Spoken Language Quotes

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

I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you.... What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language." I began to ask each time: "What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?" Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared" or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever. Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.
Audre Lorde
it is nice that nobody writes as they talk and that the printed language is different from the spoken otherwise you could not lose yourself in books and of course you do you completely do.
Gertrude Stein
Hear this if you can: If you want to reach him You have to go beyond yourself And when you finally arrive at the land of absence Be silent Don’t say a thing Ecstasy, not words, is the language spoken there
Rumi (The Rubais of Rumi: Insane with Love)
I hate that word, CAN’T. I wish it had never been dreamed up, spoken, or defined. I wish the concept of CAN’T could be eradicated not only from language, but more importantly from the psyche of a girl who I know is filled with so much CAN it seeps out of her pores and scents the air.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (How to Kill a Rock Star)
There were words for what he meant to me, but if I studied every language ever spoken for the next thousand years, I still wouldn’t find enough of them to describe it.
Jeaniene Frost (One Grave at a Time (Night Huntress, #6))
But the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It's a love that operates more like a sign language than being spoken outright.
Bob Goff (Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World)
A thousand desperate wishes have been spoken on these shores, and in the end they were all the same: Make me someone new.
Leigh Bardugo (The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grishaverse, #0.5, 2.5, 2.6))
I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. It took seven languages to make me; it would be nice if I could have spoken just one.
Nicole Krauss
In that moment Ged understood the singing of the bird, and the language of the water falling in the basin of the fountain, and the shape of the clouds, and the beginning and end of the wind that stirred the leaves; it seemed to him that he himself was a word spoken by the sunlight.
Ursula K. Le Guin (A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1))
Hear the language that isn’t spoken, for everyone can hear spoken words, but only a few can hear the heart that beats behind it.
Mary E. Pearson (Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1))
My first language, the true language of the soul spoken only on our planet of origin, had no word for betrayal or traitor. Or even loyalty- because without the opposite, the concept had no meaning.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
What the—Have you been crying?" Tohrment demanded. "Are you all right? Dear God, is it the baby?" "Tohr, relax. I'm a female, I cry at matings. It's in the job description." There was the sound of a kiss. "I just don't want anything to upset you, leelan." 'Then tell me the brothers are ready." "We are." "Good. I'll bring her out." "Leelan ? " "What?" There were low words spoken in their beautiful language. "Yes, Tohr," Wellsie whispered. "And after two hundred years, I'd mate you again. In spite of the fact that you snore and you leave your weapons all over our bedroom.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared hearer.
Robert Louis Stevenson
I don’t want to be human. I want to see gamma rays, I want to hear X-rays, and I want to smell dark matter. Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can’t even express these things properly, because I have to—I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid, limiting spoken language, but I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws, and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me. I’m a machine, and I can know much more. —John Cavil, Cylon Model Number One, “No Exit
Patrick DiJusto (The Science of Battlestar Galactica)
For a woman, language spoken is an expression of what she is feeling. For a man, language spoken is an expression of what he is thinking. A woman says what is on her heart while a man says what is on his mind.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
Now we'd known each other for two years, the side of my calf was touching his shins, and his stomach was against my ribs. He said, "I don't think it's end of world to be my girlfriend." I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. It took seven languages to make me; it would be nice if I could have spoken just one.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Love has its own communication. It's the language of the heart, while it has never been transcribed, has no alphabet, and can't be heard or spoken by voice, it is used by every human on the planet. It is written on our souls, scripted by the finger of God, and we can hear, understand, and speak it with perfection long before we open our eyes for the first time.
Charles Martin (Maggie (Awakening #2))
I'm Sorry are two of the most powerful words in our language, especially when they are not flipped blithely over the shoulder but spoken from the heart. They help restore order, balance, harmony. They reduce pain. They heal broken friendship. If they were medecine, they'd be called a miracle.
Jerry Spinelli (Today I Will: A Year of Quotes, Notes, and Promises to Myself)
It is a civilizational wake-up call. A powerful message—spoken in the language of fires, floods, droughts, and extinctions—telling us that we need an entirely new economic model and a new way of sharing this planet.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
I almost miss the sound of your voice but know that the rain outside my window will suffice for tonight. I’m not drunk yet, but we haven’t spoken in months now and I wanted to tell you that someone threw a bouquet of roses in the trash bin on the corner of my street, and I wanted to cry because, because — well, you know exactly why. And, I guess I’m calling because only you understand how that would break my heart. I’m running out of things to say. My gas is running on empty. I’ve stopped stealing pages out of poetry books, but last week I pocketed a thesaurus and looked for synonyms for you but could only find rain and more rain and a thunderstorm that sounded like glass, like crystal, like an orchestra. I wanted to tell you that I’m not afraid of being moved anymore; Not afraid of this heart packing up its things and flying transcontinental with only a wool coat and a pocket with a folded-up address inside. I’ve saved up enough money to disappear. I know you never thought the day would come. Do you remember when we said goodbye and promised that it was only for then? It’s been years since I last saw you, years since we last have spoken. Sometimes, it gets quiet enough that I can hear the cicadas rubbing their thighs against each other’s. I’ve forgotten almost everything about you already, except that your skin was soft, like the belly of a peach, and how you would laugh, making fun of me for the way I pronounced almonds like I was falling in love with language.
Shinji Moon
Because, underneath all of this is the real truth we have been avoiding: climate change isn’t an “issue” to add to the list of things to worry about, next to health care and taxes. It is a civilizational wake-up call. A powerful message—spoken in the language of fires, floods, droughts, and extinctions—telling us that we need an entirely new economic model and a new way of sharing this planet. Telling us that we need to evolve.
Naomi Klein
Although there are those who wish to ban my books because I have used language that is painful, I have chosen to use the language that was spoken during the period, for I refuse to whitewash history. The language was painful and life was painful for many African Americans, including my family. I remember the pain.
Mildred D. Taylor (The Land (Logans, #1))
Imagine a poem written with such enormous three-dimensional words that we had to invent a smaller word to reference each of the big ones; that we had to rewrite the whole thing in shorthand, smashing it into two dimensions, just to talk about it. Or don’t imagine it. Look outside. Human language is our attempt at navigating God’s language; it is us running between the lines of His epic, climbing on the vowels and building houses out of the consonants.
N.D. Wilson (Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World)
It's a common mistake for vacationing Americans to assume that everyone around them is French and therefore speaks no English whatsoever. [...] An experienced traveler could have told by looking at my shoes that I wasn't French. And even if I were French, it's not as if English is some mysterious tribal dialect spoken only by anthropologists and a small population of cannibals.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
He had been thinking of how landscape moulds a language. It was impossible to imagine these hills giving forth anything but the soft syllables of Irish, just as only certain forms of German could be spoken on the high crags of Europe; or Dutch in the muddy, guttural, phlegmish lowlands.
Alexander McCall Smith (Portuguese Irregular Verbs (Portuguese Irregular Verbs, #1))
We speak now or I do, and others do. You've never spoken before. You will. You'll be able to say how the city is a pit and a hill and a standard and an animal that hunts and a vessel on the sea and the sea and how we are fish in it, not like the man who swims weekly with fish but the fish with which he swims, the water, the pool. I love you, you light me, warm me, you are suns. You have never spoken before.
China Miéville (Embassytown)
I wrote too many poems in a language I did not yet know how to speak.
Andrea Gibson
In my country, terawatt globes are reserved for police helicopter chases and warning sailors of hazardous shoals. This is despite the fact that practically every living creature there can kill you in under three minutes. Our primary spoken language is screaming.
David Thorne
Once I dreamed I kept a perfect little bed and breakfast by the seaside, and to everyone who came to stay with me I would say, in that tongue, 'Be whole,' and they would become whole, not be broken people, not any longer, because I had spoken the language of shaping.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
HOSTESS. Oh, nonsense! She speaks English perfectly. NEPOMMUCK. Too perfectly. Can you shew me any English woman who speaks English as it should be spoken? Only foreigners who have been taught to speak it speak it well.
George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion)
Alice thought to herself, 'Then there's no use in speaking.' The voices didn't join in this time, as she hadn't spoken, but to her great surprise, they all thought in chorus (I hope you understand what thinking in chorus means--for I must confess that I don't), 'Better say nothing at all. Language is worth a thousand pounds a word!
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass)
My message will be very clear; it is that I think we have to continue to read novels. Because I think that the novel is a very good means to question the current world without having an answer that is too schematic, too automatic. The novelist, he’s not a philosopher, not a technician of spoken language. He’s someone who writes, above all, and through the novel asks questions.
J.M.G. Le Clézio
Inside this pencil crouch words that have never been written never been spoken never been taught they’re hiding they’re awake in there dark in the dark hearing us but they won’t come out not for love not for time not for fire even when the dark has worn away they’ll still be there hiding in the air multitudes in days to come may walk through them breathe them be none the wiser what script can it be that they won’t unroll in what language would I recognize it would I be able to follow it to make out the real names of everything maybe there aren’t many it could be that there’s only one word and it’s all we need it’s here in this pencil every pencil in the world is like this
W.S. Merwin
Sometimes there aren't words, Benny knew. Sometimes there are hurts so deep that they exist in a country that has no spoken language, a place where all landscapes are blighted and no sun ever shines. Benny had left his footprints in the dust of that place.
Jonathan Maberry (Fire & Ash (Rot & Ruin, #4))
In spoken Chinese, everything is gender neutral. There is no she or he. The more I think about this now, the more I like this about the language. Man or woman? Does it matter? A person.
Weike Wang (Chemistry)
What said those two souls communicating through the language of the eyes, more perfect than that of the lips, the language given to the soul in order that sound may not mar the ecstasy of feeling? In such moments, when the thoughts of two happy beings penetrate into each other’s souls through the eyes, the spoken word is halting, rude, and weak—it is as the harsh, slow roar of the thunder compared with the rapidity of the dazzling lightning flash, expressing feelings already recognized, ideas already understood, and if words are made use of it is only because the heart’s desire, dominating all the being and flooding it with happiness, wills that the whole human organism with all its physical and psychical powers give expression to the song of joy that rolls through the soul. To the questioning glance of love, as it flashes out and then conceals itself, speech has no reply; the smile, the kiss, the sigh answer.
José Rizal (Noli Me Tángere (Touch Me Not) (Noli Me Tángere, #1))
In my dream, it was the tongue of what is, and anything spoken in it becomes real, because nothing said in that language can be a lie. It is the most basic building brick of everything.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
Brother Cavil: In all your travels, have you ever seen a star go supernova? ... I have. I saw a star explode and send out the building blocks of the Universe. Other stars, other planets and eventually other life. A supernova! Creation itself! I was there. I wanted to see it and be part of the moment. And you know how I perceived one of the most glorious events in the universe? With these ridiculous gelatinous orbs in my skull! With eyes designed to perceive only a tiny fraction of the EM spectrum. With ears designed only to hear vibrations in the air. ... I don't want to be human! I want to see gamma rays! I want to hear X-rays! And I want to - I want to smell dark matter! Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can't even express these things properly because I have to - I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language! But I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws! And feel the wind of a supernova flowing over me! I'm a machine! And I can know much more! I can experience so much more. But I'm trapped in this absurd body! And why? Because my five creators thought that God wanted it that way!
Ronald D. Moore
From her dubious tone alone, I could see how Karin had no idea how terrifying words spoken quietly could be. How words chosen precisely to wreak maximum damage ticked like a bomb in your head, but exploded in your heart hours later, leaving you scarred and changed.
Justina Chen (North of Beautiful)
Personally I think that grammar is a way to attain Beauty. When you speak, or read, or write, you can tell if you've spoken or read or written a fine sentence. You can recognise a well-tuned phrase or an elegant style. But when you are applying the rules of grammar skilfully, you ascend to another level of the beauty of language. When you use grammar you peel back the layers, to see how it is all put together, to see it quite naked, in a way.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
The rising and falling cadence of words, carried on the wind, spoken in a language other than human.
Megan Shepherd (The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1))
There are tines in the prophetic ministry when words we receive for others must stay in the throne room...they are more powerful when converted into crafted prayer and spoken to the father than when put into prophetic language and ministered to human beings.
Graham Cooke (Crafted Prayer: The Joy of Always Getting Your Prayers Answered)
In the speech sound wave, one word runs into the next seamlessly; there are no little silences between spoken words the way there are white spaces between written words. We simply hallucinate word boundaries when we reach the end of a stretch of sound that matches some entry in our mental dictionary.
