us to love.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
basis, n. There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you're in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. If the moment doesn't pass, that's it - you're done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it's even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover's face.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
tenet, n. At the end of the French movie, the lover sings, "Love me less, but love me for a long time.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
But there was something about you that made me think of sparks and motion.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I was asking about lust, wasnʼt I? I was fairly certain of it. But isnʼt love supposed to come before lust? It does in the dictionary.
Franny Billingsley (Chime)
...And I'm not ready to tell you I'm in love with you, because I'm not. Not yet. But whatever this I'm feeling - it's so much more than like...And for the past few weeks I've been trying to figure it out. I've been trying to figure out why there isn't some word to describe it. I want to tell you exactly how I feel but there isn't a single goddamned word in the entire dictionary that can describe this point between liking you and loving you, but I need that word..." "Living,"she finally whispers. "I live you, Sky...I live you so much.
Colleen Hoover (Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2))
There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
obstinate, adj. Sometimes it becomes a contest: Which is more stubborn, the love or the two arguing people caught within it?
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I will be the one to leave you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
awhile, adv. I love the vagueness of words that involve time. 'It took him awhile to come back' -- it could be a matter of minutes or hours, days or years. It is easy for me to say it took me awhile to know. That is about as accurate as I can get. There were sneak previews of knowing, for sure. Instance that made me feel, oh, this could be right, But the moment I shifted from a hope that needed to be proven to a certainty that would be continually challenged? There's no pinpointing that. Perhaps it never happened. Perhaps it happened while I was asleep. Most likely, there's no signal event. There's just the steady accumulation of 'awhile'.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
ardent, adj. It was after sex, when there was still heat and mostly breathing, when there was still touch and mostly thought... it was as if the whole world could be reduced to the sound of a single string being played, and the only thing this sound could make me think of was you. Sometimes desire is in the air; sometimes desire is liquid. And every now and then, when everything else is air and liquid, desire solidifies, and the body is the magnet that draws its weight.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Love me less, but love me for a long time
David Levithan
Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering. When they were ten he asked her to marry him. When they were eleven he kissed her for the first time... For her sixteenth birthday he gave her an English dictionary and together they learned the words.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Empty teacups gathered around her and dictionary pages fell at her feet.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
better, adj. and adv. Will it ever get better? It better. Will it ever get better? It better. Will it ever get better? It better.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
This house is about two dictionaries away from caving in,' she'd say, 'and you're buying duplicates?
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
In the throes of passion, I threw out an I love you. Did I mean it? Does a dictionary mean what it says?
Jarod Kintz (Love quotes for the ages. Specifically ages 18-81.)
yearning n. and adj. At te core of this desire is the belief that everything can be perfect.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
In China, we say: 'There are many dreams in a long night.' It has been a long night, but I don't know if I want to continue the dreams. It feels like I am walking on a little path, both sides are dark mountains and valleys. I am walking towards a little light in the distance. Walking, and walking, I am seeing that light diminishing. I am seeing myself walk towards the end of the love, the sad end. I love you more than I loved you before. I love you more than I should love you. But I must leave. I am losing myself. It is painful that I can't see myself. It is time for me to say those words you kept telling me recently. 'Yes, I agree with you. We can't be together.
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
composure, n. You told me anyway, even though I didn’t want to know. A stupid drunken fling while you were visiting Toby in Austin. Months ago. And the thing I hate the most is knowing how much hinges on my reaction, how your unburdening can only lead to me being burdened. If I lose it now, I will lose you, too. I know that. I hate it. You wait for my response.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
...and suddenly you started singing out your love for me. My name and everything, loud enough to reach the top floors of all the buildings. I should have told you to stop, but I didn’t want you to stop. I didn’t mind if your love for me woke people up. I didn’t mind if it somehow sneaked into their sleep.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
obstinate, adj. Sometimes it becomes a contest: Which is more stubborn, the love or the two arguing people caught within it?
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I want to tell you exactly how I feel but there isn’t a single goddamned word in the entire dictionary that can describe this point between liking you and loving you, but I need that word. I need it because I need you to hear me say it.” “Live. If you mix the letters up in the words like and love, you get live. You can use that word.” “I live you, Sky,” he says against my lips. “I live you so much.
Colleen Hoover
No, I'm not the best writer in the world, my grammar skills won't please every English literature student and I refuse to use the thesaurus on my laptop to make out I'm a writer who has swallowed a dictionary, but I do offer love and loyalty to those people who enjoy what I do.
Jimmy Tudeski
...I loved the notion that the night was mine to spend, and I immediately decided to spend it on you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Sovereign," like "love," means anything you want it to mean; it's a word in dictionary between "sober" and "sozzled.
Robert A. Heinlein
Love', this English word: like other English words it has tense. 'Loved' or 'will love' or 'have loved'. All these tenses mean Love is time-limited thing. Not infinite. It only exist in particular period of time. In Chinese, love is '爱' (ai). It has no tense. No past and future. Love in Chinese means a being, a situation, a circumstance. Love is existence, holding past and future.
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
If I lose it now, I will lose you, too. I know that. I hate it.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
It’s killing me, baby,” he says, his voice much more calm and quiet. “It’s killing me because I don’t want you to go another day without knowing how I feel about you. And I’m not ready to tell you I’m in love with you, because I’m not. Not yet. But whatever this is I’m feeling—it’s so much more than just like. It’s so much more. And for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to figure it out. I’ve been trying to figure out why there isn’t some other word to describe it. I want to tell you exactly how I feel but there isn’t a single goddamned word in the entire dictionary that can describe this point between liking you and loving you, but I need that word. I need it because I need you to hear me say it.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
As long as we can conjure, who needs anything else? As long as we can agree on the magical lie and be happy, what more is there to ask for? “I loved you from that moment on,” I say. “I loved you from that moment on,” you agree.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
There is no word for the recipient of the love. There is only a word for the giver. There is the assumption that lovers come in pairs.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
dumbfounded, adj. And still, for all the jealousy, all the doubt, sometimes I will be struck with a kind of awe that we’re together. That someone like me could findsomeone like you — it renders me wordless. Because surely words would conspire against such luck, would protest the unlikelihood of such a turnof events.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
We think of English as a fortress to be defended, but a better analogy is to think of English as a child. We love and nurture it into being, and once it gains gross motor skills, it starts going exactly where we don't want it to go: it heads right for the goddamned electrical sockets. We dress it in fancy clothes and tell it to behave, and it comes home with its underwear on its head and wearing someone else's socks. As English grows, it lives its own life, and this is right and healthy. Sometimes English does exactly what we think it should; sometimes it goes places we don't like and thrives there in spite of all our worrying. We can tell it to clean itself up and act more like Latin; we can throw tantrums and start learning French instead. But we will never really be the boss of it. And that's why it flourishes.
