Language Quotes

George Carlin

Meow” means “woof” in cat.

Robert Herrick

Tears are the noble language of eyes, and when true love of words is destitute. The eye by tears speak, while the tongue is mute.

J.K. Rowling

Anyone can speak Troll. All you have to do is point and grunt.. J.K. Rowling
Anyone can speak Troll. All you have to do is point and grunt.

Jean Kerr

Women speak because they wish to speak, whereas a man speaks only when driven to speak by something outside himself-like, for instance, he can't find any clean socks.

John Green

You do not immortalize the lost by writing about them. Language buries, but does not resurrect..
You do not immortalize the lost by writing about them. Language buries, but does not resurrect.

Rene Denfeld

I would think for hours how strange it was that some parts of words are silent, just like some parts of our lives. Did the people who wrote the dictionaries decide to mirror language to our lives, or did it just happen that way?

Jacques Derrida

What cannot be said above all must not be silenced but written.

Elizabeth Gaskell

But suppose it was truth double strong, it were no truth to me if I couldna take it in. I daresay there's truth in yon Latin book on your shelves; but it's gibberish and no truth to me, unless I know the meaning o' the words.

Arne Tiselius

We live in a world where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language.

Alan W. Watts

The menu is not the meal.

Samuel Beckett

Words are the clothes thoughts wear.

George Steiner

when a language dies, a way of understanding the world dies with it, a way of looking at the world.


Words have value; what is of value in words is meaning. Meaning has something it is pursuing, but the thing that it is pursuing cannot be put into words and handed down.

Michel Foucault

Discourse is not life; its time is not your time; in it, you will not be reconciled to death; you may have killed God beneath the weight of all that you have said; but don't imagine that, with all that you are saying you will make a man that will live longer than he.

Muriel Barbery

Personally I think that grammar is a way to attain beauty.

Winston S. Churchill

Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.

Italo Calvino

The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.

Franz Kafka

Every word first looks around in every direction before letting itself be written down by me.

Alfred De Musset

Romanticism is the abuse of adjectives

Jeanette Winterson

Language is a finding-place not a hiding place.. Jeanette Winterson
Language is a finding-place not a hiding place.

Julio Cortázar

Wordplay hides a key to reality that the dictionary tries in vain to lock inside every free word.

Joseph Conrad

Writing in English is like throwing mud at a wall.

Gaston Bachelard

A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.

Robert Bringhurst

If language is lost, humanity is lost. If writing is lost, certain kinds of civilization and society are lost, but many other kinds remain - and there is no reason to think that those alternatives are inferior.

Benson Bruno

I can’t write anymore. My words are paper airplanes tenuously gliding towards the dust. The wonder of the Phoenicians, which throughout the latter part of this entry I have not fully comprehended, is getting vaguer still. Where did this feather in my hand come from? Am I Icarus?

David Markson

Once, Turner had himself lashed to the mast of a ship for several hours, during a furious storm, so that he could later paint the storm. Obviously, it was not the storm itself that Turner intended to paint. What he intended to paint was a representation of the storm. One's language is frequently imprecise in that manner, I have discovered.

Simon Van Booy

Language allows us to reach out to people, to touch them with our innermost fears, hopes, disappointments, victories. To reach out to people we'll never meet.
It's the greatest legacy you could ever leave your children or your loved ones:
The history of how you felt.

Alexander Pope

In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold;
Alike fantastic, if too new, or old:
Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.


One can not understand language because language cannot understand itself; does not want to understand

Ambrose Bierce

Beware of the compound adjective, beloved of the tyro and the 'poetess'.

John Patrick Lowrie

Polysyllables obfuscate a preponderant ignorance with so much more style and panache.

José Saramago

Perhaps it is the language that chooses the writers it needs, making use of them so that each might express a tiny part of what it is.

Howard Nemerov

I would talk in iambic pentameter if it were easier.

Steven Millhauser

I had thought that words were instruments of precision. Now I know that they devour the world, leaving nothing in its place.

W.H. Auden

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.

Gaston Bachelard

To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.