Steven Pinker (The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language)
It had been June, the bright hot summer of 1937, and with the curtains thrown back the bedroom had been full of sunlight, sunlight and her and Will's children, their grandchildren, their nieces and nephews- Cecy's blue eyed boys, tall and handsome, and Gideon and Sophie's two girls- and those who were as close as family: Charlotte, white- haired and upright, and the Fairchild sons and daughters with their curling red hair like Henry's had once been. The children had spoken fondly of the way he had always loved their mother, fiercely and devotedly, the way he had never had eyes for anyone else, and how their parents had set the model for the sort of love they hoped to find in their own lives. They spoke of his regard for books, and how he had taught them all to love them too, to respect the printed page and cherish the stories that those pages held. They spoke of the way he still cursed in Welsh when he dropped something, though he rarely used the language otherwise, and of the fact that though his prose was excellent- he had written several histories of the Shadowhunters when he's retired that had been very well respected- his poetry had always been awful, though that never stopped him from reciting it. Their oldest child, James, had spoken laughingly about Will's unrelenting fear of ducks and his continual battle to keep them out of the pond at the family home in Yorkshire. Their grandchildren had reminded him of the song about demon pox he had taught them- when they were much too young, Tessa had always thought- and that they had all memorized. They sang it all together and out of tune, scandalizing Sophie. With tears running down her face, Cecily had reminded him of the moment at her wedding to Gabriel when he had delivered a beautiful speech praising the groom, at the end of which he had announced, "Dear God, I thought she was marrying Gideon. I take it all back," thus vexing not only Cecily and Gabriel but Sophie as well- and Will, though too tired to laugh, had smiled at his sister and squeezed her hand. They had all laughed about his habit of taking Tessa on romantic "holidays" to places from Gothic novels, including the hideous moor where someone had died, a drafty castle with a ghost in it, and of course the square in Paris in which he had decided Sydney Carton had been guillotined, where Will had horrified passerby by shouting "I can see the blood on the cobblestones!" in French.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Words were torn from him. Ones he’d never spoken, in a language long since extinct, but only they could truly convey what she was to him, how much she meant. Eternity wouldn’t be enough...
Setta Jay (Binding Ecstasy (Guardians of the Realms #6))
The English language was spoken and written—but at the time of Shakespeare it was not defined, not fixed. It was like the air—it was taken for granted, the medium that enveloped and defined all Britons. But as to exactly what it was, what its components were—who knew?
Simon Winchester (The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary)
A spoken language is a body, a living creature, whose physiognomy is verbal and whose visceral functions are linguistic. And this creature's home is the inarticulate as well as the articulate.
John Berger (Confabulations)
The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?
Laura Bush (Spoken from the Heart)
Prayer was not a sacred or holy thing. It was not spoken plainly, in Twi or English. It need not be performed on the knees or with folded palms. For Akua, prayer was a frenzied chant, a language for those desires of the heart that even the mind did not recognize were there.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
Because love, no matter how tragic, is not an ending. It is a test and a textbook; it is a map to undiscovered places and a lexicon of languages yet to be spoken. Love. Really, it is a beginning.
Ted Michael (Crash Test Love)
It is amazing to me," said Bingley, "How young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are." "All young ladies accomplished? My dear Charles, what do you mean?" "Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time without being informed that she was very accomplished." "Your list of the common extent of accomplishments," said Darcy, "has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished." "Nor I, I am sure." said Miss Bingley. "Then," observed Elizabeth, "you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman." "Yes, I do comprehend a great deal in it." "Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no one can really be esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved." "All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading." "I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder at your knowing any.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
It is not by way of language that I shall transmit what is within me; for it is inexpressible in words. I can but signify this insofar as you may understand it through other channels than the spoken word; by love's miracle or because, born of the same God, we are akin. Else I have to drag it out, laboriously--that sunken world within me. And thus, as my clumsiness avails, I display this or that aspect alone--as in the case of my mountain, of which I may say merely that it is high. But it is far more than that, and behind those weak words I have in mind the far-flung glory of the night when one stands on the heights, alone and shivering, amongst the stars.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Citadelle)
Truth for anyone is a very complex thing. For a writer, what you leave out says as much as those things you include. What lies beyond the margin of the text? The photographer frames the shot; writers frame their world. Mrs Winterson objected to what I had put in, but it seemed to me that what I had left out was the story’s silent twin. There are so many things that we can’t say, because they are too painful. We hope that the things we can say will soothe the rest, or appease it in some way. Stories are compensatory. The world is unfair, unjust, unknowable, out of control. When we tell a story we exercise control, but in such a way as to leave a gap, an opening. It is a version, but never the final one. And perhaps we hope that the silences will be heard by someone else, and the story can continue, can be retold. When we write we offer the silence as much as the story. Words are the part of silence that can be spoken. Mrs Winterson would have preferred it if I had been silent. Do you remember the story of Philomel who is raped and then has her tongue ripped out by the rapist so that she can never tell? I believe in fiction and the power of stories because that way we speak in tongues. We are not silenced. All of us, when in deep trauma, find we hesitate, we stammer; there are long pauses in our speech. The thing is stuck. We get our language back through the language of others. We can turn to the poem. We can open the book. Somebody has been there for us and deep-dived the words. I needed words because unhappy families are conspiracies of silence. The one who breaks the silence is never forgiven. He or she has to learn to forgive him or herself.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
Photography is light-writing, the language of images. Less abstract than written or spoken language, it selects images from the existing world of appearances and arranges them in patterns. The camera-eye doesn't think, it recognizes. It shows us what we already know, but don't know that we know.
David Levi Strauss (Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics)
When you do not understand the language being spoken, you have two options. You can struggle against the isolation, or you can give yourself up to it.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
There is a weird power in a spoken word.
Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim)
And if it was true that the beast was happy to be spoken to, then perhaps it was also true that Ayama was glad to be heard.
Leigh Bardugo (The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grishaverse, #0.5 & 2.5 & 2.6))
I wrote too many poems in a language I did not yet know how to speak But I know now it doesn't matter how well I say grace if I am sitting at a table where I am offering no bread to eat So this is my wheat field you can have every acre, Love this is my garden song this is my fist fight with that bitter frost tonight I begged another stage light to become that back alley street lamp that we danced beneath the night your warm mouth fell on my timid cheek as i sang maybe i need you off key but in tune maybe i need you the way that big moon needs that open sea maybe i didn't even know i was here til i saw you holding me give me one room to come home to give me the palm of your hand every strand of my hair is a kite string and I have been blue in the face with your sky crying a flood over Iowa so you mother will wake to Venice Lover, I smashed my glass slipper to build a stained glass window for every wall inside my chest now my heart is a pressed flower and a tattered bible it is the one verse you can trust so I'm putting all of my words in the collection plate I am setting the table with bread and grace my knees are bent like the corner of a page I am saving your place
Andrea Gibson
Perhaps his gloom was due to his profession, that he lived among fallen empires, and in reading these languages that had not been spoken by the common man in centuries, he had all about him the ruin of language, evidence of toppled suburbs, grass growing among the mosaics, and voices that had been choked with poison, iron, age, or ash.
M.T. Anderson (The Pox Party (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, #1))
You realize that by summoning me here, you signed your own death warrant.” Demons were nothing to take lightly. I’d seen what they were capable of, but I also knew they were no match against the light that shone inside me. “I do,” it said, and I fought to place the language we were speaking. I knew it was ancient. Possibly the first language ever spoken in the universe. “Unless we sign yours first.” “Is that what you think will happen here?” “Dutch,” Reyes said into my ear, “stop playing with your dinner.
Darynda Jones (Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7))
Over the years, my church gave me passage into a menagerie of exotic words unknown in the South: "introit," "offertory," "liturgy," "movable feast," "the minor elevation," "the lavabo," "the apparition of Lourdes," and hundreds more. Latin deposited the dark minerals of its rhythms on the shelves of my spoken language. You may find the harmonics of the Common of the Mass in every book I've ever written. Because I was raised Roman Catholic, I never feared taking any unchaperoned walks through the fields of language. Words lifted me up and filled me with pleasure.
Pat Conroy (My Reading Life)
Living like that utterly convinced me of the extreme limitations of language. I was just a child then, so I had only an intuitive understanding of the degree to which one losses control of words once they are spoken or written. It was then that I first felt a deep curiosity about language, and understood it as a tool that encompasses both a single moment and eternity.
Banana Yoshimoto (N.P)
In the simplest language, spoken without a single word between out two bodies.
Cara McKenna (After Hours)
[M]odern physics has definitely decided for Plato. For the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense of the word: they are forms, structures, or – in Plato’s sense – Ideas, which can be unambiguously spoken of only in the language of mathematics.
Rupert Sheldrake (The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry)
Words have a force far beyond that of ink stains on pages or spoken sounds... Whether written or spoken, language found in forbidden books can warp space-time and tear the fabric of reality.
Daniel Harms (The Necronomicon Files: The Truth Behind Lovecraft's Legend)
A native tongue, in my opinion, isn't the language spoken where you were born or the first language you learned; it's a language that makes you feel at home. It's a language that you don't command, but that commands you. And without it, you'd feel lost, unsure of how to express to the world everything you care enough to express.
Adi Alsaid
There is no such thing as a "general language," a language that is spoken by a general voice, that may be divorced from a specific saying, which is charged with particular overtones. Language, when it means, is somebody talking to somebody else, even when that someone else is one's own inner addressee.
Mikhail Bakhtin (The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays (University of Texas Press Slavic Series))
The spoken word has come to dominate many Protestant forms of worship: the words of prayers, responsive readings, Scripture, the sermon, and so forth. Yet the spoken word is perhaps the least effective way of reaching the heart; one must constantly pay attention with one’s mind. The spoken word tends to go to our heads, not our hearts.
Marcus J. Borg (The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith)
Your body isn't an ornament designed for other people's pleasure. It belongs to you alone. You're magnificent just as you are. Whether you lose weight or gain more, you'll still be magnificent. Have a cake if you want one." Cassandra looked patently disbelieving. "You're saying if I gained another stone, or even two stones, on top of this, you'd still find me desirable?" "God, yes," he said without hesitation. "Whatever size you are, I'll have a place for every curve." She gave him an arrested stare, as if he'd spoken in a foreign language and she was trying to translate.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
The French believe that all errors are distant, someone else's fault. Americans believe that there is no distance, no difference, and therefore that there are no errors, that any troubles are simple misunderstandings, consequent on your not yet having spoken English loudly enough.
Adam Gopnik (Paris to the Moon)
The people thrown into other cultures go through something of the anguish of the butterfly, whose body must disintegrate and reform more than once in its life cycle. In her novel “Regeneration,” Pat Barker writes of a doctor who “knew only too well how often the early stages of change or cure may mimic deterioration. Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem of the human soul, for those whose cat of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.” But the butterfly is so fit an emblem of the human soul that its name in Greek is “psyche,” the word for soul. We have not much language to appreciate this phase of decay, this withdrawal, this era of ending that must precede beginning. Nor of the violence of the metamorphosis, which is often spoken of as though it were as graceful as a flower blooming.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
firstly, prayer is a conversation between God and the soul, and secondly, a particular language is spoken: God’s language. Prayer is dialogue, not man’s monologue before God.
Hans Urs von Balthasar (Prayer)
I have dreamed of that song, of the strange words to that simple rhyme-song, and on several occasions I have understood what she was saying, in my dreams. In those dreams I spoke that language too, the first language, and I had dominion over the nature of all that was real. In my dream, it was the tongue of what is, and anything spoken in it becomes real, because nothing said in that language can be a lie. It is the most basic building brick og everything. In my dreams I have used that language to heal the sick and to fly; once I dreamed I kept a perfect little bed-and-breakfast by the seaside, and to everyone who came to stay with me I would say, in that tongue, 'Be whole.' and they would become whole, not be broken people , not any longer, because I had spoken the language of shaping.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
I probably won’t play a song the same way tomorrow as I play it today. Only a pitchman says the same thing the same way twice, without varying a word. If music is a language, why don’t people use it with the same subtlety, nuance, and facility as they do the spoken language? Probably because they don’t verbalize with the same vocabulary and tone they once did. It has been said that a people’s character is reflected in their music. Our culture is a perfect example. If people here walk around using one-syllable words with no color, no variety, no shading, how can we expect our musical language to be any different? It’s like the emperor’s new clothes – sure they can sit and make wild noises on their synthesizers and call it music – who questions? But ask them to pull up a chair and play ‘Gal in Calico’ or Temptation,’ or even a straight dramatic version of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and they can’t do it. They’re too pretentious. They can’t just play songs.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
In the universe there is an un-measurable, indescribable force which sorcerers call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link. Sorcerers, or warriors, were concerned with discussing, understanding, and employing that connecting link...Sorcerers, therefore, divide their instruction into two categories; one is for everyday-life state of awareness, the other is for the states of heightened awareness, in which sorcerers obtained knowledge directly from intent, without the distracting intervention of spoken language.
Carlos Castaneda
Interpretation can be profoundly disorienting, you can be so caught up in the minutiae of the act, in trying to maintain utmost fidelity to the words being spoken first by the subject and then by yourself, that you do not necessarily apprehend the sense of the sentences themselves: you literally do not know what you are saying. Language loses its meaning.
Katie Kitamura (Intimacies)
Love is the language of the heart. It can feel the movements of every atom and understand every language spoken or unspoken.
Debasish Mridha
Eye contact is the language that no one can speak, but chemistry is fluent with; it’s the language of fate. It’s two souls catching on fire without a single word being spoken.
Amo Jones (In Peace Lies Havoc (Midnight Mayhem #1))
Only the language of civilized people may be spoken, thus no German.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
I believe that one is more successful in expressing oneself through written words rather than speaking. While speaking, one misses the details. But writing? Writing is different altogether. It gives us ample time to contemplate what we wish to communicate. As a result, the flow of our thoughts seems much more coherent.
