Dictionary Quotes

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

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If you're looking for sympathy you'll find it between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.
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David Sedaris (Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays)
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That does it," said Jace. "I'm going to get you a dictionary for Christmas this year." "Why?" Isabelle said. "So you can look up 'fun.' I'm not sure you know what it means.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
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A DEFINITION NOT FOUND IN THE DICTIONARY Not leaving: an act of trust and love, often deciphered by children
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Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
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Your friend's poetry is terrible," he said. Clary blinked, caught momentarily off guard. "What?" "I said his poetry was terrible. It sounds like he ate a dictionary and started vomiting up words at random.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
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It was a mistake," you said. But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Common sense is not so common.
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Voltaire (A Pocket Philosophical Dictionary)
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Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.
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Elbert Hubbard (The Roycroft Dictionary Concocted By Ali Baba And The Bunch On Rainy Days (1914))
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Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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In the dictionary, next to the word stress, there is a picture of a midsize mutant stuck inside a dog crate, wondering if her destiny is to be killed or to save the world. Okay, not really. But there should be.
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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Asscrown," I muttered under my breath as I headed to my next class. I wasn't proud of swearing at a complete stranger, no. but he started it. Noah matched my pace. "Don't you mean 'assclown'?" He looked amused. "No," I said, louder this time. "I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses," I said, as though I was reading from a dictionary of modern profanity. "I guess you nailed me then.
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Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
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Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.
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NapolΓ©on Bonaparte
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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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
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Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words.
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Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
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Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
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Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary)
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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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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If you look up "charming" in the dictionary, you'll see that it not only has references to strong attraction, but to spells and magic. Then again, what are liars if not great magicians?
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Deb Caletti (The Secret Life of Prince Charming)
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The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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That was a pygmy marmoset by the way. Just in case you were wondering." I wheezed. "Thank you oh Walking Monkey Dictionary.
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Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
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Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything.
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David Bowie
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Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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I want my own books to have their own shelves," you said, and that's how I knew it would be okay to live together.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Even when I detach, I care. You can be separate from a thing and still care about it. If I wanted to detach completely, I would move my body away. I would stop the conversation midsentence. I would leave the bed. Instead, I hover over it for a second. I glance off in another direction. But I always glance back at you.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.
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Steven Wright
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Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.
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Vince Lombardi Jr.
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corrode, v. I spent all this time building a relationship. Then one night I left the window open and it started to rust.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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love, n. I'm not even going to try.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Are you looking for sympathy? You'll find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis
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Thomas Harris (Hannibal Rising (Hannibal Lecter, #4))
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And people get all fouled up because they want the world to have meaning as if it were words... As if you had a meaning, as if you were a mere word, as if you were something that could be looked up in a dictionary. You are meaning.
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Alan W. Watts
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me: why is it upset? shouldn't it be downset? gideon: i will file a lawsuit against the dictionaries first thing tomorrow morning. we're going to tear merriam a new asshole and throw webster inside of it.
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David Levithan (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
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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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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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.
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Clementine von Radics
β€œ
I try to convince myself that it's the alcohol talking. But alcohol can't talk. It just sits there. It can't even get itself out of the bottle.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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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.
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Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
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Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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breathtaking, adj. Those mornings when we kiss and surrender for an hour before we say a single word.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Only a person with the true heart of a dictionary-writer would be lying in bed, three days after being stabbed in the gut, worrying about his P's.
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Kristin Cashore (Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3))
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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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.
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Italo Calvino
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Did you just use juxtaposition in a sentence?" "Yes, Sage" he said patiently. "We use it all the time with art, ... That, and I know how to use a dictionary
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Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
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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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Ocean, n. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man β€” who has no gills.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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There are times when I worry that I've already lost myself. That is, that my self is so inseparable from being with you that if we were to separate, I would no longer be. I save this thought for when I feel the darkest discontent. I never meant to depend so much on someone else.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are not as they ought to be.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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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.