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
motif, n. You don't love me as much as I love you. You don't love me as much as I love you. You don't love me as much as I love you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Love me less, but love me for a long time.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
When I say, "Be my lover", I don't mean, "Let's have an affair." I don't mean "Sleep with me." I don't mean, "Be my secret." I want us to go back down to that root. I want you to be the one who loves me. I want to be the one who loves you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Just be warned", you said. "Some day you will ask me to give up something I really love, and then it`s going to get ugly.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
But when it seems insurmountable, I need reminders like this that you can get used to it. That it can take on the comfort of the right choice. That lasting things do, in fact, last.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
catalyst, n. It surprised me — surprises me still — that you were the first one to say it. I was innocent, in a way, expecting those three words to appear boldface with music. But instead, it was such an ordinary moment: The movie was over, and I stood up to turn off the TV. A few minutes had passed from the end of the final credits, and we’d been sitting there on the couch, your legs over mine, the side of your hand touching the side of my hand. The video stopped and the screen turned blue. “I’ll get it,” I said, and was halfway to the television when you said, “I love you.” I never asked, but I’ll always wonder: What was it about that moment that made you realize it? Or, if you’d known it for awhile, what compelled you to say it then? It was welcome, so welcome, and in my rush to say that I loved you, too, I left the television on, I let that light bathe us for a little longer, as I returned to the couch, to you. We held there for awhile, not really sure what would happen next.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
The loneliness comes to me in certain hours everyday, like a visitor. Like a friend you never expected, a friend you never really want to be with, but he always visit you and love you somehow,
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
exemplar, n. It's always something we have to negotiate- the face that my parents are happy, and yours have never been. I have something to live up to, and if I fail, I still have a family to welcome me home. You have a storyline to rewrite, and a lack of faith that it can ever be done. You love my parents, I know. But you never get too close. You never truly believe there aren't bad secrets underneath.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
It was in the shady groves of dictionaries that Jack fell in love.
Zadie Smith (On Beauty)
She was convinced a word existed, a noun, that meant the loss of feelings for someone who was formerly loved—a word for the act of falling out of love. I said I couldn't think of it. It wasn't in the dictionary either, not the one she wanted.
Olivia Sudjic (Sympathy)
¡Lástima que el Amor un diccionario no tenga donde hallar cuándo el orgullo es simplemente orgullo y cuándo es dignidad! What a shame that love has no dictionary in which to ascertain when pride is simply pride and when it's 'dignity'!
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword. A pebble could be a diamond. A tree was a castle. Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was the Queen and he was the King. In the autumn light, her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls. When the sky grew dark, they parted with leaves in their hair. Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering. When they were ten he asked her to marry him. When they were eleven he kissed her for the first time. When they were thirteen they got into a fight and for three weeks they didn't talk. When they were fifteen she showed him the scar on her left breast. Their love was a secret they told no one. He promised her he would never love another girl as long as he lived. "What if I die?" she asked. "Even then," he said. For her sixteenth birthday, he gave her an English dictionary and together they learned the words. "What's this?" he'd ask, tracing his index finger around her ankle and she'd look it up. "And this?" he'd ask, kissing her elbow. "Elbow! What kind of word is that?" and then he'd lick it, making her giggle. "What about this," he asked, touching the soft skin behind her ear. "I don't know," she said, turning off the flashlight and rolling over, with a sigh, onto her back. When they were seventeen they made love for the first time, on a bed of straw in a shed. Later-when things happened that they could never have imagined-she wrote him a letter that said: When will you learn that there isn't a word for everything?
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Love me less,but love me for a long time.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I love the vagueness of words that involve time.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
good-bad,right-wrong,once you tag things like that,you lose the ability to see the complete truth.... A murderer can also be a loving father. Don't tag things. Words are insufficient to describe the picture in totality. Try not to get trapped in the dictionary meaning of words.
Vijay Tendulkar
What you mean to me is something out of the ordinary, cause even a whole of a dictionary won't be able to describe it!
Andy Flynn
In China we say, "You can't expect both ends of a sugar cane are as sweet." Sometimes love can be ugly. But one still has to take it and swallow it.
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
You grabbed my hand and twirled me around, two sidewalk sweethearts. Then, very earnestly, you stopped, leaned over, and whispered, "You know, I'd get a tattoo with your name on it. Only, I want you to have the freedom to change your name if you want to.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Saint took a seat at the main faro table at the Society club. “What the devil is a ladies' political tea?” Tristan Carroway, Viscount Dare, finished placing his wager, then sat back, reaching for his glass of port. “Do I look like a dictionary?” “You're domesticated.” Saint motioned for a glass of his own, despite unfriendly looks from the tables' other players. “What is it?” “I'm not domesticated; I'm in love. You should try it. Does wonders for your outlook on life.” “I'll take your word for it, thank you.
Suzanne Enoch (London's Perfect Scoundrel (Lessons in Love, #2))
I guess I don't believe in a small break. I feel a break is a break, and if it starts small, it only gets wider. So I said I wanted you to stay, even though nothing could stay the same.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Mouthful of Forevers I am not the first person you loved. You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers. We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night. Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come. I think that has to be part of its miracle.   This is how we heal. I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar on your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you.   And I will not be afraid of your scars.   I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know: Whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the nights you collapse into my lap, your body broken into a thousand questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I will love you when you are a still day. I will love you when you are a hurricane.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
It's nice when grown people whisper to each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more a leaf-sigh than bray and the body is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond, way beyond and way, way down underneath tissue. They are remembering while they whisper the carnival dolls they won and the Baltimore boats they never sailed on. The pears they let hang on the limb because if they plucked them, they would be gone from there and who else would see that ripeness if they took it away for themselves? How could anybody passing by see them and imagine for themselves what the flavour would be like? Breathing and murmuring under covers both of them have washed and hung out on the line, in a bed they chose together and kept together nevermind one leg was propped on a 1916 dictionary, and the mattress, curved like a preacher's palm asking for witnesses in His name's sake, enclosed them each and every night and muffled their whispering, old-time love. They are under the covers because they don't have to look at themselves anymore; there is no stud's eye, no chippie glance to undo them. They are inward toward the other, bound and joined by carnival dolls and the steamers that sailed from ports they never saw. That is what is beneath their undercover whispers.
Toni Morrison (Jazz)
She was afraid to touch the dictionary — Oki was even there. Innumerable words reminded her of him. To link whatever she saw and heard with her love was nothing less than to be alive. Her awareness of her body was inseparable from her memory of his embrace.
Yasunari Kawabata (Beauty and Sadness)
acronym, n. I remember the first time you signed an email with SWAK. I didn’t know what it meant. It sounded violent, like a slap connecting. SWAK! Batman knocking down the Riddler. SWAK! Cries of “Liar! Liar!” Tears. SWAK! So I wrote back: SWAK? And the next time you wrote, ten minutes later, you explained. I loved the ridiculous image I got from that, of you leaning over your laptop, touching your lips gently to the screen, sealing your words to me before turning them into electricity. Now every time you SWAK me, the echo of that electricity remains.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
It was after sex, when there was still heat and mostly breathing, when there was still touch and mostly thought... it was as if the whole world could be reduced to the sound of a single string being played, and the only thing this sound could make me think of was you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I refuse to be linguistically constrained by dictionary writers.
Amy E. Reichert (Luck, Love & Lemon Pie)
The Dictionary defines Soul Mate as: A person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament. Before I met mine, I didn't know I was bonkers!
James Hauenstein
It strikes me that I need to throw out the dictionary the world gave me about what it means to be a mother, a wife, a person of faith, an artist, and a woman and write my own.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
All words In the dictionaries, letters, and novels Died. I want to discover A way to love you Without words.