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
There is one thing I like about the Poles—their language. Polish, when it is spoken by intelligent people, puts me in ecstasy. The sound of the language evokes strange images in which there is always a greensward of fine spiked grass in which hornets and snakes play a great part. I remember days long back when Stanley would invite me to visit his relatives; he used to make me carry a roll of music because he wanted to show me off to these rich relatives. I remember this atmosphere well because in the presence of these smooth−tongued, overly polite, pretentious and thoroughly false Poles I always felt miserably uncomfortable. But when they spoke to one another, sometimes in French, sometimes in Polish, I sat back and watched them fascinatedly. They made strange Polish grimaces, altogether unlike our relatives who were stupid barbarians at bottom. The Poles were like standing snakes fitted up with collars of hornets. I never knew what they were talking about but it always seemed to me as if they were politely assassinating some one. They were all fitted up with sabres and broad−swords which they held in their teeth or brandished fiercely in a thundering charge. They never swerved from the path but rode rough−shod over women and children, spiking them with long pikes beribboned with blood−red pennants. All this, of course, in the drawing−room over a glass of strong tea, the men in butter−colored gloves, the women dangling their silly lorgnettes. The women were always ravishingly beautiful, the blonde houri type garnered centuries ago during the Crusades. They hissed their long polychromatic words through tiny, sensual mouths whose lips were soft as geraniums. These furious sorties with adders and rose petals made an intoxicating sort of music, a steel−stringed zithery slipper−gibber which could also register anomalous sounds like sobs and falling jets of water.
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
Soon we're both frowning hard at the paperwork. "Middle name?" Noah says. "Does Gideon even have a middle name?" "I don't know" Noah turns to me and says, "Do you have a middle name?" his glare implying that, if I do, this whole thing is somehow my fault. "I...have no idea." "Primary language spoken at home." Noah makes a face. "What does this mean? Our primary language? Gideon's? That's sort of why we're here..." "Um, it's under family, so I'm guessing ours?" "Well..." Noah lowers his pen. The paperwork has defeated him. "What's our primary language?" "English? ASL? Physical affection?" "Food?" Noah says. "Food's a good guess." He picks up the pen. "I'm writing food, comma passive aggressive." "Good call.
Hannah Moskowitz (Invincible Summer)
An old, old formula came to mind, from back when I was very young indeed. “I am a soldier.” I said it first in the language I had spoken then, then repeated myself in Sleepy’s own Dejagoran dialect. “I’ve been distracted before. I’m still alive.
Glen Cook (Soldiers Live (The Chronicles of The Black Company, #9))
My mom and dad refused to believe that people who had grown up together in peace and friendship, had gone to the same schools, spoken the same language, and listened to the same music, could overnight be blinded by ethnic hatred and start to brutally kill one another. They simply didn't accept as true that less than two years of a multiparty system and competition for power could poison people's brains so much.
Savo Heleta (Not My Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia)
A language is the joint historical creation of millions of speakers. Although all speakers have some effect on the trajectory of a language, the process is not particularly egalitarian. Linguists, grammarians, and educators, some of them backed by the power of the state, weigh in heavily. But the process is not particularly amenable to a dictatorship, either. Despite the efforts toward "central planning," language (especially its everyday spoken form) stubbornly tends to go on its own rich, multivalent, colorful way.
James C. Scott (Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed)
While he has not, in my hearing, spoken the English language, he makes it perfectly plain that he understands it. And he uses his ears, tail, eyebrows, various rumbles and grunts, the slant of his great cold nose or a succession of heartrending sighs to get his meaning across.
Jean Little
It is only when the mirror has not spoken to Chimpanzee in a plain language that it thinks it looks more better than the Gorilla
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
…modern man no longer communicates with the madman […] There is no common language: or rather, it no longer exists; the constitution of madness as mental illness, at the end of the eighteenth century, bears witness to a rupture in a dialogue, gives the separation as already enacted, and expels from the memory all those imperfect words, of no fixed syntax, spoken falteringly, in which the exchange between madness and reason was carried out. The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue by reason about madness, could only have come into existence in such a silence.
Michel Foucault
There’s an unspoken language when Gus and I play together. It’s always been that way. We hear and feel music the same way. Communication flows back and forth through the music, one reacting to and feeding off the other. Words are spoken with eyes and subtle nods.
Kim Holden (Bright Side (Bright Side, #1))
A person of good character is he who is modest, says little, causes little trouble, speaks the truth, seeks the good, worships much, has few faults, meddles little, desires the good for all, and does good works for all. He is compassionate, dignified, measured, patient, content, grateful, sympathetic, friendly, abstinent, and not greedy. He does not use foul language, nor does he exhibit haste, nor does he harbor hatred in his heart. He is not envious. He is candid, well-spoken, and his friendship and enmity, his anger and his pleasure are for the sake of God Most High and nothing more.
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (On the Treatment of the Lust of the Stomach and the Sexual Organs (Great Books of the Islamic World))
Language, the unconscious, the parents, the symbolic order: these terms in Lacan are not exactly synonymous, but they are intimately allied. They are sometimes spoken of by him as the ‘Other’ — as that which like language is always anterior to us and will always escape us, that which brought us into being as subjects in the first place but which always outruns our grasp. We have seen that for Lacan our unconscious desire is directed towards this Other, in the shape of some ultimately gratifying reality which we can never have; but it is also true for Lacan that our desire is in some way always received from the Other too. We desire what others — our parents, for instance — unconsciously desire for us; and desire can only happen because we are caught up in linguistic, sexual and social relations — the whole field of the ‘Other’ — which generate it.
Terry Eagleton (Literary Theory: An Introduction)
The study of a language . . . allows its students to hear a people's 'interpretation (or misinterpretation) of messages from environment to human.' The spoken word reveals, upon reflection, that to which its speakers first chose to listen, then ponder, then live by.
Sy Montgomery (Search for the Golden Moon Bear: Science and Adventure in Southeast Asia)
Negativity is simply the devil's language spoken by those who have his perspective." God's language is faith. Nothing is impossible with God (see Matt. 19:26). God never speaks negatively. He speaks truth. Even when He speaks truth, He speaks it by faith, because He sees what can happen. Faith doesn't mean that you don't see the problem. Faith means you can see past the problem to the answer. You're not saying, "There is no problem." You're saying, "There is an answer!" By
Robert Morris (The Power of Your Words: How God Can Bless Your Life Through the Words You Speak)
And then, this she offered to me, my one truth: "Our language," she said, "is not spoken, but sung.... Not simply words... and grammar... but melody. It was hard... thus... to learn English... this language of wood. For the people of your nation, Octavian, all speech is song.
M.T. Anderson
I am nothing if not misanthropic," declared Sebastian. "I think you mean philanthropic," said Henry. "God, you are so perdantic." "That would be pedantic." "See! You're even perdantic about the word perdantic.
Kevin Ansbro (The Fish That Climbed a Tree)
Food is an intimate language that everyone understands, everyone shares. It is the primary ambassador of first contact between cultures, one that transcends spoken language. Food crosses cultural barriers. It bridges oceans. Becoming competent in a foreign language takes a lot of time, and learning a culture’s history and literature requires a great deal of effort. But everyone can immediately have an opinion on food.
Jennifer 8. Lee (The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food)
Among the many forms of alienation, the most frequent one is alienation in language. If I express a feeling with a word, let us say, if I say "I love you," the word is meant to be an indication of the reality which exists within myself, the power of my loving. The word "love" is meant to be a symbol of the fact love, but as soon as it is spoken it tends to assume a life of its own, it becomes a reality. I am under the illusion that the saying of the word is the equivalent of the experience, and soon I say the word and feel nothing, except the thought of love which the word expresses. The alienation of language shows the whole complexity of alienation. Language is one of the most precious human achievements; to avoid alienation by not speaking would be foolish -- yet one must be always aware of the danger of the spoken word, that it threatens to substitute itself for the living experience. The same holds true for all other achievements of man; ideas, art, any kind of man-made objects. They are man's creations; they are valuable aids for life, yet each one of them is also a trap, a temptation to confuse life with things, experience with artifacts, feeling with surrender and submission.
Erich Fromm (Marx's Concept of Man)
There is a language every sister knows, a language tender beyond words and rarely spoken. It runs like a string between two hearts, and we only pluck that string in times of trouble. This night [...] we speak as sisters.
Kathleen Baldwin (Refuge for Masterminds (Stranje House, #3))
We are our own worst enemies. How banal and trite that sounds, but [...] have come to believe that all the greatest truths are trite and banal, when spoken aloud in their simplest and most honest terms. Perhaps they can only be imparted in the Cant, in a language which writes itself onto your heart so that you understand not just the words but all the shattering ramifications of of a sentence which, when heard without true understanding, seems quite risibly simplistic. We are our own worst enemies. People die.
Hal Duncan (Ink (The Book of All Hours, #2))
A recurrent question about photography is how much self expression it allows the photographer. There are two standard positions, each corresponding to a different location oh photographic skill. The opposition is neatly summed up in Bioy Casares’s novel The Adventures of a Photographer in La Plata (1989). The hero Nicolasito Almanza declares: ‘I am convinced that all of photography depends on the moment we press the release […] I believe that you’re a photographer if you know exactly when to press the release.’ In making this declaration he is responding to the opinion expressed by Mr Gruter, owner of a photographic laboratory: ‘[…] sometimes I wonder if the true work of the photographer doesn’t begin in the dark room, amid the trays and the enlarger.
Clive Scott (Spoken Image: Photography and Language)
In the beginning was the word, and primitive societies venerated poets second only to their leaders. A poet had the power to name and so to control; he was, literally, the living memory of a group or tribe who would perpetuate their history in song; his inspiration was god given and he was in effect a medium.
Kevin Crossley-Holland (The Norse Myths)
...the exorcist should not believe too readily that a person is possessed by an evil spirit; but he aught to ascertain by the signs by which a person possessed can be distinguished from one who is suffering from some illness; especially one of a psychological nature. Signs of possession may be the following: ability to speak with some facility in a strange language or to understand it when spoken by another; the facility of divulging future and hidden events; display of powers which are beyond the subject's age and natural condition; and various other conditions which, when taken together as a whole, build up the evidence.
William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist)
Bitterblue took this information straight to the library. "Death?" she said. "Do we have birth records for the seven kingdoms for the year Leck would have been born? Will you review them for someone with a name that sounds like Eemkerr?" "A name that sounds like Eemkerr," Death repeated, peering up at her from his new desk, which was covered with smelly, scorched papers. "Lady Fire says that Leck told her that before his name was Leck, it was Eemkerr." "Which is a name she remembers from almost fifty years ago," Death said sarcastically, "spoken to her, not spelled, presumably not a name from her own language, and conveyed to you mentally fifty years later. And I'm to recall every instance of a name of that nature in all the birth records available to me from the relevant year for all seven kingdoms, on the extremely slim chance that we have the name right and a record exists?" "I know you're just as happy as I am," said Bitterblue. Death's mouth twitched. Then he said, "Give me some time to remember, Lady Queen.
Kristin Cashore (Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3))
There are few more powerful mirrors of the human brain's astonishing ability to rearrange itself to learn a new intellectual function than the act of reading. Underlying the brain's ability to learn reading lies its protean capacity to make new connections among structures and circuits originally devoted to other more basic brain processes that have enjoyed a longer existence in human evolution, such as vision and spoken language. [...] we come into the world programmed with the capacity to change what is given to us by nature, so that we can go beyond it. We are, it would seem from the start, genetically poised for breakthroughs.
Maryanne Wolf (Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain)
I believe that no great lyric poet ever speaks in the so-called “proper” language of his or her time. Emily Dickinson didn’t write in “proper” English grammar but in slant music of fragmentary perception. Half a world and half a century away, Cesar Vallejo placed three dots in the middle of the line, as if language itself were not enough, as if the poet’s voice needed to leap from one image to another, to make—to use Eliot’s phrase—a raid on the inarticulate. Paul Celan wrote to his wife from Germany, where he briefly visited from his voluntary exile in France: “The language with which I make my poems has nothing to do with one spoken here, or anywhere.
Ilya Kaminsky
One day, it will all make sense, it will all be revealed. Until then, we learn to live and accept our shadows, our Déjà vu's, our dreams, our intuition that takes us to places that our minds never conceived, our bodies only perceived and our souls gladly remembered. Conversations and experiences amuse me, for I am experimenting with my feelings in ways that I can only do down here. Language makes up for a very interesting, yet bizarre way of putting thoughts into spoken form for the sound to move on in other peoples' ears, but every language, every sound, every word carries with it a long history, a deep culture and the souls of the many people who have previously used it throughout the centuries. Our hearts give us direction, hope and the passion to keep moving forward.. But what we do when they're frozen, broken, torn apart by an unhealthy way of living is what gives us new strength to push forward or kills us completely. Deep inside, we feed the entities that empower the fight between our internal demons and angels. We feed them with our thoughts, our emotions, our self-talk and the external talk that we lower our shields to at times. Whether good or bad, this brings about a change internally and at times there isn't much we can do to protect ourselves. At times, we need to let things be and go along with it. Of course, we're all worried, stressed, confused and lacking direction at times and we're in the same way at peace, stable and walking in the right direction once we get things sorted. Give it some time, give it some light, give it some love. You're not very far away.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
Ethnocentrism, xenophobia and nationalism are these days rife in many parts of the world. Government repression of unpopular views is still widespread. False or misleading memories are inculcated. For the defenders of such attitudes, science is disturb­ing. It claims access to truths that are largely independent of ethnic or cultural biases. By its very nature, science transcends national boundaries. Put scientists working in the same field of study together in a room and even if they share no common spoken language, they will find a way to communicate. Science itself is a transnational language. Scientists are naturally cosmo­politan in attitude and are more likely to see through efforts to divide the human family into many small and warring factions. 'There is no national science,' said the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, 'just as there is no national multiplication table.' (Likewise, for many, there is no such thing as a national religion, although the religion of nationalism has millions of adherents.)
