Good Vocabulary Quotes

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Good gracious, he was sexy—a word that had not existed in my personal vocabulary until that moment. This guy was sexy like it was his job or something.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Xenial' is a word which refers to the giving of gifts to strangers. . . . I know that having a good vocabulary doesn't guarantee that I'm a good person. . . . But it does mean I've read a great deal. And in my experience, well-read people are less likely to be evil.
Lemony Snicket (The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10))
I know that having a good vocabulary doesn't guarantee that I'm a good person, but it does mean I've read a great deal. And in my experience, well-read people are less likely to be evil.
Lemony Snicket (The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10))
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
you have to have a good vocabulary to do magic. And you have to be able to think on your feet. And be brave enough to speak up. And have an ear for a solid turn of phrase. And you have to actually understand what you’re saying—how the words translate into magic.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
A good vocabulary is not acquired by reading books written according to some notion of the vocabulary of one's age group. It comes from reading books above one.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
I’m smart in some ways- pretty good vocabulary, solid at math – but I am definitely the stupidest smart person there is… I was going to be the worst friend in the history of dying girls… Because I don’t really have a moral compass and I need to rely on (Earl) for guidance, or else I might accidentally become like a hermit or a terrorist or something. How fucked up is that.
Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)
Damn Jeremy, you need to work on your vocabulary. So many good names to call me and the best you could come up with is bitch? Give me the salamander before you hurt yourself." "Suck my dick...whore!
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
The key to good description begins with clear seeing and ends with clear writing, the kind of writing that employs fresh images and simple vocabulary.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.
J.K. Rowling
And for adults, the world of fantasy books returns to us the great words of power which, in order to be tamed, we have excised from our adult vocabularies. These words are the pornography of innocence, words which adults no longer use with other adults, and so we laugh at them and consign them to the nursery, fear masking as cynicism. These are the words that were forged in the earth, air, fire, and water of human existence, and the words are: Love. Hate. Good. Evil. Courage. Honor. Truth.
Jane Yolen (Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood)
Which means you have to have a good vocabulary to do magic. And you have to be able to think on your feet. And be brave enough to speak up. And have an ear for a solid turn of phrase.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
You trip over a word while carrying a tray of vocabulary out to the pool only to discover that broken glass is a good topic.
Billy Collins (The Apple that Astonished Paris)
Anyone can write good sex scenes. All you need is some basic knowledge of anatomy, the right vocabulary and some choice reading material. Experience has nothing to do with it.
Claire Kent (Escorted (Escorted, #1))
Old Luce. He was strictly a pain in the ass, but he certainly had a good vocabulary. He had the largest vocabulary of any boy at Whooton when I was there. They gave us a test.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
All of us possess a reading vocabulary as big as a lake but draw from a writing vocabulary as small as a pond. The good news is that the acts of searching and gathering always expand the number of usable words.
Roy Peter Clark (Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer)
When we use these words and we talk about plants having a strategy to do this or wanting this or desiring this, we’re being metaphorical obviously. I mean, plants do not have consciousness. But, this is a fault of our own vocabulary. We don’t have a very good vocabulary to describe what others species do to us, because we think we’re the only species that really does anything.
Michael Pollan
Julia's vocabulary was "chock-full" of strangely archaic words - "spiffing," "crumbs," "jeepers" - that seemed to have originated in some prewar girls' annual rather than in Julia's own life. For Jackson, words were functional, they helped you get to places and explain things. For Julia, they were freighted with inexplicable emotion.
Kate Atkinson (One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie, #2))
Isn't language loss a good thing, because fewer languages mean easier communication among the world's people? Perhaps, but it's a bad thing in other respects. Languages differ in structure and vocabulary, in how they express causation and feelings and personal responsibility, hence in how they shape our thoughts. There's no single purpose "best" language; instead, different languages are better suited for different purposes. For instance, it may not have been an accident that Plato and Aristotle wrote in Greek, while Kant wrote in German. The grammatical particles of those two languages, plus their ease in forming compound words, may have helped make them the preeminent languages of western philosophy. Another example, familiar to all of us who studied Latin, is that highly inflected languages (ones in which word endings suffice to indicate sentence structure) can use variations of word order to convey nuances impossible with English. Our English word order is severely constrained by having to serve as the main clue to sentence structure. If English becomes a world language, that won't be because English was necessarily the best language for diplomacy.
Jared Diamond (The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal)
A good ruler has to learn his world's language, and that's different for every world, the language you don't hear just with your ears.
Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune #1))
A good vocabulary,’ he once wrote (April 1959), ‘is not acquired by reading books written according to some notion of the vocabulary of one’s age-group. It comes from reading books above one
J.R.R. Tolkien (Roverandom)
The tree man eulogized them by screaming, 'And now get the hell out of here with your tree, you lousy bastards.' Francie had heard swearing since she had heard words. Obscenity and profanity had no meaning as such among those people. They were emotional expressions of inarticulate people with small vocabularies; they made a kind of dialect. The phrases could mean many things according to the expression and tone used in saying them. So now, when Francie heard themselves called lousy bastards, she smiled tremulously at the kind man. She knew that he was really saying, 'Good-bye--God bless you.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
I don't think we have all the words in a single vocabulary to explain what we are or why we are. I don't think we have the range of emotion to fully feel what someone else is feeling. I don't think any of us can sit in judgment of another human being. We're incomplete creatures, barely scraping by. Is it possible--from the perspective of this quickly spinning Earth and our speedy journey from crib to coffin--to know the difference between right, wrong, good, and evil? I don't know if it's even useful to try.
Alexandra Fuller (Scribbling the Cat)
Stoic rhetoric identified five “virtues” of speech: 1. Correct grammar and good vocabulary 2. Clarity of expression, making the ideas easily understood 3. Conciseness, employing no more words than necessary 4. Appropriateness of style, suited to the subject matter and apparently also to the audience 5. Distinction, or artistic excellence, and the avoidance of vulgarity
Donald J. Robertson (How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius)
If a man is only as good as his word, then I want to marry a man with a vocabulary like yours. The way you say dicey and delectable and octogenarian in the same sentence — that really turns me on. The way you describe the oranges in your backyard using anarchistic and intimate in the same breath. I would follow the legato and staccato of your tongue wrapping around your diction until listening become more like dreaming and dreaming became more like kissing you. I want to jump off the cliff of your voice into the suicide of your stream of consciousness. I want to visit the place in your heart where the wrong words die. I want to map it out with a dictionary and points of brilliant light until it looks more like a star chart than a strategy for communication. I want to see where your words are born. I want to find a pattern in the astrology. I want to memorize the scripts of your seductions. I want to live in the long-winded epics of your disappointments, in the haiku of your epiphanies. I want to know all the names you’ve given your desires. I want to find my name among them, ‘cause there is nothing more wrecking sexy than the right word. I want to thank whoever told you there was no such thing as a synonym. I want to throw a party for the heartbreak that turned you into a poet. And if it is true that a man is only as good as his word then, sweet jesus, let me be there the first time you are speechless, and all your explosive wisdom becomes a burning ball of sun in your throat, and all you can bring yourself to utter is, oh god, oh god.
Mindy Nettifee
A lotta good things about you, honey. One of them is that Ethan’s pickin’ up your vocabulary. Swear to Christ, before Conner took him to school today, he said he was vexed about something and if I got it right, he used it right seein’ as he was annoyed.
Kristen Ashley (The Will (Magdalene, #1))
What good is a vocabulary that isn't used?
Neil Gaiman (InterWorld (InterWorld, #1))
I have just come from the East End,” he said. “Something about the stories disturbed me, for more than the obvious reasons. I went there to have a look about for myself. And what happened last night proves my theory. There have been many murders recently—all of women, women who . . .” “Prostitutes,” Tessa said. “Quite,” Gabriel said. “Tessa has such an extensive vocabulary,” Will said. “It is one of the most attractive things about her. Shame about yours, Gabriel.” “Will, listen to me.” Gabriel allowed himself a long sigh. “Spoon!” James said, running at his uncle Gabriel and jabbing him in the thigh. Gabriel mussed the boy’s hair affectionately. “You’re such a good boy,” he said. “I often wonder how you could possibly be Will’s.” “Spoon,” James said, leaning against his uncle’s leg lovingly. “No, Jamie,” Will urged. “Your honorable father has been impugned. Attack, attack!
Cassandra Clare (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy)
You know how your brain turns to mush? How it starts when you’re pregnant? You laugh, full of wonder and conspiracy, and you chide yourself, Me and my pregnancy brain! Then you give birth and your brain doesn’t return? But you’re breast-feeding, so you laugh, as if you’re a member of an exclusive club? Me and my nursing brain! But then you stop nursing and the terrible truth descends: Your good brain is never coming back. You’ve traded vocabulary, lucidity, and memory for motherhood. You know how you’re in the middle of a sentence and you realize at the end you’re going to need to call up a certain word and you’re worried you won’t be able to, but you’re already committed so you hurtle along and then pause because you’ve arrived at the end but the word hasn’t? And it’s not even a ten-dollar word you’re after, like polemic or shibboleth, but a two-dollar word, like distinctive, so you just end up saying amazing? Which is how you join the gang of nitwits who describe everything as amazing.
Maria Semple (Today Will Be Different)
Have you missed me?" he asked. "What do you think?" she evaded smoothly-but not smoothly enough, because he chuckled. "Good.How much?" "Is your ego in need of bolstering today?" she countered lightly. "Yep." "Really,why?" "Because I got shot down by a beautiful twenty-three-year-old, and I can't seem to get her out of my mind." "That's too bad," Lauren said, trying unsuccessfully to hide the joy in her voice. "Isn't it," he mocked. "She's like a thorn in my side,a blister on my heel. She has the eyes of an angel, a body that drugs my mind, the vocabulary of an English professor and a tongue like a scalpel." "Thanks,I think." His hands glided up her arms, then curved around her shoulders, tightening as he drew her to within a few inches of his chest. "And," he added. "I like her.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
Was he mad at her? It was so difficult in text, and she wondered if her generation's reliance on written communication was making them better writers or simply more confused people. Body language told you so much; text on its own was subject to misinterpretation in every way possible. You'd think they'd all get very good at subtletly and vocabulary, in order to make their brief conversations more precise, but she hadn't noticed that trend.
Abbi Waxman (The Bookish Life of Nina Hill)
He had a good vocabulary except when he was talking to someone.
Don DeLillo (Point Omega)
What happened?" I asked quietly. "I lost some people," [Rogan] said. There was an awful finality in his voice. I hadn't thought he cared. I'd thought he viewed his people as tools and took care of them because tools had to be kept in good repair, but this sounded like genuine grief — that complicated cocktail of guilt, regret, and overwhelming sadness you felt when someone close to you died. It broke you and made you feel helpess. Helpless wasn't even in Rogan's vocabulary.
Ilona Andrews (White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2))
All things are from God; and above all, reason and imagination and the great gifts of the mind. They are good in themselves; and we must not altogether forget their origin even in their perversion.
G.K. Chesterton (The Dagger and Wings and Other Father Brown Stories: Level 2: 2,100 Word Vocabulary)
According to Diogenes Laertius, Stoic rhetoric identified five “virtues” of speech: 1. Correct grammar and good vocabulary 2. Clarity of expression, making the ideas easily understood 3. Conciseness, employing no more words than necessary 4. Appropriateness of style, suited to the subject matter and apparently also to the audience 5. Distinction, or artistic excellence, and the avoidance of vulgarity
Donald J. Robertson (How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius)
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, to feel alone or want to be alone is deeply unfashionable: to admit to feeling alone is to reject and betray others, as if they are not good company, and do not have entertaining, interesting lives of their own to distract us, and to actually seek to be alone is a radical act; to want to be alone is to refuse a certain kind of conversational hospitality and to turn to another door, and another kind of welcome, not necessarily defined by human vocabulary.
David Whyte (Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words)
Sometimes I think people think poetry must be filled with flowery language, thesaurus-driven vocabulary or the dreaded “purple prose,” which is often prevalent in my genre...But oftentimes the best poetry isn’t difficult to understand at all. It’s the juxtaposition of the words. The line breaks. The enjambs. The shape of the poem. Or the double meanings the positioning of the words make the reader feel or think or do.
R.B. O'Brien
He's a moody creature,isn't he?" she said to the bird. Auntie Em gave one impatient squawk, the extent of her vocabulary. "Sounds like she got up on the wrong side of the perch," Alan commented. "Oh,no.She's in a good mood if she says anything.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
I'm afraid I'm a practical man,' said the doctor with gruff humour, 'and I don't bother much about religion and philosophy.' 'You'll never be a practical man till you do,' said Father Brown. 'Look here, doctor; you know me pretty well; I think you know I'm not a bigot. You know I know there are all sorts in all religions; good men in bad ones and bad men in good ones.
G.K. Chesterton (The Dagger and Wings and Other Father Brown Stories: Level 2: 2,100 Word Vocabulary)
Henry had never been good with words. Case in point: The first month he’d been at Aglionby, he had tried to explain this to Jonah Milo, the English teacher, and had been told that he was being hard on himself. You’ve got a great vocabulary, Milo had said. Henry was aware he had a great vocabulary. It was not the same thing as having the words you needed to express yourself. You’re very well-spoken for a kid your age, Milo had added. Hell, ha, even for a guy my age. But sounding like you were saying what you felt was not the same as actually pulling it off. A lot of ESL folks feel that way, Milo had finished. My mom said she was never herself in English. But it wasn’t that Henry was less of himself in English. He was less of himself out loud. His native language was thought.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
There were lessons later on. These were going a lot better now she’d got rid of the reading books about bouncy balls and dogs called Spot. She’d got Gawain on to the military campaigns of General Tacticus, which were suitably bloodthirsty but, more importantly, considered too difficult for a child. As a result his vocabulary was doubling every week and he could already use words like ‘disembowelled’ in everyday conversation. After all, what was the point of teaching children to be children? They were naturally good at it.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
Remember that the basic rule of vocabulary is to use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colourful. If you hesitate, and cogitate, you will come up with another word...but it probably won't be as good as your first one, or as close to what you really mean.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
You know how your brain turns to mush? How it starts when you’re pregnant? You laugh, full of wonder and conspiracy, and you chide yourself, Me and my pregnancy brain! Then you give birth and your brain doesn’t return? But you’re breast-feeding, so you laugh, as if you’re a member of an exclusive club? Me and my nursing brain! But then you stop nursing and the terrible truth descends: Your good brain is never coming back. You’ve traded vocabulary, lucidity, and memory for motherhood.
Maria Semple (Today Will Be Different)
The previous governess had used various monsters and bogeymen as a form of discipline. There was always something waiting to eat or carry off bad boys and girls for crimes like stuttering or defiantly and aggravatingly persisting in writing with their left hand. There was always a Scissor Man waiting for a little girl who sucked her thumb, always a bogeyman in the cellar. Of such bricks is the innocence of childhood constructed. Susan’s attempts at getting them to disbelieve in the things only caused the problems to get worse. Twyla had started to wet the bed. This may have been a crude form of defense against the terrible clawed creature that she was certain lived under it. Susan had found out about this one the first night, when the child had woken up crying because of a bogeyman in the closet. She’d sighed and gone to have a look. She’d been so angry that she’d pulled it out, hit it over the head with the nursery poker, dislocated its shoulder as a means of emphasis and kicked it out of the back door. The children refused to disbelieve in the monsters because, frankly, they knew damn well the things were there. But she’d found that they could, very firmly, also believe in the poker. Now she sat down on a bench and read a book. She made a point of taking the children, every day, somewhere where they could meet others of the same age. If they got the hang of the playground, she thought, adult life would hold no fears. Besides, it was nice to hear the voices of little children at play, provided you took care to be far enough away not to hear what they were actually saying. There were lessons later on. These were going a lot better now she’d got rid of the reading books about bouncy balls and dogs called Spot. She’d got Gawain on to the military campaigns of General Tacticus, which were suitably bloodthirsty but, more importantly, considered too difficult for a child. As a result his vocabulary was doubling every week and he could already use words like “disemboweled” in everyday conversation. After all, what was the point of teaching children to be children? They were naturally good at it.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20))
Replacing “what if ” with “even if ” in our mental vocabulary is one of the most liberating exchanges we can ever make. We trade our irrational fears of an uncertain future for the loving assurance of an unchanging God. We see that even if the very worst happens, God will carry us. He will still be good. And he will never leave us.
Vaneetha Rendall Risner (The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering)
good writing consists of mastering the fundamentals (vocabulary, grammar, the elements of style) and then filling the third level of your toolbox with the right instruments.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
Presume. See? There it is. Your breeding. Your culture. The way you use language like a lawyer. A good family. A good education. Vocabulary reveals who you are.
Halo Scot (Edge of the Breach (Rift Cycle, #1))
Be a good guide, tell me what you see, are sure is that? Please try to describe the picture as much vocabulary as possible!
Deyth Banger
Aloysius Blatt. With his library of science books, table full of lab-quality experiments, extensive collection of academic medals, and graduate-level vocabulary,
Caroline Cala (The Good, the Bad, and the Bossy (Best Babysitters Ever Book 2))
David Newell--Mr. McFeely--notes that "Fred really wanted people to grow; that was a big word in his vocabulary. He was always growing--growing emotionally, growing educationally. ...
