Speech Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 822 quotes )
Speech baffled my machine. Helen made all well-formed sentences. But they were hollow and stuffed--linguistic training bras. She sorted nouns from verbs, but, disembodied, she did not know the difference between thing and process, except as they functioned in clauses. Her predications were all shotgun weddings. Her ideas were as decorative as half-timber beams that bore no building load. She balked at metaphor. I felt the annoyance of her weighted vectors as they readjusted themselves, trying to accommodate my latest caprice. You're hungry enough to eat a horse. A word from a friend ties your stomach in knots. Embarrassment shrinks you, amazement strikes you dead. Wasn't the miracle enough? Why do humans need to say everything in speech's stockhouse except what they mean?
Speech, tennis, music, skiing, manners, love- you try them waking and perhaps balk at the jump, and then you're over. You've caught the rhythm of them once and for all, in your sleep at night. The city, of course, can wreck it. So much insomnia. So many rhythms collide. The salesgirl, the landlord, the guests, the bystanders, sixteen varieties of social circumstance in a day. Everyone has the power to call your whole life into question here. Too many people have access to your state of mind. Some people are indifferent to dislike, even relish it. Hardly anyone I know.
Speech destroys the function of love, I think-that's a hell of a thing for a writer to say, I guess, but I believe it to be true. If you speak to tell a deer you mean it no harm, it glides away with a single flip of its tail. Love has teeth; they bite; the wounds never close. No word, no combination of words can close those love bites. it's the other way around, that's the joke. If those wounds dry up, the words die with them.
If a university official's letter accusing a speaker of having a proclivity to commit speech crimes before she's given the speech - which then leads to Facebook postings demanding that Ann Coulter be hurt, a massive riot and a police-ordered cancellation of the speech - is not hate speech, then there is no such thing as hate speech.