Nizar Qabbani (Arabian Love Poems)
19. THE WALL OF DICTIONARIES BETWEEN MY MOTHER AND THE WORLD GETS TALLER EVERY YEAR Sometimes pages of the dictionaries come loose and gather at her feet, shallon, shalop, shallot, shallow, shalom, sham, shaman, shamble, like the petals of an immense flower. When I was little, I thought that the pages on the floor were words she would never be able to use again, and I tried to tape them back in where they belonged, out of fear that one day she would be left silent.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
I didn't tell any of my friends about our first date. I waited until after our second, because I wanted to make sure it was real. I wouldn't believe it had happened until it had happened again. Then, later on, I would be overwhelmed by the evidence, by all the lines connecting you to me, and us to love.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
It's killing me Sky. It's killing me because I don't want you to go another day without knowing how I feel about you. And I'm not ready to tell you I'm in love with you , because I'm not. Not yet. But whatever this is I'm feeling-it's so much more than just like . It's so much more. And for the past few weeks I've been trying to figure out. I've been trying to figure out why there isn't some other word to describe it. I want to tell you exactly how I feel but there isn't a single goddamned word in the entire dictionary that can describe this point between liking you and loving you, but I need that word. I need it because I need you to hear me say it.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
paleontology, n. You couldn’t believe the longest relationship I’d ever been in had only lasted for five months. “Ever?” you asked, as if I might have overlooked a marriage. I couldn’t say, “I never found anyone who interested me all that much,” because it was only our second date, and the jury was still hearing your case. I sat there as you excavated your boyfriends, laid the bones out on the table for me to see. I shifted them around, tried to reassemble them, if only to see if they bore any resemblance to me.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
When I was twelve I was obsessed. Everything was sex. Latin was sex. The dictionary fell open at 'meretrix', a harlot. You could feel the mystery coming off the word like musk. 'Meretrix'! This was none of your mensa-a-table, this was a flash from a forbidden planet, and it was everywhere. History was sex, French was sex, art was sex, the Bible, poetry, penfriends, games, music, everything was sex except biology which was obviously sex but not really sex, not the one which was secret and ecstatic and wicked and a sacrament and all the things it was supposed to be but couldn't be at one and the same time - I got that in the boiler room and it turned out to be biology after all.
Tom Stoppard (The Real Thing)
What if Katie Couric had turned to me and said, “The love of your life is here in this crowd”? Would I have believed her? Would it have even been possible, if we’d met then?
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I'll go get the horse and buggy," you'll say. And I'll say, "But I thought we were taking the hovercraft?
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
placid, adj. Sometimes I love it when we just lie on our backs, gaze off, stay still.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you're in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
basis, n.: There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you're inlove with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Real defining answers questions like “What is truth?” “What is love?” “Do sounds exist if no one is around to hear them?” and “Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
haul, v.: Yes, love will bend you over, make you strain. That is the burden of having something worth carrying forward.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Death. I wish the word could be removed from the vocabulary and from the dictionary. It simply does not exist, except in the human mind that was taught that it does exist. People think they are a body and they come to believe that when the body dies, everything they are will die too. It’s not true. The soul lives on. The soul of consciousness exists not only in the body but outside of the body too. We are all souls that cannot be contained or limited by time or space or the physical body. For souls there is no death.
Kate McGahan (Jack McAfghan: Return from Rainbow Bridge: An Afterlife Story of Loss, Love and Renewal (Jack McAfghan Pet Loss Trilogy Book 3))
I didn't like Dali: now, like you, I do. Like you, I began to drink my Coke with a pinch of salt . Like you, I stopped bothering about ironed clothes. Like you, I sit with a dictionary while reading the papers. Like you, I sit on the compound wall after a bath.
Sachin Kundalkar (Cobalt Blue)
meander, v. "...because when it all comes down to it, there's no such thing as a two-hit wonder. So it's better just to have that one song that everyone knows, instead of diluting it with a follow-up that only half succeeds. I mean, who really cares what Soft Cell's next single was, as long as we have 'Tainted Love'?" I stop. You're still listening. "Wait," I say. "What was I talking about? How did we get to 'Tainted Love'?" "Let's see," you say, "I believe we started roughly at the Democratic gains in the South, then jumped back to the election of 1948, dipping briefly into northern constructions of the South, vis-a-vis Steel Magnolias, Birth of a Nation, Johnny Cash, and Fried Green Tomatoes. Which landed you on To Kill a Mockingbird, and how it is both Southern and universal, which -- correct me if I'm wrong -- got us to Harper Lee and her lack of a follow-up novel, intersected with the theory, probably wrong, that Truman Capote wrote the novel, then hopping over to literary one-hit wonders, and using musical one-hit wonders to make a point about their special place in our culture. I think." "Thank you," I say. "That's wonderful.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Selfish needs, wants, and desires needed to be obliterated. Greed, overindulgence, and gluttony had to be expunged from human behavior. The solution was in self-control, in minimalism, in sparse living conditions; one simple and a brand-new dictionary filled with words everyone would understand.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
A bird foraging for food in the swamps and marshes sinks rapidly if it doesn't move. It has to keep pulling its feet out of the mire to move on, regardless of whether it has caught something or not. And the same applies to us and to our love. We have to move on, we can't stay where we are, because we'll sink.
Milorad Pavić (Dictionary of the Khazars)
There were over six hundred thousand words in the Oxford Dictionary. That meant there were six hundred thousand definitions of different words with a million and one meanings. Some words were silly while others were heartbreaking. Some words were happy while others were angry. So many different letters came together in different ways to form those different words, those unique meanings. So many words, but at the end of the day there was only one word that stood out among the rest. One word that somehow meant both heaven and hell, the sunny days and the rainy days, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was the one word that made sense when everything else around you was messy, painful, and unapologetic. Love. With a smile, I wrapped my pinkie around his and said, “I love you.
Brittainy C. Cherry (Art & Soul)
{Yogananda on the death of his dear friend, the eminent 20th century scientist, Luther Burbank} His heart was fathomlessly deep, long acquainted with humility, patience, sacrifice. His little home amid the roses was austerely simple; he knew the worthlessness of luxury, the joy of few possessions. The modesty with which he wore his scientific fame repeatedly reminded me of the trees that bend low with the burden of ripening fruits; it is the barren tree that lifts its head high in an empty boast. I was in New York when, in 1926, my dear friend passed away. In tears I thought, 'Oh, I would gladly walk all the way from here to Santa Rosa for one more glimpse of him!' Locking myself away from secretaries and visitors, I spent the next twenty-four hours in seclusion... His name has now passed into the heritage of common speech. Listing 'burbank' as a transitive verb, Webster's New International Dictionary defines it: 'To cross or graft (a plant). Hence, figuratively, to improve (anything, as a process or institution) by selecting good features and rejecting bad, or by adding good features.' 'Beloved Burbank,' I cried after reading the definition, 'your very name is now a synonym for goodness!
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi)
It's stupid, really," I began again. "But it was this thing I read someplace, and it really got to me. It said that a dictionary is every book ever written and every book that will be written, just in a different order. And it seemed magical. You could own every book just by owning one book. I loved that. And I just had to have it,
Sue Halpern (Summer Hours at the Robbers Library)
He said you were frigid?” She nodded. “Oh, honey, that word should be stricken from every dictionary in existence. There is no such thing. Just men who don’t know what they’re doing.” He leaned toward her, kissed her throat, and said, “I’m not one of them.
Patricia Ryan (The Black Sheep (North Moon Bay, #1))
The only patriots worth their salt are the ones who love their country enough to see that in a nuclear age it is not going to survive unless the world survives. True patriots are no longer champions of Democracy, Communism, or anythig like that but champions of the Human Race. It is not the Homeland that they feel called on to defend at any cost but the planet Earth as Home. If in the interests of making sure we don't blow ourselves off the map once and for all, we end up relinquishing a measure of national sovereignty to some international body, so much the worse for national sovereignty. There is only one Sovereignty that matters ultimately, and it is another sort altogether.