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Alain de Botton (On Love)
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Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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We are all imprisoned by the dictionary. We choose out of that vast, paper-walled prison our convicts, the little black printed words, when in truth we need fresh sounds to utter, new enfranchised noises which would produce a new effect.
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Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
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Question: I am interested in so many things, and I have a terrible fear because my mother keeps telling me that I'm just going to be exploring the rest of my life and never get anything done. But I find it really hard to set my ways and say, "Well, do I want to do this, or should I try to exploit that, or should I escape and completely do one thing?" AnaΓ―s Nin: One word I would banish from the dictionary is 'escape.' Just banish that and you'll be fine. Because that word has been misused regarding anybody who wanted to move away from a certain spot and wanted to grow. He was an escapist. You know if you forget that word you will have a much easier time. Also you're in the prime, the beginning of your life; you should experiment with everything, try everything.... We are taught all these dichotomies, and I only learned later that they could work in harmony. We have created false dichotomies; we create false ambivalences, and very painful one's sometimes -the feeling that we have to choose. But I think at one point we finally realize, sometimes subconsciously, whether or not we are really fitted for what we try and if it's what we want to do. You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you're not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn't a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.
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AnaΓ―s Nin
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Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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flux, n. The natural state. Our moods change. Our lives change. Our feelings for each other change. Our bearings change. The song changes. The air changes. The temperature of the shower changes. Accept this. We must accept this.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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I want to know what it means to be in love. But in my dictionary 'in love' is indefinable.
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Ellen Hopkins (Identical)
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As far as I'm concerned, the only difference between fact and what most people call fiction is about fifteen pages in the dictionary.
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Charles de Lint
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yearning, n. and adj. At the core of this desire is the belief that everything can be perfect.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.
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Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
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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.
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Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
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Ocean: The endless part of yourself you never knew but always suspected was there. -Madeline (Madeline's Dictionary)
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Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything)
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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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Isobel's head popped up. "What does 'sagacious' mean?" "Sagacious," he said, writing, "adjective describing someone in possession of acute mental faculties. Also describing one who might, in a bookstore, think to get up and locate an actual dictionary instead of asking a billion questions.
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Kelly Creagh (Nevermore (Nevermore, #1))
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But what is memory if not the language of feeling, a dictionary of faces and days and smells which repeat themselves like the verbs and adjectives in a speech, sneaking in behind the thing itself,into the pure present, making us sad or teaching us vicariously...
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Julio CortΓ‘zar (Hopscotch)
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Which is more stubborn, the love or the two arguing people caught within it?
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Will I have to use a dictionary to read your book?" asked Mrs. Dodypol. "It depends," says I, "how much you used the dictionary before you read it.
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Alexander Theroux (Darconville's Cat)
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The best is the enemy of good.
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Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary)
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Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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If this continues, if this goes on, then when I die, your memories of me will be my greatest accomplishment. You memories will be my most lasting impressions.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Education, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
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What can you say to a man who tells you he prefers obeying God rather than men, and that as a result he's certain he'll go to heaven if he cuts your throat?
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Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary)
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A Short Alternative Medical Dictionary Definitions courtesy of Dr Lemuel Pillmeister (also known as Lemmy) Addiction - When you can give up something any time, as long as it's next Tuesday. Cocaine - Peruvian Marching Powder. A stimulant that has the extraordinary effect that the more you do, the more you laugh out of context. Depression - When everything you laugh at is miserable and you can't seem to stop. Heroin - A drug that helps you to escape reality, while making it much harder to cope when you are recaptured. Psychosis - When everybody turns into tiny dolls and they have needles in their mouths and they hate you and you don't care because you have THE KNIFE! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!
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Nikki Sixx (The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star)
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The dictionary is based on the hypothesis -- obviously an unproven one -- that languages are made up of equivalent synonyms.
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Jorge Luis Borges
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Wordplay hides a key to reality that the dictionary tries in vain to lock inside every free word.
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Julio CortΓ‘zar (Around the Day in Eighty Worlds)
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I would think for hours how strange it was that some parts of words are silent, just like some parts of our lives. Did the people who wrote the dictionaries decide to mirror language to our lives, or did it just happen that way?