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
I thought also of those gods I’d seen in the time before humans had existed, who could not have possibly spoken a human language and yet had wielded great power. Could it be that language was not the source of the power, but one possible tool for using that power?
Ann Leckie (The Raven Tower)
The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought
Albert Einstein
The loudest Of all languages Is also the most Silent of all languages And that is the language Spoken by tears...
Chase Von
Spanish—how shall I say this?—is like Portuguese spoken with a speech impediment.
Sol Luckman (Snooze: A Story of Awakening)
With our bodies we make statements before we speak, our presentation is a language spoken without words. You—and only you—get to decide what it is you’re trying to say.
Hannah Hart (Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded)
Afrikaans is one of the world’s best languages in which to curse; even when spoken politely, it can bruise innocent bystanders.
Arthur C. Clarke (2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey, #3))
Tears and poetry are the closest language to all things divine, unspoken, spoken and felt.
Carolyn Riker (My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You)
English, formerly the most widely used language, and Chinese, spoken by the largest population, had blended with each other without distinction to become the world’s most powerful language. Luo Ji learned later that the other languages of the world were undergoing the same fusion.
Liu Cixin (The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #2))
At first I couldn't see anything. I fumbled along the cobblestone street. I lit a cigarette. Suddenly the moon appeared from behind a black cloud, lighting a white wall that was crumbled in places. I stopped, blinded by such whiteness. Wind whistled slightly. I breathed the air of the tamarinds. The night hummed, full of leaves and insects. Crickets bivouacked in the tall grass. I raised my head: up there the stars too had set up camp. I thought that the universe was a vast system of signs, a conversation between giant beings. My actions, the cricket's saw, the star's blink, were nothing but pauses and syllables, scattered phrases from that dialogue. What word could it be, of which I was only a syllable? Who speaks the word? To whom is it spoken? I threw my cigarette down on the sidewalk. Falling, it drew a shining curve, shooting out brief sparks like a tiny comet. I walked a long time, slowly. I felt free, secure between the lips that were at that moment speaking me with such happiness. The night was a garden of eyes.
Octavio Paz (The Blue Bouquet)
It may be worth while to illustrate this view of classification, by taking the case of languages. If we possessed a perfect pedigree of mankind, a genealogical arrangement of the races of man would afford the best classification of the various languages now spoken throughout the world; and if all extinct languages, and all intermediate and slowly changing dialects, were to be included, such an arrangement would be the only possible one. Yet it might be that some ancient languages had altered very little and had given rise to few new languages, whilst others had altered much owing to the spreading, isolation, and state of civilisation of the several co-descended races, and had thus given rise to many new dialects and languages. The various degrees of difference between the languages of the same stock, would have to be expressed by groups subordinate to groups; but the proper or even the only possible arrangement would still be genealogical; and this would be strictly natural, as it would connect together all languages, extinct and recent, by the closest affinities, and would give the filiation and origin of each tongue.
Charles Darwin
Come here, Grimaud," said Athos. To punish you for having spoken without leave my friend, you must eat this piece of paper: then, to reward you for the service which you will have rendered us, you shall afterwards drink this glass of wine. Here is the letter first: chew it hard." Grimaud smiled, and with his eyes fixed on the glass which Athos filled to the very brim, chewed away at the paper, and finally swallowed it. "Bravo, Master Grimaud!" said Athos. "and now take this. Good! I will dispense with your saying thank you." Grimaud silently swallowed the glass of Bordeaux; but during the whole time that this pleasant operation lasted, his eyes, which were fixed upon the heavens, spoke a language which, though mute, was not therefore the least expressive.
Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1))
What a man touched upon, he should take with him. If he forgot it, he should be reminded. What gives a man worth is that he incorporates everything he has experienced. This includes the countries where he has lived, the people whose voices he has heard. It also takes in his origins, if he can find out something about them... not only one’s private experience but everything concerning the time and place of one’s beginnings. The words of a language one may have spoken and heard only as a child imply the literature in which it flowered. The story of a banishment must include everything that happened before it as well as the rights subsequently claimed by the victims. Others had fallen before and in different ways; they too are part of the story. It is hard to evaluate the justice of such a claim to history... We should know not only what happened to our fellow men in the past but also what they were capable of. We should know what we ourselves are capable of. For that, much knowledge is needed; from whatever direction, at whatever distance knowledge offers itself, one should reach out for it, keep it fresh, water it and fertilize it with new knowledge.
Elias Canetti (The Memoirs of Elias Canetti: The Tongue Set Free/The Torch in My Ear/The Play of the Eyes)
What do I want? Nothing which you'd call indecent, though I don't see what's wrong with it myself. You want to be brothers-in-arms, to have him to yourself... to be shipwrecked together, (to) perform valiant deeds to earn his admiration, to save him from certain death, to die for him - to die in his arms, like a Spartan, kissed once on the lips... or just run his errands in the meanwhile. You want him to know what cannot be spoken, and to make the perfect reply, in the same language.
Tom Stoppard (The Invention of Love)
Even though I now speak the language fairly well, the spoken language doesn’t help me. A conversation involves a sort of collaboration and, often, an act of forgiveness. When I speak I can make mistakes, but I’m somehow able to make myself understood. On the page I am alone. The spoken language is a kind of antechamber with respect to the written, which has a stricter, more elusive logic.
Jhumpa Lahiri (In Other Words)
And Dimble, who had been sitting with his face drawn, and rather white, between the white faces of the two women, and his eyes on the table, raised his head, and great syllables of words that sounded like castles came out of his mouth. Jane felt her hear leap and quiver at them. Everything else in the room seemed to have been intensely quiet; even the bird, and the bear, and the cat, were still, staring at the speaker. The voice did not sound like Dimble's own: it was as if the words spoke themselves through him from some strong place at a distance--or as if they were not words at all but present operations of God, the planets, and the Pendragon. For this was the language spoken before the Fall and beyond the Moon and the meanings were not given to the syllables by chance, or skill, or long tradition, but truly inherent in them as the shape of the great Sun is inherent in the little waterdrop. This was Language herself, as she first sprang at Maleldil's bidding out of the molten quicksilver of the first star called Mercury on Earth, but Viritrilbia in Deep Heaven.
C.S. Lewis (That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3))
Mystics have spoken to us through the ages in terms of paradox. Is it possible that we are beginning to see a meeting ground between science and religion? When we are able to say that “a human is both mortal and eternal at the same time” and “light is both a wave and a particle at the same time,” we have begun to speak the same language. Is it possible that the path of spiritual growth that
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Our lips just trespassed on those inner labyrinths hidden deep within our ears, filled them with the private music of wicked words, hers in many languages, mine in the off color of my own tongue, until as our tones shifted, and our consonants spun and squealed, rattled faster, hesitated, raced harder, syllables soon melting with groans, or moans finding purchase in new words, or old words, or made-up words, until we gathered up our heat and refused to release it, enjoying too much the dark language we had suddenly stumbled upon, craved to, carved to, not a communication really but a channeling of our rumored desires, hers for all I know gone to Black Forests and wolves, mine banging back to a familiar form, that great revenant mystery I still could only hear the shape of, which in spite of our separate lusts and individual cries still continued to drive us deeper into stranger tones, our mutual desire to keep gripping the burn fueled by sound, hers screeching, mine – I didn’t hear mine – only hears, probably counter-pointing mine, a high-pitched cry, then a whisper dropping unexpectedly to practically a bark, a grunt, whatever, no sense any more, and suddenly no more curves either, just the straight away, some line crossed, where every fractured sound already spoken finally compacts into one long agonizing word, easily exceeding a hundred letters, even thunder, anticipating the inevitable letting go, when the heat is ultimately too much to bear, threatening to burn, scar, tear it all apart, yet tempting enough to hold onto for even one second more, to extend it all, if we can, as if by getting that much closer to the heat, that much more enveloped, would prove … - which when we did clutch, hold, postpone, did in fact prove too much after all, seconds too much, and impossible to refuse, so blowing all of everything apart, shivers and shakes and deep in her throat a thousand letters crashing in a long unmodulated fall, resonating deep within my cochlea and down the cochlear nerve, a last fit of fury describing in lasting detail the shape of things already come. Too bad dark languages rarely survive.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
so the knowledge of their presence remained, for the time being, strictly within the bounds of people’s private thoughts, lying dormant in a corner of their minds like a secret language spoken only at home.
Orhan Pamuk (Strangeness in My Mind)
This is how it is to come near you A wave of light builds in the black pupil of the eye. The old become young. The opening lines of the Qur'an open still more. Inside every human chest there is a hand, but it has nothing to write with. Love moves further in, where language turns to fresh cream on the tongue. Every accident, and the essence of every being, is a bud, a blanket tucked into a cradle, a closed mouth. All these buds will blossom, and in that moment you will know what your grief was, and how the seed you planted has been miraculously, and naturally, growing. Now silence. Let soul speak inside spoken things.
Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
There is a plain under a dim sky. It is covered with gentle rolling curves that might remind you of something else if you saw it from a long way away, and if you did see it from a long way away you'd be very glad that you were, in fact, a long way away. Three gray figures floated just above it. Exactly what they were can't be described in normal language. Some people might call them cherubs, although there was nothing rosy-cheeked about them. They might be rumored among those who see to it that gravity operates and that time stays separate from space. Call them auditors. Auditors of reality. They were in conversation without speaking. They didn't need to speak. They just changed reality so that they had spoken. One said, It has never happened before. Can it be done? One said, It will have to be done. There is a personality. Personalities come to an end. Only forces endure. It said this with satisfaction. One said, Besides... there have been irregularities. Where you get personality, you get irregularities. Well-known fact. One said, He has worked inefficiently? One said, No. We can't get him there. One said, That is the point. The word is him. Becoming a personality is inefficient. We don't want it to spread. Supposing gravity developed a personality? Supposing it decided to like people? One said, Got a crush on them, that sort of thing? One said, in a voice that would have been even chillier if it was not already at absolute zero, No. One said, Sorry. Just my little joke. One said, Besides, sometimes he wonders about his job. Such speculation is dangerous. One said, No argument there. One said, Then we are agreed? One, who seemed to have been thinking about something, said, Just one moment. Did you not just use the singular pronoun "my?" Not developing a personality, are you? One said, guiltily, Who? Us? One said, Where there is personality, there is discord. One said, Yes. Yes. Very true. One said, All right. But watch it in future. One said, Then we are agreed? They looked up at the face of Azrael, outlined against the sky. In fact, it was the sky. Azrael nodded, slowly. One said, Very well. Where is this place? One said, It is the Discworld. It rides through space on the back of a giant turtle. One said, Oh, one of that sort. I hate them. One said, You're doing it again. You said "I." One said, No! No! I didn't! I never said "I!"... oh, bugger... It burst into flame and burned in the same way that a small cloud of vapor burns, quickly and with no residual mess. Almost immediately, another one appeared. It was identical in appearance to its vanished sibling. One said, Let that be a lesson. To become a personality is to end. And now... let us go.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
Rather than the uniform concern to hide sex, rather than a general prudishness of language, what distinguishes these last three centuries is the variety, the wide dispersion of devices that were invented for speaking about it, for having it be spoken about, for inducing it to speak of itself, for listening, recording, transcribing, and redistributing what is said about it: around sex, a whole network of varying, specific, and coercive transpositions into discourse. Rather than a massive censorship, beginning with the verbal proprieties imposed by the Age of Reason, what was involved was a regulated and polymorphous incitement to discourse.
Michel Foucault (The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction)
We should expect nothing less from the language that was originally given by God, to His human family. Hebrew was the method that God chose for mankind to speak to Him, and Him to them. Adam spoke Hebrew—and your Bible confirms this. Everyone who got off the ark spoke one language—Hebrew. Even Abraham spoke Hebrew. Where did Abraham learn to speak Hebrew? Abraham was descended from Noah’s son, Shem. (Ge 11:10-26) Shem’s household was not affected by the later confusion of languages, at Babel. (Ge 11:5-9) To the contrary, Shem was blessed while the rest of Babel was cursed. (Ge 9:26) That is how Abraham retained Hebrew, despite residing in Babylon. So, Shem’s language can be traced back to Adam. (Ge 11:1) And, Shem (Noah’s son) was still alive when Jacob and Esau was 30 years of age. Obviously, Hebrew (the original language) was clearly spoken by Jacob’s sons. (Ge 14:13)
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program for Christians)
Here the bonds of marriage are formed. For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond becomes actually, in this stage, many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm. The web is fashioned of love. Yes, but many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow-growing devotion and, playing through these, a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meeting and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language, too; a knowledge of like and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day to day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction. It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
Leader of a backward and ignorant mass, he was yet in the forefront of the great historical movement of his time. The blacks were taking their part in the destruction of European feudalism begun by the French Revolution, and liberty and equality, the slogans of the revolution, meant far more to them than to any Frenchman. That was why in the hour of danger Toussaint, uninstructed as he was, could find the language and accent of Diderot, Rousseau, and Raynal, of Mirabeau, Robespierre and Danton. And in one respect he excelled them all. For even these masters of the spoken and written word, owing to the class complications of their society, too often had to pause, to hesitate, to qualify. Toussaint could defend the freedom of the blacks without reservation, and this gave to his declaration a strength and a single-mindedness rare in the great documents of the time. The French bourgeoisie could not understand it. Rivers of blood were to flow before they understood that elevated as was his tone Toussaint had written neither bombast nor rhetoric but the simple and sober truth.