Frederick Buechner (Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter's Dictionary)
Stilletos of a frozen stillicide [...] In the lovely line heading this comment the reader should note the last word. My dictionary defines it as 'a succession of drops falling from the eaves, eavesdrop, cavesdrop.' I remember having encountered it for the first time in a poem by Thomas Hardy. The bright frost has eternalized the bright eavesdrop.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
Did Owen say your grandmother was a banshee?" "He said she was 'wailing like a banshee,'" I explained. Dan got out the dictionary , then; he was clucking his tongue and shaking his head, and laughing at himself saying, "That boy! What a boy! Brilliant but preposterous!" And that was the first time I learned, literally, what a banshee was--a banshee, in Irish folklore, is a female spirit whose wailing is a sign that a loved one will soon die.
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
Basis, n. There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you're in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. If the moment doesn't pass, that's it -- you're done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it's even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover's face.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
William Smith (Ultimate Bible Study Suite; KJV Bible (Red Letter), Hebrew/Greek Dictionaries and Concordance, Easton's & Smith's Bible Dictionaries, Nave's Topical Guide, (1 Million Links))
Sovereign,’ like ‘love,’ means anything you want it to mean; it’s a word in dictionary between ‘sober’ and ‘sozzled.
Robert A. Heinlein (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress)
Anyone we truly love should come with their own dictionary.
Carrie Brownstein
metamorphosis, n.: Love turns us into winged creatures, venturing in ways we never could have conceived in our crawling days.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
The kiss I like the most is one of the slow ones. It's as much breath as touch, as much no as yes. You lean in from the side, and I have to turn a little to make it happen.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Wipe those tears, as they have cleansed your soul.
Sharlene Leong (inspired by love: Love is a dictionary full of everything)
Words of our hearts have their own dictionary
Munia Khan
cadence, n. I have never lived anywhere but New York or New England, but there are times when I'm talking to you and I hit a Southern vowel, or a word gets caught in a Suthern truncation, and I know it's because I'm swimming in your cadences, that you penetrate my very language.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I once told Amanda, my best friend in high school, that I could never be with someone who wasn’t excited by rainstorms. So when the first one came, it was a kind of test. It was one of those sudden storms, and when we left Radio City, we found hundreds of people skittishly sheltered under the overhang. “What should we do?” I asked. And you said, “Run!” So that's what we did - rocketing down Sixth Avenue, dashing around the rest of the post-concert crowd, splashing our tracks until our ankles were soaked. You took the lead, and I started to lose my sprint. But then you looked back, stopped, and waited for me to catch up, for me to take your hand, for us to continue to run in the rain, drenched and enchanted, my words to Amanda no longer feeling like a requirement, but a foretelling.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
If we measured our affection toward others by how many nicknames we bestow upon them, our pets would be the most loved. Here's the etymological journey for the nicknames I have for Tobey: Tobito, Toblerone. T-Bone. T-bonics. Ta-T. Ta-Tobes. Tubby, for when he's gotten into the trash and gorged himself. Nicknames with origins based on appearance: Bearded Yum Yum, Handsome McHandsome, Fuzzy Face. Then this strange progression: Pooch. Poochers. Poocharoo. Poochacho. Pachune. Then, somehow, Pooch turned into Mooch, and so there had to be Moocharo. Muchacho. Manu, and most recently Man-nu-nu. All these monikers I say in voices more commonly echoed from the confines of straightjackets and padded walls. Anyone we truly love should come with their own dictionary.
Carrie Brownstein (Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl)
In the LGBT community, the opposite of pride is self- hatred. But in the Bible, the opposite of pride is faith. Was pride keeping me from faith, or was pride keeping me from self-hatred? That was when the question inserted itself like a foot in the door: Did pride distort self-esteem the way lust distorts love? This was the first of my many betrayals against the LGBT community: whose dictionary did I trust? The one used by the community that I helped create or the one that reflected the God who created me? As soon as the question formed itself into words, I felt convicted of the sin of pride. Pride was my downfall. I asked God for the mercy to repent of my pride at its root.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ)
When I say, Be my lover, I don't mean, Let's have an affair. I don't mean, Sleep with me. I don't mean, Be my secret. I want us to go back to that root. I want you to be the one who loves me. I want to be the one who loves you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
We think of English as a fortress to be defended, but a better analogy is to think of English as a child. We love and nurture it into being, and once it gains gross motor skills, it starts going exactly where we don’t want it to go: it heads right for the goddamned electrical sockets. We dress it in fancy clothes and tell it to behave, and it comes home with its underwear on its head and wearing someone else’s socks. As English grows, it lives its own life, and this is right and healthy. Sometimes English does exactly what we think it should; sometimes it goes places we don’t like and thrives there in spite of all our worrying. We can tell it to clean itself up and act more like Latin; we can throw tantrums and start learning French instead. But we will never really be the boss of it. And that’s why it flourishes.
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
He shook his head. ‘I don’t think so. The war has made the present more important than the past, and far more certain than the future. How I feel right now is all I can rely on. And after all that you’ve told me, I think I love you more.
Pip Williams (The Dictionary of Lost Words)
A bar, as any good dictionary will tell you, is a rod of wood or iron that can be used to fasten a gate. From this came the idea of a bar as any let or hindrance that can stop you going where you want to; specifically the bar in a pub or tavern is the bar-rier behind which is stored all the lovely intoxicating liquors that only the bar-man is allowed to lay is hands on without forking out.
Mark Forsyth (The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language)
I was going to ask him, yes I was. “You remember Blackberry Night?” The torches were alive with yellow butterfly-flames. “I can’t forget it.” His eyes were whiter than white. “You remember the thing we might have done that night, but it turned out to be a thing we didn’t do?” It was late and my tongue had gone bleary. “The thing you stopped us from doing?” “I especially can’t forget that.” I was asking about lust, wasn’t I? I was fairly certain of it. But isn’t love supposed to come before lust? It does in the dictionary.
Franny Billingsley (Chime)
(Sartre) (The world is full without me, as in Nausea; the world plays at living behind a glass partition; the world is in an aquarium; I see everything close up and yet cut off, made of some other substance; I keep falling outside myself, without dizziness, without blue, into precision.
Roland Barthes
You're not very deep." You say these cutting words thoughtfully, to yourself, almost as though you're surprised. They hit me somewhere below my ribs. I think of the dictionary app on my phone that I have to use all the time when I'm reading stuff like The Master and Margarita or The Awakening. Or that one time when I missed sophomoric on a vocab quiz. And how I totally don't get why girls love Jane Austen. You're right: I'm not deep. I find myself watching every word I say to you, wondering what they say about me. I look for disappointment in your eyes... I've been walking on eggshells for a week.
Heather Demetrios (Bad Romance)
My mother’s a prostitute. Not the filthy, streetwalking kind. She’s actually quite pretty, fairly well spoken, and has lovely clothes. But she sleeps with men for money or gifts, and according to the dictionary, that makes her a prostitute. She started working in 1940 when I was seven, the year we moved from Detroit to New Orleans.