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Rene Denfeld (The Enchanted)
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Apologize: To lay the foundation for a future offence.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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I want you to spend the night,” you said. And it was definitely your phrasing that ensured it. If you had said, β€œLet’s have sex,” or β€œLet’s go to my place,” or even β€œI 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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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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 itβ€”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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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I'm pretty sure that if you looked up the word "nuts" in the dictionary, you'll find my picture. Just another fun feature of my mutant-birdkid-freak package.
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James Patterson (School's Outβ€”Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
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God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.
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David C. Gross (Dictionary of 1000 Jewish Proverbs)
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Heathen, n. A benighted creature who has the folly to worship something he can see and feel.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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Burns from dropped matches, Ms. Lane? Matches one might have dropped while flirting with a pernicious Fae, Ms. Lane? Have you any idea the value of this rug?” I didn’t think his nostrils could flare any wider. His eyes were black flame. β€œPernicious? Good grief, is English your second language? Third?” Only someone who’d learned English from a dictionary would use such a word. β€œFifth,” he snarled. β€œAnswer me.
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Karen Marie Moning (Bloodfever (Fever, #2))
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I am the sole author of the dictionary that defines me.
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Zadie Smith (NW)
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Please be SILENT and LISTEN. I am the SCHOOLMASTER and you are in the CLASSROOM. Just like ELEVEN PLUS TWO equals TWELVE PLUS ONE, And even a FUNERAL can be REAL FUN, You will find my DICTIONARY is quite INDICATORY. If you want to read my story, just look... THEN UNREAD.
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Pseudonymous Bosch (The Name of This Book Is Secret (Secret, #1))
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In the secret pocket, she often kept a small pocket dictionary, which she would take out whenever she encountered a word she did not know.
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Lemony Snicket (The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8))
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Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. (The perfect is the enemy of the good.)
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Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary)
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exacerbate, v. I believe your exact words were: "You're getting too emotional.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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If you and I really, truly wanted to change the world, we'd invent more words that started with x.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum -- "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;" as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
Hash, x. There is no definition for this word - nobody knows what hash is. Famous, adj. Conspicuously miserable. Dictionary, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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Mr. Ryan was going to have my ass. I was twenty minutes late. As I experienced this morning, he hated late. "Late" was a word not found in the Bennett Ryan Dickhead Dictionary. Along with "heart," "kindness," "compassion," "lunch break," or "thank you.
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Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1))
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We're so special, when you look in the dictionary under short bus, there's a group picture of us,'' Stevie Rae said, sounding weak but definately alive.
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Kristin Cast (Untamed (House of Night, #4))
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I will use big words from time to time, the meanings of which I may only vaguely perceive, in hopes such cupidity will send you scampering to your dictionary: I will call such behavior 'public service'.
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Harlan Ellison
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Positive, adj.: Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
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.
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Frederick Buechner (Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter's Dictionary)
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recant, v. I want to take back at least half of the β€œI 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 β€œhoney” 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 β€œI love you”s, because it feels safer that way.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
Since then I've always thought that under rape in the dictionary it should tell the truth. It is not just forcible intercourse; rape means to inhabit and destroy everything.
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Alice Sebold (Lucky)
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When you look up 'hilarious' in the dictionary, there's a picture of you.
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Jonathan Safran Foer
β€œ
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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
He pulled my face up with his hand cupping my cheek and kissed me on my trembling mouth. He smoothed his hands down my arms, my back, my hair, my cheek, soothing me. β€œThere’s a picture of you two in the dictionary under β€˜get a room’,” Kyle said from behind me.
”
”
Shelly Crane (Accordance (Significance, #2))
β€œ
Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
No," I said, louder this time. "I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses," I said, as though reading from a dictionary of modern profanity.
”
”
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
β€œ
Oooh, that was fun." "That does it," said Jace. "I'm going to get you a dictionary for Christmas this year." "Why?" Isabelle said. "So you can look up 'fun.' I'm not sure you know what it means.