Maxwell King (The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers)
I'll be right here. Good luck, or break a leg, or something.” As Jay and Gregory turned and headed into the crowd, my traitorous eyes returned to the corner and found another pair or eyes staring darkly back. I dropped my gaze for three full seconds, and then lifted my eyes again, hesitant. The drummer was still staring at me, oblivious to the three girls trying to win back his attention. He put up one finger at the girls and said something that looked like, “Excuse me.” Oh, my goodness. Was he...? Oh, no. Yes, he was walking this way. My nerves shot into high alert. I looked around, but nobody else was near. When I looked back up, there he was, standing right in front of me. Good gracious, he was sexy-a word that had not existed in my personal vocabulary until that moment. This guy was sexy like it was his job or something. He looked straight into my eyes, which threw me off guard, because nobody ever looked me in the eye like that. Maybe Patti and Jay, but they didn't hold my stare like he was doing now. He didn't look away, and I found that I couldn't take my gaze off those blue eyes. “Who are you?” he asked in a blunt, almost confrontational way. I blinked. It was the strangest greeting I'd ever received. “I'm...Anna.” “Right. Anna. How very nice.” I tried to focus on his words and not his luxuriously accented voice, which made everything sound lovely. He leaned in closer. “But who are you?” What did that mean? Did I need to have some sort of title or social standing to enter his presence? “I just came with my friend Jay?” Oh, I hated when I got nervous and started talking in questions. I pointed in the general direction of the guys, but he didn't take his eyes off me. I began rambling. “They just wrote some songs. Jay and Gregory. That they wanted you to hear. Your band, I mean. They're really...good?” His eyes roamed all around my body, stopping to evaluate my sad, meager chest. I crossed my arms. When his gaze landed on that stupid freckle above my lip, I was hit by the scent of oranges and limes and something earthy, like the forest floor. It was pleasant in a masculine way. “Uh-huh.” He was closer to my face now, growling in that deep voice, but looking into my eyes again. “Very cute. And where is your angel?” My what? Was that some kind of British slang for boyfriend? I didn't know how to answer without continuing to sound pitiful. He lifted his dark eyebrows, waiting. “If you mean Jay, he's over there talking to some man in a suit. But he's not my boyfriend or my angel or whatever.” My face flushed with heat and I tightened my arms over my chest. I'd never met anyone with an accent like his, and I was ashamed of the effect it had on me. He was obviously rude, and yet I wanted him to keep talking to me. It didn't make any sense. His stance softened and he took a step back, seeming confused, although I still couldn't read his emotions. Why didn't he show any colors? He didn't seem drunk or high. And that red thing...what was that? It was hard not to stare at it. He finally looked over at Jay, who was deep in conversation with the manager-type man. “Not your boyfriend, eh?” He was smirking at me now. I looked away, refusing to answer. “Are you certain he doesn't fancy you?” Kaidan asked. I looked at him again. His smirk was now a naughty smile. “Yes,” I assured him with confidence. “I am.” “How do you know?” I couldn't very well tell him that the only time Jay's color had shown mild attraction to me was when I accidentally flashed him one day as I was taking off my sweatshirt, and my undershirt got pulled up too high. And even then it lasted only a few seconds before our embarrassment set in.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Good!” the creature echoed. “Doctor Nelson will be along in a minute. Feel like some breakfast?” All four symbols in the query were in Smith’s vocabulary but he had trouble believing that he had heard them rightly. He knew that he was food, but he did not “feel like” food. Nor had he had any warning that he might be selected for such an honor. He had not known that the food supply was such that it was necessary to reduce the corporate group. He was filled with mild regret, since there was still so much to grok of these new events, but no reluctance.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
He threw up on your face?” I turn to Chase, who’s hiding his guilt well. “What the hell, dude?” “He’s a baby, asshole,” Ben replies, sounding annoyed. “They throw up. It’s not like he was aiming for Mia.” “Does he like give you a warning or something?” I ask. A valid question on my part. I hold that kid a good bit. Ben stares at me for long seconds of silence. “Yeah. He usually tells you what’s about to happen with his extensive vocabulary.” Mia
J. Daniels (When I Fall (Alabama Summer, #3))
Her friend - and her partner on the stage. You will not believe me, but making love to Kitty - a thing done in passion, but always, too, in shadow and silence, and with an ear half-cocked for the sound of footsteps on the stairs - making love to Kitty and posing at her side in a shaft of limelight, before a thousand pairs of eyes, to a script I knew by heart, in an attitude I had laboured for hours to perfect - these things were not so very different. A double act is always twice the act that the audience thinks it; beyond our songs, our steps, our bits of business with coins and canes and flowers, there was a private language, in which we held an endless, delicate exchange of which the crowd knew nothing. This was a language not of the tongue but of the body, its vocabulary the pressure of a finger or a palm, the nudging of a hip, the holding or breaking of a gaze, that said, You are too slow - you got too fast - not there but here - that's good - that's better! It was as if we walked before the crimson curtain, lay down upon the boards and kissed and fondled - and were clapped, and cheered, and paid for it!
Sarah Waters (Tipping the Velvet)
OBSOLETE, adj. No longer used by the timid. Said chiefly of words. A word which some lexicographer has marked obsolete is ever thereafter an object of dread and loathing to the fool writer, but if it is a good word and has no exact modern equivalent equally good, it is good enough for the good writer. Indeed, a writer's attitude toward "obsolete" words is as true a measure of his literary ability as anything except the character of his work. A dictionary of obsolete and obsolescent words would not only be singularly rich in strong and sweet parts of speech; it would add large possessions to the vocabulary of every competent writer who might not happen to be a competent reader.
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
Instead, by creating associations that exist out in the broader culture—not just in our own heads, but in the heads of third parties—ads turn products into a vocabulary that we use to express ourselves and signal our good traits.
Kevin Simler (The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life)
[C]ommunity service has become a patch for morality. Many people today have not been given vocabularies to talk about what virtue is, what character consists of, and in which way excellence lies, so they just talk about community service.
Timothy J. Keller (Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work)
That Tolkien also included in Roverandom words such as paraphernalia, and phosphorescent, primordial, and rigmarole, is refreshing in these later days when such language is considered too ‘difficult’ for young children – a view with which Tolkien would have disagreed. ‘A good vocabulary,’ he once wrote (April 1959), ‘is not acquired by reading books written according to some notion of the vocabulary of one’s age-group. It comes from reading books above one’ (Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien [1981], pp. 298–9).
J.R.R. Tolkien (Roverandom)
From him I have learned that prayer is not asking for what you think you want but asking to be changed in ways you can't imagine. To be more grateful, more able to see the good in what you have been given instead of always grieving for what might have been.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
google “German mistranslations” and have some fun picking up new vocabulary. You probably won't need to re-inforce these words through study at all, because the brain is particularly good at remembering information that made us laugh or provoked a strong emotion.
Judith Meyer (72 Ways to Learn German for Free - Tips, Tricks and Websites Used by Polyglots)
The downside to the term tiger parenting entering the mainstream vocabulary is that it gives a cute name to what is actually a painful and demoralizing existence. It also feeds into the perception that all Asian kids are book smart because their parents make it so. Well, guess what. It’s not true. Not all our parents are tiger parents, tiger parenting doesn’t always work, and not all Asian kids are good at school. In fact, not all Asian kids are any one thing. To be young and Asian in America often means fighting a multifront war against sameness.
David Chang (Eat a Peach)
When I finally did confront Mr. Arcott, after my return to Falchester, he had the cheek to try and argue that his intellectual thievery had been a compliment and a favor. After all, it meant my work was good enough to be accepted into ibn Khattusi's series -- but of course they never would have taken a submission from a woman, so he submitted it on my behalf. What I said in reply is not fit to be printed here, as by then I had spent a good deal of time in the company of sailors, and had at my disposal a vocabulary not commonly available to ladies of quality.
Marie Brennan (The Voyage of the Basilisk (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #3))
Animals have an amazing capacity for love and they have limited vocabularies.  They don’t know the meaning of words like betrayal, control or domination.  They don’t understand hate and yet they’re capable of empathy and devotion like you wouldn’t believe.  If you’re good to them, they will reciprocate.
Octavia Wildwood (Shattered Hearts (Shattered, #1))
The greatest word in the human vocabulary has only four letters and no definition that has ever been adequate. We love our dogs, we love our children. We love God and chocolate cake. We fall in love and fall out of love. We die for love and we kill for love. We can’t spend it, we can’t eat it when we’re starving or drink it when we’re dying of thirst. It’s no good against the bitter cold of winter, and even a cheap electric fan will do more for you on a hot summer day. But ask most human beings what they value above all else in this life, and five will get you ten, it’s love. We’re a screwy species, I thought.
William Kent Krueger (Thunder Bay (Cork O'Connor, #7))
You’re . . .” I search for the right word. It’s rare that my vocabulary fails me like this. “Organized.” His eyes crackle with light as he laughs. “Organized?” “Extremely,” I deadpan. “Not to mention thorough.” “You make me sound like a contract,” he says, amused. “And you know how I feel about a good contract,” I say. His smirk pulls higher. “Actually, I only know how you feel about a bad one, written on a damp napkin.” He lies back fully on the mattress, and I do too, leaving a healthy gap between us. “A good contract is . . .” I think for a moment. “Adorable?” Charlie supplies, teasing. “No.” “Comely?” “At bare minimum,” I say. “Charming?” “Sexy as hell,” I reply. “Irresistible. It’s a list of great traits and working compromises that watch out for all parties involved. It’s . . . satisfying, even when it’s not what you expected, because you work for it. You go back and forth until every detail is just how it needs to be.
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
I was in the car with Trace and heard his side of the conversation with you. Sounded clear enough to me.” “Apparently not, cuz I’m not sweet on her. What kind of dumb-ass thing is that to say? I like her, sure, even though she’s not the easiest lady to be around.” “No?” Jackson didn’t seem to hear her. He continued on as he pulled food from the tiny fridge and piled it on the counter. “She has her reasons for being prickly, and I know it.” “Those reasons are?” “And there isn’t a man alive who wouldn’t want her. She’s about the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.” He shook his head. “But I’m not sweet> about anything.” He scoffed. “That sounds like some adolescent bullshit or something.” “You have a very limited vocabulary.” “My balls still hurt. It’s affecting my brain.” “Your brain is located a little low, isn’t it?” He paused, then laughed. Shaking a loaf of bread at her, he said, “Good one. I’ll have to try to remember this sharp wit of yours.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
Edward Said summed up “the principal dogmas of Orientalism” in his majesterial study of the same name. The first dogma is that the same Orientalist histories that portray “the West” as “rational, developed, humane [and] superior,” caricature “the Orient” as “aberrant, undeveloped [and] inferior.” Another dogma is that “the Orient” lives according to set rules inscribed in sacred texts, not in response to the changing demands of life. The third dogma prescribes “that the Orient is eternal, uniform, and incapable of defining itself; therefore it is assumed that a highly generalized and systematic vocabulary for describing the Orient from a Western standpoint is inevitable and scientifically ‘objective.’ “And the final dogma is “that the Orient is at the bottom something either to be feared (the Yellow Peril, the Mongol hordes, the brown dominions) or to be controlled (by pacification, research and development, outright occupation whenever possible).
Mahmood Mamdani (Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror)
Hope does not mean that our protests will suddenly awaken the dead consciences, the atrophied souls, of the plutocrats running Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil or the government. Hope does not mean we will reform Wall Street swindlers and speculators. Hope does not mean that the nation’s ministers and rabbis, who know the words of the great Hebrew prophets, will leave their houses of worship to practice the religious beliefs they preach. Most clerics like fine, abstract words about justice and full collection plates, but know little of real hope. Hope knows that unless we physically defy government control we are complicit in the violence of the state. All who resist keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair and apathy become enemies of hope. Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope does not believe in force. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on us all. Hope sees in our enemy our own face. Hope is not for the practical and the sophisticated, the cynics and the complacent, the defeated and the fearful. Hope is what the corporate state, which saturates our airwaves with lies, seeks to obliterate. Hope is what our corporate overlords are determined to crush. Be afraid, they tell us. Surrender your liberties to us so we can make the world safe from terror. Don’t resist. Embrace the alienation of our cheerful conformity. Buy our products. Without them you are worthless. Become our brands. Do not look up from your electronic hallucinations to think. No. Above all do not think. Obey. The powerful do not understand hope. Hope is not part of their vocabulary. They speak in the cold, dead words of national security, global markets, electoral strategy, staying on message, image and money. Those addicted to power, blinded by self-exaltation, cannot decipher the words of hope any more than most of us can decipher hieroglyphics. Hope to Wall Street bankers and politicians, to the masters of war and commerce, is not practical. It is gibberish. It means nothing. I cannot promise you fine weather or an easy time. I cannot pretend that being handcuffed is pleasant. If we resist and carry out acts, no matter how small, of open defiance, hope will not be extinguished. Any act of rebellion, any physical defiance of those who make war, of those who perpetuate corporate greed and are responsible for state crimes, anything that seeks to draw the good to the good, nourishes our souls and holds out the possibility that we can touch and transform the souls of others. Hope affirms that which we must affirm. And every act that imparts hope is a victory in itself.
Chris Hedges
The girls of the sixties had mothers who predicted, insisted, argued that those girls would be hurt; but they would not say how or why. In the main, the mothers appeared to be sexual conservatives: they upheld the marriage system as a social ideal and were silent about the sex in it. Sex was a duty inside marriage; a wife’s attitude toward it was irrelevant unless she made trouble, went crazy, fucked around. Mothers had to teach their daughters to like men as a class—be responsive to men as men, warm to men as men—and at the same time to not have sex. Since males mostly wanted the girls for sex, it was hard for the girls to understand how to like boys and men without also liking the sex boys and men wanted. The girls were told nice things about human sexuality and also told that it would cost them their lives—one way or another. The mothers walked a tough line: give the girls a good attitude, but discourage them. The cruelty of the ambivalence communicated itself, but the kindness in the intention did not: mothers tried to protect their daughters from many men by directing them toward one; mothers tried to protect their daughters by getting them to do what was necessary inside the male system without ever explaining why. They had no vocabulary for the why—why sex inside marriage was good but outside marriage was bad, why more than one man turned a girl from a loving woman into a whore, why leprosy or paralysis were states preferable to pregnancy outside marriage. They had epithets to hurl, but no other discourse. Silence about sex in marriage was also the only way to avoid revelations bound to terrify—revelations about the quality of the mothers’ own lives.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
Part of the difficulty in accepting the good news about trade is in our words. We too often talk about trade while using the vocabulary of war. In war, for one side to win, the other must lose. But commerce is not warfare. Trade is an economic alliance that benefits both countries. There are no losers, only winners; and trade helps strengthen the free world.
Ronald Reagan
The best way to ensure that your writing is as good as you can make it is simply to consult your imagination and judgment as you write and take note of whether you are using an expression that has found its way into the stream simply because it's always there, swirling lifelessly in an eddy, where it was recently deposited by some other writer you have read.
Joseph Epstein
A sailor was stranded on a desert island and managed to survive by making friends with the local natives—such good friends, in fact, that one day the chief offered him his daughter for an evening’s entertainment. Late that night, while they made love, the chief’s daughter kept shouting, “Oga, boga! Oga, boga!” The arrogant sailor assumed this must be how the natives express their appreciation when something is fantastic. A few days later the chief invites the sailor for a game of golf. On his first stroke, the chief hit a hole in one. Eager to try out his new vocabulary, the sailor enthusiastically shouted “Oga boga! Oga boga!” The chief turned around with a puzzled look on his face and asked, “What you mean, ‘wrong hole’?
Osho (Emotional Wellness: Transforming Fear, Anger, and Jealousy into Creative Energy)
As we reread Genesis 2...we immediately understand WHAT is 'crafty' about the serpent's question in Genesis 3. God did NOT in fact say in Genesis 2, 'You MUST NOT EAT from any tree in the garden' (3:1). What God did say was almost exactly the opposite: 'You ARE FREE TO EAT from any tree in the garden' (except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, 2:16). The vocabulary of God in Genesis 2 indicates freedom and blessing. The vocabulary of the serpent in Genesis 3 indicates prohibition and restriction. The serpent's ploy is to suggest to the woman that God is really not so good after all. He shifts attention away from all that God in his generosity has provided for his creatures in creation and onto the one thing that God has for the moment explicitly withheld.
Iain W. Provan (Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters)
Oddly, I’ve never heard of a church or denomination that asked people to affirm a doctrinal statement like this: The purpose of Scripture is to equip God’s people for good works. Shouldn’t a simple statement like this be far more important than statements with words foreign to the Bible’s vocabulary about itself (inerrant, authoritative, literal, revelatory, objective, absolute, propositional, etc.)?