C.L.R. James (The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution)
The language of innovation is often spoken in a tone that betrays a paradoxical combination of grandiose evangelism and task-oriented practicality, an impersonal celebration of technology, and an earnest celebration of aesthetic idiosyncrasies.
John Patrick Leary (Keywords: The New Language of Capitalism)
Jonathan Sacks; “One way is just to think, for instance, of biodiversity. The extraordinary thing we now know, thanks to Crick and Watson’s discovery of DNA and the decoding of the human and other genomes, is that all life, everything, all the three million species of life and plant life—all have the same source. We all come from a single source. Everything that lives has its genetic code written in the same alphabet. Unity creates diversity. So don’t think of one God, one truth, one way. Think of one God creating this extraordinary number of ways, the 6,800 languages that are actually spoken. Don’t think there’s only one language within which we can speak to God. The Bible is saying to us the whole time: Don’t think that God is as simple as you are. He’s in places you would never expect him to be. And you know, we lose a bit of that in English translation. When Moses at the burning bush says to God, “Who are you?” God says to him three words: “Hayah asher hayah.”Those words are mistranslated in English as “I am that which I am.” But in Hebrew, it means “I will be who or how or where I will be,” meaning, Don’t think you can predict me. I am a God who is going to surprise you. One of the ways God surprises us is by letting a Jew or a Christian discover the trace of God’s presence in a Buddhist monk or a Sikh tradition of hospitality or the graciousness of Hindu life. Don’t think we can confine God into our categories. God is bigger than religion.
Krista Tippett (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
I was made to learn Latin and Greek, but I resented it, being of opinion that it was silly to learn a language that was no longer spoken. I believe that all the little good I got from years of classical studies I could have got in adult life in a month.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays)
As the chant grew in volume she began to be conscious of the terrible potency of language, the sense that a name spoken is a summons and more than a summons, an act of creation, for a word shapes an idea, an idea shapes belief, and belief shapes the world.
Jan Siegel (Prospero's Children)
As children, we are taught what I call Emotional English. This is an emotional language we are taught in our homes, and just like our spoken language, the emotional language we speak most fluently as adults is the one we learned as children. What we are taught about interacting emotionally with each other and the world is modeled for us by our families, and is what we will grow up doing. No matter how frustrating , damaging, and frightening it is, we will perpetuate the examples of our parents and family -- unless we can learn new ones. The tricky thing is that a person can go to school to learn a new language, we can find classes anywhere, in any town, but how do we learn a new emotional way of relating to our lives, loved ones, and most important, to ourselves?
Jewel (Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story)
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))
We hear speech as a string of separate words, but unlike the tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it, a word boundary with no one to hear it has no sound. In the speech sound wave, one word runs into the next seamlessly; there are no little silences between spoken words the way there are white spaces between written words. We simply hallucinate word boundaries when we reach the edge of a stretch of sound that matches some entry in our mental dictionary. This becomes apparent when we listen to speech in a foreign language: it is impossible to tell where one word ends the next begins. The seamlessness of speech is also apparent in 'oro­nyms', strings of sound that can be carved into words in two different ways: The good can decay many ways / The good candy came anyways.
Steven Pinker (The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language)
The pig winks and rolls in the bog. He kicks his legs up and his trotters clack together. The sun is low over the neighbourhood. There is the smell of oncoming night, of pollen settling, the sounds of kids fighting bath time. Lester comes down, waving his hands. Don't drown the pig, Fish. We're saving him for Christmas! We're gonna eat him. No! I'll drink to that, says the pig. Lester stands there. He looks at Fish. He looks at the porker. He peeps over the fence. The pig. The flamin' pig. The pig has just spoken. It's no language that he can understand, but there's no doubt. He feels a little crook, like maybe he should go over to that tree and puke. I like him, Lestah. He talks? Yep. Oh, my gawd. Lester looks at his retarded son again and once more at the pig. The pig talks. I likes him. Yeah, I bet. The pig snuffles, lets off a few syllables: aka sembon itwa. It's tongues, that's what it is. A blasted Pentecostal pig. And you understand him? Yep. I likes him. Always the miracles you don't need. It's not a simple world, Fish. It's not.
Tim Winton (Cloudstreet)
The Jewish people have been in exile for 2,000 years; they have lived in hundreds of countries, spoken hundreds of languages and still they kept their old language, Hebrew. They kept their Aramaic, later their Yiddish; they kept their books; they kept their faith.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
These four qualities are among the most beautiful and powerful states of consciousness we can experience. Together they are called in Pali, the language spoken by the Buddha, the brahma-viharas. Brahma means “heavenly.” Vihara means “abode” or “home.” By practicing these meditations, we establish love (Pali, metta), compassion (karuna), sympathetic joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha) as our home.
Sharon Salzberg (Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Library))
A curiosity: my name, Rem, will someday come to mean a line of text in a language spoken only by machines. Specifically, it will mean a line that the machines can safely ignore--one that's only there as a mnemonic, a placeholder, for the people who give the machines their orders. A REM line might say something like "this bit is a self-contained sub loop" or "Steve Perlman in Marketing is a shit." The program as a whole rolls on past and around the REM lines, ignores them completely as it takes its shape, moves through its pre-ordained sequences, unfolds its wonders. My mother named me well.
Louise Carey (The Steel Seraglio)
My love for languages and my love for travel really go hand in hand and feed off of each other. There’s no better way to learn a language than by immersing yourself in a culture where it’s spoken, and there’s no better way to immerse yourself in a culture than by learning to speak the local language.
Wendy Werneth
The filth hissed at us when we venture out-- always in twos or threes, never alone-- seems less a language spoken than one spat in savage plosives, primitive, obscene: a cavemob nya-nya, limited in frame of reference and novelty, the same suggestions of what we or they could do or should, ad infinitum.
Marilyn Nelson
Why are you studying Italian? So that - just in case Italy ever invades Ethiopia again, and is actually successful this time - you can brag about knowing a language that’s spoken in two whole countries? But I loved it. Every word was a singing sparrow, a magic trick, a truffle for me. I would slosh home through the rain after class, draw a hot bath, and lie there in the bubbles reading the Italian dictionary aloud to myself, taking my mind off my divorce pressures and my heartache. The words made me laugh in delight. I started referring to my cell phone as il mio telefonino (“my teensy little telephone”) I became one of those annoying people who always say Ciao! Only I was extra annoying, since I would always explain where the word ciao comes from.
Elizabeth Gilbert
I see manuscripts and books that are spoiled for the literary reader because they are one long stream of top-of-the-head writing, a writer telling a story without concern for precision or freshness in the use of language. Some of this storytelling reads as if it were spoken rather than written, stuffed with tired images that pop into the writer's head because they are so familiar. The top of the head is fit for growing hair, but not for generating fine prose.
Sol Stein (How to Grow a Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them)
Literature shrivels in a universal language, and an uprooted language rots before it dies. And it should be possible to lift the eyes above the cant of the ‘language of Shakespeare’... sufficiently to realise the magnitude of the loss to humanity that the world-dominance of any one language now spoken would entail: no language has ever possessed but a small fraction of the varied excellences of human speech, and each language represents a different vision of life ...
J.R.R. Tolkien
In an astonishingly short time I reached the point where the language taught itself—where I learned to speak merely by speaking. This point is the place which students taught foreign languages in our schools and colleges find great difficulty in reaching. I think the main trouble is that they learn too much of a language at a time. A French child with a vocabulary of two hundred words can express more spoken ideas than a student of French can with a knowledge of two thousand.
James Weldon Johnson (The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (Illustrated))
We need poetry as living language, the core of every language, something that is still spoken, aloud or in the mind, muttered in secret, subversive, reaching around corners, crumpled into a pocket, performed to a community, read aloud to the dying, recited by heart, scratched or sprayed on a wall. That kind of language.
Adrienne Rich (The Best American Poetry 1996)
The words of the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be "voluntarily" reproduced and combined....From a psychological viewpoint this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought....The...elements are, in my case, of visual and some of muscular type. Conventional words or other signs have to be sought for laboriously only in a secondary stage, when the mentioned associative play is sufficiently established and can be reproduced at will.
Albert Einstein
Sonnet of Silence I am the loudest when I am silent, My lips are shut yet I speak treasures. Speech without heart is nothing but noise, Listen to my silence, you'll hear the universe. Words spoken with mere lips reach nowhere, For it's the heart that makes words alive. Tell people who you are without saying a word, Speak from your very core, they'll listen alright. I repeat, silent people have the loudest hearts, For when you speak less you get to listen more. The more you listen the more you are heard, The more you hear the more you get to grow. Set the words on fire, let them all turn to ashes. Tell people who you are without all the speeches.
Abhijit Naskar (Honor He Wrote: 100 Sonnets For Humans Not Vegetables)
Jossi had been slow in agreeing with Ben Yehuda and the others. Hebrew had to be revived. If the desire for national identity was great enough a dead language could be brought back. But Sarah was set in her ways. Yiddish was what she spoke and what her mother had spoken. She had no intention of becoming a scholar so late in life.
Leon Uris (Exodus)
You know the people who think seeing it in a picture is like seeing it in real life? Well, it’s not. Because when you’re there, you’re not just seeing it. It’s the sounds, the smells of Paris, the way the air feels on your skin, the way the wine tastes different when you drink it from Parisian glasses while sitting in a wicker chair outside a café on a cobblestone street. You can’t re-create the hum of a foreign language being spoken over and over itself. It sounds like music. The way the sun rises and sets, the shadows on the buildings, the car horns honking in the distance. It’s all different, new, and fascinating to experience when you travel far away from home.
Renee Carlino (Wish You Were Here)
Prose—it might be speculated—is discourse; poetry ellipsis. Prose is spoken aloud; poetry overheard. The one is presumably articulate and social, a shared language, the voice of “communication”; the other is private, allusive, teasing, sly, idiosyncratic as the spider’s delicate web, a kind of witchcraft unfathomable to ordinary minds.
Joyce Carol Oates
Across our research, nostalgia emerged as a double-edged sword, a tool for both connection and disconnection. It can be an imaginary refuge from a world we don't understand and a dog whistle used to resist important growth in families, organizations, and the broader culture and to protect power, including white supremacy. What's spoken: I wish things were the way they used to be in the good ol' days. What's not spoken: When people knew their places. What's not spoken: When there was no accountability for the way my behaviors affect other people. What's not spoken: When we ignored other people's pain if it caused us discomfort. What's not spoken: When my authority was absolute and never challenged.
Brené Brown (Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience)
Ooo-kay,” she began slowly. “You want to have sex with me. You want to have sex with a woman to whom you’ve never spoken more than a few words at a time. Tell me something, Steele, is this one of those situations where any pussy will do? Is it a guy thing, coming off a mission and you’ll dip into the first available well you can find?” He looked completely taken aback by her blunt language. Surprised even. Then he seemed to figure out that it was possible he’d just been insulted. “I don’t fuck around,” he growled. “I’m clean. I use condoms. I haven’t had sex in a year.” “All righty then,” she said, more than a little surprised at his admission. “Maybe a little more than I needed to know.” “If you’re sleeping with me, you need to know.
Maya Banks (Forged in Steele (KGI, #7))
It is miracle enough to find that love lies in his grasp, that it can be spoken aloud, that he, so diffident, so slow, so thwarted by the poverty of his own beginnings, is able to put into words the fevers of his heart and at the same time offer up the endearments a woman needs to hear. The knowledge shocked him at first, how language flowed straight out of him like a river in flood, but once the words burst from his throat it was as though he had found his true tongue. He cannot imagine, thinking back, why he had believed himself incapable of passionate expression.
Carol Shields (The Stone Diaries)
Foreword: Life is tension or the result of tension: without tension the creative impulse cannot exist. If human life be taken as the result of tension between the two polarities night and day, night, the negative pole, must share equal importance with the positive day. At night, under the influence of cosmic radiations quite different from those of the day, human affairs are apt to come to a crisis. At night most human beings die and are born. Sleep Has His House describes in the night-time language certain stages in the development of one individual human being. No interpretation is needed of this language we have all spoken in childhood and in our dreams; but for the sake of unity a few words before every section indicate the corresponding events of the day.
Anna Kavan (Sleep Has His House)
I fell in love the moment I saw her in her grandfather's kitchen, her dark curls crashing over her Portuguese shoulders. 'Would you like to drink coffee?' she smiled. 'I'm really not that thirsty.' 'What? What you say?' Her English wasn't too good. Now I'm seventy-three and she's just turned seventy. 'Would you like to drink coffee?' she asked me today, smiling. 'I'm really not that thirsty.' 'What? What you say?' Neither of us has the gift of language acquisition. After fifty years of marriage we have never really spoken, but we love each other more than words can say.
Dan Rhodes (Anthropology)
A man's words reveal, first, the man. The words are not the man, and yet they reveal him faithfully and are to be identified with him. Out of the abundance of the heart, the man speaks. The foundational nature of all language is therefore metaphorical because every word a man speaks reveals himself—just as God reveals Himself through the Word. Every word spoken ultimately reveals the speaker.
N.D. Wilson (The Rhetoric Companion)
A little later, the Apollo mission was consummated and there were Americans on the moon. I remember distinctly looking up from the quad on what was quite a moon-flooded night, and thinking about it. They made it! The Stars and Stripes are finally flown on another orb! Also, English becomes the first and only language spoken on a neighboring rock! Who could forbear to cheer? Still, the experience was poisoned for me by having to watch Richard Nixon smirking as he babbled to the lunar-nauts by some closed-circuit link. Was even the silvery orb to be tainted by the base, earthbound reality of imperialism?
