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Language And Meaning Quotes


"My interest is in how meaning is communicated via language, and I believe the shape, positioning, even the color of the language has an effect on meaning." - Mark Z Danielewski

"If language is not rectified, words do not correspond to meaning, and if words do not correspond to meaning, our deeds cannot be accomplished." - Confucius

"There's almost no content in terms of language at all. I don't like using language to convey meaning. I'd rather use images and music." - Philip Glass

"Language imparts identity, meaning, and perspective to our human condition. Writers are either polluters or part of the cleanup." - Mary Pipher

"In the coming decades, questions of identity, meaning cultural heritage, language, and religion will play a central role in politics." - Samuel P Huntington

"This is every writer's nightmare-the sudden breakdown of meaning in the language that sustains and supports us..." - Dan Simmons

"When speech is divorced from speaker and word from meaning, what is left is just ritual, language as ritual." - Ellen Goodman

"All words at every level of prose and poetry and all devices of language and speech derive their meaning from figure / ground relation." - Marshall Mcluhan

"Language in fiction is made up of equal parts meaning and music. The sentences should have rhythm and cadence, they should engage and delight the inner ear." - Michael Cunningham

"Bride knoweth bride at the glance of an eye. And between them swiftly passes comfort and meaning in a language that man and widows wot not of." - O Henry

"All the facts of nature are nouns of the intellect, and make the grammar of the eternal language. Every word has a double, trebleor centuple use and meaning." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Language is capable of becoming the objective repository of vast accumulations of meaning and experience, which it can then preserve in time and transmit to following generations." - Peter L Berger

"We cannot evolve faster than our language. The edge of being is the edge of meaning, and somehow we have to push the edge of meaning. We have to extend it." - Terence Mckenna

"Music gives us a language that cuts across the disciplines, helps us to see connections and brings a more coherent meaning to our world." - Ernest L. Boyer

"Poststructuralism. . . . is a form of literary criticism that uses elaborate wordplay to prove its central premise, that all language is internally contradictory and has no fixed meaning." - Naomi Wolf

"I find labels "liberal" and "conservative" of little meaning. Our language has become perverted along with the thoughts of many of us." - Studs Terkel

"And of course the word love has many shades of meaning, as do many, many of the words in our living, breathing language" - Mary Balogh

"You can't show me a sentence, word, or phoneme that is meaningless; by its nature, language is packed with meaning and emotion." - Kenneth Goldsmith

"Abstraction is itself an abstract word and has no single meaning ... Every word in our language is abstract, because it represents something else." - Eric Maisel

"Geometry in every proposition speaks a language which experience never dares to utter; and indeed of which she but halfway comprehends the meaning." - William Whewell

"Semantics, or the study of meaning, remained undeveloped, while phonetics made rapid progress and even came to occupy the central place in the scientific study of language." - Roman Jakobson

"The human need for language is not simply for the transmission of meaning, it is at the same time listening to and affirming a person's existence." - Gao Xingjian

"Grammar is what gives sense to language .... sentences make words yield up their meaning. Sentences actively create sense in language. And the business of the study of sentences is grammar." - David Crystal

"As Bromberger observed, rules are understood to be elements of the computational systems that determine the sound and meaning of the infinite array of expressions of a language; the information so derived is accessed by other systems in language use." - Noam Chomsky

"The advantage of the gypsy language, even though I don't understand it that much, the language is perfect melody. So if you propose the movie the way I do, then the language is just one part of the melody. Orchestrating all inside, and the language is following the meaning of what they say, and it's never the same as written." - Emir Kusturica

"The semanticists are exactly wrong in regarding language as an obstruction or series of pitfalls. Language, on the contrary, appears as a great storehouse of universal memory, or it may be said to serve as a net, not imprisoning us but supporting us and aiding us to get at a meaning beyond present meaning through the very fact that it embodies others' experiences." - Richard M. Weaver

"Contemporary poetry ... tries to transform the sign back into meaning: its ideal, ultimately, would be to reach not the meaning of words, but the meaning of things themselves. This is why it clouds the language, increases as much as it can the abstractness of the concept and the arbitrariness of the sign and stretches to the limit the link between signifier and signified." - Roland Barthes