John Clare

Language has not the power to speak what love indites
The soul lies buried in the Ink that writes

Paul Nougé

If words allow themselves to be handled, it is with the help of infinite carefulness. One has to welcome them, listen to the, before asking any service of them. Words are living things closely involved with human life.

Billy Collins

Is there a better method of departure by night
than this quiet bon voyage with an open book,
the sole companion who has come to see you off,

to wave you into the dark waters beyond language?

Dean Koontz

Are you one of those people who uses words more for the sound than for the
Are you one of those people who uses words more for the sound than for the sense of them?

Laurie Seidler

Language is a door. Words en-trance and are an entrance; they draw you in. When you read, the book you cradle disappears and the tales within unfold in your mind. Writing is a shelter of words and reading an interior adventure.

Tim O'Brien

Words, too, have genuine substance - mass and weight and specific gravity.

Muriel Barbery

I thought: pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language.

Jeanette Winterson

A tough life needs a tough language - and that is what poetry is. That is
A tough life needs a tough language - and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers - a language powerful enough to say how it is.

Emma Thompson

Hugh Laurie (playing Mr. Palmer) felt the line 'Don't palm all your abuses [of language upon me]' was possibly too rude. 'It's in the book,' I said. He didn't hit me.

Lori R. Lopez

My books are a word feast.

Anaïs Nin

I stress the expansion and elaboration of language. In simplifying it, reducing it, we reduce the power of our expression and our power to communicate. Standardization, the use of worn-out formulas, impedes communication because it does not match the subtlety of our minds or emotions, the multimedia of our unconscious life.

Michael Bassey Johnson

Trying something new is like daring to speak a foreign language, you bite your tongue at
Trying something new is like daring to speak a foreign language, you bite your tongue at first, memorize and thereafter sing it as if you were pretending to be unacquainted.

Aldous Huxley

Thanks to words, we have been able to rise above the brutes; and thanks to words, we have often sunk to the level of the demons.

Italo Calvino

Signs form a language, but not the one you think you know.

Robert Lane Greene

There is really only one way to learn good writing: good reading and extensive writing and revising.

William Luce

I look at words as if they were entities, sacred beings. There are words to which I tip my hat when I see them sitting on a page.

Spencer Gordon

Language spread its warm, absurd rays over all my adolescent thoughts, and I felt the way we all long to feel: moody, lonely, lovesick and explosive with the prospects of tomorrow.

Jamie L. Harding

Writers are not just writers, they are creators of worlds, sculptors of the mind, they are architects of language.

Chuck Palahniuk

Language, she said, was just our way to explain away the wonder and glory of the
Language, she said, was just our way to explain away the wonder and glory of the world. To deconstruct. To dismiss. She said people can't deal with how beautiful the world really is. How it can't be explained and understood.

Elizabeth Kostova

Never before had I known the sudden quiver of understanding that travels from word to brain to heart, the way a new language can move, coil, swim into life under the eyes, the almost savage leap of comprehension, the instantaneous, joyful release of meaning, the way the words shed their printed bodies in a flash of heat and light.

Marcus J. Borg

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.

Gustave Flaubert

I tried to discover, in the rumor of forests and waves, words that other men could not hear, and I pricked up my ears to listen to the revelation of their harmony.

Cees Nooteboom

Language is something you inherit, it's never just you doing the talking, which helps when you're pretending.

James Lusarde

I like the sounds of words. Words are very enjoyable. I like words because they are... seductive. And I like words because they can contain... fantasies.

Swami Dhyan Giten

When something happens to you that is beyond words, life is happening to you. When the Ultimate is happening to you, you are beyond words.

Ashly Lorenzana

The next time you wish you could find the right words to say to someone who is hurting, just remember that dogs are a man's best friend without ever speaking a word to them. Simply be present and have sympathy.

Virginia Woolf

He is forced to coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the people of Babel did in the beginning), so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out.

T.L. Rese

Music is a language - and language, at its finest, should be music.