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
And this leads us to a further consideration: if there are different religions — each of them by definition speaking an absolute and hence exclusive language — this is because the difference between the religions corresponds exactly, by analogy, to the differences between human individuals. In other words, if the religions are true it is because each time it is God who has spoken, and if they are different, it is because God has spoken in different “languages” in conformity with the diversity of the receptacles. Finally, if they are absolute and exclusive, it is because in each of them God has said “I.
Frithjof Schuon (Understanding Islam)
God said, "I am the one and only word spoken in the language of silence. All the words spoken or written by the mankind are just an attempt to translate me into their language. So many holy and unholy books, so many theories, ideologies, doctrines, dogmas_. Why. humanity. why? Why can’t you accept that I can’t be translated? Why can’t you return to the language of silence in which I am originally written?
Shunya
... apart from its function as communication, human language also often functions as a defense. The spoken word conceals the expressive language of the biological core. In many cases, the function of speech has deteriorated to such a degree that the words express nothing whatever and merely represent a continuous, hollow activity on the part of the musculature of the neck and the organs of speech. On the basis of repeated experiences, it is my opinion that in many psychoanalyses which have gone on for years the treatment has become stuck in this pathological use of language. This clinical experience can, indeed has to be applied to the social sphere. Endless numbers of speeches, publications, political debates do not have the function of getting at the root of important questions of life but of drowning them in verbiage.
Wilhelm Reich (Character Analysis)
Children inherit the qualities of the parents, no less than their physical features. Environment does play an important part, but the original capital on which a child starts in life is inherited from its ancestors. I have also seen children successfully surmounting the effects of an evil inheritance. That is due to purity being an inherent attribute of the soul. Polak and I had often very heated discussions about the desirability or otherwise of giving the children an English education. It has always been my conviction that Indian parents who train their children to think and talk in English from their infancy betray their children and their country. They deprive them of the spiritual and social heritage of the nation, and render them to that extent unfit for the service of the country. Having these convictions, I made a point of always talking to my children in Gujarati. Polak never liked this. He thought I was spoiling their future. He contended, with all the vigour and love at his command, that, if children were to learn a universal language like English from their infancy, they would easily gain considerable advantage over others in the race of life. He failed to convince me. I do not now remember whether I convinced him of the correctness of my attitude, or whether he gave me up as too obstinate. This happened about twenty years ago, and my convictions have only deepened with experience. Though my sons have suffered for want of full literary education, the knowledge of the mother-tongue that they naturally acquired has been all to their and the country’s good, inasmuch as they do not appear the foreigners they would otherwise have appeared. They naturally became bilingual, speaking and writing English with fair ease, because of daily contact with a large circle of English friends, and because of their stay in a country where English was the chief language spoken.
Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi: An Autobiography)
All things have the capacity for speech -- all beings have the ability to communicate something of themselves to other beings. Indeed, what is perception if not the experience of this gregarious, communicative power of things, wherein even obstensibly 'inert' objects radiate out of themselves, conveying their shapes, hues, and rhythms to other beings and to us, influencing and informing our breathing bodies though we stand far apart from those things? Not just animals and plants, then, but tumbling waterfalls and dry riverbeds, gusts of wind, compost piles and cumulus clouds, freshly painted houses (as well as houses abandoned and sometimes haunted), rusting automobiles, feathers, granite cliffs and grains of sand, tax forms, dormant volcanoes, bays and bayous made wretched by pollutants, snowdrifts, shed antlers, diamonds, and daikon radishes, all are expressive, sometimes eloquent and hence participant in the mystery of language. Our own chatter erupts in response to the abundant articulations of the world: human speech is simply our part of a much broader conversation. It follows that the myriad things are also listening, or attending, to various signs and gestures around them. Indeed, when we are at ease in our animal flesh, we will sometimes feel we are being listened to, or sensed, by the earthly surroundings. And so we take deeper care with our speaking, mindful that our sounds may carry more than a merely human meaning and resonance. This care -- this full-bodied alertness -- is the ancient, ancestral source of all word magic. It is the practice of attention to the uncanny power that lives in our spoken phrases to touch and sometimes transform the tenor of the world's unfolding.
David Abram (Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology)
Tragedy's language stresses that whatever is within us is obscure, many faceted, impossible to see. Performance gave this question of what is within a physical force. The spectators were far away from the performers, on that hill above the theatre. At the centre of their vision was a small hut, into which they could not see. The physical action presented to their attention was violent but mostly unseen. They inferred it, as they inferred inner movement, from words spoken by figures whose entrances and exits into and out of the visible space patterned the play. They saw its results when that facade opened to reveal a dead body. This genre, with its dialectics of seen and unseen, inside and outside, exit and entrance, was a simultaneously internal and external, intellectual and somatic expression of contemporary questions about the inward sources of harm, knowledge, power, and darkness.
Ruth Padel (In and Out of the Mind: Greek Images of the Tragic Self)
Blasphemy is more complicated than the simple act of cursing God. It is an attempt to remove our cultural eyeglasses, or at least grind the lenses to make our focus broader, clearer. There are deep strictures against removing these eyeglasses, for without them our culture would fall apart. Question Christianity, damned heathen. Question capitalism, pinko liberal. Question democracy, ungrateful wretch. Question science, just plain stupid. These epithets—blasphemer, commie, ingrate, stupid—need not be spoken aloud. Their invocation actually implies an incomplete enculturation of the subject. Proper enculturation causes the eyeglasses to be undetectable. People believe they are perceiving the world as it is, without the distorting lens of culture: God (with a capital G) does sit upon a heavenly throne; heaven is located beyond the stars that make up Orion’s belt (and, so I was told, you can just see heavens brilliance if you look closely enough); a collection of humans, each acting selfishly, will bring peace, justice, and affluence to all; the United States is the world’s greatest democracy; humans are the apex of creation.
Derrick Jensen (A Language Older Than Words)
Differences in brain activity have even been documented among readers of different alphabetic languages. Readers of English, for instance, have been found to draw more heavily on areas of the brain associated with deciphering visual shapes than do readers of Italian. The difference stems, it’s believed, from the fact that English words often look very different from the way they sound, whereas in Italian words tend to be spelled exactly as they’re spoken.21
Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)
All languages that derive fromLatin form the word 'compassion' by combining the prefix meaning 'with' (com-) and the root meaning 'suffering' (Late Latin, passio). In other languages- Czech, Polish, German, and Swedish, for instance- this word is translated by a noun formed of an equivalent prefixcombined with the word that means 'feeling' (Czech, sou-cit; Polish, wsspół-czucie; German, Mit-gefühl; Swedish, medkänsla). In languages that derive from Latin, 'compassion' means: we cannot look on coolly as others suffer; or, we sympathize with those who suffer. Another word with approximately the same meaning, 'pity' (French, pitié; Italian, pietà; etc.), connotes a certain condescension towards the sufferer. 'To take pity on a woman' means that we are better off than she, that we stoop to her level, lower ourselves. That is why the word 'compassion' generally inspires suspicion; it designates what is considered an inferior, second-rate sentiment that has little to do with love. To love someone out of compassion means not really to love. In languages that form the word 'compassion' not from the root 'suffering' but from the root 'feeling', the word is used in approximately the same way, but to contend that it designates a bad or inferior sentiment is difficult. The secret strength of its etymology floods the word with another light and gives it a broader meaning: to have compassion (co-feeling) means not only to be able to live with the other's misfortune but also to feel with him any emotion- joy, anxiety, happiness, pain. This kind of compassion (in the sense of soucit, współczucie, Mitgefühl, medkänsla) therefore signifies the maximal capacity of affective imagination, the art of emotional telepathy. In the hierarchy of sentiments, then, it is supreme. By revealing to Tomas her dream about jabbing needles under her fingernails, Tereza unwittingly revealed that she had gone through his desk. If Tereza had been any other woman, Tomas would never have spoken to her again. Aware of that, Tereza said to him, 'Throw me out!' But instead of throwing her out, he seized her and kissed the tips of her fingers, because at that moment he himself felt the pain under her fingernails as surely as if the nerves of her fingers led straight to his own brain. Anyone who has failed to benefit from the the Devil's gift of compassion (co-feeling) will condemn Tereza coldly for her deed, because privacy is sacred and drawers containing intimate correspondence are not to be opened. But because compassion was Tomas's fate (or curse), he felt that he himself had knelt before the open desk drawer, unable to tear his eyes from Sabina's letter. He understood Tereza, and not only was he incapable of being angry with her, he loved her all the more.
Milan Kundera
There is a progression from pictographic, writing the picture; to ideographic, writing the idea; and then logographic, writing the word. Chinese script began this transition between 4,500 and 8,000 years ago: signs that began as pictures came to represent meaningful units of sound. Because the basic unit was the word, thousands of distinct symbols were required. This is efficient in one way, inefficient in another. Chinese unifies an array of distinct spoken languages: people who cannot speak to one another can write to one another. It employs at least fifty thousand symbols, about six thousand commonly used and known to most literate Chinese. In swift diagrammatic strokes they encode multidimensional semantic relationships. One device is simple repetition: tree + tree + tree = forest; more abstractly, sun + moon = brightness and east + east = everywhere. The process of compounding creates surprises: grain + knife = profit; hand + eye = look.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
This is an exception of history, Romania. These are a group of Romans that more than 2000 years ago remained here. They have been contaminated from many different cultures, but the basic language is still the Vulgar Latin that was probably spoken 2000 years ago in Rome, with some integration from the Turkish and Slavic languages. The structure is Latin and they still use some expressions that we use in our dialect in Rome. This was impressive for me and helped me a lot to stay here.
Anonymous
Gregory had been surprised when Seth came forward and took Gregory in his arms. “I am your brother,” he whispered, but this he said in the ancient tongue, the ancient tongue no longer spoken anywhere under the moon or the sun. “Forgive me that I’ve been cold to you. I feared you.” “And I feared you,” Gregory confessed, the old language coming back to him in a flood of sorrow. “My brother.” Queens Blood and Blood Kindred. No, something greater, infinitely greater. And brother does not betray brother.
Anne Rice (Prince Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #11))
I have dreamed of that song, of the strange words to that simple rhyme-song, and on several occasions I have understood what she was saying, in my dreams. In those dreams I spoke that language too, the first language, and I had dominion over the nature of all that was real. In my dream, it was the tongue of what is, and anything spoken in it becomes real, because nothing said in that language can be a lie. It is the most basic building brick of everything. In my dreams I have used that language to heal the sick and to fly; once I dreamed I kept a perfect little bed-and-breakfast by the seaside, and to everyone who came to stay with me I would say, in that tongue, 'Be whole,' and they would become whole, not broken people, not any longer, because I had spoken the language of shaping.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
One day the English language is going to perish. The easy spokenness of it will perish and go black and crumbly — maybe — and it will become a language like Latin that learned people learn. And scholars will write studies of Larry Sanders and Friends and Will & Grace and Ellen and Designing Women and Mary Tyler Moore, and everyone will see that the sitcom is the great American art form. American poetry will perish with the language; the sitcoms, on the other hand, are new to human evolution and therefore will be less perishable.
Nicholson Baker (The Anthologist (The Paul Chowder Chronicles #1))
To define his tendency in a word, I would say that Chekhov was the poet of hopelessness. Stubbornly, sadly, monotonously, during all the years of his literary activity, nearly a quarter of a century long, Chekhov was doing one alone: by one means or another he was killing human hopes. Herein, I hold, lies the essence of his creation. Hitherto it has been little spoken of. The reasons are quite intelligible. In ordinary language what Chekhov was doing is called crime, and is visited by condign punishment. But how can a man of talent be punished?
Lev Shestov (All Things Are Possible And Penultimate Words And Other Essays)
Historically, the language we call Scots was a development of the Anglian speech of the Northumbrians who established their kingdom of Bernicia as far north as the Firth of Forth in the seventh century. This northern Anglo-Saxon language flourished in Lowland Scotland and emerged into a distinct language on its own, capable of rich expansion by borrowing from Latin, French and other sources with its own grammatical forms and methods of borrowing. By the time of the Makars of the fifteenth century it was a highly sophisticated poetic language, based on the spoken speech of the people, but enriched by many kinds of expansion, invention and 'aureation'. Distinct from literary English, but having much in common with it, literary Scots took its place in the late Middle Ages as one of the great literary languages of Europe.
David Daiches (Literature and Gentility in Scotland)
Those who wish to write quickly a piece about nothing that no one will read through even once, whether in a newspaper or a book, extol with much conviction the style of the spoken language, because they find it much more modern, direct, facile. They themselves do not know how to speak. Neither do their readers, the language actually spoken under modern conditions of life being socially reduced to its indirect representation through the suffrage of the media, and including around six or eight turns of phrase repeated at every moment and fewer than two hundred words, most of them neologisms, with the whole thing submitted to replacement by one third every six months. All this favours a certain rapid solidarity. On the contrary, I for my part am going to write without affectation or fatigue, as if it were the most natural and easiest thing in the world, the language that I have learned and, in most circumstances, spoken. It’s not up to me to change it. The Gypsies rightly contend that one is never compelled to speak the truth except in one’s own language; in the enemy’s language, the lie must reign.