"I started my professional life as a philosopher of language and for several years took the orthodox line that meaning is an essentially linguistic phenomenon. Whether as a result of simply listening to everyday talk about meaning, or reading books of anthropology, sociology and art history, it dawned on me that there is nothing at all privileged or central about linguistic meaning." - David E. Cooper

"Dare I speak ,to oppressed and opressor in the same voice? Dare I speak to you in a language that will move beyond the boundaries of domination- a language, that will not bind you, fence you in, or hold you? Language is also a place of struggle. The oppressed struggle in language to recover ourselves, to reconcile, to reunite, to renew. Our words are not without meaning, they are an action, a resistance. Language is also a place of struggle." - Bell Hooks

"There is language going on out there- the language of the wild. Roars, snorts, trumpets, squeals, whoops, and chirps all have meaning derived over eons of expression... We have yet to become fluent in the language -and music- of the wild." - Boyd Norton

"We live in a world filled with language. Language imparts identity, meaning, and perspective to our human community. Writers are either polluters or part of the clean-up team. Just as the language of power and greed has the potential to destroy us, the language of reason and empathy has the power to save us. Writers can inspire a kinder, fairer, more beautiful world, or invite selfishness, stereotyping, and violence. Writers can unite people or divide them." - Mary Pipher

"If language did not affect behavior, it could have no meaning." - Kenneth Lee Pike

"Poetry is language surprised in the act of changing into meaning." - Stanley Kunitz

"If language did not affect behavior, it could have no meaning." - Kenneth L Pike

"Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree." - Ezra Pound

"For me people are people, without meaning to sound corny, it's a plain natural fact, music is a universal language and I've always known that and observed that and treated music with great respect accordingly." - John Lydon

"One of the reasons I love language is that concerning semiotics, language is an arbitrary sign system, which means the signs within it are free-floating, but we put them in a certain order to get them to have meaning for us. If we left them alone, they'd be like water, like the ocean. It would be just this vast field of free-floating matter or signs, so in this way, I think language and water have much in common. It's only us bringing grammar and syntax and diction and the human need for meaning that orders language, hierarchizes it." - Lidia Yuknavitch

"If language is to be of any use to us, then we ought to try and preserve the meaning of words, and 'god' historically has not meant the laws of nature." - Steven Weinberg

"Life and language are alike sacred. Homicide and verbicide -that is, violent treatment of a word with fatal results to its legitimate meaning, which is its life -are alike forbidden." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"You don't have the slightest idea of what it means to write a scene and a character in the English language, with images and words chock full of received meaning." - Jonathan Lethem

"You do' have the slightest idea of what it means to write a scene and a character in the English language, with images and words chock full of received meaning." - Jonathan Lethem

"It's the true meaning of music being a universal language, constantly fighting and going through different boundaries in order for new people to hear the music and be like, "Oh, sh*t! I mess with this Pitbull kid."" - Pitbull

"Nature has her language, and she is not unveracious; but we don't know all the intricacies of her syntax just yet, and in a hasty reading we may happen to extract the very opposite of her real meaning." - George Eliot

"Music and language are a vital element. We, as actors and directors, offer it to people who want to experience it. Sometimes the actual meaning is less important than the words themselves." - Kenneth Branagh

"One way to think about what psychedelics are is as catalysts for language development. They literally force the evolution of language. You cannot evolve faster than your language because the language defines the culture of meaning. So if there's a way to accelerate the evolution of language then this is real consciousness expansion and it's a permanent thing. The great legacies of the 60's are in attitudes and language. It boils down to doing your own thing, feeling the vibe, ego-trip, blowing your mind..." - Terence Mckenna

"Jazz is rhythm and meaning." - Henri Matisse

"Where true Love burns Desire is Love's pure flame; It is the reflex of our earthly frame, That takes its meaning from the nobler part, And but translates the language of the heart." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"The language of images [of inner-oriented artists] does not follow a code structure that is evident and widely accepted, but is more likely to be a complex of symbols that have a profound meaning for the artists themselves." - Kenneth Coutts-Smith

"Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language - it's from the Latin word cor, meaning heart - and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart." - Brene Brown

"A babble of words that no one understands now fills the airwaves, and language loses all meaning as we sink slowly, mindlessly, into herstory rather than history because most rapists are men, aren't they?" - Gore Vidal