Brian D. McLaren (A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho (Emergentys))
Tricoteuse (n.) A woman who knits; specifically, a woman who during the French Revolution would attend the guillotinings and knit while the heads were rolling. What I’ve learned from reading the OED has not been confined to vocabulary. I’ve also learned a good deal about the history of the unpleasantness of the human race, including the portrait of this unsympathetic character, the knitter who attends beheadings. Tripudiate
Ammon Shea (Reading the Oxford English Dictionary: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages)
You do believe it,' he said. 'You do believe everything. We all believe everything, even when we deny everything. The denyers believe. The unbelievers believe. Don't you feel in your heart that these contradictions do not really contradict: that there is a cosmos that contains them all? The soul goes round upon a wheel of stars and all things return; perhaps Strake and I have striven in many shapes, beast against beast and bird against bird, and perhaps we shall strive for ever. But since we seek and need each other, even that eternal hatred is an eternal love. Good and evil go round in a wheel that is one thing and not many. Do you not realize in your heart, do you not believe behind all your beliefs, that there is but one reality and we are its shadows; and that all things are but aspects of one thing: a centre where men melt into Man and Man into God?' 'No,' said Father Brown.
G.K. Chesterton (The Dagger and Wings and Other Father Brown Stories: Level 2: 2,100 Word Vocabulary)
Without ever leaving her hide-out in Milledgeville, Georgia, Flannery O’Connor knew all there was to know about the two-lane, dirt and blacktop Southern roads of the 1950s—with their junkyards and tourist courts, gravel pits and pine trees that pressed at the edges of the road. She knew the slogans of the Burma Shave signs, knew the names of barbecue joints and the chicken baskets on their menus. She also knew a backwoods American cadence and vocabulary you’d think was limited to cops, truckers, runaway teens, and patrons of the Teardrop Inn where at midnight somebody could always be counted on to go out to a pickup truck and come back with a shotgun. She was a virtuoso mimic, and she assimilated whole populations of American sounds and voices, and then offered them back to us from time to time in her small fictional detonations, one of which she named, in 1953, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.
William Caverlee (Amid the Swirling Ghosts: And Other Essays)
It pisses me off sometimes, thinking about everything he’s been through. He’s a good person. He really cares, and he tries. He never deserved any of it.” June leans forward, looking at the picture too. “Have you ever told him that?” “We don’t really…” Alex coughs. “I don’t know. Talk like that?” June inhales deeply and makes an enormous fart noise with her mouth, shattering the serious mood, and Alex is so grateful for it that he melts onto the floor in a fit of hysterical laughter. “Ugh! Men!” she groans. “No emotional vocabulary. I can’t believe our ancestors survived centuries of wars and plagues and genocide just to wind up with your sorry ass.” She throws a pillow at him, and Alex scream-laughs as it hits him in the face. “You should try saying some of that stuff to him.” “Stop trying to Jane Austen my life!” he yells back. “Listen, it’s not my fault he’s a mysterious and retiring young royal and you’re the tempestuous ingénue that caught his eye, okay?
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
The conversations in poor families tended to be more perfunctory—“don’t do that, come here, put on your coat”—while in middle-class families they were richer, more discursive, and exploratory, employing a dramatically larger number of words. The result: The poor children in the study, published in 1995, had little more than a quarter of the vocabulary of the middle-class kids by the time they got to public school, and they arrived at kindergarten far behind and far less ready to learn.
Maxwell King (The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers)
Here in the labyrinth, I struggle to find words to describe what I feel. Up on the mountaintop, I knew the language to describe God: majestic, transcendent, all-powerful, heavenly Father, Lord, and King. In this vocabulary, God remains stubbornly located in a few select places, mostly in external realms above or beyond: heaven, the church, doctrine, or the sacraments. What happens in the labyrinth seems vague, perhaps even theologically elusive. Like countless others, I have been schooled in vertical theology. Western culture, especially Western Christianity, has imprinted a certain theological template upon the spiritual imagination: God exists far off from the world and does humankind a favor when choosing to draw close. Sermons declared that God’s holiness was foreign to us and sin separated us from God. Yes, humanity was made in God’s image, but we had so messed things up in the Garden of Eden that any trace of God in us was obscured, if not destroyed. Whether conservative or liberal, most American churches teach some form of the idea that God exists in holy isolation, untouched by the messiness of creation, and that we, God’s children, are morally and spiritually filthy, bereft of all goodness, utterly unworthy to stand before the Divine Presence. In its crudest form, the role of religion (whether through revivals, priesthood, ritual, story, sacraments, personal conversion, or morality) is to act as a holy elevator between God above and those muddling around down below in the world.
Diana Butler Bass (Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution)
Schist! How did it get so late?” Jaya laughed. “Schist?” she said. “Is that another of your family expressions?” I nodded. “It was on our science vocabulary list last year. It’s a kind of rock. It’s what happens to hot sandstone when it gets squished really hard for a few million years.” “I know,” said Jaya. “But I’ve never heard anybody use it as a curse before. It sounds really bad—in a good way.” “Yeah, it’s one of my favorites. Even strict teachers can’t object to a word from a vocabulary list, right?
Polly Shulman (The Wells Bequest (The Grimm Legacy, #2))
strive to become emotion scientists. You could be brilliant, with an IQ that Einstein would envy, but if you’re unable to recognize your emotions and see how they’re affecting your behavior, all that cognitive firepower won’t do you as much good as you might imagine. A gifted child who doesn’t have the permission to feel, along with the vocabulary to express those feelings and the ability to understand them, won’t be able to manage complicated emotions around friendships and academics, limiting his or her potential.
Marc Brackett (Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive)
[Excerpt from Kenneth Brown testimony] These works use often repulsive techniques and vocabulary to make-to insist-that people will look at the whole of things and not just one side. These artists wish not to divide the world in half and say one is good and one is bad and avoid the bad and accept the good, but you must, to be a real and whole person, you must see all of life, and see it in a balanced, honest way. I would include Mr. Bruce, certainly, in his intent, and he has success in doing this, as did Rabelais and Swift.
Lenny Bruce (How to Talk Dirty and Influence People)
To have been raised on the streets, you have an amazing vocabulary.” “I have my sister Tessa to thank. Unlike me and my other two sisters, she liked to insult people so that they didn’t realize she was being cruel. Hence Kasen’s favorite phrase, ‘I’m gonna break Tess on your ass and call you names you’ll have to look up in order to be offended.’ ” She laughed in spite of the danger. “Your sisters sound… interesting.” “That’s a polite way of saying they’re all effing nuts. But it’s okay. Sanity waved good-bye to me a long time ago too.” The
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Shadows (The League, #4))
This way of thinking allowed one to deploy the vocabularies of sixties radicalism—ecological awareness, anticorporate agitation, etc.—in order to justify the reproduction of social inequality. It allowed you to redescribe caring for your own genetic material—feeding Lucas the latest in coagulated soy juice—as altruism: it’s not just good for Lucas, it’s good for the planet. But from those who out of ignorance or desperation have allowed their children’s digestive tracts to know deep-fried, mechanically processed chicken, those who happen to be, in Brooklyn, disproportionately black and Latino, Lucas must be protected at whatever cost.
Ben Lerner (10:04)
They ordered punch. They drank it. It was hot rum punch. The pen falters when it attempts to treat of the excellence thereof; the sober vocabulary, the sparse epithet of this narrative, are inadequate to the task; and pompous term, jewelled, exotic phrases rise to the excited fancy. It warmed the blood and cleared the head; it filled the soul with well-being; it disposed the mind at once to utter wit, and to appreciate the wit of others; it had the vagueness of music and the precision of mathematics. Only one of its qualities was comparable to anything else; it had the warmth of a good heart; but its taste, its smell, its feel, were not to be described in words.
W. Somerset Maugham
Oh, I think so. Yeah. Oh, well, sure. A ‘type-token’ ratio, I suppose, would be as good a way as any to work that out, and with samples of a thousand words or more, you could just check the frequency of occurrence of the various parts of speech.” “And would you call that conclusive?” “Pretty much. You see, that sort of test would discount any change in the basic vocabulary. It’s not the words but the expression of the words; the style. We call it ‘index of diversity.’ Very baffling to the layman, which, of course, is what we want.” The director smiled wryly. Then he nodded at the tape in Karras’s hands. “And so this other person’s voice is on that one?” “Not exactly.” “Not exactly?
William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist)
I'm in the unique position of being able to call my brother, straight out, a non-stop talker - which is a pretty vile thing to call somebody, I think - and yet at the same time to sit back, rather, I'm afraid, like a type with both sleeves full of aces, and effortlessly remember a whole legion of mitigating factors (and 'mitigating' is hardly the word for it). I can condense them all into one: By the time Seymour was in mid-adolescence - sixteen, seventeen - he not only had learned to control his native vernacular, his many, many less than elite New York speech mannerisms, but had by then already cone into his own true, bull's-eye, poet's vocabulary. His non-stop talks, his monologues, his nearharangues then came as close to pleasing from start to finish - for a good many of as, anyway -as, say, the bulk of Beethoven's output after lie ceased being encumbered with a sense of hearing, and maybe I'm thinking especially, though it seems a trifle picky, of the B-flat-major and C-sharp-minor quartets. Still, we were a family of seven children, originally. And, as it happened, none of us was in the least tongue-tied. It's an exceedingly weighty matter when six naturally profuse verbalizers and expounders have an undefeatable champion talker in the house. True, he never sought the title. And he passionately yearned to see one or another of us outpoint or simply outlast him in a conversation or an argument. Аз съм стигнал до завидното положение да мога направо да нарека брат си кречетало — което не е много ласкателно — и същевременно да седя спокойно, сякаш съм пълен господар на положението, и без усилие да си припомням цяла редица смекчаващи вината обстоятелства (при все че „смекчаващи вината“ едва ли е най-подходящият израз в случая). Мога да ги обобщя в едно: по времето, когато Сиймор бе достигнал средата на юношеската си възраст — на шестнайсет-седемнайсет години, — той не само владееше до съвършенство родния си език с всичките му тънкости, но си беше създал и собствен, много точен поетически речник. Неговата говорливост, неговите монолози, неговите едва ли не прокламации звучеха почти толкова приятно — поне за мнозина от нас, — колкото, да речем, повечето от творбите на Бетховен, създадени, след като се е освободил от бремето на слуха; макар и да звучи претенциозно, тук имам предвид по-специално квартетите в си бемол мажор и до диез миньор. В нашето семейство бяхме седем деца. И нито едно от тях не беше лишено в ни най-малка степен от дар слово. Е, не е ли голямо тегло, когато шестима словоохотливци и тълкуватели имат в къщата си един непобедим шампион по речовитост? Вярно, той никога не се е стремил към тази титла. Дори жадуваше някой от нас да го надмине ако не по красноречие, то поне до дългоречие в някой спор или прост разговор.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
The other thing that’s happened with writing is that I’m not afraid it will go away. Up until a couple of years ago, I feared that sitting down with paper and pencil revealed too much desire and that for such ambition I would be punished. My vocabulary would contract anorexia, ideas would be born autistic, even titles would not come to flirt with me anymore. I suppose this was tied to that internal judge, the serpent who eats her own tail. She insinuates you’re not good enough; you believe her and try less, ratifying her assessment; so you try even less; and on and on. This snake survives on your dying. Finally, now, the elided words of my wisest writing teacher, the poet David Wojahn, make sense. “Be ambitious,” he said, “for the work.” Not for the in-dwelling editor. That bitch was impossible to please anyway.
Marsha L. Larsen (Friending God: A Woman's Quest through a Social Network)
I wish my genius ran to making automatons,” he said. “I would invent one that would follow you around with a tray. It would wait patiently for you to look up from whatever you were doing, and as soon as you did, it would say, ‘Lady Cambury, you must have something to eat.’” She swallowed her bite of apple. “That would be extremely annoying.” “I do not consider that a detriment.” “I consider it a waste of a good automaton. I would modify your invention,” she said, reaching for some cheese. “I’d dress my version up in my best silk and send it out to pay morning calls. Oh, how I hate making morning calls. It wouldn’t need much of a vocabulary. ‘Yes,’ my automaton would say, ‘this weather is dreadful, isn’t it?’ In fact, I think that’s how I would do it. Whatever the other person says, it would answer, ‘Yes, it most certainly is, isn’t it?’ My automaton would have perfect manners.
Courtney Milan (The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3))
I find it understandable that people who have been destroying themselves in a drastic way might turn to a drastic cure, and adopt a harsh version of Christianity, every bit as rigid as the physical addiction that formerly held them in thrall. But they also reveal a basic and valuable truth about conversion - that we do not suddenly change in essence, magically become new people, with all our old faults left behind. What happens is more subtle, and to my mind, more revealing of God's great mercy. In the process of conversion, the detestable parts of our selves do not vanish so much as become transformed. We can't run from who we are, with our short tempers, our vanity, our sharp tongues, our talents for self-aggrandizement, self-delusion, or despair. But we can convert, in its root meaning of turn around, so that we are forced to face ourselves as we really are. We can pray that God will take our faults and use them for the good.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
When Benjamin Bloom studied his 120 world-class concert pianists, sculptors, swimmers, tennis players, mathematicians, and research neurologists, he found something fascinating. For most of them, their first teachers were incredibly warm and accepting. Not that they set low standards. Not at all, but they created an atmosphere of trust, not judgment. It was, “I’m going to teach you,” not “I’m going to judge your talent.” As you look at what Collins and Esquith demanded of their students—all their students—it’s almost shocking. When Collins expanded her school to include young children, she required that every four-year-old who started in September be reading by Christmas. And they all were. The three- and four-year-olds used a vocabulary book titled Vocabulary for the High School Student. The seven-year-olds were reading The Wall Street Journal. For older children, a discussion of Plato’s Republic led to discussions of de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Orwell’s Animal Farm, Machiavelli, and the Chicago city council. Her reading list for the late-grade-school children included The Complete Plays of Anton Chekhov, Physics Through Experiment, and The Canterbury Tales. Oh, and always Shakespeare. Even the boys who picked their teeth with switchblades, she says, loved Shakespeare and always begged for more. Yet Collins maintained an extremely nurturing atmosphere. A very strict and disciplined one, but a loving one. Realizing that her students were coming from teachers who made a career of telling them what was wrong with them, she quickly made known her complete commitment to them as her students and as people. Esquith bemoans the lowering of standards. Recently, he tells us, his school celebrated reading scores that were twenty points below the national average. Why? Because they were a point or two higher than the year before. “Maybe it’s important to look for the good and be optimistic,” he says, “but delusion is not the answer. Those who celebrate failure will not be around to help today’s students celebrate their jobs flipping burgers.… Someone has to tell children if they are behind, and lay out a plan of attack to help them catch up.” All of his fifth graders master a reading list that includes Of Mice and Men, Native Son, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, The Joy Luck Club, The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird, and A Separate Peace. Every one of his sixth graders passes an algebra final that would reduce most eighth and ninth graders to tears. But again, all is achieved in an atmosphere of affection and deep personal commitment to every student. “Challenge and nurture” describes DeLay’s approach, too. One of her former students expresses it this way: “That is part of Miss DeLay’s genius—to put people in the frame of mind where they can do their best.… Very few teachers can actually get you to your ultimate potential. Miss DeLay has that gift. She challenges you at the same time that you feel you are being nurtured.
Carol S. Dweck (Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success)
It is not my job to explain the story or understand the story or reduce it to a phrase or offer it as being a story about any specific person, place, or thing. My job is to have been true enough to the world of my story that I was able to present it as a forceful and convincing drama. Every story is a kind of puzzle. Many have obvious solutions, and some have no solution at all. We write to present questions, sometimes complicated questions, not to offer easy or not-so-easy answers. Do not be misled by the limited vocabulary the American marketplace uses to describe the possibilities for story and drama. If we’re really writing we are exploring the unnamed emotional facets of the human heart. Not all emotions, not all states of mind have been named. Nor are all the names we have been given always accurate. The literary story is a story that deals with the complicated human heart with an honest tolerance for the ambiguity in which we live. No good guys, no bad guys, just guys: that is, people bearing up the crucible of their days and certainly not always—if ever—capable of articulating their condition.
Ron Carlson (Ron Carlson Writes a Story)
If I were to list all the positive attributes about Ryan Lilly, I’d run out of superior adjectives to use. I mean seriously, how big do you think my vocabulary is? I only know about a hundred million words, and with that small of a sample size, how could I accurately describe someone as great as Ryan? Ryan is the most amazing guy I’ve ever met. Seriously, I’m insanely jealous and I just want to stab him. But I won’t, because everybody loves Ryan, including me. Ryan is a big inspiration in my life. Not only is Ryan fiercely intelligent—on the level of Newton, da Vinci, and Nietzsche’s mustache—but he is the most open, honest, and understanding guy I’ve ever met. He’s the kind of guy who’d give you the shirt off his back if you asked. I know, because I’m wearing his shirt now. If you don’t know who Ryan Lilly is, you soon will. He’ll probably be one of the most talked about people in history, and just the other day I came across this quote from Pliny (I don’t know how old Pliny is, so I don’t know if it was Pliny the Older or Pliny the Younger) which said, “Everything good I have written about can be summed up in two words: Ryan Lilly.” That’s a real quote I read in a real book. Trust me, I’m a writer.
