Quotations about Words

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

— George Carlin

The world I'm interested in is the one where things are not named.

— Martha Graham

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

— Elvis Costello

The true meaning of a term is to be found by observing what a man does with it, not by what he says about it.

— P.W. Bridgeman

It is never wholly possible for me to mean what I say or say what I mean, because the fact of my using signs, words, always leaves my meaning dispersed, divided, and never quite at one with itself.

— Terry Eagleton

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Those things for which we find words, are things we have already overcome.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Conversation is the slowest form of human communication.

— Anonymous

How often misused words generate misleading thoughts.

— Herbert Spencer

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind.

— Anonymous

We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native language. Language is not simply a reporting device for experience but a defining framework for it.

— Benjamin Whorf

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.

— E. B. White's 17th Rule in “The Elements of Style”

No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader's intelligence, or whose attitude is patronizing.

— E. B. White, "The Elements of Style"

No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.

— Henry B. Adams

Words divide us, actions unite us.

— slogan of the Tupamaros

Words, like glasses, obscure everything which they do not make clear.

— Joseph Joubert

The voice has meaning independently of what it says.

— Roland Bathes

Words mean exactly what I want them to mean.

— Lewis Carroll

I cannot love a friend whose love is words.

— Sophocles