Ruta Sepetys (Out of the Easy)
One day, I wish to find a man like in my books. He has to be just like in one of my books. And he has to love me, love me more than anything in the world. Most important of all, he has to think I’m beautiful.” “Lily, I need to tell you something.” Fazire was going to tell her about Becky’s wish and his mistake and let her look forward to something, let her look forward to the incomparable beauty she was going to be. Most of all, he had to stop her wish now. He didn’t want her wasting it on some fool idea. He wanted it to be special, perfect, to make her world better like she had made Becky and Will’s and, indeed, his. But again she didn’t hear him. Her eyes were bright and they were steady on his. “He has to be tall, very tall and dark and broad-shouldered and narrow-hipped.” Fazire stared. He didn’t even know what “narrow-hipped” meant. “And he has to be handsome, unbelievably handsome, impossibly handsome with a strong, square jaw and powerful cheekbones and tanned skin and beautiful eyes with lush, thick lashes. He has to be clever and very wealthy but hardworking. He has to be virile, fierce, ruthless and rugged.” Now she was getting over his head. He didn’t think there was such a thing as impossibly handsome. How cheekbones could be powerful, Fazire didn’t know. He was even thinking he might have to look up “virile” in the dictionary Sarah had given him. “And he has to be hard and cold and maybe a little bit forbidding, a little bit bad with a broken heart I have to mend or one encased in ice I have to melt or better yet… both!” Fazire thought this was getting a bit ridiculous. It was the most complicated wish he’d ever heard. But she wasn’t yet finished. “We have to go through some trials and tribulations. Something to test our love, make it strong and worthy. And… and… he has to be daring and very masculine. Powerful. People must respect him, maybe even fear him. Graceful too and lithe, like a… like a cat! Or a lion. Or something like that.” She was losing steam and Fazire had to admit he was grateful for it. “And he has to be a good lover.” Lily shocked Fazire by saying. “The best, so good, he could almost make love to me just by using his eyes.” Fazire felt himself blush. Perhaps he should have a look at these books she was reading and show them to Becky. Lily was a very sharp girl, sharp as a tack (another one of Sarah’s sayings, although Fazire couldn’t imagine a tack ever being as clever as Lily) but she was too young to be reading about any man making love to her with his eyes. Fazire had never made love, never would, genies just didn’t. But he was pretty certain fourteen year old girls shouldn’t be thinking about it. Though, he was wrong about that, or at least Becky would tell him that later. Then Fazire realised she’d stopped talking. “Is that it?” he asked. She thought for a bit, clearly not wanting to leave anything out. Then she nodded.
Kristen Ashley (Three Wishes)
Really, weren't these facts just placeholders until the long view could really assert itself?
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
flagrant, adj. I would be standing right there, and you would walk out of the bathroom without putting the cap back on the toothpaste.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Oh.My. Every illegal swear word in the dictionary, God. What is it with older men? don't they ever look in the mirror?
Diane Messidoro (How to Keep a Boy as a Pet (Circe Shaw, #1))
Little dictionary sprite, sunshine vendor, and girl to be loved.
Susan Glaspell
Justice without love will always fall short of what needs to be done. It will never be as good as it should be.
Elane O'Rourke (A Dallas Willard Dictionary)
Grace is defined in the Webster 1828 dictionary as “the free unmerited love and favor of God.
David Wright (Receiving the Atonement)
We have control on every word of the dictionary except for the 2:; "Death" and "Heart
Nikita Tak (The First SIp Of My Morning Coffee)
MIC 6.8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Anonymous (A Complete Bible Reference Study Library (4 in 1): [Illustrated]: KJV Bible with Strongs markup, Strongs Concordance & Dictionaries, Lexicon Definitions, and Bible word index)
Just be warned,” you said. “Someday you’ll ask me to give up something I really love, and then it’s going to get ugly.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Linguists love corpora; where two or three linguists are gathered, there shall you find heavy-breathing fetishism about the size, scope, all those possibilities, all that data.
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
Dictators long ago found that it is easier to unite people in common hatred than in common love.
Dagobert D. Runes (A Dictionary of Thought)
We have fallen through the surface and are deep in the trenches of need
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I am seeing that I cannot be a part of the music that sets him free.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
LOVE is one kind of abstraction ...
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Sorry & Thanks are the only two words in the dictionary of life wherein its presence connects two strangers, and its absence departs two loved ones.
Swati Jain
With you alongside, Magic is, less a dictionary word, And more a, part of life.
Jasleen Kaur Gumber
Novel: A small tale, generally of love.
Samuel Johnson (A Dictionary of the English Language (Complete and Unabridged in Two Volumes), Volume One)
A DEFINITION NOT FOUND IN THE DICTIONARY Not-leaving: An act of trust and love, often deciphered by children.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Sometimes it becomes a contest: Which is more stubborn, the love or the two arguing people caught within it?
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
But I loved the notion that the night was mine to spend, and I immediately decided to spend it on you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Sometimes I love it when we just lie on our backs, gaze off, stay still.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
That's the dilemma, isn't it? When you're single, there's the sadness and joy of "only me." And when you're paired, there's the sadness and joy of "only you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
He is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen and it’s not about his face, but the life force I can see in him. It’s the smile and the pure promise of everything he has to offer. Like he’s saying, ‘Here I am world, are you ready for so much passion and beauty and goodness and love and every other word that should be in the dictionary under the word life?
Melina Marchetta
Nonviolence and nonaggression are generally regarded as interchangeable concepts - King and Gandhi frequently used them that way - but nonviolence, as employed by Gandhi in India and by King in the American South, might reasonably be viewed as a highly disciplined form of aggression. If one defines aggression in the primary dictionary sense of "attack," nonviolent resistance proved to be the most powerful attack imaginable on the powers King and Gandhi were trying to overturn. The writings of both men are filled with references to love as a powerful force against oppression, and while the two leaders were not using the term" force" in the military sense, they certainly regarded nonviolence as a tactical weapon as well as an expression of high moral principle." Susan Jacoby (p. 196)
Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate)
For Sehra who broke the silence of hypocrisy, that Allah consistently says he hates; in the dictionary meaning of Satan out of 3 – 1 is hypocrisy – So – while many misguided people around the world will condemn you – Allah will love you for following his command. I am very proud of you and can assure you that from here on you will find yourself transformed for a greater purpose. My love and prayers.
Tehmina Durrani (My Feudal Lord)
There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you're in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. If the moment doesn't pass, that's it -- you're done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it's even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover's face.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I was working from home at the time and sometimes indulged in a little wander around my yard, a hard reset before I got back to work. Today, however, I had ignored the nice weather and instead put my head on my desk, forehead pressed to the Formica and arms covering my skull. I had joked with one of my yoga-loving co-workers that I was developing a series of poses that we could do at our desks. A head-in-hands slump over galleys called "Drudge's Hunch". The arms overhead seated stretch called "Fluorescent Salutation". The hand out position used to catch the fire door so it didn't slam and bother everyone. That was "Worrier's Pose". My current pose was called "Nuclear Fallout".
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
I hope that I state your case fairly: One of my great fears is misrepresenting you, even to myself, now that you are not here to set me right. The truth is that you did not believe in idealism. All love was suspect; even a saint's was just differed self-interest. And it was impossible to argue without sounding either sentimental or naive. Cynicism has all the smart words on it's side; idealism uses a nursery school dictionary. And you studied early to disguise your childhood pain. But it is not universal.
Michael Arditti (Pagan and Her Parents)
Perfect. Imperfect. A pair of adjectives that come over and again, in all seasons, day in and day out, taunting us, judging us, isolating us, turning our isolation into illness. Is there a more accomplished adjective than perfect? Perfect is free from comparison, perfect rejects superlative. We can always be good, do better, try our best, but how perfect can we be before we can love ourselves and let others love us? And who, my dear child, has taken the word lovable out of your dictionary and mine, and replaced it with perfect?