Jarod Kintz (My love can only occupy one person at a time)
I looked at the internet for too long today and start. ed feeling depressed. The worst thing is that I actually think people on there are generally well meaning and the impulses are right, but our political vocabulary has decayed so deeply and rapidly since the twentieth century that most attempis to make sense of our present historical moment turn out to be essentially gibberish. Everyone is understandably attached to particular identity categories, but at the same time largely unwilling to articulate what those categories consist of, how they came about, and what purposes they serve. The only apparent schema is that for every victim group (people bom into poor families, women, people of colour) there is an oppres- sor group (people born into rich families, men, white people) But in this framework, relations between victim and oppressor are not historical so much as theological, in that the victims are transcendently good and the oppressors are personally evil. For this reason, an individual's membership of a particular identity group is a question of unsurpassed ethical significance, and a great amount of our discourse is devoted to sorting individu- als into their proper groups, which is to say, giving them their proper moral reckoning.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
A good writer is likely to know and use, or find out and use, the words for common architectural features, like "lintel," "newel post," "corbelling," "abutment," and the concrete or stone "hems" alongisde the steps leading up into churches or public buildings; the names of carpenters' or pumbers' tools, artists' materials, or whatever furniture, implements, or processes his characters work with; and the names of common household items, including those we do not usually hear named, often as we use them. Above all, the writer should stretch his vocabulary of ordinary words and idioms--words and idioms he sees all the time and knows how to use but never uses. I mean here not language that smells of the lamp but relatively common verbs, nouns, and adjectives. The serious-mined way to vocabulary is to read through a dictionary, making lists of all the common words one happens never to use. And of course the really serious-minded way is to study languages--learn Greek, Latin, and one or two modern languages. Among writers of the first rank one can name very few who were not or are not fluent in at least two. Tolstoy, who spoke Russian, French, and English easily, and other languages and dialects with more difficulty, studied Greek in his forties.
John Gardner
Google tried to do everything. It proved itself the deepest and fastest of the search engines. It stomped the competition in email. It made a decent showing in image hosting, and a good one in chat. It stumbled on social, but utterly owned maps. It swallowed libraries whole and sent tremors across the copyright laws. It knows where you are right now, and what you’re doing, and what you’ll probably do next. It added an indelible, funny, loose-limbed, and exact verb into the vocabulary: to google. No one “bings” or “yahoos” anything. And it finishes your sen … All of a sudden, one day, a few years ago, there was Google Image Search. Words typed into the search box could deliver pages of images arrayed in a grid. I remember the first time I saw this, and what I felt: fear. I knew then that the monster had taken over. I confessed it, too. “I’m afraid of Google,” I said recently to an employee of the company. “I’m not afraid of Google,” he replied. “Google has a committee that meets over privacy issues before we release any product. I’m afraid of Facebook, of what Facebook can do with what Google has found. We are in a new age of cyberbullying.” I agreed with him about Facebook, but remained unreassured about Google." (from "Known and Strange Things" by Teju Cole)
Teju Cole (Known and Strange Things: Essays)
The modern world had lost the thing which informs every act and gesture of Hatfield, of the King James Bible, and of that incomparable age: a sense of encompassing richness which stretches unbroken from the divine to the sculptural, from theology to cushions, from a sense of the beauty of the created world to the extraordinary capabilities of language to embody it. This is about more than mere sonority or the beeswaxed heritage-appeal of antique vocabulary and grammar. The flattening of language is a flattening of meaning. Language which is not taut with a sense of its own significance, which is apologetic in its desire to be acceptable to a modern consciousness, language in other words which submits to its audience, rather than instructing, informing, moving, challenging and even entertaining them, is no longer a language which can carry the freight the Bible requires. It has, in short, lost all authority. The language of the King James Bible is the language of Hatfield, of patriarchy, of an instructed order, of richness as a form of beauty, of authority as a form of good; the New English Bible is motivated by the opposite, an anxiety not to bore or intimidate. It is driven, in other words, by the desire to please and, in that way, is a form of language which has died.
Adam Nicolson (God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible)
I looked at the internet for too long today and started feeling depressed. The worst thing is that I actually think people on there are generally well meaning and the impulses are right, but our political vocabulary has decayed so deeply and rapidly since the twentieth century that most attempts to make sense of our present historical moment turn out to be essentially gibberish. Everyone is understandably attached to particular identity categories, but at the same time largely unwilling to articulate what those categories consist of, how they came about, and what purposes they serve. The only apparent schema is that for every victim group (people born into poor families, women, people of colour) there is an oppressor group (people born into rich families, men, white people). But in this framework, relations between victim and oppressor are not historical so much as theological, in that the victims are transcendently good and the oppressors are personally evil. For this reason, an individual’s membership of a particular identity group is a question of unsurpassed ethical significance, and a great amount of our discourse is devoted to sorting individuals into their proper groups, which is to say, giving them their proper moral reckoning. If serious political action is still possible, which I think at this point is an open question, maybe it won’t involve people like us—in fact I think it almost certainly won’t. And frankly if we have to go to our deaths for the greater good of humankind, I will accept that like a lamb, because I haven’t deserved this life or even enjoyed it. But I would like to be helpful in some way to the project, whatever it is, and if I could help only in a very small way, I wouldn’t mind, because I would be acting in my own self-interest anyway—because it’s also ourselves we’re brutalising, though in another way, of course. No one wants to live like this. Or at least, I don’t want to live like this. I want to live differently, or if necessary to die so that other people can one day live differently. But looking at the internet, I don’t see many ideas worth dying for. The only idea on there seems to be that we should watch the immense human misery unfolding before us and just wait for the most immiserated, most oppressed people to turn around and tell us how to stop it. It seems that there exists a curiously unexplained belief that the conditions of exploitation will by themselves generate a solution to exploitation—and that to suggest otherwise is condescending and superior, like mansplaining. But what if the conditions don’t generate the solution?
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
Emphatically rejecting ali traditional religions and claiming for their teachings the epithet "scientific," various writers tried to substitute a new faith for the old ones. They claimed to know precisely what the mysterious power that directs ali cosmic becoming has in store for mankind. They proclaimed an absolute standard of values. Good is what works along the lines that this power wants mankind to follow; everything else is bad. In their vocabulary "progressive" is a synonym of good and "reactionary" a synonym of bad. Inevitably progress will triumph over reaction because it is impossible for men to divert the course of history from the direction prescribed by the plan of the mysterious prime mover. Such is the metaphysics of Karl Marx, the faith of contemporary selfstyled progressivism. Marxism is a revolutionary doctrine. It expressly declares that the design of the prime mover will be accomplished by civil war. It implies that ultimately in the battles of these campaigns the just cause, that is, the cause of progress, must conquer. Then ali conflicts concerning judgments of value will disappear. The liquidation of ali dissenters will establish the undisputed supremacy of the absolute eternal values. This formula for the solution of conflicts of value judgments is certainly not new. It is a device known and practiced from time immemorial. Kill the infidels! Burn the heretics! What is new is merely the fact that today it is sold to the public under the label of "science.
Ludwig von Mises (Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution)
And so, when I tell stories today about digital transformation and organizational agility and customer centricity, I use a vocabulary that is very consistent and very refined. It is one of the tools I have available to tell my story effectively. I talk about assumptions. I talk about hypotheses. I talk about outcomes as a measure of customer success. I talk about outcomes as a measurable change in customer behavior. I talk about outcomes over outputs, experimentation, continuous learning, and ship, sense, and respond. The more you tell your story, the more you can refine your language into your trademark or brand—what you’re most known for. For example, baseball great Yogi Berra was famous for his Yogi-isms—sayings like “You can observe a lot by watching” and “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” It’s not just a hook or catchphrase, it helps tell the story as well. For Lean Startup, a best-selling book on corporate innovation written by Eric Ries, the words were “build,” “measure,” “learn.” Jeff Patton, a colleague of mine, uses the phrase “the differences that make a difference.” And he talks about bets as a way of testing confidence levels. He’ll ask, “What will you bet me that your idea is good? Will you bet me lunch? A day’s pay? Your 401(k)?” These words are not only their vocabulary. They are their brand. That’s one of the benefits of storytelling and telling those stories continuously. As you refine your language, the people who are beginning to pay attention to you start adopting that language, and then that becomes your thing.
Jeff Gothelf (Forever Employable: How to Stop Looking for Work and Let Your Next Job Find You)
Only small fish swim in schools. (p. 31) "Don't ever see another human being, lock yourself up and live like a misanthrope." And another power tells me to accept people, talk to them. There is a struggle all the time within me. I also know that if I stay away from people, then I have to deal with only one human being-myself - and I 'd rather have other people than to all the time have only myself for an associate. When you are with yourself your egotism grows, your bitterness and suspicions grow. You become twice as meshuga as before. (p. 32) An assimilated Jew is a man who is ashamed of his origin, who denies his roots. He wants to make believe that he's somebody else. (p. 60) I believe in God but I have my doubts about revelation. I would say that I have no proof whatsoever that God reveals Himself or tells us how to behave, what He wants. I believe that God is a silent God, and He must have a very good reason why He is silent. If He would begin to talk, He would have to speak in three thousand languages and in all kinds of dialects. God speaks in deeds, but the language of deeds is so large its vocabulary is as large as the universe perhaps. So we only understand a very small part of His language. Everything man says about God is pure guesswork. But since I believe in God's existence and since God created man and formed his brain, I believe also that there must be something of the divine in men's ideas about Him even if they are far from being adequate. (p. 93) Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer: Isaac Bashevis Singer and Richard Burgin, 1985
Isaac Bashevis Singer
However, the Bleeding Hearts were kind hearts; and when they saw the little fellow cheerily limping about with a good-humoured face, doing no harm, drawing no knives, committing no outrageous immoralities, living chiefly on farinaceous and milk diet, and playing with Mrs Plornish's children of an evening, they began to think that although he could never hope to be an Englishman, still it would be hard to visit that affliction on his head. They began to accommodate themselves to his level, calling him 'Mr Baptist,' but treating him like a baby, and laughing immoderately at his lively gestures and his childish English—more, because he didn't mind it, and laughed too. They spoke to him in very loud voices as if he were stone deaf. They constructed sentences, by way of teaching him the language in its purity, such as were addressed by the savages to Captain Cook, or by Friday to Robinson Crusoe. Mrs Plornish was particularly ingenious in this art; and attained so much celebrity for saying 'Me ope you leg well soon,' that it was considered in the Yard but a very short remove indeed from speaking Italian. Even Mrs Plornish herself began to think that she had a natural call towards that language. As he became more popular, household objects were brought into requisition for his instruction in a copious vocabulary; and whenever he appeared in the Yard ladies would fly out at their doors crying 'Mr Baptist—tea-pot!' 'Mr Baptist—dust-pan!' 'Mr Baptist—flour-dredger!' 'Mr Baptist—coffee-biggin!' At the same time exhibiting those articles, and penetrating him with a sense of the appalling difficulties of the Anglo-Saxon tongue.
Charles Dickens (Little Dorrit)
Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare ‘automeals,’ heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on. Breakfasts will be ‘ordered’ the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica. [M]en will continue to withdraw from nature in order to create an environment that will suit them better. By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use. Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button. Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. “[H]ighways … in the more advanced sections of the world will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface. There will be aircraft, of course, but even ground travel will increasingly take to the air a foot or two off the ground. [V]ehicles with ‘Robot-brains’ … can be set for particular destinations … that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver. [W]all screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible. [T]he world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000. All earth will be a single choked Manhattan by A.D. 2450 and society will collapse long before that! There will, therefore, be a worldwide propaganda drive in favor of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious effect. Ordinary agriculture will keep up with great difficulty and there will be ‘farms’ turning to the more efficient micro-organisms. Processed yeast and algae products will be available in a variety of flavors. The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction…. All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary “Fortran". [M]ankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. [T]he most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work! in our a society of enforced leisure.
Isaac Asimov
There’s just one thing I don’t understand,” she remarked, setting the periodical aside for a moment. “And that is?” She tucked her skirts around her legs, denying him further glimpses of her ankles. “Would you by chance know what gamahuching is?” Grey would have thought himself far beyond the age of blushing, but the heat in his cheeks was unmistakable. “Good lord, Rose.” His voice was little more than a rasp. “That is hardly something a young woman brings up in casual conversation.” Oh, but he could show her what gamahuching was. He’d be all too happy to crawl between those trim ankles and climb upward until he found the slit in her drawers… Rose shrugged. “I suppose it might be offensive to someone of your age, but women aren’t as sheltered as they once were, Grey. If you won’t provide a definition, I’m sure Mr. Maxwell will when I see him tonight.” And with that threat tossed out between them, the little baggage returned her attention to her naughty reading. His age? What did she think he was, an ancient? Or was she merely trying to bait him? Tease him? Well, two could play at that game. And he refused to think of Kellan Maxwell, the bastard, educating her on such matters. “I believe you’ve mistaken me if you think I find gamahuching offensive,” he replied smoothly, easing himself down onto the blanket beside her. “I have quite the opposite view.” Beneath the high collar of her day gown, Rose’s throat worked as she swallowed. “Oh?” “Yes.” He braced one hand flat against the blanket near her hip, leaning closer as though they were co-conspirators. “But I’m afraid the notion might seem distasteful to a lady of your inexperience and sheltered upbringing.” Doe eyes narrowed. “If I am not appalled by the practice of frigging, why would anything else done between two adults in the course of making love offend me?” Christ, she had the sexual vocabulary of a whore and the naivete of a virgin. There were so many things that people could do to each other that very well could offend her-hell, some even offended him. As for frigging, that just made him think of his fingers deep inside her wet heat, her own delicate hand around his cock, which of course was rearing its head like an attention-seeking puppy. He forced a casual shrug. Let her think he wasn’t the least bit affected by the conversation. Hopefully she wouldn’t look at his crotch. “Gamahuching is the act of giving pleasure to a woman with one’s mouth and tongue.” Finally his beautiful innocent seductress blushed. She glanced down at the magazine in her hands, obviously reimagining some of what she had read. “Oh.” Then, her gaze came back to his. “Thank you.” Thank God she hadn’t asked if it was pleasurable because Grey wasn’t sure his control could have withstood that. Still, glutton for punishment that he was, he held her gaze. “Anything else you would like to ask me?” Rose shifted on the blanket. Embarrassed or aroused? “No, I think that’s all I wanted to know.” “Be careful, Rose,” he advised as he slowly rose to his feet once more. He had to keep his hands in front of him to disguise the hardness in his trousers. Damn thing didn’t show any sign of standing down either. “Such reading may lead to further curiosity, which can lead to rash behavior. I would hate to see you compromise yourself, or give your affection to the wrong man.” She met his gaze evenly, with a strange light in her eyes that unsettled him. “Have you stopped to consider Grey, that I may have done that already?” And since that remark rendered him so completely speechless, he turned on his heel and walked away.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
It is not the development of material need which sets the modern vocabulary of aspiration apart from anything which has gone before, but rather the transformation of our spiritual needs. It is our spirits, not our clothes and houses and cars, that set us so radically apart from our own past and form much of the rest of the world. Imagine what we must be like to the primitive peoples who receive our attentions as anthropologists. We come upon them armed with our mastery of nature, and yet they can disarm us with the simplest metaphysical inquiry: what happen when people die? where do they go? what are the duties of the living to the dead? Their cultures are as rich in answers to these questions as our culture is rich in answers to the technical and scientific problems which baffle them. It has always been a truism of the Western bad conscience that we have purchased our mastery of nature at the price of our spirits. The conservative and romantic critique of Western progress has always used the example of the savage - rich in cosmology, poor in goods - to argue for an inverse historical relationship between the development of material and spiritual needs. Certainly this view could draw upon the dark side of the Christian theology of need. While secular optimists have trust in the permanence of spiritual need, Augustinian Christians have fixed their gaze on the nightmare of the happy slave: the being so absorbed by the material that all spiritual needs have perished. Yet human needing is historical, and who can predict what forms the needs of the spirit may take? There is a loss of nerve in the premature announcements of the death of the spirit, the easy condemnations of materialist aspiration in capitalist society. Western societies have continued the search for spiritual consolation in the only manner consistent with the freedom of the seeking subject: by making every person the judge of his own spiritual satisfaction. We have all been left to choose what we need, and we have pushed the search for private meaning to the limits of what a public language can contain if it is to continue to be a means of communication. We have Augustine's first freedom, and because we have it, we cannot have his second. We can no longer offer each other the possibility of metaphysical belonging: a shared place, sustained by faith, in a divine universe. All our belonging now is social.