”
”
Cassandra Clare
β€œ
Inhumanity, n. One of the signal and characteristic qualities of humanity.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
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)
β€œ
Kids, she says. When they’re little, they believe everything you tell them about the world. As a mother, you’re the world almanac and the encyclopedia and the dictionary and the Bible, all rolled up together. But after they hit some magic age, it’s just the opposite. After that, you’re either a liar or a fool or a villain.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Haunted)
β€œ
So I said I wanted you to stay, even though nothing could stay the same.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
You can look up keening in the dictionary, but you don’t know what it means until you hear somebody having their heart ripped out.
”
”
Bryn Greenwood (All the Ugly and Wonderful Things)
β€œ
The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order.
”
”
Jean Cocteau (Le Potomak)
β€œ
Redemption, n. Deliverance of sinners from the penalty of their sin through their murder of the deity against whom they sinned. The doctrine of Redemption is the fundamental mystery of our holy religions, and whoso believeth in it shall not perish, but have everlasting life in which to try to understand it.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
Dictionaries stop where the heart starts.
”
”
David Foenkinos (Delicacy)
β€œ
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)
β€œ
I am sure people tell you this constantly but if you looked up 'incredibly beautiful' in the dictionary there would be a picture of you.
”
”
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
β€œ
I never know what you really want, if I can give it to you, or if I’m already too late.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
FIDELITY, n. A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
You never let things go unanswered for too long. Emails. Phone calls. Questions. As if you know the waiting is the hardest part for me.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
ethereal, adj. You leaned your head into mine, and I leaned my head into yours. Dancing cheek to cheek. Revolving slowly, eyes closed, heartbeat measure, nature’s hum. It lasted the length of an old song, and then we stopped, kissed, and my heart stayed there, just like that.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
stanchion, n. I don't want to be the strong one, but I don't want to be the weak one either. Why does it feel like it's always one or the other? When we embrace, one of us is always holding the other a little tighter.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
ubiquitous, adj. When it’s going well, the fact of it is everywhere. It’s there in the song that shuffles into your ears. It’s there in the book you’re reading. It’s there on the shelves of the store as you reach for a towel and forget about the towel. It’s there as you open the door. As you stare off into the subway, it’s what you’re looking at. You wear it on the inside of your hat. It lines your pockets. It’s the temperature. The hitch, of course, it that when it’s going badly, it’s in all the same places.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
only, adj. Thats 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)
β€œ
candid, adj. "Most times, when I'm having sex, I'd rather be reading." This was, I admit, a strange thing to say on a second date. I guess I was just giving you a warning. "Most times when I'm reading," you said, "I'd rather be having sex".
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
Discord is the great ill of mankind; and tolerance is the only remedy for it.
”
”
Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary)
β€œ
I don't understand your book. Isn't every book a book of words?
”
”
Kristin Cashore (Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3))
β€œ
For I have never wanted a lover, but I have always wanted to love, and to be loved.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
Christian, n.: one who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
HOMICIDE, n. The slaying of one human being by another. There are four kinds of homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy, but it makes no great difference to the person slain whether he fell by one kind or another -- the classification is for advantage of the lawyers.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
Symbols and emblems were everywhere. Buildings and pictures were designed to be read like books. Everything stood for something else; if you had the right dictionary, you could read Nature itself. It was hardly surprising to find philosophers using the symbolism of their time to interpret knowledge that came from a mysterious source.
”
”
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
β€œ
Philosophy - A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary and Other Works)
β€œ
I have already spent roughly five thousand hours asleep next to you. This has to mean something.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
There was a pause. I was still scared by every gap in our conversation, fearing that this was it, the point where we had nothing left to say. I was still trying to impress you, and I still wanted to be impressed by you, so I could pass along pieces of your impressiveness to my friends, convincing myself this was possible.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
One always begins with the simple, then comes the complex, and by superior enlightenment one often reverts in the end to the simple. Such is the course of human intelligence.