Guy Debord (Panegyric: Books 1 & 2)
I enjoy running people over in a chariot as much as the next deity, but I did not like the idea of being the guy run over. As the dragons barrelled towards us, Meg stood her ground, which was either admirable or suicidal. I tried to decide whether to cower behind her or leap out of the way - both options less admirable but also less suicidal -when the choice became irrelevant. Piper threw her dagger, impaling the left dragon's eye. Left Dragon shrieked in pain, pushed against Right Dragon, and sent the chariot veering off course. Medea barrelled past us, just out of reach of Meg's swords, and disappeared into the darkness while screaming insults at her pets in ancient Colchian - a language no longer spoken, but which featured twenty-seven different words for kill and not a single way to say Apollo rocks. I hate the Colchians.
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
Gift Nothing will hurt you that much despite how you feel the stress on your back shapes your insight this splendid November rain Toussaint. I find you by your marks, he says an imprint But when I summon you, I talk to—I say— my memory of your face. It’s kind of crazy to others. They’re not very interesting he says. When I first came to this country, and now I know the language I say, but I had in a dream spoken it many years previously. That is, not the language of the dead the language of France. I took one year of French in 1964 and then nothing but once, in 1977 I spoke French in a dream all night: I was in the future I moved here in 1992. Country of the more logical than I? though the people of my quartier know and like me, even as I a foreigner remain strange You do everything alone a woman said to me. There are ways to care without interfering but the French speak of anguish frequently they are conscious of emotional extremity a terrible gift. It’s all a gift, he says . . . some haven’t been opened. I’m not sure he said that it’s nearly my sixty-seventh birthday today though it’s the day of the dead hello we love you they say.
Alice Notley
The entire destiny of modern linguistics is in fact determined by Saussure's inaugural act through which he separates the ‘external’ elements of linguistics from the ‘internal’ elements, and, by reserving the title of linguistics for the latter, excludes from it all the investigations which establish a relationship between language and anthropology, the political history of those who speak it, or even the geography of the domain where it is spoken, because all of these things add nothing to a knowledge of language taken in itself. Given that it sprang from the autonomy attributed to language in relation to its social conditions of production, reproduction and use, structural linguistics could not become the dominant social science without exercising an ideological effect, by bestowing the appearance of scientificity on the naturalization of the products of history, that is, on symbolic objects.
Pierre Bourdieu (Language and Symbolic Power)
We're pupils of the religions—Catholic, Protestant, Jewish . . . Well, the Christian religions. Those who directed French education down through the centuries were the Jesuits. They taught us how to make sentences translated from the Latin, well balanced, with a verb, a subject, a complement, a rhythm. In short—here a speech, there a preach, everywhere a sermon! They say of an author, “He knits a nice sentence!” Me, I say, “It's unreadable.” They say, “What magnificent theatrical language!” I look, I listen. It's flat, it's nothing, it's nil. Me, I've slipped the spoken word into print. In one sole shot.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
It was as if she had spoken slightingly of a woman he loved. For he dreamed of peace by day and night. Once in sleep it had appeared to him as the great glowing shoulder of the moon heaving across his window like an iceberg, arctic and destructive in the moment before the world was struck: by day he tried to win a few moments of its company, crouched under the rusting handcuffs in the locked office, reading the reports from the sub-stations. Peace seemed to him the most beautiful word in the language: My peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you: O Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace. In the Mass he pressed his fingers against his eyes to keep the tears of longing in.
Graham Greene (The Heart of the Matter)
What if people start mistreating their robots? Purposefully?” “Mistreating a robot?” Matt echoed, as though I’d spoken a different language, and then a sly grin spread over his features. “You mean like, pushing its buttons? Get it?” I had a hard time fighting my smile at his goofiness. “No. I mean—” “Or playing something other than its favorite music, which everyone knows is heavy metal.” I groaned, laughing and shaking my head. “Oh wow. That was impressive.” “Thank you, thank you.” As he examined my face, his smile deepened and his eyes warmed, as though he was both surprised and pleased by my laughter. “Sorry for interrupting, I just have a million robot jokes and no one lets me tell them.” “You can tell them to me, anytime.” “Good to know.
Penny Reid (Dating-ish (Knitting in the City, #6))
The ancient Letter to Diognetus records these observations about the early church: “The Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor by language, nor by the customs that they observe; for they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. They marry, as do all others; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. They are poor, yet they make many rich; they are lacking all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonored, and yet in their very dishonor are glorified. They are spoken of as evil, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted and repay the insult with honor; they do good, yet are punished as evildoers.
Shane Claiborne (Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)
DEATH IS NOTHING AT ALL Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again! —HENRY SCOTT-HOLLAND
Laura Lynne Jackson (Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe)
STARS Here in my head, language keeps making its tiny noises. How can I hope to be friends with the hard white stars whose flaring ad hissing are not speech but a pure radiance? How can I hope to be friends with the yawning spaces between them where nothing, ever, is spoken? Tonight, at the edge of the field, I stood up very still, and looked up, and tried to be empty of words. What joy was it, that almost found me? What amiable peace? Then it was over, the wind roused up in the oak trees behind me and I fell back, easily. Earth has a hundred thousand pure contraltos- even the distant night bird as it talks threat, as it talks love over the cold, black fields. Once, deep in the woods, I found the skull of a bear and it was utterly silent- and once a river otter, in a steel trap, and it too was utterly silent. What can we do but keep breathing in and out, modest and willing, and in our places? Listen, listen, I’m forever saying, Listen to the river, to the hawk, to the hoof, to the mockingbird, to the jack-in-the-pulpit- then I come up with a few words, like a gift. Even as now. Even as the darkness has remained the pure, deep darkness. Even as the stars have twirled a little, while I stood here, looking up, one hot sentence after another.
Mary Oliver
In mystical literature such self-contradictory phrases as "dazzling obscurity," "whispering silence," "teeming desert," are continually met with. They prove that not conceptual speech, but music rather, is the element through which we are best spoken to by mystical truth. Many mystical scriptures are indeed little more than musical compositions. "He who would hear the voice of Nada, 'the Soundless Sound,' and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dharana…. When to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams, when he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE—the inner sound which kills the outer…. For then the soul will hear, and will remember. And then to the inner ear will speak THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE…. And now thy SELF is lost in SELF, THYSELF unto THYSELF, merged in that SELF from which thou first didst radiate.. . . Behold! thou hast become the Light, thou hast become the Sound, thou art thy Master and thy God. Thou art THYSELF the object of thy search: the VOICE unbroken, that resounds throughout eternities, exempt from change, from sin exempt, the seven sounds in one, the VOICE OF THE SILENCE. Om tat Sat."[277] [277] H. P. Blavatsky: The voice of the Silence. These words, if they do not awaken laughter as you receive them, probably stir chords within you which music and language touch in common. Music gives us ontological messages which non-musical criticism is unable to contradict, though it may laugh at our foolishness in minding them. There is a verge of the mind which these things haunt; and whispers therefrom mingle with the operations of our understanding, even as the waters of the infinite ocean send their waves to break among the pebbles that lie upon our shores.
William James (Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature)
Again, it is important to stress that this belief is not necessarily a consciously chosen one. It is a deeply hidden, unconscious aspect of white supremacy that is hardly ever spoken about but practiced in daily life without even thinking about it. The reality is that you have been conditioned since you were a child to believe in white superiority through the way your history was taught, through the way race was talked about, and through the way students of color were treated differently from you. You have been educated by institutions that have taught white superiority through curricula that favor a white-biased narrative, through the lack of representation of BIPOC, and through the way these institutions handled acts of racism. You have been conditioned by media that continues to reinforce white superiority through an overrepresentation of celebrities and leaders who look like you, through the cultural appropriation of BIPOC fashion, language, and customs, and through the narrative of the white savior.
Layla F. Saad (Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor)
I have spoken of reinventing marriage, of marriages achieving their rebirth in the middle age of the partners. This phenomenon has been called the 'comedy of remarriage' by Stanley Cavell, whose Pursuits of Happiness, a film book, is perhaps the best marriage manual ever published. One must, however, translate his formulation from the language of Hollywood, in which he developed it, into the language of middle age: less glamour, less supple youth, less fantasyland. Cavell writes specifically of Hollywood movies of the 1930s and 1940s in which couples -- one partner is often the dazzling Cary Grant -- learn to value each other, to educate themselves in equality, to remarry. Cavell recognizes that the actresses in these movie -- often the dazzling Katherine Hepburn -- are what made them possible. If read not as an account of beautiful people in hilarious situations, but as a deeply philosophical discussion of marriage, his book contains what are almost aphorisms of marital achievement. For example: ....'[The romance of remarriage] poses a structure in which we are permanently in doubt who the hero is, that is, whether it is the male or female who is the active partner, which of them is in quest, who is following whom.' Cary grant & Katherine Hepburn "Above all, despite the sexual attractiveness of the actors in the movies he discusses, Cavell knows that sexuality is not the ultimate secret in these marriage: 'in God's intention a meet and happy conversation is the chiefest and noblest end of marriage. Here is the reason that these relationships strike us as having the quality of friendship, a further factor in their exhilaration for us.' "He is wise enough, moreover, to emphasize 'the mystery of marriage by finding that neither law nor sexuality (nor, by implication, progeny) is sufficient to ensure true marriage and suggesting that what provides legitimacy is the mutual willingness for remarriage, for a sort of continuous affirmation. Remarriage, hence marriage, is, whatever else it is, an intellectual undertaking.
Carolyn G. Heilbrun (Writing a Woman's Life)
All distances in the East are measured by hours, not miles. A good horse will walk three miles an hour over nearly any kind of a road; therefore, an hour, here, always stands for three miles. This method of computation is bothersome and annoying; and until one gets thoroughly accustomed to it, it carries no intelligence to his mind until he has stopped and translated the pagan hours into Christian miles, just as people do with the spoken words of a foreign language they are acquainted with, but not familiarly enough to catch the meaning in a moment. Distances traveled by human feet are also estimated by hours and minutes, though I do not know what the base of the calculation is. In Constantinople you ask, "How far is it to the Consulate?" and they answer, "About ten minutes." "How far is it to the Lloyds' Agency?" "Quarter of an hour." "How far is it to the lower bridge?" "Four minutes." I can not be positive about it, but I think that there, when a man orders a pair of pantaloons, he says he wants them a quarter of a minute in the legs and nine seconds around the waist.
Mark Twain (The Innocents Abroad)
Marriage, in short, is a bargain, like buying a house or entering a profession. One chooses it knowing that, by that very decision, one is abnegating other possibilities. In choosing companionship over passion, women like Beatrice Webb and Virginia Woolf made a bargain; their marriages worked because they did not regret their bargains, or blame their husbands for not being something else--dashing lovers, for example. But in writing biographies, or one's own life, it is both customary and misleading to present such marriages, to oneself or to one's reader, as sad compromises, the best of a bad bargain, or scarcely to speak of them at all. Virginia Woolf mentioned that she, who is reticent about nothing, had never spoken of her life with Leonard. but we know that she said of him that when he entered a room, she had no idea what he was going to say, a remarkable definition of a good marriage. Such marriages are not bad bargains, but the best of a good bargain, and we must learn the language to understand and describe them, particularly in writing the lives of accomplished women.
Carolyn G. Heilbrun
At the end of the vacation, I took a steamer alone from Wuhan back up through the Yangtze Gorges. The journey took three days. One morning, as I was leaning over the side, a gust of wind blew my hair loose and my hairpin fell into the river. A passenger with whom I had been chatting pointed to a tributary which joined the Yangtze just where we were passing, and told me a story.In 33 B.C., the emperor of China, in an attempt to appease the country's powerful northern neighbors, the Huns, decided to send a woman to marry the barbarian king. He made his selection from the portraits of the 3,000 concubines in his court, many of whom he had never seen. As she was for a barbarian, he selected the ugliest portrait, but on the day of her departure he discovered that the woman was in fact extremely beautiful. Her portrait was ugly because she had refused to bribe the court painter. The emperor ordered the artist to be executed, while the lady wept, sitting by a river, at having to leave her country to live among the barbarians. The wind carried away her hairpin and dropped it into the river as though it wanted to keep something of hers in her homeland. Later on, she killed herself. Legend had it that where her hairpin dropped, the river turned crystal clear, and became known as the Crystal River. My fellow passenger told me this was the tributary we were passing. With a grin, he declared: "Ah, bad omen! You might end up living in a foreign land and marrying a barbarian!" I smiled faintly at the traditional Chinese obsession about other races being 'barbarians," and wondered whether this lady of antiquity might not actually have been better off marrying the 'barbarian' king. She would at least be in daily contact with the grassland, the horses, and nature. With the Chinese emperor, she was living in a luxurious prison, without even a proper tree, which might enable the concubines to climb a wall and escape. I thought how we were like the frogs at the bottom of the well in the Chinese legend, who claimed that the sky was only as big as the round opening at the top of their well. I felt an intense and urgent desire to see the world. At the time I had never spoken with a foreigner, even though I was twenty-three, and had been an English language student for nearly two years. The only foreigners I had ever even set eyes on had been in Peking in 1972. A foreigner, one of the few 'friends of China," had come to my university once. It was a hot summer day and I was having a nap when a fellow student burst into our room and woke us all by shrieking: "A foreigner is here! Let's go and look at the foreigner!" Some of the others went, but I decided to stay and continue my snooze. I found the whole idea of gazing, zombie like rather ridiculous. Anyway, what was the point of staring if we were forbidden to open our mouths to him, even though he was a 'friend of China'? I had never even heard a foreigner speaking, except on one single Linguaphone record. When I started learning the language, I had borrowed the record and a phonograph, and listened to it at home in Meteorite Street. Some neighbors gathered in the courtyard, and said with their eyes wide open and their heads shaking, "What funny sounds!" They asked me to play the record over and over again.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
I would walk round that beautiful, unspoilt little island, with its population of under a hundred and where there isn’t a single tarmac road, thinking about how he would truly sound. Perhaps the quietness of the island helped me do so. ‘Everybody thinks he’s French,’ I said to myself as I walked across the great stones that littered the beach at Rushy Bay, or stomped over the tussocky grass of Heathy Hill, with its famous dwarf pansies. ‘The only reason people think Poirot is French is because of his accent,’ I muttered. ‘But he’s Belgian, and I know that French-speaking Belgians don’t sound French, not a bit of it.’" "I also was well aware of Brian Eastman’s advice to me before I left for Bryher: ‘Don’t forget, he may have an accent, but the audience must be able to understand exactly what he’s saying.’ There was my problem in a nutshell." "To help me, I managed to get hold of a set of Belgian Walloon and French radio recordings from the BBC. Poirot came from Liège in Belgium and would have spoken Belgian French, the language of 30 per cent of the country’s population, rather than Walloon, which is very much closer to the ordinary French language. To these I added recordings of English-language stations broadcasting from Belgium, as well as English-language programmes from Paris. My principal concern was to give my Poirot a voice that would ring true, and which would also be the voice of the man I heard in my head when I read his stories. I listened for hours, and then gradually started mixing Walloon Belgian with French, while at the same time slowly relocating the sound of his voice in my body, moving it from my chest to my head, making it sound a little more high-pitched, and yes, a little more fastidious. After several weeks, I finally began to believe that I’d captured it: this was what Poirot would have sounded like if I’d met him in the flesh. This was how he would have spoken to me – with that characteristic little bow as we shook hands, and that little nod of the head to the left as he removed his perfectly brushed grey Homburg hat. The more I heard his voice in my head, and added to my own list of his personal characteristics, the more determined I became never to compromise in my portrayal of Poirot.