Simon S. Tam

The words we choose can build communities, reunite loved ones, and inspire others. They can be a catalyst for change. However, our words also have the power to destroy and divide: they can start a war, reduce a lifelong relationship to a collection of memories, or end a life.

Mira Grant

Words have power.

Joseph Conrad

There is a weird power in a spoken word.


Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not
Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.

Frances Hodgson Burnett

How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.

Marty Rubin

Words can't save you, but they can give you courage.

Minae Mizumura

The first prerequisite for fine literature is that the writer must see the language not as a transparent medium for self-expression or the representation of reality, but as a medium one must struggle with to make it do one's bidding.

Stephen King

Read sometimes for the story, Bobby. Don't be like the book-snobs who won't do that. Read sometimes for the words - the language. Don't be like the play-it-safers that won't do that. But when you find a book that has both good story and good words, treasure that book.

Penelope Lively

I control the world so long as I can name it. Which is why children must chase language before they do anything else, tame the wilderness by describing it, challenge God by learning His hundred names.


I place my fingers upon these keys typing 2,000 dreams per minute and naked of spirit dance forth my cosmic vortex upon this crucifix called language.

T.S. Eliot

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.

Patrick Rothfuss

Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.

Markus Zusak

The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn't be any of this..
The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn't be any of this.

Patrick Rothfuss

Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating ... but there are other ways to understanding.

James Joyce

He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.

Virginia Woolf

When I cannot see words curling like rings of smoke round me I am in darkness - I am nothing.

Roland Barthes

Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.

Jack Gilbert

I dream of lost vocabularies that might express some of what we no longer can.

Patricia A. McKillip

Words, he decided, were inadequate at best, impossible at worst. They meant too many things. Or they meant nothing at all.

Mark Slouka

Gone. The saddest word in the language. In any language.

Lauren Oliver

She liked the word ineffable because it meant a feeling so big or vast that it could not be expressed in words.

And yet, because it could not be expressed in words, people had invented a word to express it, and that made Liesl feel hopeful, somehow.

Wilkie Collins

Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service.

Daphne Rose Kingma

Language does have the power to change reality. Therefore, treat your words as the mighty instruments they are - to heal, to bring into being, to remove, as if by magic, the terrible violations of childhood, to nurture, to cherish, to bless, to forgive - to create from the whole cloth of your soul, true love.

Sarah Dessen

That was the hard thing about grief, and the grieving. They spoke another language, and the words we knew always fell short of what we wanted them to say.

Marguerite Duras

The words emerge from her body without her realizing it, as if she were being visited by the memory of a language long forsaken.

David Sedaris

I find it ridiculous to assign a gender to an inanimate object incapable of disrobing and making an occasional fool of itself.

John Of The Cross

They can be like the sun, words.
They can do for the heart what light can for a field.

Jeffrey Eugenides

Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words.
I don't believe in "sadness", "joy", or "regret".
Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that is oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions.

Philip Roth

My God! The English language is a form of communication! Conversation isn't just crossfire where you shoot and get shot at! Where you've got to duck for your life and aim to kill! Words aren't only bombs and bullets - no, they're little gifts, containing meanings!

Seamus Heaney

Sink every impulse like a bolt. Secure
The bastion of sensation. Do not waver
Into language. Do not waver in it.

James D. Nichols

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.

Ari Marmell

A true lady should have the wit and the imagination, or at least the very restraint, to express herself without resorting herself to such base vocabulary.


Writing cannot express all words, words cannot encompass all ideas.

Tony Burgess

The thing he said aloud did not succeed.

Derek Landy

Talking about one's feelings defeats the purpose of having those feelings. Once you try to put the human experience into words, it becomes little more than a spectator sport. Everything must have a cause, and a name. Every random thought must have a root in something else.

Samuel Johnson

Don't, Sir, accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.

Dan Simmons

The words sounded like a mournful incantation.

Teresa Jordan

I once ran across a list of nearly 400 winds from around the world and wondered why Wyoming, so dominated by wind, has so few names for its variations. . . . There's the wind, the damned wind, and the goddamned wind.

Share Page