"He never labored so hard to learn a language as he did to hold his tongue, and it affected him for life. The habit of reticence - of talking without meaning - is never effaced." - Henry Adams

"If by fate anyone means the will or power of God, let him keep his meaning but mend his language; for fate commonly means a necessary process which will have its way apart from the will of God and men." - Saint Augustine

"Grammar and logic free language from being at the mercy of the tone of voice. Grammar protects us against misunderstanding the sound of an uttered name; logic protects us against what we say have double meaning." - Rosenstock Huessy

"Grammar and logic free language from being at the mercy of the tone of voice. Grammar protects us against misunderstanding the sound of an uttered name; logic protects us against what we say have double meaning." - Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

"God created music as a common language for all men. It inspires the poets, the composers and the architects. It lures us to search our souls for the meaning of the mysteries described in ancient books." - Khalil Gibran

"As the language or vocabulary of photography has been extended, the emphasis of meaning has shifted, shifted from what the world looks like to what we feel about the world and what we want the world to mean." - Aaron Siskind

"in prosperity prayers seem but a mere medley of words, until misfortune comes and the unhappy sufferer first understands the meaning of the sublime language in which he invokes the pity of heaven!" - Alexandre Dumas

"Meaning is made in conversation, reality is created in communication, and knowledge is generated through social interaction.... Language is the vehicle through which we create our understanding of the world." - Diana Whitney

"Poets in our civilization, as it exists at present, must be difficult...The poet must become more and more comprehensive, more allusive, more indirect, in order to force, to dislocate if necessary, language into its meaning." - T S Eliot

"Poets in our civilization, as it exists at present, must be difficult.... The poet must become more and more comprehensive, more allusive, more indirect, in order to force, to dislocate if necessary, language into its meaning." - T S Eliot

"He never labored so hard to learn a language as he did to hold his tongue and it affected him for life. The habit of reticence - of talking without meaning - is never effaced." - Henry Adams

"My training in music and composition then led me to a kind of musical language process in which, for example, the sound of the words I play with has to expose their true meaning against their will so to speak." - Elfriede Jelinek

"Over the years, I've trained myself to speak using the same language I would use if I were typing: meaning using full sentences in the way that paragraphs and scenes are arranged." - Kevin J Anderson

"When language was not transcendental enough to complete the meaning of a revelation, symbols were relied upon for heavenly teaching, and familiar images, chosen from the known, were made to mirror the unknown spiritual truth." - William H Hunt

"Words have meaning. And their meaning doesn't change" - Antonin Scalia

"To demarcate [words in way that changes the meaning] is simply to speak a different language than everyone else. And I do not accept semantic games like that. [...] We need to use words as they are actually used and understood. We can correct errors and inconsistencies and make distinctions. But we can't try to foist an alien language on people." - Richard Carrier

"Language can't describe reality. Literature has no stable reference, no real meaning. Each reader's interpretation is equally valid, more important than the author's intention. In fact, nothing in life has meaning. Reality is subjective. Values and truths are subjective. Life itself is a kind of illusion. Blah, blah, blah, let's have another scotch." - Dean Koontz

"Language can still be an adventure if we remember that words can make a kind of melody. In novels, news stories, memoirs and even to-the-point memos, music is as important as meaning. In fact, music can drive home the meaning of words." - Constance Hale

"No one really understood music unless he was a scientist, her father had declared, and not just a scientist, either, oh, no, only the real ones, the theoreticians, whose language was mathematics. She had not understood mathematics until he had explained to her that it was the symbolic language of relationships. "And relationships," he had told her, "contained the essential meaning of life."" - Pearl S Buck

"She is convinced that when language dies, out of carelessness, disuse, indifference and absence of esteem, or killed by fiat, not only she herself, but all users and makers are accountable for its demise. In her country children have bitten their tongues off and use bullets instead to iterate the voice of speechlessness, of disabled and disabling language, of language adults have abandoned altogether as a device for grappling with meaning, providing guidance, or expressing love." - Toni Morrison

"For language to have meaning, there must be intervals of silence somewhere, to divide word from word and utterance from utterance. He who retires into silence does not necessarily hate language. Perhaps it is love and respect for language which imposes silence upon him. For the mercy of God is not heard in words unless it is heard, both before and after the words are spoken, in silence," - Thomas Merton

