grammar

I have no patience with the stupidity of the average teacher of grammar who wastes precious years in hammering rules into children's heads. For it is not by learning rules that we acquire the powers of speaking a language, but by daily intercourse with those accustomed to express themselves with exactness ands refinement and by copious reading of the best authors.

When money talks, nobody notices what grammar it uses.

Invention in language should no more be discouraged than should invention in mechanics. Grammar is the grave of letters.

I have no patience with the stupidity of the average teacher of grammar who wastes precious years in hammering rules into children's heads. For it is not by learning rules that we acquire the powers of speaking a language, but by daily intercourse with those accustomed to express themselves with exactness and refinement and by copious reading of the best authors.

It takes more time and effort and delicacy to learn the silence of a people than to learn its sounds. Some people have a special gift for this. Perhaps this explains why some missionaries, notwithstanding their efforts, never come to speak properly, to communicate delicately through silences. Although they ''speak with the accent of natives'' they remain forever thousands of miles away. The learning of the grammar of silence is an art much more difficult to learn than the grammar of sounds.

Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duty of legislators and magistrates in all future periods of this commonwealth to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them, especially the university at Cambridge, public schools, and grammar schools in the towns; to encourage private societies and public institutions, rewards and immunities, for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and a natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and frugality, honesty and punctuality in their dealings, sincerity, good humor, and all social affections, and generous sentiments among the people.

Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language.

Muddled syntax is the outward and audible sign of confused minds, and the misuse of grammar the result of illogical thinking.

The progressive intellectualization of language, its progressive conversion by the work of grammar and logic into a scientific symbolism... represents not a progressive drying-up of emotion, but its progressive articulation and specialization... We are acquiring new emotions and new means of expressing them.

Grammar is the logic of speech, even as logic is the grammar of reason.

While in that patent is awarded to the art of love, he comes with a grammar for beginners in the pocket.

For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conversationalist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics. The real world is the playing ground for each and every group, to make or unmake laws. But the tip of the nose of my book or stories or poems is where their rights end and my territorial imperatives begin, run and rule. If Mormons do not like my plays, let them write their own. If the Irish hate my Dublin stories, let them rent typewriters. If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmilk teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture.

Languages are fluffy big pillows stuffed between nations - what others say is muffled and nearly lost in them, and when we speak their grammar we get feathers in our mouth. It's worth it. What pleasure to phrase an idea, even in child's words, slowly, and sail it across the gulf in another language to a different-speaking human being!

If you followed generative semantics to its logical conclusion, everything speakers know about the world would have to be included within the transformational component, which therefore would become infinite...
Not necessarily, said the generative semanticists. The linguistic grammar need only include those aspects of the extralinguistic world that have direct bearing on grammatical form: just a small subset of everything... But we still had to answer, at least to our own satisfaction, the question that these claims raised: What parts of our psychological and social reality did require linguistic encoding, in at least some languages?

The animals to whom nature has given the faculty we call cunning know always when to use it, and use it wisely; but when man descends to cunning he blunders and betrays.

It may be true, as Lincoln supposed, that 'You can't fool all the people all the time,' but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.

With writing, words once "uttered", outered, put down on the surface, can be eliminated, erased, changed. There is no equivalent for this in an oral performance. Corrections in oral performance tend to be counterproductive, to render the speaker unconvincing. So you keep them to a minimum or avoid them altogether. In writing, corrections can be tremendously productive, for how can the reader know they have ever been made?

All religions show the same disparity between belief and practice, and each is safe till it tries to exclude the rest. Test each sect by its best or its worst as you will, by its high-water mark of virtue or its low-water mark of vice. But falsehood begins when you measure the ebb of any other religion against the flood-tide of your own. There is a noble and a base side to every history.

You are what you think are.

On the right side-panel of the verbose and somewhat tautological box of Cheerios, it is written, If you are not satisfied with the quality and/or performance of the Cheerios in this box, send name, address, and reason for dissatisfaction—along with entire boxtop and price paid—to: General Mills, Inc., Box 200-A, Minneapolis, Minn., 55460. Your purchase price will be returned. It isn’t enough that there is a defensive tone to those words, a slant of doubt, an unappetizing broach of the subject of money, but they leave the reader puzzling over exactly what might be meant by the performance of the Cheerios.