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Language Quotes

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Language


A gentleman need not to know Latin, but he should at least have forgotten it.
Brander Mathews

A mind enclosed in language is in prison.
Simone Weil

An enormous part of our mature experience cannot not be expressed in words.
Alfred North Whitehead

As soon as we start putting our thoughts into words and sentences everything gets distorted, language is just no damn good—I use it because I have to, but I don’t put any trust in it. We never understand each other.
Marcel Duchamp

But behavior in the human being is sometimes a defense, a way of concealing motives and thoughts, as language can be a way of hiding your thoughts and preventing communication.
Abraham Maslow

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.
George Carlin

Every language is a vast pattern-system, different from others, in which are culturally ordained the forms and categories by which the personality not only communicates, but also analyzes nature, notices or neglects types of relationship and phenomena, channels his reasoning, and builds the house of his consciousness.
Benjamin Lee Whorf

I think perhaps the most important problem is that we are trying to understand the fundamental workings of the universe via a language devised for telling one another when the best fruit is.
Terry Pratchett

If the Romans had been obliged to learn Latin, they would never have found time to conquer the world.
Heinrich Heine

Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.
Benjamin Lee Whorf

Speak English! I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and I don't believe you do either!
Lewis Carroll /Alice in Wonderland/

The 3-legged stool of understanding is held up by history, languages, and mathematics. Equipped with those three you can learn anything you want to learn. But if you lack any one of them you are just another ignorant peasant with dung on your boots.
Robert Heinlein /Expanded Universe/

The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

The Romans would never have found time to conquer the world if they had been obliged first to learn Latin.
Heinrich Heine

The world is the closed door. It is a barrier. And at the same time it is the way through. ...Every separation is a link.
Simone Weil /Gravity and Grace/

We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way - an agreement that holds through our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language.
Benjamin Lee Whorf

Words can so often mean what you take from them rather than what was intended.
Daniel Abraham /The Widow's House/
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