"The continually progressive change to which the meaning of words is subject, the want of a universal language which renders translation necessary, the errors to which translations are again subject, the mistakes of copyists and printers, together with the possibility of willful alteration, are themselves evidences that human language, whether in speech or print, cannot be the vehicle of the Word of God." - Thomas Paine

"The full meaning of a language is never translatable into another. We may speak several languages but one of them always remains the one in which we live. In order completely to assimilate a language it would be necessary to make the world which it expresses one's own and one never does belong to two worlds at once." - Maurice Merleau-Ponty

"While self-interest arising from the enjoyment of meat eating is obviously one reason for its entrenchment, and inertia another, a process of language usage engulfs discussions about meat by constructing the discourse in such a way that these issues need never be addressed. Language distances us from the reality of meat eating, thus reinforcing the symbolic meaning of meat eating, a symbolic meaning that is intrinsically patriarchal and male-oriented. Meat becomes a symbol for what is not seen but is always there-patriarchal control of animals and of language." - Carol J. Adams

"Rather than thinking of sound and sense in my essays as two opposing principles, two perpendicular trajectories, as they are often considered in conversations around translation, or even as two disassociated phenomena that can be brought together to collaborate with more or less success, I think of sound as sense. Sound has its own meaning, and it's one of the many non-semantic dimensions of meaning in language. I want to emphasize is the formal dynamic between language-as-information and language-as-art-material." - Cole Swensen

"The power of nature exists in its silence. Human words cannot encode the meaning because human language has access only to the shadow of meaning." - Malidoma Patrice Some

"I'm chasing a kind of language that can be unburdened by people's expectations. I think music is the primary model-how close can you get this language to be like music and communicate feeling at the base level in the same way a composition with no words communicates meaning? It might be impossible. Language is always burdened by thought. I'm just trying to get it so it can be like feeling." - Terrance Hayes

"Language is memory and metaphor." - Storm Jameson

"The meaning of quality in photography's best pictures lies written in the language of vision. That language is learned by chance, not system." - Walker Evans

"I love language, and I love the failure of language." - Nate Lowman

"It is not often that we use language correctly; usually we use it incorrectly, though we understand each others meaning." - Saint Augustine

"The nature of language may determine what most people say, but I always speak my own meaning." - Mason Cooley

"In the Trump language, words change their meaning day by day depending on his own political needs." - E. J. Dionne

"I'm working on artificial intelligence. Actually, natural language understanding, which is to get computers to understand the meaning of documents." - Ray Kurzweil

"Some feminist critics debate whether we take our meaning and sense of self from language and in that process become phallocentric ourselves, or if there is a use of language that is, or can be, feminine. Some, like myself, think that language is itself neither male nor female; it is creatively expansive enough to be of use to those who have the wit and art to wrest from it their own significance. Even the dread patriarchs have not found a way to 'own' language any more than they have found a way to 'own' earth (though many seem to believe that both are possible)." - Paula Gunn Allen

"A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language." - Gaston Bachelard

"There is something myopic and stunted in focussing only on the meaning of words and sentences. And this myopia is especially unfortunate when combined with a rather abstract view of a language as a set of elements and rules for combining these. For the result is to divorce enquiry into meaning from attention to the way words - and gestures, facial expressions, rituals and so on - are embedded in practices, in what Wittgenstein called 'the stream of life'." - David E. Cooper

"Love gives life purpose and meaning." - Joyce Meyer

"Words have meaning and names have power." - Anonymous

"Meaning is socially, historically, and rhetorically constructed." - Clifford Geertz

"The absurdist is concerned with the search for meaning in the Universe. He believes this search to be meaningless-hence the disintegration of plot, character, and language in absurdist drama. Order is a falsehood that we, God, those who came before us, have imposed on a random universe. However, the absurdist is confronted with a curious paradox: though he believes the Universe to be meaningless, he cannot abandon the search for meaning-or he will die." - Walter Wykes

"Gene Wolfe is the greatest writer in the English language alive today. Let me repeat that: Gene Wolfe is the greatest writer in the English language alive today! I mean it. Shakespeare was a better stylist, Melville was more important to American letters, and Charles Dickens had a defter hand at creating characters. But among living writers, there is nobody who can even approach Gene Wolfe for brilliance of prose, clarity of thought, and depth in meaning" - Michael Swanwick