Yiyun Li (Where Reasons End)
Her locks an ancient lady gave Her loving husband's life to save; And men — they honored so the dame — Upon some stars bestowed her name. But to our modern married fair, Who'd give their lords to save their hair, No stellar recognition's given. There are not stars enough in heaven.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil’s Dictionary)
Her locks an ancient lady gave Her loving husband's life to save; And men — they honored so the dame — Upon some stars bestowed her name. But to our modern married fair, Who'd give their lords to save their hair, No stellar recognition's given. There are not stars enough in heaven.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary - With a Preface by the Author and a Short Biography of Ambrose Bierce)
We think of English as a fortress to be defended, but a better analogy is to think of English as a child. We love and nurture it into being, and once it gains gross motor skills, it starts going exactly where we don’t want it to go: it heads right for the goddamned electrical sockets.
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
certain incidents do more than just touch our raw spots or “hurt our feelings.” They injure us so deeply that they overturn our world. They are relationship traumas. In the dictionary a trauma is defined as a wound that plunges us into fear and helplessness, that challenges all our assumptions of predictability and control. Traumatic wounds are especially severe, observes Judith Herman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, when they involve a “violation of human connection.” Indeed, there is no greater trauma than to be wounded by the very people we count on to support and protect us.
Sue Johnson (Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love)
The book was sandwiched firmly between Analytic Keys to the Genera and Species of North American Mosses, and the Complete English-Russian Dictionary by A. Alexandrow, which had me actually speculating on just what terrible crimes I might have committed against love and peace in a former life to have earned myself this one.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Forever, Tom thought. Maybe he’d never go back to the States. It was not so much Europe itself as the evenings he had spent alone, here and in Rome, that made him feel that way. Evenings by himself simply looking at maps, or lying around on sofas thumbing through guidebooks. Evenings looking at his clothes - his clothes and Dickie’s - and feeling Dickie’s rings between his palms, and running his fingers over the antelope suitcase he had bought at Gucci’s. He had polished the suitcase with a special English leather dressing, not that it needed polishing because he took such good care of it, but for its protection. He loved possessions, not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with. They gave a man self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality. Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn’t that worth something? He existed. Not many people in the world knew how to, even if they had the money. It really didn’t take money, masses of money, it took a certain security. He had been on the road to it, even with Marc Priminger. He had appreciated Marc’s possessions, and they were what had attracted him to the house, but they were not his own, and it had been impossible to make a beginning at acquiring anything of his own on forty dollars a week. It would have taken him the best years of his life, even if he had economised stringently, to buy the things he wanted. Dickie’s money had given him only an added momentum on the road he had been travelling. The money gave him the leisure to see Greece, to collect Etruscan pottery if he wanted (he had recently read an interesting book on that subject by an American living in Rome), to join art societies if he cared to and to donate to their work. It gave him the leisure, for instance, to read his Malraux tonight as late as he pleased, because he did not have to go to a job in the morning. He had just bought a two-volume edition of Malraux’s Psychologic de I’art which he was now reading, with great pleasure, in French with the aid of a dictionary.
Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley (Ripley, #1))
Why are you studying Italian? So that - just in case Italy ever invades Ethiopia again, and is actually successful this time - you can brag about knowing a language that’s spoken in two whole countries? But I loved it. Every word was a singing sparrow, a magic trick, a truffle for me. I would slosh home through the rain after class, draw a hot bath, and lie there in the bubbles reading the Italian dictionary aloud to myself, taking my mind off my divorce pressures and my heartache. The words made me laugh in delight. I started referring to my cell phone as il mio telefonino (“my teensy little telephone”) I became one of those annoying people who always say Ciao! Only I was extra annoying, since I would always explain where the word ciao comes from.
Elizabeth Gilbert
I refuse the definitions of love ⁣ in dictionaries and philosophy,⁣ for today I know love.⁣ I had sought you for years, ⁣ but find that you were always the seeker⁣ and I the sought. ⁣ I suddenly appeared ⁣ reverent before you⁣ to bear witness to your beauty, ⁣ to dance in your silky attention,⁣ but you were always my wild destiny, ⁣ my heart’s pilgrimage—⁣ the meeting place of all my joy⁣ and self-forgetting.⁣ When I first loved you, ⁣ life for me had just begun.⁣ I look forward to so much with you—⁣ our togetherness in a world of wounds, ⁣ our children awaiting birth.⁣ I look forward to so much life with you, ⁣ and yet, I am perfectly content ⁣ with this moment here.⁣ It matters not to me if I die ⁣ before finishing this poem,⁣ for today I know love.⁣ For today,⁣ I am free.
Kamand Kojouri
At the stomp of boots on grass, I ease my eyes open. Aithinne leans down with a grin. “You didn’t die. See? I told you it was easy.” She offers me a hand and I take it, rising unsteadily to my feet. “I’ve been bitten by some demonic woodland creature. My legs have been shredded by razor-sharp trees. We almost died. Easy? I’m getting you a damn dictionary.” I inspect my bleeding arm. The cut bisects five of the marks Lonnrach made, and I feel inexplicably proud of that. Good. Replace the old, bad memories with new badges. Start over. “A dictionary,” she repeats. “Is that a type of dessert?” For the love of—“It’s a type of book that explains the meaning of words.” “Oh. That sounds terribly dull. I was really hoping for dessert.” I’m hoping to end this rescue with my sanity intact.
Elizabeth May (The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer, #2))
I have been in recent years the author of a bestiary and director of some atlas projects; I've written criticism, editorials, reports from a few front lines, letters, a great many political essays . . ., more personal stuff, essays for artists' books, and more. . . . Nonfiction is the whole realm from investigative journalism to prose poems, from manifestos to love letters, from dictionaries to packing lists.
Rebecca Solnit (The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness)
The word power typically signifies a capacity for action. The Oxford English Dictionary tells us power lies in an 'ability to do or effect something or anything, or to act upon a person or thing'. The person who has power may influence the material or social environment, generally on the basis of possessing high-tech weapons, money, oil, superior intelligence or large muscles. In war, I am powerful because I can blow up your city walls or drop bombs on your airfields. In the financial world, I am powerful because I can buy up your shares and invade your markets. In boxing, I am ,ore powerful because my punches outwit and exhaust yours. But in love, this issue appears to depend on a far more passive, negative definition; instead of looking at power as a capacity to do something, one may come to think of it as the capacity to do nothing.