”
”
Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary)
β€œ
Academe, n.: An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught. Academy, n.: A modern school where football is taught.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
The woman rolled her eyes. β€œDarkRiver males are damn possessive and complete exhibitionists during the mating dance.” Sascha ran through her dictionary of changeling terminology and could find no fit. β€œMating dance?” Mercy whistled. Dorian winced. Tamsyn suddenly got interested in her dough. Clay and Vaughn mysteriously disappeared. Behind her, Lucas’s body was a hard wall of heat. β€œI think we need to discuss this upstairs.
”
”
Nalini Singh (Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling, #1))
β€œ
BELLADONNA, n. In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
Sometimes desire is 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)
β€œ
If there wasn't a word for it, would we realize our masochism as much?
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
MIND, n. A mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain. Its chief activity consists in the endeavour to ascertain its own nature, the futility of the attempt being due to the fact that it has nothing but itself to know itself with.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
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)
β€œ
With the world securely in order, Dain was able to devote the leisurely bath time to editing his mental dictionary. He removed his wife from the general category labeled "Females" and gave her a section of her own. He made a note that she didn't find him revolting, and proposed several explanations: (a) bad eyesight and faulty hearing, (b)a defect in a portion of her otherwise sound intellect, (c) an inherited Trent eccentricity, or (d) an act of God. Since the Almighty had not done him a single act of kindness in at least twenty-five years, Dain thought it was about bloody time, but he thanked his Heavenly Father all the same, and promised to be as good as he was capable of being.
”
”
Loretta Chase (Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3))
β€œ
Oooh, that was fun." "That does it," said Jace. "I'm going to get you a dictionary for Christmas this year." "Why?" Isabelle said. "So you can look up 'fun.' I'm not sure you know what it means." Isabelle pulled the long heavy mass of her wet hair forward and wrung it out as if it were wet washing. "You're raining on my parade." "It's a pretty wet parade already, if you hadn't noticed." Jace glanced around.
”
”
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
β€œ
Being told when to shit, shower, shave, eat, and sleep isn't my idea of paradise. But then again, Paradise, where i grew up, wasn't paradise either. I'm wondering if paradise is just some word in the dictionary with the definition: this doesn't fucking exist. --Caleb to himself
”
”
Simone Elkeles (Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1))
β€œ
...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))
β€œ
encroach, v. The first three nights we spent together, I couldn't sleep. I wasn't used to your breathing, your feet on my legs, your weight in my bed. In truth, I still sleep better when I'm alone. But now I allow that sleep isn't always the most important thing.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
Words fail me sometimes. I have read most every word in the Webster’s International Dictionary of the English Language, but I still have trouble making them come when I want them to. Right now I want a word that describes the feeling you get – a cold sick feeling deep down inside – when you know something is happening that will change you, and you don’t want it to, but you can’t stop it. And you know you will never be the same again.
”
”
Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light)
β€œ
One dictionary defines denouement as "a final part in which everything is made clear and no questions or surprises remain." By that definition, it is exactly the wrong word to describe this chapter. This chapter will make nothing clear; it will raise many questions; and it may even contain a surprise or two. But I say we call it the denouement anyway because the words sounds so sophisticated and French.
”
”
Pseudonymous Bosch (The Name of This Book Is Secret (Secret, #1))
β€œ
But we comforted ourselves with what we really meant to say, which was: "I don't normally feel this good about what I'm doing." Measure the hope of that moment, that feeling. Everything else will be measured against it.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit it is the first.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce
β€œ
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)
β€œ
[...]Are both of you...?" "Manscaped?" Dante smiled. "I'm fucking Italian; I been mowing my lawn since I was thirteen.
”
”
Damon Suede (Hot Head (Head #1))
β€œ
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)
β€œ
gravity, n. I imagine you saved my life. And then I wonder if I'm just imagining it.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy offers this definition of the word "Infinite". Infinite: Bigger than the biggest thing ever and then some. Much bigger than that in fact, really amazingly immense, a totally stunning size, "wow, that's big", time. Infinity is just so big that by comparison, bigness itself looks really titchy. Gigantic multiplied by colossal multiplied by staggeringly huge is the sort of concept we're trying to get across here.