"A word about 'plain English.' The phrase certainly shouldn't connote drab and dreary language. Actually, plain English is typically quite interesting to read. It's robust and direct-the opposite of gaudy, pretentious language. You achieve plain English when you use the simplest, most straightforward way of expressing an idea. You can still choose interesting words. But you'll avoid fancy ones that have everyday replacements meaning precisely the same thing." - Bryan A. Garner

"We are all meaning-seeking, meaning creating creatures and when we experience the loss of meaning, we suffer." - James Hollis

"Eragon cried out, and in his desperation he reached for Saphira and the Eldunari... and without meaning to, he drew from their stories of energy. And with that energy he cast a spell. It was a spell without words... His was a spell of instinct and emotion; language could not contain it." - Christopher Paolini

"Traditional society was more like a set of concentric circles of meaningful structures, while modern man must learn how to find meaning in many structures to which he is only marginally related. In the village, language and architecture and religion and work and family customs were consistent with one another, mutually explanatory and reinforcing. To grow into one implied a growth into others." - Ivan Illich

"I pray for meaning. I pray for the limits of reality to become clear. For a world - and a type of being - that makes sense. I pray for a life after death that is not like this life. I pray for the end of mystery. What would a life be like with all the mysteries solved? If there were no questions, there'd be no stories. If there were no stories, there'd be no language. If there was no language there'd be no . . . What?" - Scarlett Thomas

"Many young people today do not concern themselves with style. They think that what one says should be said simply and that is all. For me, style - which does not exclude simplicity, quite the opposite - is above all a way of saying three or four things in one. There is the simple sentence, with its immediate meaning, and then at the same time, below this immediate meaning, other meanings are organized. If one is not capable of giving language this plurality of meaning, then it is not worth the trouble to write." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"The musician of disordered sound, the poet of decomposed language, the painter and sculptor of the fragmented visual and tactile world: they all portray the break up of the self and, through the rearrangement and reassemble of the fragments, try to create new structures that possess wholeness, perfection, new meaning." - Heinz Kohut

"When language in common use in any country becomes irregular and depraved, it is followed by their ruin and degradation. For what do terms used without skill or meaning, which are at once corrupt and misapplied, denote but a people listless, supine, and ripe for servitude?" - John Milton

"The moment we shake our addiction to narrative and give up our strong-headed intent that language must say something "meaningful," we open ourselves up to different types of linguistic experience, which could include sorting and structuring words in unconventional ways: by constraint, by sound, by the way words look, and so forth, rather than always feeling the need to coerce them toward meaning." - Kenneth Goldsmith

"Thomas Teal, a luminous translator of Jansson's twin talent for surface and depth, simplicity and reverberation in language, and someone who knows exactly how to convey her gift for sensing the meaning embedded in the most mundane act or turn of phrase." - Ali Smith

"You'll never make your mark as a writer unless you develop a respect for words and a curiosity about their shades of meaning that is almost obsessive. The English language is rich in strong and supple words. Take the time to root around and find the ones you want" - William Zinsser

"One piece of advice can be universally handed out, and it applies equally to speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. If in the course of any of these language activities, you run across words whose meaning or use baffles you, don't by-pass them. Look them up in the dictionary and familiarize yourself with them." - Mario Pei

"The thing itself is never just out there in the world waiting to be framed by the photographer's Leica; rather, it is something dynamically produced in the act of representation and reception and already subject to the grids of meaning imposed on it by culture, history, language, and so forth." - Abigail Solomon-Godeau

"Manufactured meaning has already been implanted in the unconscious through language and subliminal messages. This is why it is not wise to trust or believe our thoughts/words or the meanings. We intuitively know what is true and false and all that is needed to be known in each moment." - Terry Cole-Whittaker

"The novel's not the best form for disposing ideas, though that's one thing it can do. It likely is the best form, though, for conveying the experience of us each being alone, trapped in our skulls with only these bodies and this imperfect instrument of language to convey our state and to find meaning and connection." - Michael Helm