Michael Ignatieff (The Needs of Strangers)
Elizabeth’s breakfast had cured Ian’s hunger, in fact, the idea of ever eating again made his stomach churn as he started for the barn to check on Mayhem’s injury. He was partway there when he saw her off to the left, sitting on the hillside amid the bluebells, her arms wrapped around her knees, her forehead resting atop them. Even with her hair shining like newly minted gold in the sun, she looked like a picture of heartbreaking dejection. He started to turn away and leave her to moody privacy; then, with a sigh of irritation, he changed his mind and started down the hill toward her. A few yards away he realized her shoulders were shaking with sobs, and he frowned in surprise. Obviously there was no point in pretending the meal had been good, so he injected a note of amusement into his voice and said, “I applaud your ingenuity-shooting me yesterday would have been too quick.” Elizabeth started violently at the sound of his voice. Snapping her head up, she stared off to the left, keeping her tear-streaked face averted from him. “Did you want something?” “Dessert?” Ian suggested wryly, leaning slightly forward, trying to see her face. He thought he saw a morose smile touch her lips, and he added, “I thought we could whip up a batch of cream and put it on the biscuit. Afterward we can take whatever is left, mix it with the leftover eggs, and use it to patch the roof.” A teary chuckle escaped her, and she drew a shaky breath but still refused to look at him as she said, “I’m surprised you’re being so pleasant about it.” “There’s no sense crying over burnt bacon.” “I wasn’t crying over that,” she said, feeling sheepish and bewildered. A snowy handkerchief appeared before her face, and Elizabeth accepted it, dabbing at her wet cheeks. “Then why were you crying?” She gazed straight ahead, her eyes focused on the surrounding hills splashed with bluebells and hawthorn, the handkerchief clenched in her hand. “I was crying for my own ineptitude, and for my inability to control my life,” she admitted. The word “ineptitude” startled Ian, and it occurred to him that for the shallow little flirt he supposed her to be she had an exceptionally fine vocabulary. She glanced up at him then, and Ian found himself gazing into a pair of green eyes the amazing color of wet leaves. With tears still sparkling on her long russet lashes, her long hair tied back in a girlish bow, her full breasts thrusting against the bodice of her gown, she was a picture of alluring innocence and intoxicating sensuality. Ian jerked his gaze from her breasts and said abruptly, “I’m going to cut some wood so we’ll have it for a fire tonight. Afterward I’m going to do some fishing for our supper. I trust you’ll find a way to amuse yourself in the meantime.” Startled by his sudden brusqueness, Elizabeth nodded and stood up, dimly aware that he did not offer his hand to assist her.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
When I swung open the door, there he was: Marlboro Man, wearing Wranglers and a crisp white shirt and boots. And a sweet, heart-melting smile. What are you doing here? I thought. You’re supposed to be in the shower. You’re supposed to be with the sex kitten. “Hey,” he said, wasting no time in stepping through the door and winding his arms around my waist. My arms couldn’t help but drape over his strong shoulders; my lips couldn’t help but find his. He felt soft, warm, safe…and our first kiss turned into a third, and a sixth, and a seventh. It was the same kiss as the night before, when the phone call alerting him to the fire had come. My eyes remained tightly closed as I savored every second, trying to reconcile the present with the horror movie I’d imagined just moments earlier. I had no idea what was going on. At that point, I didn’t even care. “Ummmmm!!! I’m t-t-t-ttellin’!” Mike teased from the top of the stairs, just before running down and embracing Marlboro Man in a bear hug. “Hi, Mike,” Marlboro Man said, politely patting him on the back. “Mike?” I said, smiling and blinking my eyes. “Will you excuse us for a couple of minutes?” Mike obliged, giggling and oooo-ing as he walked toward the kitchen. Marlboro Man picked me up and brought my eyes to the level of his. Smiling, he said, “I’ve been trying to call you this afternoon.” “You have?” I said. I hadn’t even heard the phone ring. “I, um…I sort of took a nine-hour nap.” Marlboro Man chuckled. Oh, that chuckle. I needed it badly that night. He set my feet back down on the floor. “So…,” he teased. “You still cranky?” “Nope,” I finally answered, smiling. So, who is that woman in your house? So…what did you do all day? “Did you ever get any sleep?” So, who is that woman in your house? “Well,” he began. “I had to help Tim with something this morning, then I crashed on the couch for a few hours…it felt pretty good.” Who was the woman? What’s her name? What’s her cup size? He continued. “I would’ve slept all day, but Katie and her family showed up in the middle of my nap,” he said. “I forgot they were staying at my house tonight.” Katie. His cousin Katie. The one with the two young kids, who had probably just gone to bed when I’d called earlier. “Oh…really?” I said, my chest relaxing with a long, quiet exhale. “Yeah…but it’s a little crowded over there,” he said. “I thought I’d come over here and take you to a movie.” I smiled, stroking his back with my hand. “A movie sounds perfect.” The busty, bronze mystery girl slowly faded into oblivion. Mike came barreling out of the kitchen, where he’d been listening to every word. “Hey--if you guys are goin’ to the movie, c-c-c-can you drive me to the mall?” he yelled. “Sure, Mike,” Marlboro Man said. “We’ll drive you to the mall. It’ll cost you ten bucks, though.” And as the three of us made our way outside to Marlboro Man’s diesel pickup, I had to bite my lip to keep myself from articulating the only seven words in the English language that were in my vocabulary at that moment: God help me--I love that man.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
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)
Some people can predict whether it's going to rain or sense when something bad is going to happen. Murphy had a sixth sense about people hitting on her. She could see it from a mile away, the way a spider can see the movements of a fly. As she approached the counter of Ganax Heating, she tried to look as uninterested as possible. "Is Jodee here?" she asked. She stood at the counter, digging her toes into the linoleum floor. The receptionist was a young guy about her age. "Hey, Murphy." She suddenly recognized him. He'd been in her high school English class. He'd occasionally tracked her down at her locker and had used complex vocabulary words while he talked to her, trying to impress her. "I had a huge crush on you. You were really smart." Murphy sighed. She was incredibly bored. "Precognitive, actually." He blinked at her for a moment. "Yeah, you were really good in English." Murphy's usage of SAT-level vocabulary usually halted the moment she got out of class. She had a thing against big words. In her view, they were superfluous. And she hated the word superfluous. "I don't like being liked for my brain," she said.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Love and Peaches (Peaches, #3))
The God that I had grown up with was gone now. At that point, my understanding of God was probably one of the most immature things about me. I probably had a plastic Jesus, buddy-God, good-luck-charm God—or I spoke enough of the vocabulary but really I was just parroting.… Somehow I thought certain things were birthrights instead of blessings. There is a big difference between being abandoned by God and being betrayed by your own immature understanding of God.
Tiffany Yecke Brooks (Gaslighted by God: Reconstructing a Disillusioned Faith)
Sometimes I feel compelled to do something, but I can only guess later why it needed to done, and I question whether I am drawing connections where none really exist. Other times I see an event – in a dream or in a flash of “knowing” – and I feel compelled to work toward changing the outcome (if it’s a negative event) or ensuring it (when the event is positive). At the times I am able to work toward changing or ensuring the predicted event, sometimes this seems to make a difference, and sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter. Finally, and most often, throughout my life I have known mundane information before I should have known it. For example, one of my favourite games in school was to guess what numbers my math teacher would use to demonstrate a concept, or to guess the words on a vocabulary test before the test was given. I noticed I was not correct all the time, but I was correct enough to keep playing the game. Perhaps partially because of the usefulness of this mundane skill, I was an outstanding student, getting straight As and graduating from college with highest honours in neuroscience and a minor in computer science. I was a modest drinker even in college, but I found I could ace tests when I was hungover after a night of indulgence. Sometimes I think I even did better the less I paid attention to the test and the more I felt sick or spacey. It was like my unconscious mind could take over and put the correct information onto the page without interruption from my overly analytical conscious mind. At graduate school in neuroscience, I focused on trying to understand human experience by studying how the brain processes pain and stress. I wanted to know the answer to the question: what’s going on inside people’s heads when we suffer? Later, as I finished my PhD in psychoacoustics, which is all about the psychology of sound, I became fascinated with timing. How do we figure out the order of sounds, even when some sounds take longer to process than others? How can drummers learn to decode time differences of 1/1,000 of a second, when most people just can’t hear those kinds of subtle time differences? At this point, I was using my premonitions as just one of the tools in my day-to-day toolkit, but I wasn’t thinking about them scientifically. At least not consciously. Sure, every so often I’d dream of the slides that would be used by one of my professors the next day in class. Or I’d realize that the data I was recording in my experiments followed the curve of an equation I’d dreamed about a year before. But I thought that was just my quirky way of doing things – it was just my good student’s intuition and it didn’t have anything to do with my research interests or my life’s work. What was my life’s work again?
Theresa Cheung (The Premonition Code: The Science of Precognition, How Sensing the Future Can Change Your Life)
There is a poet who sings that, "Deeper their heart grows and nobler their bearing, Whose youth in the fires of anguish hath died." But it was not likely that he had reference to the kind of anguish that comes with destitution, that is so endlessly bitter and cruel, and yet so sordid and petty, so ugly, so humiliating—unredeemed by the slightest touch of dignity or even of pathos. It is a kind of anguish that poets have not commonly dealt with; its very words are not admitted into the vocabulary of poets—the details of it cannot be told in polite society at all. How, for instance, could anyone expect to excite sympathy among lovers of good literature by telling how a family found their home alive with vermin, and of all the suffering and inconvenience and humiliation they were put to, and the hard-earned money they spent, in efforts to get rid of them?
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Literature has sometimes flourished under despotic regimes, but, as has often been pointed out, the despotisms of the past were not totalitarian. Their repressive apparatus was always inefficient, their ruling classes were usually either corrupt or apathetic or half-liberal in outlook, and the prevailing religious doctrines usually worked against perfectionism and the notion of human infallibility. Even so it is broadly true that prose literature has reached its highest levels in periods of democracy and free speculation. What is new in totalitarianism is that its doctrines are not only unchallengeable but also unstable. They have to be accepted on pain of damnation, but on the other hand, they are always liable to be altered on a moment’s notice. Consider, for example, the various attitudes, completely incompatible with one another, which an English Communist or ‘fellow-traveler’ has had to adopt toward the war between Britain and Germany. For years before September, 1939, he was expected to be in a continuous stew about ‘the horrors of Nazism’ and to twist everything he wrote into a denunciation of Hitler: after September, 1939, for twenty months, he had to believe that Germany was more sinned against than sinning, and the word ‘Nazi’, at least as far as print went, had to drop right out of his vocabulary. Immediately after hearing the 8 o’clock news bulletin on the morning of June 22, 1941, he had to start believing once again that Nazism was the most hideous evil the world had ever seen. Now, it is easy for the politician to make such changes: for a writer the case is somewhat different. If he is to switch his allegiance at exactly the right moment, he must either tell lies about his subjective feelings, or else suppress them altogether. In either case he has destroyed his dynamo. Not only will ideas refuse to come to him, but the very words he uses will seem to stiffen under his touch. Political writing in our time consists almost entirely of prefabricated phrases bolted together like the pieces of a child’s Meccano set. It is the unavoidable result of self-censorship. To write in plain, vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox. Totalitarianism, however, does not so much promise an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia…to be corrupted by totalitarianism one does not have to live in a totalitarian country. The mere prevalence of certain ideas can spread a kind of poison that makes one subject after another impossible for literary purposes. Wherever there is an enforced orthodoxy…good writing stops.
George Orwell (The Prevention of Literature)
Removing the word " giving up " from your vocabulary might actually do you a good thing.
But fluency was merely the foundation for any kind of interpretive work, which demanded extreme precision, and I often thought that it was my natural inclination toward the latter, rather than any linguistic aptitude, that made me a good interpreter. That exactitude was even more important in a legal context, and within a week of working at the Court I learned that its vocabulary was both specific and arcane, with official terminology that was set in each language, and then closely followed by all the interpreters on the team. This was done for obvious reasons, there were great chasms beneath words, between two or sometimes more languages, that could open up without warning.
Katie Kitamura (Intimacies)
I believe passion and persistence are incompatible with, in fact dramatically damaged by, cynicism, apathy, discouragement, and whining (cynicism and whining probably being my two biggest pet peeves). If you are going to be a social crusader, you must eliminate these things from your vocabulary and behavior. They are pernicious. They all kill the spirit of effort. When you use the language of these qualities, it results in an inertia so strong that it creates a strangling atmosphere of powerlessness.
Patch Adams (Gesundheit!: Bringing Good Health to You, the Medical System, and Society through Physician Service, Complementary Therapies, Humor, and Joy)
I don't think we have all the words in a single vocabulary to explain what we are or why we are. I don't think we have the range of emotions to fully feel what someone else is feeling. I don't think any of us can sit in judgment of another human being. We're incomplete creatures, barely scraping by. Is it possible - from the perspective of this quickly spinning Earth and our speedy journey from crib to coffin - to know the difference between right, wrong, good, and evil? I don't even know if it's useful to try.
Alexandra Fuller (Scribbling the Cat)
Speaking is not just about having good language or flowery vocabularies – it is about bringing everyone to listen to a single voice
Tshetrim Tharchen (A Play of the Cosmos: Script of the Stars)
Vocabulary おはよう(ございます) ohayō (gozaimasu) good morning こんにちは konnichiwa hello/good day/good afternoon こんばんは kombanwa good evening もしもし moshi-moshi hello (telephone)
Robert Anderson (Rapidly Learn Japanese Speech in 7 Days or Less: Ease Your Way Into Language)
mix. Looking back, I realize he was doing his best to bring me up with good morals and an honest, strong work ethic. But what I desperately longed for was encouragement and affirmation. I don’t remember ever getting a hug from Dad or hearing him tell me that he loved me, but that’s not uncommon in the Amish community. Most Amish people don’t show affection. It’s just the way it was. In fact, the word love isn’t in the Pennsylvania Dutch vocabulary – the closest word for love is like.
Joe Keim (My People, the Amish: The True Story of an Amish Father and Son)
She taught me, even in absentia, that all good science starts with a hypothesis, which is just a hunch dressed up in fancy vocabulary.
Jodi Picoult (Leaving Time)
We don't talk about what brought us here, the spontaneous asphyxiation hanging between us like a silent, low-gravity dream. Instead we meet in the dark, and all the wholly unoriginal, too generous things men are prone to saying before they come sound startling and true. Tender, silly words. Vocabulary you receive as a good sport and volley back with your eyes closed. Because when it is over, when he is bending over to collect his pants, there is a world beyond the door with traffic and measles and no room for these heady, optimistic words
Raven Leilani (Luster)
their footfalls? Finally some combination thereof, or these many things as permutations of each other—as alternative vocabularies? However it was, by January I was winnowed, and soon dispensed with pills and analysis (the pills I was weaned from gradually), and took up my unfinished novel again, Our Lady of the Forest, about a girl who sees the Virgin Mary, a man who wants a miracle, a priest who suffers spiritual anxiety, and a woman in thrall to cynicism. It seems to me now that the sum of those figures mirrors the shape of my psyche before depression, and that the territory of the novel forms a map of my psyche in the throes of gathering disarray. The work as code for the inner life, and as fodder for my own biographical speculations. Depression, in this conceit, might be grand mal writer’s block. Rather than permitting its disintegration at the hands of assorted unburied truths risen into light as narrative, the ego incites a tempest in the brain, leaving the novelist to wander in a whiteout with his half-finished manuscript awry in his arms, where the wind might blow it away. I don’t find this facile. It seems true—or true for me—that writing fiction is partly psychoanalysis, a self-induced and largely unconscious version. This may be why stories threaten readers with the prospect of everything from the merest dart wound to a serious breach in the superstructure. To put it another way, a good story addresses the psyche directly, while the gatekeeper ego, aware of this trespass—of a message sent so daringly past its gate, a compelling dream insinuating inward—can only quaver through a story’s reading and hope its ploys remains unilluminated. Against a story of penetrating virtuosity—The Metamorphosis, or Lear on the heath—this gatekeeper can only futilely despair, and comes away both revealed and provoked, and even, at times, shattered. In lesser fiction—fiction as entertainment, narcissism, product, moral tract, or fad—there is also some element of the unconscious finding utterance, chiefly because it has the opportunity, but in these cases its clarity and force are diluted by an ill-conceived motive, and so it must yield control of the story to the transparently self-serving ego, to that ostensible self with its own small agenda in art as well as in life. * * * Like
David Guterson (Descent: A Memoir of Madness (Kindle Single) (Vintage Original))
We don't talk about what brought us here, the spontaneous asphyxiation hanging between us like a silent, low-gravity dream. Instead we meet in the dark, and all the wholly unoriginal, too generous things men are prone to saying before they come sound startling and true. Tender, silly words. Vocabulary you receive as a good sport and volley back with your eyes closed. Because when it is over, when he is bending over to collect his pants, there is a world beyond the door with traffic and measles and no room for these heady, optimistic words.
Raven Leilani (Luster)
Henry had never been good with words. Case in point: The first month he’d been at Aglionby, he had tried to explain this to Jonah Milo, the English teacher, and had been told that he was being hard on himself. You’ve got a great vocabulary, Milo had said. Henry was aware he had a great vocabulary. It was not the same thing as having the words you needed to express yourself. You’re very well-spoken for a kid your age, Milo had added. Hell, ha, even for a guy my age. But sounding like you were saying what you felt was not the same as actually pulling it off.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
You're … wow." "Nice vocabulary, Ms. Reporter." "Would you rather I commented on your rigid manhood, your swollen tumescence, your engorged-" "Wow it is.
Kate Meader (Good Guy (Rookie Rebels, #1))
Understanding the scale usually increases your tolerance of others along with your ability to help them, should help be desired. My own experiences in teaching are a good example. I have conducted more than a thousand seminars and workshops with groups residing on every pOint of the scale. The ability to work with very different types of people is linked with the ability to shift ones own energy. I would not introduce level 600 teachings to a level 400 group or level 400 teachings to a level 50 group. In shifting my state different demeanour, clothing, vocabulary is used.
