Syntax Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 31 quotes )
I read," I say. "I study and read. I bet I've read everything you read. Don't think I haven't. I consume libraries. I wear out spines and ROM-drives. I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it." My instincts concerning syntax and mechanics are better than your own, I can tell, with all due respect. But it transcends the mechanics. I'm not a machine. I feel and believe. I have opinions. Some of them are interesting. I could, if you'd let me, talk and talk.
Who will consider that no dictionary of a living tongue ever can be perfect, since, while it is hastening to publication, some words are budding, and some falling away; that a whole life cannot be spent upon syntax and etymology, and that even a whole life would not be sufficient; that he, whose design includes whatever language can express, must often speak of what he does not understand.
Modernism was based on a kind of arrogance ... and led designers to believe that if they thought of something cool, it must be considered universally cool. That is, if something's worth doing, it's worth driving into the ground to the exclusion of all other approaches. Look at the use of parentheses in Lisp or the use of white space as syntax in Python. Or the mandatory use of objects in many languages, including Java. All of these are ways of taking freedom away from the end user "for their own good". They're just versions of Orwell's Newspeak, in which it's impossible to think bad thoughts. We escaped from the fashion police in the 1970s, but many programmers are still slaves of the cyber police.
I could not give up either of these worlds, neither the book I am holding nor the gleaming forest, though I have told you almost nothing of what is said here on these grim pages, from the sentences of which I’ve conjured images of a bleak site years ago. Here in this room, I suppose, is to be found the interior world of the book; but it opens upon a world beyond the windows, where no event has been collapsed into syntax, where the vocabulary, it seems, is infinite. The indispensable connection for me lies with the open space (of the open window ajar year round, never closed) that lets the breath of every winter storm, the ripping wind and its pelting rain, enter the room.
I watched the enormity of the clouds for several minutes. What I wanted to experience in the water, I realized, was how life of the reef was layered and intertwined. I now had many individual pieces at hand: named images, nouns. How were they related? What were the verbs? Which syntaxes were indigenous to the place? I asked a dozen knowledgeable people. No one was inclined to elaborate- or they didn’t know. “Did you see the octopus?” Someone shouted after the dive. Yes, I thought, but who among us knows what it was doing? What else was THERE, just then? WHY?
Saw you walking barefoottaking a long lookat the new moon's eyelidlater spreadsleep-fallen, naked in your dark hairasleep but not obliviousof the unslept unsleepingelsewhere. Tonight I thinkno poetrywill serve. Syntax of rendition: verb pilots the planeadverb modifies actionverb force-feeds nounsubmerges the subjectnoun is chokingverb disgraced goes on doingnow diagram the sentence
This too to remember. If a man writes clearly enough any one can see if he fakes. If he mystifies to avoid a straight statement, which is very different from breaking so-called rules of syntax or grammar to make an efffect which can be obtained in no other way, the writer takes a longer time to be known as a fake and other writers who are afflicted by the same necessity will praise him in their own defense. True mysticism should not be confused with incompetence in writing which seeks to mystify where there is no mystery but is really only the necessity to fake to cover lack of knowledge or the inability to state clearly. Mysticism implies a mystery and there are many mysteries; but incompetence is not one of them; nor is overwritten journalism made literature by the injection of a false epic qulaity. Remember this too: all bad writers are in love with the epic.
Who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Spacethrough images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame
Long looking at paintings is equivalent to being dropped into a foreign city, where gradually, out of desire and despair, a few key words, then a little syntax make a clearing in the silence. Art... is a foreign city, and we deceive ourselves when we think it familiar... We have to recognize that the language of art, all art, is not our mother-tongue.
…modern man no longer communicates with the madman […] There is no common language: or rather, it no longer exists; the constitution of madness as mental illness, at the end of the eighteenth century, bears witness to a rupture in a dialogue, gives the separation as already enacted, and expels from the memory all those imperfect words, of no fixed syntax, spoken falteringly, in which the exchange between madness and reason was carried out. The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue by reason about madness, could only have come into existence in such a silence.
Best putdown of a copy editor ever award goes to Raymond Chandler, who, in a 1947 letter to the editor of the Atlantic Monthly, wrote: "By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of barroom vernacular, this is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed but attentive.