"You become a serious programmer by going through a stage where you are fully aware of the degree to which you know the specification, meaning both the explicit and the tacit specification of your language and of your problem. "Hey, it works most of the time" is the very antithesis of a serious programmer, and certain languages can only support code like that." - Erik Naggum

"Command of English, spoken or written, ranks at the top in business. Our main product is words, so a knowledge of their meaning and spelling and pronunciation is imperative. If a man knows the language well, he can find out about all else." - William Feather

"While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord's language, the word 'mother' has layers of meaning...Mothe rhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us." - Sheri L Dew

"Oppressed groups are frequently placed in the situation of being listened to only if we frame our ideas in the language that is familiar to and comfortable for a dominant group. This requirement often changes the meaning of our ideas and works to elevate the ideas of dominant groups." - Patricia Hill Collins

"While he has not, in my hearing, spoken the English language, he makes it perfectly plain that he understands it. And he uses his ears, tail, eyebrows, various rumbles and grunts, the slant of his great cold nose or a succession of heartrending sighs to get his meaning across." - Jean Little

"While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord's language, the word 'mother' has layers of meaning...Mothe rhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us." - Sheri L Dew

"The fact that slang is apt and forceful makes its use irresistibly tempting. Coarse or profane slang is beside the mark, but "flivver," "taxi," the "movies," "deadly" (meaning dull), "feeling fit," "feeling blue," "grafter," a "fake," "grouch," "hunch" and "right o!" are typical of words that it would make our spoken language stilted to exclude." - Emily Post

"Understanding Meronian - my own language - is a psychic process which succeeds when we break through the boundaries of comprehension and reach for what's beyond our limited perception. Its ambiguousness is related to the ambiguousness of music, and it doesn't guide us too much towards semantic domains. It contains all the necessary meaning required in our rock music." - Jussi Lehtisalo

"In poetry, in which every line, every phrase, may pass the ordeal of deliberation and deliberate choice, it is possible, and barely possible, to attain that ultimatum which I have ventured to propose as the infallible test of a blameless style; namely: its untranslatableness in words of the same language without injury to the meaning." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Probably only an art-worlder like me could assign deeper meaning to something as simple and silly as Tebowing. But, to us, anytime people repeat a stance or a little dance, alone or together, we see that it can mean something. Imagistic and unspoken language is our thing." - Jerry Saltz

"In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec world, one key word for poet was 'tlamatine,' meaning 'the one who knows,' or 'he who knows something.' Poets were considered 'sages of the word,' who meditated on human enigmas and explored the beyond, the realm of the gods." - Edward Hirsch

"Poetry connects us to what is deepest in ourselves. It gives us access to our own feelings, which are often shadowy, and engages us in the art of making meaning. It widens the space of our inner lives. It is a magical, mysterious, inexplicable (though not incomprehensible) event in language." - Edward Hirsch

"By a symbol I do not mean an allegory or a sign, but an image that describes in the best possible way the dimly discerned nature of the spirit. A symbol does not define or explain; it points beyond itself to a meaning that is darkly divined yet still beyond our grasp, and cannot be adequately expressed in the familiar words of our language." - Carl Jung

"Turn strategy into simple language so every staff member knows it. People must understand why you are doing, what you are doing and where you are going. Big almost impossible, highly meaningful goal + respectful & supportive team is the winning combination of fear & love. Meaning is the biggest sources of energy that gets you up in the morning." - Michael Rennie

"Difference of thoughts will produce difference of language. He that thinks with more extent than another, will want words of a larger meaning; he that thinks with more subtilty will seek for terms of more nice discrimination; and where is the wonder, since words are but the images of things, that he who never knew the original should not know the copies?" - Samuel Johnson

"The question for the ultimate foundations and the ultimate meaning of mathematics remains open; we do not know in which direction it will find its final solution nor even whether a final objective answer can be expected at all. "Mathematizing" may well be a creative activity of man, like language or music, of primary originality, whose historical decisions defy complete objective rationalization." - Hermann Weyl

"This is the power of images, the ambiguity. You are never completely sure of anything. With written language, it's more concrete. You have to establish some facts, but in movies, you see things happening, and the exact meaning behind the images is more ambiguous." - Albert Serra

"We still refer to sunrise, sunset. That only has meaning if you think that Earth is in the center of things, and everything is moving around us. So even though we know intellectually Earth goes around the sun, the language is still pre-Copernican, as we would call it." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