”
”
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
β€œ
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 β€œI love you”s, because it feels safer that way.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
barfly n. You have the ability to talk to anyone which is an ability I do not share.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
I cannot overstate the benefits of a busy day for an anxious mind or a lonely heart.
”
”
Pip Williams (The Dictionary of Lost Words)
β€œ
Words define us, they explain us, and, on occasion, they serve to control or isolate us.
”
”
Pip Williams (The Dictionary of Lost Words)
β€œ
Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
aloof, adj. It has always been my habit, ever since junior high school, to ask that question: β€œWhat are you thinking?” It is always an act of desperation, and I keep on asking, even though I know it will never work the way I want it to.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
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)
β€œ
After working for so long on being sure of each other, sure of this thing, suddenly we were unsure again.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
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)
β€œ
Reading list (1972 edition)[edit] 1. Homer – Iliad, Odyssey 2. The Old Testament 3. Aeschylus – Tragedies 4. Sophocles – Tragedies 5. Herodotus – Histories 6. Euripides – Tragedies 7. Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War 8. Hippocrates – Medical Writings 9. Aristophanes – Comedies 10. Plato – Dialogues 11. Aristotle – Works 12. Epicurus – Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus 13. Euclid – Elements 14. Archimedes – Works 15. Apollonius of Perga – Conic Sections 16. Cicero – Works 17. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things 18. Virgil – Works 19. Horace – Works 20. Livy – History of Rome 21. Ovid – Works 22. Plutarch – Parallel Lives; Moralia 23. Tacitus – Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania 24. Nicomachus of Gerasa – Introduction to Arithmetic 25. Epictetus – Discourses; Encheiridion 26. Ptolemy – Almagest 27. Lucian – Works 28. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations 29. Galen – On the Natural Faculties 30. The New Testament 31. Plotinus – The Enneads 32. St. Augustine – On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine 33. The Song of Roland 34. The Nibelungenlied 35. The Saga of Burnt NjΓ‘l 36. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica 37. Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy 38. Geoffrey Chaucer – Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales 39. Leonardo da Vinci – Notebooks 40. NiccolΓ² Machiavelli – The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy 41. Desiderius Erasmus – The Praise of Folly 42. Nicolaus Copernicus – On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres 43. Thomas More – Utopia 44. Martin Luther – Table Talk; Three Treatises 45. FranΓ§ois Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel 46. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion 47. Michel de Montaigne – Essays 48. William Gilbert – On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies 49. Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote 50. Edmund Spenser – Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene 51. Francis Bacon – Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis 52. William Shakespeare – Poetry and Plays 53. Galileo Galilei – Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences 54. Johannes Kepler – Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World 55. William Harvey – On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals 56. Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan 57. RenΓ© Descartes – Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy 58. John Milton – Works 59. MoliΓ¨re – Comedies 60. Blaise Pascal – The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises 61. Christiaan Huygens – Treatise on Light 62. Benedict de Spinoza – Ethics 63. John Locke – Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education 64. Jean Baptiste Racine – Tragedies 65. Isaac Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics 66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz – Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology 67. Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe 68. Jonathan Swift – A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal 69. William Congreve – The Way of the World 70. George Berkeley – Principles of Human Knowledge 71. Alexander Pope – Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man 72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu – Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws 73. Voltaire – Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary 74. Henry Fielding – Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones 75. Samuel Johnson – The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets
”
”
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
β€œ
AMNESTY, n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
Impiety, n. Your irreverence toward my deity.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
dissonance, n. Nights when I need to sleep and you can't. Days when I want to talk to you and you won't. Hours when every noise you make interferes with my silence. Weeks when there is a buzzing in the air, and we both pretend we don't hear it.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
Self-evident, adj. Evident to one's self and to nobody else.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
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)
β€œ
NIHILIST, n. A Russian who denies the existence of anything but Tolstoi. The leader of the school is Tolstoi.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
I want to take back at least half of the β€œI love you”s, because I didn’t mean them as much as the other ones.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
Maybe language is kind, giving us these double meanings. Maybe it's trying to teach us a lesson, that we can always be two things at once.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
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)
β€œ
This was like no library I had ever seen because, well, there were no books. Actually, I take that back. There was one book, but it was the lobby of the building, encased in a heavy glass box like a museum exhibit. I figured this was a book that was here to remind people of the past and the way things used to be. As I walked over to it, I wondered what would be one book chosen to take this place of honor. Was it a dictionary? A Bible? Maybe the complete works of Shakespeare or some famous poet. "Green Eggs and Ham?" Gunny said with surprise. "What kind of doctor writes about green eggs and ham?" "Dr. Seuss," I answered with a big smile on my face. "It's my favorite book of all time." Patrick joined us and said, "We took a vote. It was pretty much everybody's favorite. Landslide victory. I'm partial to Horton Hears A Who, but this is okay too." The people of Third Earth still had a sense of humor.