David Suchet (Poirot and Me)
Eugene Peterson reminds us that “because we learned language so early in our lives we have no memory of the process” and would therefore imagine that it was we who took the initiative to learn how to speak. However, that is not the case. “Language is spoken into us; we learn language only as we are spoken to. We are plunged at birth into a sea of language. . . . Then slowly syllable by syllable we acquire the capacity to answer: mama, papa, bottle, blanket, yes, no. Not one of these words was a first word. . . . All speech is answering speech. We were all spoken to before we spoke.”109 In the years since Peterson wrote, studies have shown that children’s ability to understand and communicate is profoundly affected by the number of words and the breadth of vocabulary to which they are exposed as infants and toddlers. We speak only to the degree we are spoken to. It is therefore essential to the practice of prayer to recognize what Peterson calls the “overwhelming previousness of God’s speech to our prayers.”110 This theological principle has practical consequences. It means that our prayers should arise out of immersion in the Scripture. We should “plunge ourselves into the sea” of God’s language, the Bible. We should listen, study, think, reflect, and ponder the Scriptures until there is an answering response in our hearts and minds. It may be one of shame or of joy or of confusion or of appeal—but that response to God’s speech is then truly prayer and should be given to God. If the goal of prayer is a real, personal connection with God, then it is only by immersion in the language of the Bible that we will learn to pray, perhaps just as slowly as a child learns to speak.
Timothy J. Keller (Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
I live, at all times, for imaginative fiction; for ambivalence, not instruction. When language serves dogma, then literature is lost. I live also, and only, for excellence. My care is not for the cult of egalitarian mediocrity that is sweeping the world today, wherein even the critics are no longer qualified to differentiate, but for literature, which you may notice I have not defined. I would say that, because of its essential ambivalence, 'literature' is: words that provoke a response; that invite the reader or listener to partake of the creative act. There can be no one meaning for a text. Even that of the writer is a but an option. "Literature exists at every level of experience. It is inclusive, not exclusive. It embraces; it does not reduce, however simply it is expressed. The purpose of the storyteller is to relate the truth in a manner that is simple: to integrate without reduction; for it is rarely possible to declare the truth as it is, because the universe presents itself as a Mystery. We have to find parables; we have to tell stories to unriddle the world. "It is a paradox: yet one so important I must restate it. The job of a storyteller is to speak the truth; but what we feel most deeply cannot be spoken in words. At this level only images connect. And so story becomes symbol; and symbol is myth." "It is one of the main errors of historical and rational analysis to suppose that the 'original form' of myth can be separated from its miraculous elements. 'Wonder is only the first glimpse of the start of philosophy,' says Plato. Aristotle is more explicit: 'The lover of myths, which are a compound of wonders, is, by his being in that very state, a lover of wisdom.' Myth encapsulates the nearest approach to absolute that words can speak.
Alan Garner (The Voice That Thunders)
These girls aren't wounded so much as post-wounded, and I see their sisters everywhere. They're over it. *I am not a melodramatic person.* God help the woman who is. What I'll call "post-wounded" isn't a shift in deep feeling (we understand these women still hurt) but a shift away from wounded affect---these women are aware that "woundedness" is overdone and overrated. They are wary of melodrama so they stay numb or clever instead. Post-wounded women make jokes about being wounded or get impatient with women who hurt too much. The post-wounded woman conducts herself as if preempting certain accusations: don't cry too loud, don't play victim, don't act the old role all over again. Don't ask for pain meds you don't need, don't give those doctors another reason to doubt the other women on their examination tables. Post-wounded women fuck men who don't love them and then they feel mildly sad about it, or just blase about it, more than anything they refuse to care about it, refuse to hurt about it---or else they are endlessly self-aware about the posture they have adopted if they allow themselves this hurting. The post-wounded posture is claustrophobic. It's full of jadedness, aching gone implicit, sarcasm quick-on-the-heels of anything that might look like self-pity. I see it in female writers and their female narrators, troves of stories about vaguely dissatisfied women who no longer fully own their feelings. Pain is everywhere and nowhere. Post-wounded women know that postures of pain play into limited and outmoded conceptions of womanhood. Their hurt has a new native language spoken in several dialects; sarcastic, apathetic, opaque; cool and clever. They guard against those moments when melodrama or self-pity might split their careful seams of intellect. *I should rather call is a seam.* We have sewn ourselves up. We bring everything to the grindstone.
Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams)
In order to grasp the meaning of this liberal program we need to imagine a world order in which liberalism is supreme. Either all the states in it are liberal, or enough are so that when united they are able to repulse an attack of militarist aggressors. In this liberal world, or liberal part of the world, there is private property in the means of production. The working of the market is not hampered by government interference. There are no trade barriers; men can live and work where they want. Frontiers are drawn on the maps but they do not hinder the migrations of men and shipping of commodities. Natives do not enjoy rights that are denied to aliens. Governments and their servants restrict their activities to the protection of life, health, and property against fraudulent or violent aggression. They do not discriminate against foreigners. The courts are independent and effectively protect everybody against the encroachments of officialdom. Everyone is permitted to say, to write, and to print what he likes. Education is not subject to government interference. Governments are like night-watchmen whom the citizens have entrusted with the task of handling the police power. The men in office are regarded as mortal men, not as superhuman beings or as paternal authorities who have the right and duty to hold the people in tutelage. Governments do not have the power to dictate to the citizens what language they must use in their daily speech or in what language they must bring up and educate their children. Administrative organs and tribunals are bound to use each man’s language in dealing with him, provided this language is spoken in the district by a reasonable number of residents. In such a world it makes no difference where the frontiers of a country are drawn. Nobody has a special material interest in enlarging the territory of the state in which he lives; nobody suffers loss if a part of this area is separated from the state. It is also immaterial whether all parts of the state’s territory are in direct geographical connection, or whether they are separated by a piece of land belonging to another state. It is of no economic importance whether the country has a frontage on the ocean or not. In such a world the people of every village or district could decide by plebiscite to which state they wanted to belong. There would be no more wars because there would be no incentive for aggression. War would not pay. Armies and navies would be superfluous. Policemen would suffice for the fight against crime. In such a world the state is not a metaphysical entity but simply the producer of security and peace. It is the night-watchman, as Lassalle contemptuously dubbed it. But it fulfills this task in a satisfactory way. The citizen’s sleep is not disturbed, bombs do not destroy his home, and if somebody knocks at his door late at night it is certainly neither the Gestapo nor the O.G.P.U. The reality in which we have to live differs very much from this perfect world of ideal liberalism. But this is due only to the fact that men have rejected liberalism for etatism.
Ludwig von Mises (Omnipotent Government)
A man on his deathbed left instructions For dividing up his goods among his three sons. He had devoted his entire spirit to those sons. They stood like cypress trees around him, Quiet and strong. He told the town judge, 'Whichever of my sons is laziest, Give him all the inheritance.' Then he died, and the judge turned to the three, 'Each of you must give some account of your laziness, so I can understand just how you are lazy.' Mystics are experts in laziness. They rely on it, Because they continuously see God working all around them. The harvest keeps coming in, yet they Never even did the plowing! 'Come on. Say something about the ways you are lazy.' Every spoken word is a covering for the inner self. A little curtain-flick no wider than a slice Of roast meat can reveal hundreds of exploding suns. Even if what is being said is trivial and wrong, The listener hears the source. One breeze comes From across a garden. Another from across the ash-heap. Think how different the voices of the fox And the lion, and what they tell you! Hearing someone is lifting the lid off the cooking pot. You learn what's for supper. Though some people Can know just by the smell, a sweet stew From a sour soup cooked with vinegar. A man taps a clay pot before he buys it To know by the sound if it has a crack. The eldest of the three brothers told the judge, 'I can know a man by his voice, and if he won't speak, I wait three days, and then I know him intuitively.' The second brother, 'I know him when he speaks, And if he won't talk, I strike up a conversation.' 'But what if he knows that trick?' asked the judge. Which reminds me of the mother who tells her child 'When you're walking through the graveyard at night and you see a boogeyman, run at it, and it will go away.' 'But what,' replies the child, 'if the boogeyman's Mother has told it to do the same thing? Boogeymen have mothers too.' The second brother had no answer. 'I sit in front of him in silence, And set up a ladder made of patience, And if in his presence a language from beyond joy And beyond grief begins to pour from my chest, I know that his soul is as deep and bright As the star Canopus rising over Yemen. And so when I start speaking a powerful right arm Of words sweeping down, I know him from what I say, And how I say it, because there's a window open Between us, mixing the night air of our beings.' The youngest was, obviously, The laziest. He won.
Rumi
this I say,—we must never forget that all the education a man's head can receive, will not save his soul from hell, unless he knows the truths of the Bible. A man may have prodigious learning, and yet never be saved. He may be master of half the languages spoken round the globe. He may be acquainted with the highest and deepest things in heaven and earth. He may have read books till he is like a walking cyclopædia. He may be familiar with the stars of heaven,—the birds of the air,—the beasts of the earth, and the fishes of the sea. He may be able, like Solomon, to "speak of trees, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows on the wall, of beasts also, and fowls, and creeping things, and fishes." (1 King iv. 33.) He may be able to discourse of all the secrets of fire, air, earth, and water. And yet, if he dies ignorant of Bible truths, he dies a miserable man! Chemistry never silenced a guilty conscience. Mathematics never healed a broken heart. All the sciences in the world never smoothed down a dying pillow. No earthly philosophy ever supplied hope in death. No natural theology ever gave peace in the prospect of meeting a holy God. All these things are of the earth, earthy, and can never raise a man above the earth's level. They may enable a man to strut and fret his little season here below with a more dignified gait than his fellow-mortals, but they can never give him wings, and enable him to soar towards heaven. He that has the largest share of them, will find at length that without Bible knowledge he has got no lasting possession. Death will make an end of all his attainments, and after death they will do him no good at all. A man may be a very ignorant man, and yet be saved. He may be unable to read a word, or write a letter. He may know nothing of geography beyond the bounds of his own parish, and be utterly unable to say which is nearest to England, Paris or New York. He may know nothing of arithmetic, and not see any difference between a million and a thousand. He may know nothing of history, not even of his own land, and be quite ignorant whether his country owes most to Semiramis, Boadicea, or Queen Elizabeth. He may know nothing of the affairs of his own times, and be incapable of telling you whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the Commander-in-Chief, or the Archbishop of Canterbury is managing the national finances. He may know nothing of science, and its discoveries,—and whether Julius Cæsar won his victories with gunpowder, or the apostles had a printing press, or the sun goes round the earth, may be matters about which he has not an idea. And yet if that very man has heard Bible truth with his ears, and believed it with his heart, he knows enough to save his soul. He will be found at last with Lazarus in Abraham's bosom, while his scientific fellow-creature, who has died unconverted, is lost for ever. There is much talk in these days about science and "useful knowledge." But after all a knowledge of the Bible is the one knowledge that is needful and eternally useful. A man may get to heaven without money, learning, health, or friends,—but without Bible knowledge he will never get there at all. A man may have the mightiest of minds, and a memory stored with all that mighty mind can grasp,—and yet, if he does not know the things of the Bible, he will make shipwreck of his soul for ever. Woe! woe! woe to the man who dies in ignorance of the Bible! This is the Book about which I am addressing the readers of these pages to-day. It is no light matter what you do with such a book. It concerns the life of your soul. I summon you,—I charge you to give an honest answer to my question. What are you doing with the Bible? Do you read it? HOW READEST THOU?
J.C. Ryle (Practical Religion Being Plain Papers on the Daily Duties, Experience, Dangers, and Privileges of Professing Christians)