"Poetry is the art of using words charged with their utmost meaning. A society whose intellectual leaders lose the skill to shape, appreciate, and understand the power of language will become the slaves of those who retain it - be they politicians, preachers, copywriters, or newscasters." - Dana Gioia

"Never before had I known the sudden quiver of understanding that travels from word to brain to heart, the way a new language can move, coil, swim into life under the eyes, the almost savage leap of comprehension, the instantaneous, joyful release of meaning, the way the words shed their printed bodies in a flash of heat and light." - Elizabeth Kostova

"What I responded to, on the page, was the way a poem could liberate, by means of a word's setting, through subtleties of timing, of pacing, that word's full and surprising range of meaning. It seemed to me that simple language best suited this enterprise." - Louise Gluck

"Conservatives who believe that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the plain meaning of its language and the original intent of the Framers have long been troubled by the court's decisions expanding the commerce clause to authorize Congress to regulate the most local of matters within a state's borders." - David Limbaugh

"If the rules of a language are followed, words usually make sense. But these very rules can stir the impulse to rebel. We're obliged to keep trying to convey meaning through correct sentences. After a while, the good-soldier rigidity of polished prose can begin to seem dull, and it gets harder to resist the temptation of nonsense." - Joanna Scott

"Language operates between literal and metaphorical signification" - Robert Smithson

"Language transcends us and yet we speak." - Maurice Merleau-Ponty

"Language operates between literal and metaphorical signification." - Robert Smithson

"Politics: Poli a Latin word meaning many and tics meaning bloodsucking creatures." - Robin Williams

"Definition of Politics: Poli in latin meaning many and tics meaning blood-sucking parasites." - Anonymous

"The primary and literal meaning of the Bible, then, is its centripetal or poetic meaning." - Northrop Frye

"Meaning is man-created. And because you constantly look for meaning, you start to feel meaninglessness." - Rajneesh

"For a large class of cases - though not for all - in which we employ the word meaning it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

"For a large class of cases - though not for all - in which we employ the word 'meaning' it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

"People have the idea that an image must stand for something else, that the real meaning needs to be described with language. Instead it is the image itself that is the meaning." - Mark Ryden

"What I think is going on is that probably language was entertainment long before it was meaning. It's a kind of tuneless singing." - Terence Mckenna

"The bare fact that language consists of sounds which are mutually intelligible is enough of itself to show that its meaning depends upon connection with a shared experience." - John Dewey

"Ordinary language carries with it conditions of meaning which it is easy to recognize by classifying the contexts in which the expression is employed in a meaningful manner." - Paul Ricoeur

"The English language has 112 words for deception, according to one count, each with a different shade of meaning: collusion, fakery, malingering, self-deception, confabulation, prevarication, exaggeration, denial." - Robin Marantz Henig

"We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives." - Toni Morrison

"The world of public discourse - political, social, diplomatic, commercial - has so corrupted language that we are rightly more suspicious of the meaning of words than we are convinced of their veracity. Language has been turned on its head." - Deena Metzger

"My first language, the true language of the soul spoken only on our planet of origin, had no word for betrayal or traitor. Or even loyalty- because without the opposite, the concept had no meaning." - Stephenie Meyer

"Photography is and is not a language; language also is and is not a photography." - William J. Mitchell

"I am attracted to looking at the different things language can mean even in one sometimes quite ordinary utterance. Writing is partly about listening closely to yourself as you think or compose and being aware of the different tensions and weights among the words, the different directions any one of them could lead. I like to play with the multiplicity and instability of meaning partly out of a sense of adventure, to see where that takes me and partly in a whistling past the graveyard kind of way because, of course, sensing stable meaning fall away can be scary." - Rae Armantrout

"Donald Trump creates word salads. And that is awful to language, because we try to parse out what he's saying and try to find meaning in it. Journalists don't have a choice about reporting what the president says. I find the idea - "Let's not write about his tweets" - to be absolutely ridiculous. I mean, he's the president! Of course, we have to write about his tweets and look at what they mean. The problem is, they're hollow. But we don't have the option of ignoring what he's saying because he's president. That's damaging to language, and to journalism." - Masha Gessen



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