”
”
D.J. MacHale (The Never War (Pendragon, #3))
β€œ
arrears, n. My faithfulness was as unthinking as your lapse. Of all the things I though would go wrong, I never thought it would be that. "It was a mistake," you said. But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
blemish,n. The slight acne scars. The penny-sized, penny-shaped birthmark right above your knee. The dot below your shoulder that must have been from when you had chicken pox in third grade. The scratch on your neck- did I do that? This brief transcript of moments, written on the body, is so deeply satisfying to read.
”
”
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
When we read, it is not ours to absorb all that is written. Our thoughts are jealous and they constantly blank out the thoughts of others, for there is not room enough in us for two scents at one time.
”
”
Milorad Pavić (Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words)
β€œ
There's a Palestine that dwells inside all of us, a Palestine that needs to be rescued: a free Palestine where all people regardless of color, religion, or race coexist; a Palestine where the meaning of the word "occupation" is only restricted to what the dictionary says rather than those plenty of meanings and connotations of death, destruction, pain, suffering, deprivation, isolation and restrictions that Israel has injected the word with.
”
”
Refaat Alareer (Gaza Writes Back (#1))
β€œ
I looked the word up in the dictionary, it said: Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. My great-grandmother, from stories I’ve heard, was a feminist. She ran away from the house of the man she did not want to marry and married the man of her choice. She refused, protested, spoke up when she felt she was being deprived of land and access because she was female. She did not know that word feminist. But it doesn’t mean she wasn’t one. More of us should reclaim that word. The best feminist I know is my brother Kene, who is also a kind, good-looking, and very masculine young man. My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.
”
”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (We Should All Be Feminists)
β€œ
So it is the human condition that to wish for the greatness of one's fatherland is to wish evil to one's neighbors. The citizen of the universe would be the man who wishes his country never to be either greater or smaller, richer or poorer.
”
”
Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary)
β€œ
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)
β€œ
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)
β€œ
MAN, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.
”
”
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
β€œ
She asked me what was wrong, and I told her I had to end it. She was surprised, and asked my why I thought so. I told her it wasn't a thought, more a feeling, like I couldn't breathe and knew I had to get some air. It was a survival instinct, I told her. She said it was time for dinner. Then she sat me down and told me not to worry. She said moments like this were like waking up in the middle of the night: You're scared, your'e disoriented, and you're completely convinced you're right. But then you stay awake a little longer and you realize things aren't as fearful as they seem.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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incessant, adj. The doubts. You had to save me from my constant doubts. That deep-seeded feeling that I wasn't good enough for anything I was a fake at my job I wasn't your equal my friends would forget me if I moved away for a month. It wasn't as easy as hearing voices nobody was telling me this. It was just something I knew. Everyone else was playing along but I was sure that one day they would all stop.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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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'.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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In school, the year was the marker. Fifth grade. Senior year of high school. Sophomore year of college. Then after, the jobs were the marker. That office. This desk. But now that school is over and I've been working at the same place in the same office at the same desk for longer than I can truly believe, I realize: You have become the marker. This is your era. And it's only if it goes on and on that will have to look for other ways to identify the time.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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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.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
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healthy, adj. There are times when I'm alone that I think, This is it. This is actually the natural state. All I need are my thoughts and my small acts of creation and my ability to go or do whatever I want to go or do. I am myself, and that is the point. Pairing is a social construction. It is by no means necessary for everyone to do it. Maybe I'm better like this. Maybe I could live my life in my own world, and then simply leave it when it's time to go.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
It’s killing me, baby,” he says, his voice much more calm and quiet. β€œIt’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 feelingβ€”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.