Alain de Botton (The Romantic Movement: Sex, Shopping, and the Novel)
There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you're in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. If the moment doesn't pass, that's it-- you're done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it's even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover's face.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
We were walking home late from a bar—and the term walking is used loosely here, because you were doing something between a skip and a stumble—and suddenly you started singing out your love for me. My name and everything, loud enough to reach the top floors of all the buildings. I should have told you to stop, but I didn’t want you to stop. I didn’t mind if your love for me woke people up. I didn’t mind if it somehow sneaked into their sleep.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Parabore (n.) A defense against bores. It would be a very lovely thing indeed if there existed some magical device that you could carry around with you to ward off bores. The closest thing to this I have seen is a contraption Alix gave me a few years back: a little black box on a key chain that will turn off every nearby TV with the push of a button. I carried it with me everywhere and used it whenever I came across that particular form of boredom. Paracme
Ammon Shea (Reading the Oxford English Dictionary: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages)
catalyst, n. It surprised me - surprises me still - that you were the first one to say it. I was innocent, in a way, expecting those three words to appear boldface with music. But instead, it was such an ordinary moment: The movie was over, and I stood up to turn off the TV. A few minutes had passed from the end of the final credits, and we'd been sitting there on the couch, your legs over mine, the side of your hand touching the side of my hand. The video stopped and the screen turned blue. "I'll get it," I said, and was halfway to the television when you said, "I love you." I never asked, but I'll always wonder: What was it about that moment that made you realize it? Or, if you'd known it for awhile, what compelled you to say it then? It was welcome, so welcome, and in my rush to say that I loved you, too, I left the television on, I let that light bathe us for a little longer, as I returned to the couch, to you. We held there for awhile, not really sure what would happen next.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
At the time, I paid no heed to the emblem above the door of a compass crossed with a square; the library had been founded by Masons. There, in the quiet shadows, I read for hours from the books that the kind librarian allowed me to take from the shelves: fairy tales, adventure stories, adaptations of classics for children, and dictionaries of symbols. One day while browsing among the shelves I ran across a yellowed volume: Les Tarots by Eteilla. All my efforts to read it were in vain. The letters looked strange and the words were incomprehensible. I began to worry that I had forgotten how to read. When I communicated my anguish to the librarian, he began to laugh. “But how could you understand it; it’s written in French, my young friend! I can’t understand it either!” Oh, how I felt drawn to those mysterious pages! I flipped through them, seeing many numbers, sums, the frequent occurrence of the word Thot, some geometric shapes . . . but what fascinated me most was a rectangle inside which a princess, wearing a three-pointed crown and seated on a throne, was caressing a lion that was resting its head on her knees. The animal had an expression of profound intelligence combined with an extreme gentleness. Such a placid creature! I liked the image so much that I committed a transgression that I still have not repented: I tore out the page and brought it home to my room. Concealed beneath a floorboard, the card “STRENGTH” became my secret treasure. In the strength of my innocence, I fell in love with the princess.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography)
When a woman is leaving her man, when a woman finally decides her departure, Does she still need to water the plants everyday? Does she still need to wash his shirts, socks and jeans? Check all his pockets before washing them? Does she still need to cook food every evening before he comes back? Or just leave everything uncooked in the fridge? Like those days when he was a bachelor? Does she still need to wash the dishes, and sweep the floor? Does she still kiss him? When he comes back through the evening door? Does she still want to make love with hi,? Does she, or will she cry, when she feels her body needs somebody to cover it and warm it, but not this one, the one lies beside hers? Does she, or will she say, I am leaving you, on a particular day? Or at a particular time? Or in a particular moment? Does she, or will she hire a car or a taxi, to take all her things before he understands what is happening? Does she, or will she cry, cry loudly, when she starts leading her lead to a new life, a life without anybody waiting for her and without anybody lighting a fire for her?
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
The Lanyard The other day I was ricocheting slowly off the blue walls of this room, moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano, from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor, when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard. No cookie nibbled by a French novelist could send one into the past more suddenly— a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp by a deep Adirondack lake learning how to braid long thin plastic strips into a lanyard, a gift for my mother. I had never seen anyone use a lanyard or wear one, if that's what you did with them, but that did not keep me from crossing strand over strand again and again until I had made a boxy red and white lanyard for my mother. She gave me life and milk from her breasts, and I gave her a lanyard. She nursed me in many a sick room, lifted spoons of medicine to my lips, laid cold face-cloths on my forehead, and then led me out into the airy light and taught me to walk and swim, and I , in turn, presented her with a lanyard. Here are thousands of meals, she said, and here is clothing and a good education. And here is your lanyard, I replied, which I made with a little help from a counselor. Here is a breathing body and a beating heart, strong legs, bones and teeth, and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered, and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp. And here, I wish to say to her now, is a smaller gift—not the worn truth that you can never repay your mother, but the rueful admission that when she took the two-tone lanyard from my hand, I was as sure as a boy could be that this useless, worthless thing I wove out of boredom would be enough to make us even.
Billy Collins (Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems)
When it comes to giving thanks to God, there isn’t a card, a sentiment, a picture, or a word that can adequately express the gratitude in my heart. What can I say to the One who not only saved my life but who also adopted me into His family? How can I possibly express my thankfulness for His riches? How can I express my gratitude for His friendship and His healing touch? How does one find the words to thank Him for His unconditional love, unmerited favour, and forgiveness? Dictionaries and thesauruses can’t help me. All I can say is ‘Thank you, God’ with the hope that those humble words convey all that is in my heart.
Katherine J. Walden (Dare to Call Him Friend)
And so it is in poetry also: all this love of curious French metres like the Ballade, the Villanelle, the Rondel; all this increased value laid on elaborate alliterations, and on curious words and refrains, such as you will find in Dante Rossetti and Swinburne, is merely the attempt to perfect flute and viol and trumpet through which the spirit of the age and the lips of the poet may blow the music of their many messages. And so it has been with this romantic movement of ours: it is a reaction against the empty conventional workmanship, the lax execution of previous poetry and painting, showing itself in the work of such men as Rossetti and Burne-Jones by a far greater splendour of colour, a far more intricate wonder of design than English imaginative art has shown before. In Rossetti’s poetry and the poetry of Morris, Swinburne and Tennyson a perfect precision and choice of language, a style flawless and fearless, a seeking for all sweet and precious melodies and a sustaining consciousness of the musical value of each word are opposed to that value which is merely intellectual. In this respect they are one with the romantic movement of France of which not the least characteristic note was struck by Theophile Gautier’s advice to the young poet to read his dictionary every day, as being the only book worth a poet’s reading.
Oscar Wilde (The English Renaissance of Art)
According to the lovely folks at Merriam-Webster, the term “hippie,” in the sense of hirsute member of the counterculture, dates back to 1965, which is a skosh later than I might have guessed. One fun thing about dictionaries is that they’ll provide a date of introduction into written English for just about any word you can think of. This comes in awfully handy when you’re writing period fiction and wish to be era-appropriate, especially in dialogue. Copyediting a novel set during New York’s 1863 Draft Riots, I learned that what we now call a hangover—a term that didn’t pop up till 1894—was known in those earlier days as, among other things, a “katzenjammer.” Note, please, my use of quotation marks just now. I needed them.
Benjamin Dreyer (Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style from the Copy Chief of Random House)
These people so entranced by dictionaries were outside the bounds of Nishioka’s understanding. He couldn’t even be sure they thought of their work as work. They spent huge sums of their own money on materials, ignoring the limitations of their salaries. Sometimes they stayed in the office looking up things and never even realized they had missed the last train home. They seemed filled with a mad fever. And yet you couldn’t really say they loved dictionaries, either—not given the way they studied and analyzed them with such stunning concentration. There was something almost vindictive in their obsession, as if they were going after an enemy, getting the goods on him. How could they be so wrapped up in making dictionaries? He found their obsession mysterious, with even a whiff of bad taste. And yet—if only Nishioka had something that meant as much to him as dictionaries did to Majime and the rest. Then surely he would see everything differently. He would see a world of such dazzling brightness it would hurt.
Shion Miura (The Great Passage)
As England moves toward redefining marriage,” the Daily Telegraph reports, “the word ‘husband’ will in future be applied to women and the word ‘wife’ will refer to men, the Government has decided.” According to John Bingham, “Civil servants have overruled the Oxford English Dictionary and hundreds years of common usage, effectively abolishing the traditional meaning of the words for spouses.” In the government’s proposed guidelines, “‘Husband’ here will include a man or a woman in a same-sex marriage, as well as a man married to a woman. In a similar way, ‘wife’ will include a woman married to another woman or a man married to a man.” So, a man could be a wife if married to another man (or not), while a woman could be a husband if married to another woman (or not), all of which begs the question: Why use words at all if they have utterly lost their meaning? It’s like saying that up is down (or up) and down is up (or down), while north is south (or north) and south is north (or south). But this is what happens when marriage is redefined.16
Michael L. Brown (Can You Be Gay and Christian?: Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality)
HOW TO KNOW IF SOMEONE CAN BE TRUSTED Use this expanded checklist to audit your relationship with regard to your partner toward you and you toward him or her. Show this list and your responses to it to your partner. Ask him or her to use the same list regarding you. If you or your partner are not truly described by this list of positive qualities, discuss what action you can take to change things for the better. MY PARTNER   Shows integrity and lives in accord with standards of fairness and honesty in all his or her dealings. (There is a connection between integrity and trust in the Webster’s Dictionary definition: “Trust is the assured reliance on another’s integrity.”)   May operate on the basis of self-interest but never at my expense or the expense of others.   Will not retaliate, use the silent treatment, resort to violence, or hold a grudge.   Predictably shows me the five A’s.   Supports me when I need him or her. Keeps agreements. Remains faithful.   Does not lie or have a secret life. Genuinely cares about me.   Stands by me and up for me.   Is what he or she appears to be; wants to appear just as he or she is, no matter if at times that is unflattering.
