Language

The individual's whole experience is built upon the plan of his language.

What distinguishes man from his innocent brothers, the animals... is not language, nor reason, nor even civilization... it is man's enormous appetite for suffering.

Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.

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.

The language of truth is simple.

I have suggested that listening requires something more than remaining mute while looking attentive, namely, it requires the ability to attend imaginatively the another's language. Actually, in listening we speak the others' words.

Live, if you wish, according to the manners of the past, but speak the language of the present.

The language of nature is the universal language.

Go to the place where the thing you wish to know is native; your best teacher is there. Where the thing you wish to know is so dominant that you must breathe its very atmosphere, there teaching is most thorough, and learning is most easy. You acquire a language most readily in the country where it is spoken; you study mineralogy best among miners; and so with everything else.

Although music appeals simply to the emotions, and represents no definite images in itself, we are justified in using any language which may serve to convey to others our musical expressions. Words will often pave the way for the more subtle operations of music, and unlock the treasures which sound alone an rifle, and hence the eternal popularity of song.

The instinctive and universal taste of mankind selects flowers for the expression of its finest sympathies, their beauty and their fleetingness serving to make them the most fitting symbols of those delicate sentiments for which language itself seems almost too gross a medium.

Never impose your language on people you wish to reach.

Language is a solemn thing: it grows out of life - out of its agonies and ecstasies, its wants and its weariness. Every language is a temple in which the soul of those who speak it is enshrined.

Language is by its very nature a communal thing, that is , it expresses never the exact thing but a compromise - that which is common to you, me, and everybody.

Divisive forces are more powerful than those which make for union. Vested interests in language, philosophies of life, table manners, sexual habits, political, ecclesiastical and economic organizations are sufficiently powerful to block all attempts, by rational methods, to unite mankind for its own good. And there is nationalism. With the 57 varieties of tribal gods, nationalism is the religion of the 20th century. We may be Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians or Atheists; but the fact remains that there is only one faith for which large masses of us are prepared to die and kill, and that faith is nationalism.

Redundancy of language is never found with deep reflection. Verbiage may indicate observation, but not thinking. He who thinks much, says but little in proportion to his thoughts. He selects that language which will convey his ideas in the most explicit and direct manner. He tries to compress as much thought as possible into a few words. On the contrary, the man who talks everlastingly and promiscuously, who seems to have an exhaustless magazine of sound, crowds so many words into his thoughts that he always obscures, and very frequently conceals them.

Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.

Language is the dress of thought.

Poetry cannot be translated; and, therefore, it is the poets that preserve languages; for we would not be at the trouble to learn a language if we could have all that is written in it just as well in a translation. But as the beauties of poetry cannot be preserved in any language except that in which it was originally written, we learn the language.

Music moves us, and we know not why; we feel the tears but cannot trace their source. Is the language of some other state, born of its memory? For what can wake the soul's strong instinct of another world like music?