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Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
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Logic, n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding. The basic of logic is the syllogism, consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion - thus: Major Premise: Sixty men can do a piece of work sixty times as quickly as one man. Minor Premise: One man can dig a post-hole in sixty seconds; Therefore- Conclusion: Sixty men can dig a post-hole in one second. This may be called syllogism arithmetical, in which, by combining logic and mathematics, we obtain a double certainty and are twice blessed.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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posterity, n. I try not to think about us growing old together, mostly because I try not to think about growing old at all. Both things - the years passing, the years together - are too enormous to contemplate. But one morning, I gave in. You were asleep, and I imagined you older and older. Your hair graying, your skin folded and creased, your breath catching. And I found myself thinking: If this continues, if this goes on, then when I die, your memories of me will be my greatest accomplishment. Your memories will be my most lasting impression.
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David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
β€œ
I myself grew up to be not only a Hero, but also a Writer. When I was an adult, I rewrote A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons, and I included not only some descriptions of the various deadly dragon species, and a useful Dragonese Dictionary, but also this story of how the book came to be written in the first place. This is the book that you are holding in your hands right now. Perhaps you even borrowed it from a Library? If so, thank Thor that the sinister figure of the Hairy Scary Librarian is not lurking around a corner, hiding in the shadows, Heart-Slicers at the ready, or that the punishment for your curiosity is not the whirring whine of a Driller Dragon's drill. You, dear reader, I am sure cannot imagine what it might to be like to live in a world in which books are banned. For surely such things will never happen in the Future? Thank Thor that you live in a time and a place where people have the right to live and think and write and read their books in peace, and there are no need for Heroes anymore ... And spare a thought for those who have not been so lucky.
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Cressida Cowell (A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons (How to Train Your Dragon, #6))
β€œ
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.
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Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
β€œ
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?
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Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
β€œ
I have been accused of a habit of changing my opinions. I am not myself in any degree ashamed of having changed my opinions. What physicist who was already active in 1900 would dream of boasting that his opinions had not changed during the last half century? In science men change their opinions when new knowledge becomes available; but philosophy in the minds of many is assimilated rather to theology than to science. The kind of philosophy that I value and have endeavoured to pursue is scientific, in the sense that there is some definite knowledge to be obtained and that new discoveries can make the admission of former error inevitable to any candid mind. For what I have said, whether early or late, I do not claim the kind of truth which theologians claim for their creeds. I claim only, at best, that the opinion expressed was a sensible one to hold at the time when it was expressed. I should be much surprised if subsequent research did not show that it needed to be modified. I hope, therefore, that whoever uses this dictionary will not suppose the remarks which it quotes to be intended as pontifical pronouncements, but only as the best I could do at the time towards the promotion of clear and accurate thinking. Clarity, above all, has been my aim.
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Bertrand Russell (Dictionary of Mind, Matter and Morals)
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When you remember me, it means that you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart. For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost. When I'm feeling most ghost-like, it is your remembering me that helps remind me that I actually exist. When I'm feeling sad, it's my consolation. When I'm feeling happy, it's part of why I feel that way. If you forget me, one of the ways I remember who I am will be gone. If you forget, part of who I am will be gone.
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Frederick Buechner (Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter's Dictionary)
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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.
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Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)