Language

Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born - the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people's experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things.

Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born - the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people's experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things.

Symbols are deeper than words; speak when words become silent; gain where words lose in meaning; and so in hours of holiest worship the Church teaches, by symbols, truth language may not utter.

Our very psychology has been shaken to its foundation. To grasp the meaning of the world today we use a language created to express the world of yesterday. The life of the past seems to us nearer our true nature, but only for the reason that it is nearer our language.

The only living language is the language in which we think and have our being.

Wars are not fought for territory, but for words. Man's deadliest weapon is language. He is susceptible to being hypnotized by slogans as he is to infectious diseases. And where there is an epidemic, the group-mind takes over.

True creativity often starts where language ends.

Clarity in language depends on clarity in thought.

There is an ecclesiastical cliché used in connection with candidates for the ministry. The candidates do not speak of seeking a job but of receiving a “call,” which in their language is from God. It is a euphemistic pleasantry which deceives no one. Nevertheless the conventional phraseology of being “called” is sometimes a psychological reality and represents an inner transformation and the prelude to a life of dedication. It is a pity that the same spirit is not more evident in the field of medicine. The phenomenon of inner urgency which draws us in one direction against rival interests stems from something deeper than a line of reasoning. Rather it is due to the type of person we are. This prompts us to inquire whether there is any purpose or pattern behind our having been born at all.

It is easier to understand a nation by listening to its music than by learning its language.

Kindness is a language which the blind can see and the deaf can hear.

Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement.

Time doesn't exist; what we refer to as "past" and "future" have no reality except in our own mental constructs. The idea of time is a convention of thought and language, a social agreement; in truth, we only have this moment.

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

Language was invented to ask questions. Answers may be given by grunts and gestures, but questions must be spoken. Humanness came of age when man asked the first question. Social stagnation results not from the lack of answers but from the absence of the impulse to ask questions.

The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.

Would you like to learn science? Begin by learning your own language.

He that travels into a country before he has some entrance into the language, goeth to school and not to travel.

Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.