Frederick Dodson (Levels of Energy)
What I find is that we don’t even have the vocabulary to describe our feelings in useful detail—three-quarters of the people have a hard time coming up with a “feeling” word. When the words do come, they don’t usually tell us very much. People fumble around a bit, hem and haw, and then use the most commonplace terms we all rely on—I feel fine, good, okay …
Marc Brackett (Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive)
You could be brilliant, with an IQ that Einstein would envy, but if you’re unable to recognize your emotions and see how they’re affecting your behavior, all that cognitive firepower won’t do you as much good as you might imagine. A gifted child who doesn’t have the permission to feel, along with the vocabulary to express those feelings and the ability to understand them, won’t be able to manage complicated emotions around friendships and academics, limiting his or her potential.
Marc Brackett (Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive)
I took a cab into the centre of town and listened to the driver’s running commentary on all that ailed his beloved city, on the good old days when he could have a beer and a dance, and how he had escaped to America to study engineering but couldn’t afford the university fees and was forced to return home after a year. ‘Now, drive taxi in Tehran. No beer. No fun.’ He shrugged, resigned to his fate. After about twenty minutes, once his English vocabulary had been depleted, his analysis of Tehran’s problems was distilled down to two descriptions as he pointed at buildings in turn as we passed by. ‘Reza Shah!’ he would shout triumphantly at anything remotely grand or old. ‘Islamic Republic!’ he spat at each shoddy concrete office block.
Lois Pryce (Revolutionary Ride: On the Road in Search of the Real Iran)
Growing up doesn’t necessarily mean rejecting the religion of our ancestors, but it does entail sorting out the good from the bad in order to reclaim what has remained viable. It’s a balancing act: to recognize the blessings, even the ones that come well disguised, in the form of difficult relatives who have given you false images of Jesus with which you must contend. And it means naming and exorcising the curses—not cursing the people themselves, who may have left you stranded with a boogeyman God, but cleansing oneself of the damage that was done. The temptation to simply reject what we can’t handle is always there; but it means becoming stuck in a perpetual adolescence, a perpetual seeking for something, anything, that doesn’t lead us back to where we came from.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
The worst of the curses that people inflict on us, the real abuse and terror, can’t be forgotten or undone, but they can be put to good use in the new life that one has taken up. It is a kind of death; the lid closes on what went before. But the past is not denied. And we are still here, with all of our talents, gifts, and failings, our strengths and weaknesses. All the baggage comes along: nothing wasted, nothing lost.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
That afternoon, I purchased a bunch of daffodils for the table, and the sister who was home when I arrived got up to find a vase. We talked about Lent, and she told me that for most of her life she had considered it only in punitive terms, as a time of self-denial. “Now,” she said, “I still fast, but my reasons for fasting have changed.” She hoped to recover Lent as an aspect of spring itself, a time of waiting, but also of burgeoning hopes. For her this meant paying close attention to things like intake of food and the acquiring of possessions not in order to punish herself but to more fully honor the good things in life.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
The good news about the word “perfect” as used in the New Testament is that it is not a scary word, so much as a scary translation. The word that has been translated as “perfect” does not mean to set forth an impossible goal, or the perfectionism that would have me strive for it at any cost. It is taken from a Latin word meaning complete, entire, full-grown. To those who originally heard it, the word would convey “mature” rather than what we mean today by “perfect.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
At an interreligious conference of Buddhist and Christian monastics held not long ago at a Trappist monastery, a reporter asked the Dalai Lama what he would say to Americans who want to become Buddhists. “Don’t bother,” he said. “Learn from Buddhism, if that is good for you. But do it as a Christian, a Jew, or whatever you are. And be a good friend to us.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
In the suspicious atmosphere of the contemporary Christian church, it is good to know one’s ground. When others label me and try to exclude me, as too conservative or too liberal, as too feminist or not feminist enough, as too intellectual or not intellectually rigorous, as too Catholic to be a Presbyterian or too Presbyterian to be a Catholic, I refuse to be shaken from the fold. It’s my God, too, my Bible, my church, my faith; it chose me. But it does not make me “chosen” in a way that would exclude others. I hope it makes me eager to recognize the good, and the holy, wherever I encounter it.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
This dilemma is not unique to Presbyterians, but in churches with a more highly centralized power structure, a list of what will automatically bar people from church ministry may be more easily drawn up and enforced. For us, there is always a tension between being faithful to the greater church and to church tradition and allowing the Spirit room to breeze through the church at the local level. In the past, this tension has erupted into conflict over whether slaveholders could be ordained to church office, or divorced people, or women. And people of good faith came down on both sides of each issue. The issues change, but the central struggle over church polity remains the same. And, while sexual issues have taken precedence of late, it could be otherwise. Someone might propose barring from the church’s ministries, for example, people who are employed by large banks or corporations that they consider to be evil, having racist or economically rapacious business practices.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
a dominant class enforces rules about what is and is not acceptable. It defines good art, good food, good books—and creates an exclusionary vocabulary for describing them
Franklin Foer (World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech)
It's quite easy to assume that a multilingual person is stupid. When you know only one language, you become a specialist in that language. You make no mistakes. People listen to you with seriousness, and life is good. But you become a specialist because you are limited in your vocabulary. For example, English speakers use the word 'can' without making any mistakes. They are always confident that the right word is 'can'. As a result, they may be perceived as intelligent people. Because confidence can easily sway the masses. But in the case of a multilingual person, the vocabulary is expanded. When they speak, their brain has to consider the word 'can' in English, 'pouvez' in French, 'kan" in Afrikaans or Dutch, 'puede' in Spanish, and so on. So, while the brain is trying to go through each language memory box, taking into consideration its rules, the speaker could appear blank in their face, slow in the mind, or stuttering when they speak. Then, the society may start to reject them, or to label them as 'stupid.' Unfortunately, many people, especially foreigners, suffer because of this mistaken perception. The message here is that we need to broaden our views about other people. We need to consider them as equally intelligent as we often see ourselves.
Mitta Xinindlu
I count it a good sermon if people remember the scripture they heard read aloud more than any particular thing I said about it. And I have to realize that my sermon is only the beginning of the work of preaching, and I will not see the end of it. Preaching is not only proclamation, but response. As for the work done by the deacons who tend to the sick and needy, the elders who take communion to shut-ins, I can only hope that I have given them a word that sustains them during the week, for they are also preaching the gospel.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
rise of the Nazis posed other problems for Keynes’ worldview. In his letters to Lydia, Keynes at times used “Jewish” and “circumcised” as synonyms for “greedy.” The economist Robert Solow has even suggested that Keynes’ attacks on “love of money” in “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” reflect a “polite anti-semitism.”20 Solow presses his case too far, but Keynes’ jokes with Lydia do represent more than some unfortunate, outdated terminology. In 1926, he had written a brief sketch of Albert Einstein, one of his intellectual heroes, after meeting him in Berlin. Einstein, according to Keynes, was one of the good Jews—“a sweet imp” who had “not sublimated immortality into compound interest.” Keynes knew many such good Jews in Germany. There was a Berlin banker named Fuerstenberg “who Lydia liked so much” and the “mystical” German economist Kurt Singer and even his “dear” friend Carl Melchior, whom he had met at the Paris Peace Conference. “Yet if I lived there, I felt I might turn anti-Semite. For the poor Prussian is too slow and heavy on his legs for the other kind of Jews, the ones who are not imps but serving devils, with small horns, pitch forks, and oily tails. It is not agreeable to see a civilisation so under the ugly thumbs of its impure Jews who have all the money and the power and the brains.”21 The sketch was rancid even by the standards of his own time. Keynes may have realized it. The piece was not published until after his death. After the Nazis came to power, Keynes became more considerate with his vocabulary. In August
Zachary D. Carter (The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes)
Focus intently and beat procrastination.    Use the Pomodoro Technique (remove distractions, focus for 25 minutes, take a break).    Avoid multitasking unless you find yourself needing occasional fresh perspectives.    Create a ready-to-resume plan when an unavoidable interruption comes up.    Set up a distraction-free environment.    Take frequent short breaks. Overcome being stuck.    When stuck, switch your focus away from the problem at hand, or take a break to surface the diffuse mode.    After some time completely away from the problem, return to where you got stuck.    Use the Hard Start Technique for homework or tests.    When starting a report or essay, do not constantly stop to edit what is flowing out. Separate time spent writing from time spent editing. Learn deeply.    Study actively: practice active recall (“retrieval practice”) and elaborating.    Interleave and space out your learning to help build your intuition and speed.    Don’t just focus on the easy stuff; challenge yourself.    Get enough sleep and stay physically active. Maximize working memory.    Break learning material into small chunks and swap fancy terms for easier ones.    Use “to-do” lists to clear your working memory.    Take good notes and review them the same day you took them. Memorize more efficiently.    Use memory tricks to speed up memorization: acronyms, images, and the Memory Palace.    Use metaphors to quickly grasp new concepts. Gain intuition and think quickly.    Internalize (don’t just unthinkingly memorize) procedures for solving key scientific or mathematical problems.    Make up appropriate gestures to help you remember and understand new language vocabulary. Exert self-discipline even when you don’t have any.    Find ways to overcome challenges without having to rely on self-discipline.    Remove temptations, distractions, and obstacles from your surroundings.    Improve your habits.    Plan your goals and identify obstacles and the ideal way to respond to them ahead of time. Motivate yourself.    Remind yourself of all the benefits of completing tasks.    Reward yourself for completing difficult tasks.    Make sure that a task’s level of difficulty matches your skill set.    Set goals—long-term goals, milestone goals, and process goals. Read effectively.    Preview the text before reading it in detail.    Read actively: think about the text, practice active recall, and annotate. Win big on tests.    Learn as much as possible about the test itself and make a preparation plan.    Practice with previous test questions—from old tests, if possible.    During tests: read instructions carefully, keep track of time, and review answers.    Use the Hard Start Technique. Be a pro learner.    Be a metacognitive learner: understand the task, set goals and plan, learn, and monitor and adjust.    Learn from the past: evaluate what went well and where you can improve.
Barbara Oakley (Learn Like a Pro: Science-Based Tools to Become Better at Anything)
Good piggy,” said Alex. “False statement detected,” said Robo-Pig. “I have no programmed morals or ethics, so I am neither good nor bad.” “Can you say ‘oink’?” asked Alex. “I have a full vocabulary and can speak in six different languages,” said Robo-Pig. “Oink is one of the many words that I can say.
Dave Villager (The Legend of Dave the Villager Books 6–10 Illustrated: a collection of unofficial Minecraft books (Dave the Villager Collections Book 2))
But an honest word is an honest word, and its acquaintance can only be made by meeting it in a right context. A good vocabulary is not acquired by reading books written according to some notion of the vocabulary of one’s age-group. It comes from reading books above one.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
Many of these students seem to have a blinkered view of their options. There’s crass but affluent investment banking. There’s the poor but noble nonprofit world. And then there is the world of high-tech start-ups, which magically provides money and coolness simultaneously. But there was little interest in or awareness of the ministry, the military, the academy, government service or the zillion other sectors. Furthermore, few students showed any interest in working for a company that actually makes products. . . . [C]ommunity service has become a patch for morality. Many people today have not been given vocabularies to talk about what virtue is, what character consists of, and in which way excellence lies, so they just talk about community service. . . . In whatever field you go into, you will face greed, frustration and failure. You may find your life challenged by depression, alcoholism, infidelity, your own stupidity and self-indulgence. . . . Furthermore . . . [a]round what ultimate purpose should your life revolve? Are you capable of heroic self-sacrifice or is life just a series of achievement hoops? . . . You can devote your life to community service and be a total schmuck. You can spend your life on Wall Street and be a hero. Understanding heroism and schmuckdom requires fewer Excel spreadsheets, more Dostoyevsky and the Book of Job. 110
Timothy J. Keller (Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work)
Facial expression: try to adopt a firm, friendly expression. Avoid a tense, aggressive look, or one that suggests that you are nervous. • Posture: keep your head up (but not so high that you look haughty!) – lowering it will make you look submissive. • Distance: not too close, but close enough to be heard and to make good eye contact. • Gestures: make these relaxed and not intimidating – no finger wagging, for example. But also make sure that you are not making nervous gestures like wringing your hands. • Eye contact: don’t stare at the other person, but don’t be afraid of looking them in the eye. A comfortable pattern is to shift your focus between the other person’s eyes and mouth during a conversation. • Voice: keep the tone, volume and pace of your voice such that it communicates thoughtfulness and calm. Try not to let the pitch or the volume of your voice go up, which it can easily do if we feel stressed. • Vocabulary: use constructive and non-critical words and phrases – your aim is to get the other person on board, not into conflict. Acknowledge the other side of the argument, empathize and never attack.
Helen Kennerley (Overcoming Anxiety: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques)
But it is said that certain memorable lines or phrases cannot be expressed in any other language. Yet it should also be said that while at times we must lose, at others we gain, and the good translator will take advantage of the text, improving upon the weaker lines of the original, while doing his best with the best. More important, it is forgotten that translation provides an opportunity for languages to interact upon each other, for one tongue to alter and enrich the possibilities of expression in another. In the past some translated works have changed both literary language and tradition: notably the Petrarchan sonnet, Luther's Bible, Judith Gautier's haiku. Milton went as naturally to the King James Version for vocabulary as Shakespeare turned to Holinshed for plots; when Rimbaud's Illuminationswere translated into English, the tradition of our literature was expanded to the extent that diction and subject never before found in English were presented to us. In a word, the quality of a work in translation is dependent on the translator's skills. His forgery is not necessarily better or worse than the original or than other works in his own language; it is only necessarily different—and here the difference, if new and striking, may extend the verbal and thematic borders of his own literature. And as a corollary to his work the new poem may also be seen as an essay into literary criticism, a reading, a creative explication de texte.
Willis Barnstone (Ancient Greek Lyrics)
The truthful—though unhelpful—answer to the question: "How did we come by our primary knowledge of causality?" is that in learning to speak we learned the linguistic representation and application of a host of causal concepts. Very many of them were represented by transitive and other verbs of action used in reporting what is observed. Others—a good example is "infect"—form, not observation statements, but rather expressions of causal hypotheses. The word "cause" itself is highly general. How does someone show that he has the concept cause? We may wish to say: only by having such a word in his vocabulary. If so, then the manifest possession of the concept presupposes the mastery of much else in language. I mean: the word "cause" can be added to a language in which are already represented many causal concepts. A small selection: scrape, push, wet, carry, eat, burn, knock over, keep off, squash, make (e.g. noises, paper boats), hurt. But if we care to imagine languages in which no special causal concepts are represented, then no description of the use of a word in such languages will be able to present it as meaning cause. Nor will it even contain words for natural kinds of stuff, nor yet words equivalent to "body", "wind", or "fire". For learning to use special causal verbs is part and parcel of learning to apply the concepts answer to these and many other substantives. As surely as we learned to call people by name or to report from seeing it that the cat was on the table, we also learned to report from having observed it that someone drank up the milk or that the dog made a funny noise or that things were cut or broken by whatever we saw cut or break them.
G.E.M. Anscombe (Collected Philosophical Papers, Volume 2: Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind)
Most Italians consume alcohol every day, but it’s not what we call drinking. For Americans and northern Europeans alcoholic beverages are mind-altering drugs, used as tranquilizers, sleeping potions, inhibition-looseners (“Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker”—Ogden Nash), or roads to inebriation. That is to say, to getting tipsy, high, drunk, plastered, smashed, sloshed, sozzled, soused, crocked, wrecked, juiced, stinko, tight, pie-eyed, crosseyed, shit-faced, blitzed, fried, wasted, gassed, polluted, pissed, tanked up, ripped, loaded, pickled, bombed, blasted, blooey, blotto, blind drunk, roaring drunk, dead drunk, falling down drunk, drunk as a lord, stewed to the gills, or feeling no pain—and that’s just my own personal vocabulary. Italians reach that state so infrequently that their language provides only a few tame options—ubriaco (drunk), brillo (tipsy), alticcio (high), sbronzo (drunk)—with at most perso (lost) or fradicio (rotten) tacked on for a touch of color. They don’t even have a proper word for a hangover, though if pressed they’ll come up with the stately postumi della sbornia, aftereffects of overindulgence. For Italians, wine and beer are foods. If they provide a little buzz that’s just a pleasant side benefit, improving the sparkle of the conversation. When I first traveled in Italy, parents regularly fed wine-laced water to their kids (“acquavino”), vaccinating them against later dipsomania. And at lunchtime in the cafeteria of my Nuovo Regina Margherita Hospital the docs would jostle to sit at the chaplain’s table, because he’d always bring a bottle of good country wine. Even the harder stuff fits into a culinary protocol: a seven p.m. Campari is meant to whet the appetite, and the cognac or amaro at the end of a large meal to aid digestion. Which is why, in proportion, Italy has one-tenth as many problem drinkers as America.
