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quotations about words



No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
~ ~ ~Henry Brooks Adams "The Education of Henry Adams"

Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery of party, faction, and division of society.
~ ~ ~John Adams

A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of.
~ ~ ~Burt Bacharach

A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.
~ ~ ~Gaston Bachelard

Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality.
~ ~ ~Joseph Conrad

You can taste a word.
~ ~ ~Pearl Bailey

Your words are my food, your breath my wine. You are everything to me.
~ ~ ~Sarah Bernhardt

For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.
~ ~ ~Catherine Drinker Bowen

A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword.
~ ~ ~Robert Burton "The Anatomy of Melancholy"

Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.
~ ~ ~Winston Churchill

Some of mankind's most terrible misdeeds have been committed under the spell of certain magic words or phrases.
~ ~ ~James Bryant Conant

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.
~ ~ ~Philip K. Dick

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.
~ ~ ~Emily Dickinson

If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to bind, imprison and destroy.
~ ~ ~Ralph Ellison

Every word was once a poem.
~ ~ ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
~ ~ ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

He pronounced some of his words as if they were corks being drawn out of bottles.
~ ~ ~Winston Graham

A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought, and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.
~ ~ ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled.
~ ~ ~Horace

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.
~ ~ ~Rudyard Kipling

We should have a great many fewer disputes in the world if only words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.
~ ~ ~John Locke

Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words?
~ ~ ~Marcell Marceau

Words and deeds are far from being one. Much that is talked about is left undone.
~ ~ ~Moliere

Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.
~ ~ ~Orson Rega

It doesn't pay to say too much when you are mad enough to choke. For the word that stings the deepest is the word that is never spoke, Let the other fellow wrangle till the storm has blown away, then he'll do a heap of thinking about the things you didn't say.
~ ~ ~James Whitcomb Riley

Words must surely be counted among the most powerful drugs man ever invented.
~ ~ ~Leo Calvin Rosten

Words sing. They hurt. They teach. They sanctify. They were man's first, immeasurable feat of magic. They liberated us from ignorance and our barbarous past.
~ ~ ~Leo Calvin Rosten

Words are weapons, and it is dangerous . . . to borrow them from the arsenal of the enemy.
~ ~ ~George Santayana "Orbiter Scripta"

Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.
~ ~ ~Adlai Stevenson

A fool and his words are soon parted.
~ ~ ~William Shenstone

If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams--the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.
~ ~ ~Robert Southey

For words divide and rend
But silence is most noble till the end.
~ ~ ~Algernon Charles Swinburne

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
~ ~ ~Mother Teresa

Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.
~ ~ ~William Makepeace Thackeray

Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.
~ ~ ~Edward Thorndike

It is the man who determines what is said, not the words.
~ ~ ~Henry David Thoreau

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
~ ~ ~Mark Twain

Don't use a big word where a diminutive one will suffice.
~ ~ ~Unknown

I love smooth words, like gold-enameled fish
Which circle slowly with a silken swish.
~ ~ ~Elinor Hoyt Wylie "Pretty Words"

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