David Richo (Daring to Trust: Opening Ourselves to Real Love and Intimacy)
Feeling like a displaced person Laura struggles with being defined by her status as a widow. “Distracted by the word widow, which had taken root, budded and bloomed in her mind like a weed in a vacant lot, Laura opened the dictionary on her desk. Flipping past thousands of words, she used in every-day communication with family, friends, and acquaintances – those little black letters, symbols to express thoughts for the ear to hear and the heart to feel – she wondered, What words gave expression to her pain? What words described the sense of something lurking inside her, or the dark shadows stalking her mind? Widow: a five-letter word, preceded by words like wide, and widget and followed by words like widow’s peak, widow’s weeds, and widower. This little word – widow- in small case, had no business masquerading as a noun: a person, place or thing. In contrast, - widget, a small mechanical object, not a feeling thing, just an object – seemed an honest noun. Widow is not an object, she thought. “It’s a word so thin as to be nothing but a wisp of breath passing through one’s vocal cords and disappearing almost imperceptibly between one’s lips. It has no life of its own. It’s a mere label, and it could just as well be a piece of paper saying, chocolate cookies or best before date.
Sharon J. Harrison (Picking Apples In The Sunshine)
Paul Theroux on Blogging, Travel Writing, and Three Cups of Tea Speaking of books that contain an element of travel, Greg Mortenson's bestseller about Central Asia was in the news recently. Were you surprised by the allegations that Three Cups of Tea contained fabrications? No, I wasn't. One of the things The Tao of Travel shows is how unforthcoming most travel writers are, how most travelers are. They don't tell you who they were traveling with, and they're not very reliable about things that happened to them. For example, everyone loved John Steinbeck's book Travels With Charley. Turns out he didn't travel alone, his wife kept meeting him, yet she was never mentioned in the book. Steinbeck didn't go to all the places he mentioned, nor did he meet all the people he said he met. In other words, Travels With Charley is fiction, or at least half-fiction. As for Three Cups of Tea, I think that philanthropists and humanitarians are even less forthcoming about what they do. I guess this guy did build a couple of schools in Afghanistan, but a self-promoting humanitarian is not someone I have a great deal of trust or belief in. I lived for six years in Africa and I've been to Africa numerous times since then. People build schools for their own reasons—not to improve a country. The people I've known who've done great things of that type—you know, building hospitals, running schools—are very humble people. They give their lives to the project. Missionaries get a bad rap, but I've known missionaries in Africa who were very self-sacrificing and humble and who did great things. They ran schools, hospitals, libraries; they helped people. Some wrote dictionaries and translated languages that hadn't been written down. I saw a lot of missionaries in Africa that were doing that, and you would never know their names; they came and did their work, and now they're buried there. Are there travel books out there that feel especially honest to you? Many of the books I quote in The Tao of Travel feel honest. One of them, really the most heartfelt, is Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi. Peter Matthiessen's The Snow Leopard is a very honest book. Jan Morris has written numerous books, and you can take what she says to the bank. But there are some that just don't feel right. Bruce Chatwin never rang true to me. Bill Bryson said that he would take a couple of people and make them into one composite character. Well, that's what novelists do. If you're a travel writer you have to stick to the facts.
Paul Theroux
So, what did you want to watch?’ ‘Thought we might play a game instead,’ he said, holding up a familiar dark green box. ‘Found this on the bottom shelf of your DVD cupboard … if you tilt the glass, the champagne won’t froth like that.’ Neve finished pouring champagne into the 50p champagne flutes she’d got from the discount store and waited until Max had drunk a good half of his in two swift swallows. ‘The thing is, you might find it hard to believe but I can be very competitive and I have an astonishing vocabulary from years spent having no life and reading a lot – and well, if you play Scrabble with me, I’ll totally kick your arse.’ Max was about to eat his first bite of molten mug cake but he paused with the spoon halfway to his mouth. ‘You’re gonna kick my arse?’ ‘Until it’s black and blue and you won’t be able to sit down for a week.’ That sounded very arrogant. ‘Really, Max, Mum stopped me from playing when I was thirteen after I got a score of four hundred and twenty-seven, and when I was at Oxford, I used to play with two Linguistics post-grads and an English don.’ ‘Well, my little pancake girlfriend, I played Scrabble against Carol Vorderman for a Guardian feature and I kicked her arse because Scrabble has got nothing to do with vocabulary; it’s logic and tactics,’ Max informed her loftily, taking a huge bite of the cake. For a second, Neve hoped that it was as foul-tasting as she suspected just to get Max back for that snide little speech, but he just licked the back of the spoon thoughtfully. ‘This is surprisingly more-ish, do you want some?’ ‘I think I’ll pass.’ ‘Well, you’re not getting out of Scrabble that easily.’ Max leaned back against the cushions, the mug cradled to his chest, and propped his feet up on the table so he could poke the Scrabble box nearer to Neve. ‘Come on, set ’em up. Unless you’re too scared.’ ‘Max, I have all the two-letter words memorised, and as for Carol Vorderman – well, she might be good at maths but there was a reason why she wasn’t in Dictionary Corner on Countdown so I’m not surprised you beat her at Scrabble.’ ‘Fighting talk.’ Max rapped his knuckles gently against Neve’s head, which made her furious. ‘I’ll remind you of that little speech once I’m done making you eat every single one of those high-scoring words you seem to think you’re so good at.’ ‘Right, that does it.’ Neve snatched up the box and practically tore off the lid, so she could bang the board down on the coffee table. ‘You can’t be that good at Scrabble if you keep your letters in a crumpled paper bag,’ Max noted, actually daring to nudge her arm with his foot. Neve knew he was only doing it to get a rise out of her, but God, it was working. ‘Game on, Pancake Boy,’ she snarled, throwing a letter rack at Max, which just made him laugh. ‘And don’t think I’m going to let you win just because it’s your birthday.’ It was the most fun Neve had ever had playing Scrabble. It might even have been the most fun she had ever had. For every obscure word she tried to play in the highest scoring place, Max would put down three tiles to make three different words and block off huge sections of the board. Every time she tried to flounce or throw a strop because ‘you’re going against the whole spirit of the game’, Max would pop another Quality Street into her mouth because, as he said, ‘It is Treat Sunday and you only had one roast potato.’ When there were no more Quality Street left and they’d drunk all the champagne, he stopped each one of her snits with a slow, devastating kiss so there were long pauses between each round. It was a point of honour to Neve that she won in the most satisfying way possible; finally getting to use her ‘q’ on a triple word score by turning Max’s ‘hogs’ into ‘quahogs’ and waving the Oxford English Dictionary in his face when he dared to challenge her.
Sarra Manning (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)