Susan Levenstein (Dottoressa: An American Doctor in Rome)
the weakening of the discourses constructing political identities in terms of left and right has not meant the disappearance of the need for a we/they distinction. Such a distinction is still very much alive; however, today it is increasingly established through a moral vocabulary. We could say that the distinction between left and right has been replaced by the one between right and wrong. This indicates that the adversarial model of politics is still with us, but the main difference is that now politics is played out in the moral register, using the vocabulary of good and evil to discriminate between 'we the good democrats' and 'they the evil ones'. This can be seen, for instance, in the reactions to the rise of right-wing populist parties, where moral condemnation has generally replaced a properly political type of struggle. Instead of trying to grasp the reasons for the success of right-wing parties, the 'good' democratic parties have often limited themselves to calling for a 'cordon sanitaire' to be established in order to stop the return of what they see as 'the brown plague'. Another example of this moralization of politics is when President George W. Bush opposes the civilized 'us' to the barbarian 'others'. To construct a political antagonism in this way is what I call the 'moralization of politics'. This is something that we can see at work in many different areas nowadays; the inability to formulate the problems facing society in a political way and to envisage political solutions to these problems leads to framing an increasing number of issues in moral terms. This is, of course, not good for democracy because when the opponents are not defined in a political but in a moral way, they cannot be seen as adversaries, but only as enemies. With the evil ones, no agonistic debate is possible. They have to be eliminated.
Chantal Mouffe (Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically)
A good children’s book goes beyond the symbiotic relationship between text and imagery or the promotion of literacy and vocabulary skills. A truly great story celebrates our highest values and ideals.
Dorien Brouwers
This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path—the my-isn’t-that-impressive path—and keep you there for a long time. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever even considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people’s high regard can feel too costly. Maybe you spend three years in Massachusetts, studying constitutional law and discussing the relative merits of exclusionary vertical agreements in antitrust cases. For some, this might be truly interesting, but for you it is not. Maybe during those three years you make friends you’ll love and respect forever, people who seem genuinely called to the bloodless intricacies of the law, but you yourself are not called. Your passion stays low, yet under no circumstance will you underperform. You live, as you always have, by the code of effort/result, and with it you keep achieving until you think you know the answers to all the questions—including the most important one. Am I good enough? Yes, in fact I am. What happens next is that the rewards get real. You reach for the next rung of the ladder, and this time it’s a job with a salary in the Chicago offices of a high-end law firm called Sidley & Austin. You’re back where you started, in the city where you were born, only now you go to work on the forty-seventh floor in a downtown building with a wide plaza and a sculpture out front. You used to pass by it as a South Side kid riding the bus to high school, peering mutely out the window at the people who strode like titans to their jobs. Now you’re one of them. You’ve worked yourself out of that bus and across the plaza and onto an upward-moving elevator so silent it seems to glide. You’ve joined the tribe. At the age of twenty-five, you have an assistant. You make more money than your parents ever have. Your co-workers are polite, educated, and mostly white. You wear an Armani suit and sign up for a subscription wine service. You make monthly payments on your law school loans and go to step aerobics after work. Because you can, you buy yourself a Saab. Is there anything to question? It doesn’t seem that way. You’re a lawyer now. You’ve taken everything ever given to you—the love of your parents, the faith of your teachers, the music from Southside and Robbie, the meals from Aunt Sis, the vocabulary words drilled into you by Dandy—and converted it to this. You’ve climbed the mountain. And part of your job, aside from parsing abstract intellectual property issues for big corporations, is to help cultivate the next set of young lawyers being courted by the firm. A senior partner asks if you’ll mentor an incoming summer associate, and the answer is easy: Of course you will. You have yet to understand the altering force of a simple yes. You don’t know that when a memo arrives to confirm the assignment, some deep and unseen fault line in your life has begun to tremble, that some hold is already starting to slip. Next to your name is another name, that of some hotshot law student who’s busy climbing his own ladder. Like you, he’s black and from Harvard. Other than that, you know nothing—just the name, and it’s an odd one. Barack.
You do not want to do that,” Green said ominously. “I beg you, sir,” Brown pleaded, “do not remove the gag.” The captain stopped for a moment and looked from man to man. “What, pray tell, is she going to do?” Green and Brown said nothing, but they both backed up, almost to the wall. “Good God,” the captain said impatiently. “Two grown men.” And then he removed the gag. “You!” Poppy burst out, practically spitting at Green. Green blanched. “And you,” she growled at Brown. “And you!” she finished, glaring at the captain. The captain quirked a brow. “And now that you’ve demonstrated your extensive vocabulary—” “I am going to kill each and every one of you,” she hissed. “How dare you tie me up and leave me here for hours—” “It was thirty minutes,” Brown protested. “It felt like hours,” she railed, “and if you think I’m going to sit here and accept this type of abuse from a pack of idiot pirates—” She coughed uncontrollably. The bloody captain had shoved the gag back in. “Right,” the captain said. “I understand perfectly now.” Poppy bit his finger. “That,” he said smoothly, “was a mistake.” Poppy glared at him. “Oh, and by the by,” he added, almost as an afterthought, “we prefer the term privateer.” She growled, grinding her teeth around the gag.
Julia Quinn (The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #3))
intellectual specialization. Jews embodied the market economy from the Middle Ages on, and managed the affairs of European courts long before the advent of finance capitalism. They experienced exile and learned to live in a diaspora several centuries before the concept of ‘globalization’ appeared in our vocabulary. Commerce, banking, law, textual interpretation and cultural mediation always organized their existence. Emancipation propelled them to the centre of modernity, as an elite of ‘Mercurians’ (foreign and mobile, producers of concepts) in a world of ‘Apollonians’ (sedentary warriors, producers of goods).
Enzo Traverso (The End of Jewish Modernity)
We don't have a good vocabulary for these experiences. They come in variations and degrees, from a slight apprehension of the strangeness of being to the ravishing dissolution of boundaries called enlightenment. A mystical experience, a peak experience, a blurring or merge between self and other, a liberation from the limits of space and time.
Mark Doty (What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life)
Goodness, thought Dawn. Aren’t two-year-olds supposed to be over that business of putting things in their mouths? Yes, they are, she told herself, realizing something: Emily was not like other two-year-olds she knew. She thought of Marnie Barrett and Gabbie Perkins, kids us club members sit for. Both Marnie and Gabbie, especially Gabbie, are talkers. (Gabbie’s a little older than Marnie.) Gabbie is toilet-trained and Marnie is working on it. Both girls can put simple puzzles together. When they color, their drawings are becoming identifiable. And Gabbie has memorized and can sing long songs with her older sister. Emily, on the other hand, was nowhere near toilet-trained. Her favorite toys were baby toys like stacking rings. When she got hold of crayons, she just scribbled. And her vocabulary consisted of a handful of words and a lot of sounds (such as “buh” or “da”) that she used to mean a variety of things. Yet, Emily was smiley and giggly and cheerful. She was affectionate, too, and tried hard to please her new family.
Ann M. Martin (Claudia and the Great Search (The Baby-Sitters Club, #33))
At any given moment, everyone walks around with a laundry machine of vocabulary. Words spin and cycle in heads after fresh loads of new people, new ideas, and new encounters. This laundry machine of vocabulary hints at what we’re interested in, learning of, struggling with, and thinking about. It changes every few months. If you stick with a person long enough, while they may not confess to you that their family is dying, you wonder why they always come back to words like, “polka-dots,” “temperature” or phrases like “getting old” or “good morning, doc!
Karl Kristian Flores (The Goodbye Song)
But it is said that certain memorable lines or phrases cannot be expressed in any other language. Yet it should also be said that while at times we must lose, at others we gain, and the good translator will take advantage of the text, improving upon the weaker lines of the original, while doing his best with the best. More important, it is forgotten that translation provides an opportunity for languages to interact upon each other, for one tongue to alter and enrich the possibilities of expression in another. In the past some translated works have changed both literary language and tradition: notably the Petrarchan sonnet, Luther's Bible, Judith Gautier's haiku. Milton went as naturally to the King James Version for vocabulary as Shakespeare turned to Holinshed for plots; when Rimbaud's Illuminations were translated into English, the tradition of our literature was expanded to the extent that diction and subject never before found in English were presented to us. In a word, the quality of a work in translation is dependent on the translator's skills. His forgery is not necessarily better or worse than the original or than other works in his own language; it is only necessarily different—and here the difference, if new and striking, may extend the verbal and thematic borders of his own literature. And as a corollary to his work the new poem may also be seen as an essay into literary criticism, a reading, a creative explication de texte.
Willis Barnstone (Ancient Greek Lyrics)
We found many difficulties to combat, for it is not an easy thing to go into France and learn to talk French well; but at the same time, if a man sets to work in good earnest, he can do it. I have scratched the word "can't" out of my vocabulary long since, and I have not got it in my French one.
John Taylor (Journal of Discourses - Deluxe Study Edition with Complete Standard Works and over 10000 links (Illustrated))
Once upon a time, one looked to society -- or class, or community -- for one's normative vocabulary: what was good for everyone was by definition good for anyone. But the converse does not hold. What is good for one person may or may not be of value or interest to another. Conservative philosophers of an earlier age understood this well, which was why they resorted to religious language and imagery to justify traditional authority and its claims upon each individual. But the individualism of the new Left respected neither collective purpose nor traditional authority: it was, after all, both new and left. What remained to it was the subjectivism of private -- and privately-measured -- interest and desire. This, in turn, invited a resort to aesthetic and moral relativism: if something is good for me it is not incumbent upon me to ascertain whether it is good for someone else -- much less to impose it upon them ("do your own thing").
Tony Judt (Ill Fares the Land)
[The] defining characteristics of good prose [are]: a preference for short sentences diversified by an occasionally very long one; a tone that is relaxed and almost colloquial; a large vocabulary that enjoys exploiting the different etymological and social levels of words; and an insistence on verbal and logical precision.
F.W. Bateson
When it comes to speaking about sin, Paul is clear in his message to the Jews that the law cannot justify them, that moral effort cannot save them (Acts 13:39). In effect, Paul is saying to Bible believers, “You think you are good, but you aren’t good enough!” However, his approach with a pagan audience is to urge them to turn from “worthless things” — idols — “to the living God,” who is the true source of “joy” (Acts 14:15–17). In effect, Paul says, “You think you are free, but you are enslaved to dead idols.” Paul varies his use of emotion and reason, his vocabulary, his introductions and conclusions, his figures of speech and illustrations, his identification of the audience’s concerns, hopes, and needs. In every case, he adapts his gospel presentation to his hearers.5
Timothy J. Keller (Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City)
Berns wasn’t the greatest of the era, although his best work was as good as anybody’s. But his unique voice as a songwriter, producer, and record man is so deeply ingrained in the vocabulary of pop music it has become common parlance. Songs of his such as “Twist and Shout,” “My Girl Sloopy,” or “Piece of My Heart” have been covered, quoted, cannibalized, used as salvage parts, and recycled so many times, his touch has just dissolved into the literature. His name may be lost, but his music is everywhere.
Joel Selvin (Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues)
Positive vocabulary is like good soil. By speaking and being positive we can enrich the lives of others.
Julius Veal
Sometime during the processing we got a cavity search, to the laughter and comments of the guards. I hated that day when I started to learn my miserable English vocabulary. In such situations you’re just better off if you don’t understand English. The majority of the detainees wouldn’t speak about the cavity searches we were subject to, and they would get angry when you started to talk about them. I personally wasn’t ashamed; I think the people who did these searches without good reason should be ashamed of themselves.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Guantánamo Diary)
The English textbooks, which the ministry had handpicked and shipped to every school, were intended for American children learning to read in English, not for foreign children learning English itself. “Splish splash,” a story might declare on one page. “Jane got soaked by the hose.” In one sentence the book had managed to combine a pseudo-word (“splish”), an irregular past tense (“got”), a passive construction (“got soaked by”) for speakers of a language in which there was no such thing, and three words that should not be at the top of a basic vocabulary list (“splash,” “soaked,” and “hose”), one of which (“hose”) referred to an object that didn’t exist in this world. This was supposed to be appropriate reading for second graders, merely because the words were easy to sound out—and this at a school where, on a very good day, my second graders were working on the grammatical complexities of the sentence “I walk.” I
Peter Rudiak-Gould (Surviving Paradise: One Year On A Disappearing Island)
The research on IQ profiles indicates that children with Asperger’s syndrome have good factual and lexical (or word) knowledge. Their highest scores are often on the sub-tests that measure vocabulary, general knowledge and verbal problem solving. Such children have an impressive vocabulary and their recall of facts can make them popular in a Trivial Pursuit team.
Tony Attwood (The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome)
Good!” the creature echoed. “Doctor Nelson will be along in a minute. Feel like breakfast?” All symbols were in Smith’s vocabulary but he had trouble believing that he had heard rightly. He knew that he was food, but he did not “feel like” food. Nor had he any warning that he might be selected for such honor.
Robert A. Heinlein
Good art-writers break conventions, hold a few sacrosanct, innovate their own. They measure their limits by instinct, not by rote. Mostly they learn by seeing miles of art, and reading good literature in bulk. There is no substitute, for a writer, for possessing a natural ear for language; a rich vocabulary; a flair for varied sentence structures; an original opinion; some arresting ideas to share. I can teach you none of that.
Gilda Williams (How to Write About Contemporary Art)
Bourdieu argued that a dominant class enforces rules about what is and is not acceptable. It defines good art, good food, good books—and creates an exclusionary vocabulary for describing them. “Taste classifies, and it classifies the classifier,” he famously wrote.
Franklin Foer (World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech)
loud chanting and hooting is heard at the opera (along with the visual spectacle of audience attire such as jeans, message T-shirts, and sweats worn at such a formal art presentation); the exquisite and complex language of English is peppered with the word “like” every third or fourth word; the repetitive use of the adjective “cool” as a positive evaluation of everything remotely good reflects a paucity of vocabulary; and if the taste of strawberry ice cream is “awesome,” then what word is left to describe the aurora borealis? In
Alexandra York (LYING AS A WAY OF LIFE: Corruption and Collectivism Come of Age in America)
I communicated with their weaknesses. How is that possible? By saying, “If I were you, I would …” Trust me on this, if you’ve ever used that phrase, no one heard the end of your sentence. All they hear is you comparing your strengths to their weaknesses. You can understand what an explosive situation that is. You might as well be saying, “If you had my strengths instead of your pathetic pile of weaknesses …” Quickly, I dropped “If I were you, I would …” from my vocabulary and started saying, “With your strengths, I feel the best way to handle the situation you’re involved in would be for you to …” People will listen to that. Their response, stated or unstated, is essentially: “Coach, you understand my strengths better than anyone I’ve ever worked for. You always have good ideas about how I can use my strengths, not yours, to handle the situation. Thanks for taking this time with me.
Danny Cox (Leadership When the Heat's On)
She came to a complete stop when she realized that the fountain, one that sported stone mermaids spouting water out of their mouths, seemed to have acquired additional statues. These statues, however, did not fit in with the mermaids but instead seemed to be mud-covered blobs with lily pads stuck all over them. When one of the blobs suddenly raised a hand and rubbed what surely had to be a nose, Millie moved forward again as amusement bubbled up inside her. “How absolutely brilliant!” she exclaimed as she stopped right next to the fountain, earning a smile from little James, his teeth looking remarkably bright against the mud he’d used to cover his face. The blob next to him, six-year-old Edith, rose to her feet and let out a dramatic sigh. “Mother ruined everything by pointing us out to you.” She pulled a lily pad from her arm and dropped it into the shallow water pooling in the bottom of the fountain. “It’s a good thing she did point me in the right direction, or I could have been searching for the two of you for hours.” Millie grinned. “I’ve played many a game of hide-and-seek, and yet I’ve never seen children use such inventive means to disguise themselves. It was completely ingenious—which means clever, by the way—to choose the fountain to hide in.” “It was nothing of the sort,” Mrs. Cutling argued, marching up to join them, apparently unimpressed with Millie’s attempt at broadening the children’s vocabulary. She leveled a stern look at her children before turning her disapproval on Millie. “I’m holding you responsible for their current condition.” “It wasn’t Miss Longfellow’s fault, Mother,” James hurried to say. “It was my idea to hide here, so you shouldn’t be cross with her.” “And it’s been great fun,” Edith added. Mrs. Cutling drew herself up. “I see nothing fun about this, Edith. In fact, you and your brother have embarrassed me no small amount this afternoon. Because of that, the two of you will be spending the rest of your day in your rooms—after you bathe, of course—contemplating the ridiculousness of your actions.” She pointed a finger to the dry courtyard. “Both of you . . . out . . . now.” Millie watched as the two children scrambled out of the fountain, lily pads and slime dripping off them, which earned them a thinning of the lips from their mother. They sent Millie pitiful looks that clearly begged for help, but then two sets of little shoulders sagged when it evidently became clear Millie had no help to offer them. A
Jen Turano (In Good Company (A Class of Their Own Book #2))
Most of the machinery of modern language is labour-saving machinery; and it saves mental labour very much more than it ought. Scientific phrases are used like scientific wheels and piston-rods to make swifter and smoother yet the path of the comfortable. Long words go rattling by us like long railway trains. We know they are carrying thousands who are too tired or too indolent to walk and think for themselves. It is a good exercise to try for once in a way to express any opinion one holds in words of one syllable. If you say “The social utility of the indeterminate sentence is recognized by all criminologists as a part of our sociological evolution towards a more humane and scientific view of punishment,” you can go on talking like that for hours with hardly a movement of the gray matter inside your skull. But if you begin “I wish Jones to go to gaol and Brown to say when Jones shall come out,” you will discover, with a thrill of horror, that you are obliged to think. The long words are not the hard words, it is the short words that are hard. There is much more metaphysical subtlety in the word “damn” than in the word “degeneration.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
I realize that, from an orthodox point of view, this attitude poses a problem from the orthodox point of view vis-à-vis the word sacrifice. But the word is common to all the churches. The texts seem to indicate that at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, there was in certain traditions an interpretation both anti-sacrificial and religious at the same time. But immediately, Luther in particular fell into ultra-sacrificial [supersacrificielles] definitions. The basic point, I believe, is that the non-sacrificial reading not only illuminates, but reinforces, all the great orthodox and patristic dogmas, and far from eliminating the idea that Jesus “sacrifices” himself for the salvation of man [Jésus se “sacrifie” pour le salut des hommes], it strengthens that also. The only thing to look at is the misunderstanding, from here on, in the vocabulary, and so I repeat my question. Can one use the same word for what the bad prostitute did in the Judgment of Solomon and for what the good one did?95 Is it not essential today to achieve reconciliation, not only between Christians, but more essentially between Jews and Christians, to demonstrate to Jews as to Christians how the thing that is most essential [que ce qu’il y a de + essential] in Judaic inspiration demands the recognition of Christ as fulfillment, just as it was presented throughout the Middle Ages? [la reconnaissance du Christ comme accomplissement ainsi que l’a pressenti tout le Moyen Age?]. Is it not essential to dispel what seems to me to be the inevitable sacrificial misunderstanding? I think that all this, in spite of the still [encore] abrupt and hazardous character of certain formulations, is moving in the direction of the current evolution of the church and its own self-examination [sa propre mise en question], of which the blandness of the progressives is only a caricature.
Scott Cowdell (René Girard and Raymund Schwager: Correspondence 1974-1991 (Violence, Desire, and the Sacred))
The fly twitched and answered. “I was born in a rotten grammar book. In my pupae stage I ate through nearly a dozen pages. Luckily, I got a good mix of the vocabulary, phonetic, and grammar sections so I came out able to grasp the English language rather well. Most of my siblings did not. My sister, unfortunately, knows only the vowels, though she does forget the y’s sometimes.
Nate Gutman (Bill the Fly)
Smell and taste are processed in parts of our brains that are reactive and emotional rather than intellectual, which is one reason developing a good vocabulary of aromas is so difficult. It’s a long journey from our lizard brain way up to where language is processed.
Randy Mosher (Mastering Homebrew: The Complete Guide to Brewing Delicious Beer)
a good vocabulary helps the reader understand the context of the message. 
Jonathan Wallace (Reading Comprehension: Effective Strategies to Improve Your Reading Comprehension Skills Quickly (Education, Learning, Teaching, Reading))
43. Change Your Vocabulary, Change Your Attitude Our words have power. They have the power to change our lives for the better or for the worse. Even the Bible says: The tongue has the power of life and death. But what the heck does that mean?! You see, I think ‘trying’ isn’t the only word you should jettison from your dictionary. Let’s take the word ‘problem’ - that one instantly seems to me like a hassle and a pain. I replace it with ‘challenge’. All of a sudden, something that seemed oppressive and negative becomes an obstacle course to be negotiated. Changing the words you use will help you change your attitude to the situation you’re in and the life you live. Do you hear that? The words we use become the life we live. That’s why I have never ever had a ‘cold’ in my life. I have, though, occasionally had a warm! I refuse to call the weekend the weak-end - that symbolizes surrender. I call it a strong-end. (And I can guarantee you’ll do much more with those 48 hours if you live it like that!) And what about the words ‘alarm clock’? ‘Alarm’ to me says emergency and that my life is in danger. That’s a terrible way to start a day. I call it instead my ‘opportunity’ clock. Waking me up to give me the opportunity to get out there and grab life with both hands. And then, of course, there is the worst of all…the word ‘can’t’. When I hear an expedition member say it ‘can’t’ be done, I can never resist amending it to: ‘We haven’t yet found a way to do it.’ And therein lies the adventure! When you start to use words and phrases like these, for sure loads of people will think you’re crazy, but the good news is that you’ll make them smile, and you will be talking into existence the sort of outcomes that most people can only ever dream of… I’d take being called crazy to get that. Wouldn’t you?
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
What do you paint?” Hans shrugged. “Nudes. Mostly men.” “Pornography?” “No,” Hans said defensively. “I think the naked male form is beautiful. Erotic, yes, but also sublime.” “I have a very good English vocabulary,” Boris said. “I write in English to avoid having my work mangled in translation. But I cannot remember that word.” “Sublime?” Hans asked. He had to think about it. That was a tough word to define, even for native English speakers. At last he said, “Perfect. So beautiful it’s like glimpsing the face of God.” Boris nodded. “I sometimes feel that when I am writing
Jamie Fessenden (The Rules)
I do not want to keep these things from you. I adore you, puppy. I am just afraid of losing Thomas.” It was nice hearing Boris say that, but it didn’t make Hans feel much better. He’d still behaved like a child throwing a tantrum. These two men were giving him everything—a job he liked doing, a great place to live, good food, fantastic sex, affection—and he’d blown up because they had a couple of things they liked to reserve for themselves. “I’m sorry. I do understand.” Boris reached out and took his hand. “I will start teaching you if you really want to learn. Thomas tells me it is a very hard language for English speakers. The vocabulary is strange.” “Really?” Hans asked, growing ridiculously excited, as if someone had just handed him the map to Blackbeard’s treasure. “It will take a very long time, puppy, before you can understand the things Thomas and I say to each other. But we have been rude. We should not speak so much in front of you.” “No!” Hans exclaimed. “Don’t do that. I want to start picking up phrases. You should talk in front of me more!” Boris laughed. “I had no idea this was so important to you. You really want to be close to us.” “I do!” Boris pulled him in for a long kiss, caressing his back and then sliding his hand partway under Hans’s ass. By the time the kiss ended, they both had raging hard-ons. “You want a pet name for me, puppy?” “Yes!
Jamie Fessenden (The Rules)
effect are base lies, I'll have you and your friend know! However—" he yawned again "—I've been up all day and so, purely coincidentally, I do find myself just a bit sleepy at the moment. The which being so, I think I should take myself off to bed. I'll see you all in the morning." "Good night, Alistair," she said, and smiled as he sketched a salute and disappeared into the night with a chuckle. "You two are really close, aren't you?" Benson observed quietly after McKeon had vanished. Honor raised an eyebrow at her, and the blond captain shrugged. "Not like me and Henri, I know. But the way you look out for each other—" "We go back a long way," Honor replied with another of her half-smiles, and bent to rest her chin companionably on the top of Nimitz's head. "I guess it's sort of a habit to watch out for each other by now, but Alistair seems to get stuck with more of that than I do, bless him." "I know. Henri and I made the hike back to your shuttles with you, remember?" Benson said dryly. "I was impressed by the comprehensiveness of his vocabulary. I don't think he repeated himself more than twice." "He probably wouldn't have been so mad if I hadn't snuck off without mentioning it to him," Honor said, and her right cheek dimpled while her good eye gleamed in memory. "Of course, he wouldn't have let me leave him behind if I had mentioned it to him, either. Sometimes I think he just doesn't understand the chain of command at all!" "Ha!" Ramirez' laugh rumbled around the hut like rolling thunder. "From what I've seen of you so far, that's a case of the pot calling the kettle black, Dame Honor!" "Nonsense. I always respect the chain of command!" Honor protested with a chuckle. "Indeed?" It was Benson's turn to shake her head. "I've heard about your antics at—Hancock Station, was it called?" She laughed out loud at Honor's startled expression. "Your people are proud of you, Honor. They like to talk, and to be honest, Henri and I encouraged them to. We needed to get a feel for you, if we were going to trust you with our lives." She shrugged. "It didn't take us long to make our minds up once they started opening up with us." Honor felt her face heat and looked down at Nimitz, rolling him gently over on his back to stroke his belly fur. She concentrated on that with great intensity for the next several seconds, then looked back up once her blush had cooled. "You don't want to believe everything you hear," she said with commendable composure. "Sometimes people exaggerate a bit." "No doubt," Ramirez agreed, tacitly letting her off the hook, and she gave him a grateful half-smile. "In the meantime, though," Benson said, accepting the change of subject, "the loss of the shuttle beacon does make me more anxious about Lunch Basket." "Me, too," Honor admitted. "It cuts our operational safety margin in half, and we still don't know when we'll finally get a chance to try it." She grimaced. "They really aren't cooperating very well, are they?" "I'm sure it's only because they don't know what we're planning," Ramirez told her wryly. "They're much too courteous to be this difficult if they had any idea how inconvenient for us it is." "Right. Sure!" Honor snorted, and all three of them chuckled. Yet there was an undeniable edge of worry behind the humor, and she leaned back in her chair, stroking Nimitz rhythmically, while she thought. The key to her plan was the combination of the food supply runs from Styx and the Peeps' lousy communications security. Her analysts had been right about the schedule on which the Peeps operated; they made a whole clutch of supply runs in a relatively short period—usually about three days—once per month. Given
David Weber (Echoes of Honor (Honor Harrington, #8))
As design historians and theorists Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller note, logos were tailored to evoke familiarity and folksiness (see Aunt Jemima, page 2), in an effort to counteract the new and unsettling anonymity of packaged goods. "Familiar personalities such as Dr. Brown, Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, and Old Grand-Dad came to replace the shopkeeper, who was traditionally responsible for measuring bulk foods for customers and acting as an advocate for products... a nationwide vocabulary of brand names replaced the small local shopkeeper as the interface between consumer and product.
Naomi Klein
PHILOSOPHER: Ha-ha, you certainly have an interesting vocabulary. There’s no need to raise your voice—let’s think about this together. One has to get recognition, or one will suffer. If one doesn’t get recognition from others and from one’s parents, one won’t have confidence. Can such a life be healthy? So one could think, God is watching, so accumulate good deeds. But that and the nihilist view that “there is no God, so all evil deeds are permitted” are two sides of the same coin. Even supposing that God did not exist, and that we could not gain recognition from God, we would still have to live this life. Indeed, it is in order to overcome the nihilism of a godless world that it is necessary to deny recognition from other people.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness)
Look man, this isn't a bad book. Its just overrated. Lots of good things are overrated. First of all, the style in which its written is very polysyllabic and...hard to read. The vocabulary Fitzgerald employs is very impressive but the way he strings together sentences makes them come across as colorful messes, like vomit with sprinkles in it. The characters range from annoying to insufferable. The very narrator is a condescending prick and the central protagonist is a oversensitive, histrionic bore. I don't know, man. I feel like disliking something so universally praised makes you some sort of simpleton. And when you espouse your opinion people insist 'you just don't get it'. Eh. Maybe I don't.
Jerimiah Griifin
And just because presents were big didn’t mean they were good. It could be a trashcan or… a broom, like his mom got once from the neighbor. To David, that was like getting a hundred vocabulary words to write.
A.C. Kret (12 Matchsticks)
Research on vocabulary learning through reading without focused instruction confirms that some vocabulary can be learned without explicit instruction (see Chapter 6, Study 17). On the other hand, Jan Hulstijn and Batia Laufer (2001) and others provide evidence that vocabulary development is more successful when learners are fully engaged in activities that require them to attend carefully to the new words and even to use them in productive tasks. Izabella Kojic-Sabo and Patsy Lightbown (1999) found that effort and the use of good learning strategies, such as keeping a notebook, looking words up in a dictionary, and reviewing what has been learned were associated with better vocabulary development. Cheryl Boyd Zimmerman (2009) provides many practical suggestions for teaching vocabulary and also for helping learners to continue learning outside the classroom.
Patsy M. Lightbown (How Languages are Learned)
Even with instruction and good strategies, the task of acquiring an adequate vocabulary is daunting. What does it mean to ‘know’ a word: •  Grasp the general meaning in a familiar context? •  Provide a definition or a translation equivalent? •  Provide appropriate word associations? •  Identify its component parts or etymology? •  Use the word to complete a sentence or to create a new sentence? •  Use it metaphorically? •  Understand a joke that uses homonyms (words that sound alike but mean different things, such as ‘cents’, ‘sense’, ‘scents’)? Second language learners whose goal is to use the language for both social and academic purposes must learn to do all these things.
Patsy M. Lightbown (How Languages are Learned)
Vocabulary mattered. ‘Grouse’ meant awesome, and the thumbs-up sign did not mean good luck but ‘up yer bum’. Hot boys were ‘spunks’ and when you had a crush you were ‘rapt’ in them. Kissing was ‘pashing’. But there was one all-purpose phrase that would guarantee me instant entrée into all good sharpie society. And that expression was ‘shit, eh?’ It could be used as a question or an exclamation. Or just a simple indication that you were listening during a long-winded story.
Magda Szubanski (Reckoning: A Memoir)
The technical term for discounting of this general form that starts out high and then declines is quasi-hyperbolic discounting. If you don't know what "hyperbolic" means, that shows good judgement on your part in what words to incorporate in your vocabulary.
Richard H. Thaler
In the seventeenth century, however, “religion” came to mean “a system of beliefs and practices.” The word could now also be used in the plural, and the Christian faith became just one among several “religions.” In essence, it was considered to be the same as any other. Its superiority over other religions was, at best, relative. This fundamental levelling of all religions also meant that the church's traditional vocabulary lost its theological content. To give one example, in its secularized form sin was perceived exclusively in moralistic terms; it referred to transgressing or failing to obey instructions. The inherent sinfulness of human nature was denied, and a remarkably optimistic view of humanity as essentially good was propagated; since evil had no inherent power over them, people would “naturally” do the right thing if left to themselves (cf Braaten 1977:18; Gründel 1983:105).
David J. Bosch (Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission)
Certainly, it seems that having a large vocabulary is a pre-requisite for proficiency in the receptive skills. As Bhatia Laufer (1997: 31) puts it: ‘By far the greatest lexical obstacle to good reading is insufficient number of words in the learner’s lexicon. [In research studies] lexis was found to be the best predictor of success in reading, better than syntax or general reading ability.’ How many words, then, are sufficient to push learners over the threshold, beyond which texts start to make sense? In the 1990s, the bar was set at around 90 percent, i.e. comfortable reading could be achieved if 90 percent of the words in any given text were familiar to the reader. Ninety percent represents a receptive vocabulary of around 3,000 words. Since then, the figure has crept inexorably upward. But the
Scott Thornbury (Big Questions in ELT)
volley my opinions, to appear more confident about them than I really am, to appear smarter than I really am, to appear better and more authoritative than I really am. I have to work harder than most people to avoid a life of smug superficiality. I’ve also become more aware that, like many people these days, I have lived a life of vague moral aspiration—vaguely wanting to be good, vaguely wanting to serve some larger purpose, while lacking a concrete moral vocabulary, a clear understanding of how to live a rich inner life, or even a clear knowledge of how character is developed and depth is achieved.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
Guideline #5: Select your vocabulary with meticulous care. Did you increase sales or orchestrate explosive growth in revenues? Did you provide good levels of customer service or unparalleled levels of quality customer service? As a receptionist, did you merely greet people, or were you the manager of first impressions? Are you a good problem solver, or can you resolve complex technical issues professionally and expeditiously? Words are power, and keywords and phrases are powerful agents for eliciting the right emotions to enthusiastically engage prospective employers to want to read your document. Well-chosen words can be the difference between an interview and a missed opportunity, so select your words and messages with painstaking precision.
Jay A. Block (101 Best Ways to Land a Job in Troubled Times)
But we can’t design the player or her behavior. We design the rules that shape her experience, her choices, her performance. Rules are how we communicate. Verbs are the rules that allow her to communicate back. The game is a dialogue between game and player, and the rules we design are the vocabulary with which this conversation takes place.
Anna Anthropy (A Game Design Vocabulary: Exploring the Foundational Principles Behind Good Game Design)
I don't think we have all the words in a single vocabulary to explain what we are or why we are. I don't think we have the range of emotion to fully feel what someone else is feeling. I don't think any of us can sit in judgment of another human being. We're incomplete creatures, barely scraping by. Is it possible - from the perspective of this quickly spinning Earth and our speedy journey from crib to coffin - to know the difference between right, wrong, good, and evil? I don't know if it's even useful to try.
Alexandra Fuller (Scribbling the Cat)
that we cannot even realise the idea of equality, and here in England we have been taught to hate the word by the evil effects of those absurd attempts which have been made elsewhere to proclaim it as a fact accomplished by the scratch of a pen or by a chisel on a stone. We have been injured in that, because a good word signifying a grand idea has been driven out of the vocabulary of good men. Equality would be a heaven, if we could attain it.
Anthony Trollope (Complete Works of Anthony Trollope)
Despite no education, Mrs. Finn always is more in charge of word meanings than I am. She is especially in charge of Good and Bad. My language limitations here are real. My vocabulary is adequate for writing notes and keeping journals but absolutely useless for an active moral life. If I really knew this language, there would surely be in my head, as there is in Webster’s or the Dictionary of American Slang, that unreducible verb designed to tell a person like me what to do next.
Grace Paley (Enormous Changes at the Last Minute: Stories)
Jed Fernandez is also excellent for classroom teaching. Teachers can engage students in a classroom vocabulary or grammar review. Jed Fernandez is suitable for intermediate and advanced esl learners. It can be used to energize a dull class, to review work that was done or simply as a reward for good classroom work. Have fun teaching and learning English.
Jed Fernandez