Verbal Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 118 quotes )
The difference between a good administrator and a bad one is about five heartbeats. Good administrators make immediate choices. […] They usually can be made to work. A bad administrator, on the other hand, hesitates, diddles around, asks for committees, for research and reports. Eventually, he acts in ways which create serious problems. […] “A bad administrator is more concerned with reports than with decisions. He wants the hard record which he can display as an excuse for his errors. […] Oh, they depend on verbal orders. They never lie about what they’ve done if their verbal orders cause problems, and they surround themselves with people able to act wisely on the basis of verbal orders. Often, the most important piece of information is that something has gone wrong. Bad administrators hide their mistakes until it’s too late to make corrections.
A book is more than a verbal structure or series of verbal structures; it is the dialogue it establishes with its reader and the intonation it imposes upon his voice and the changing and durable images it leaves in his memory. A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships.
There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man. That is a perfectly simple fact which the modern world will find out more and more to be a fact. Every other basis is a sort of sentimental confusion, full of merely verbal echoes of the older creeds. Those verbal associations are always vain for the vital purpose of constraining the tyrant.
It doesn't matter whether a sequence of words is called a history or a story: that is, whether it is intended to follow a sequence of actual events or not. As far as its verbal shape is concerned, it will be equally mythical in either case. But we notice that any emphasis on shape or structure or pattern or form always throws a verbal narrative in the direction we call mythical rather than historical.(p.21)
An unauthentic word, one which is unable to transform reality, results when dichotomy is imposed upon its constitutive elements. When a word is deprived of its dimension of action, reflection automatically suffers as well; and the word is changed into idle chatter, into verbalism, into an alienated and alienating “blah.” It becomes an empty word, one which cannot denounce the world, for denunciation is impossible without a commitment to transform, and there is no transformation without action.
It can also be useful to politics, enabling that science to discover how much of it is no more than verbal construction, myth, literary tops. Politics, like literature, must above all know itself and distrust itself. As a final observation, I should like to add that it is impossible today for anyone to feel innocent, if in whatever we do or say we can discover a hidden motive - that of a white man, or a male, or the possessor of a certain income, or a member of a given economic system, or a sufferer from a certain neurosis - this should not induce in us either a universal sense of guilt or an attitude of universal accusation. When we become aware of our disease or of our hidden motives, we have already begun to get the better of them. What matters is the way in which we accept our motives and live through the ensuing crisis. This is the only chance we have of becoming different from the way we are - that is, the only way of starting to invent a new way of being.
Even torture that is only verbal reinforce the power of the torturer: The prisoner's imagination leads him to dread the next round of interrogations. And when it happens, the feeling of inferiority becomes more acute; it bores into the brain, and the cultural and psychological defenses that surround the brain disintegrate and vanish. The ego is dissolved.
There was nothing to be done. From then on, there were flowers waiting for me every time we met, and in the end I gave in, because I was disarmed by the spontaneity of giving and understood tha Lucie cared for it; perhaps her tongue-tied state, her lack of verbal eloquence, made her think of flowers as a form of speech; not in the sense of heavy-handed conventional flower symbolism, but in a sense still more archaic, more nebulous, more instinctive, prelinguistic; perhaps, having always been sparing of words, she longed for that mute stage of evolution when there were no words and people communicated by simple gestures
This much is already known: for every sensible line of straightforward statement, there are leagues of senseless cacophonies, verbal jumbles and incoherences. (I know of an uncouth region whose librarians repudiate the vain and superstitious custom of finding a meaning in books and equate it with that of finding a meaning in dreams or in the chaotic lines of one's palm . . . They admit that the inventors of this writing imitated the twenty-five natural symbols, but maintain that this application is accidental and that the books signify nothing in themselves. This dictum, we shall see, is not entirely fallacious.)
With the passing of time, as well as the social evolution and genetic exchange, we ended up putting our conscience in the colour of blood and in the salt of tears, and, as if that were not enough, we made our eyes into a kind of mirror turned inwards, with the result that they often show without reserve what we are verbally trying to deny.
Neither was in love with a young man unless he was she were verbally very near: that is unless they were profoundly interested, talking to one another. The amazing, the profound, the unbelievable thrill there was in passionately talking to some really clever young man by the hour, resuming day after day for months...
Aleksia laughed at her, putting a world of scorn and withering contempt into her voice--just as Kay would probably do in a temper. In fact, everything that she was doing now was to test her to see if her own self-worth was strong enough to stand up to the worst the one she loved could deliver. It is so much harder to take a hint of scorn from the beloved than a verbal battering from an enemy........Kay would always be more intelligent, more clever than Gerda was. She had to know, deep inside her, that what she offered was just as important and just as valuable as wit and intelligence.
The moral conscience that so many thoughtless people have offended against and many more have rejected, is something that exists and has always existed. It was not an invention of the philosophers of the Quartenary, when the soul was little more than a muddled proposition. With the passing of time, as well as then social evolution and genetic exchange, we ended up putting our conscience in the colour of blood and in the salt of tears, and, as if that were not enough, we made our eyes into a kind of mirror turned inwards, with the result that they often show without reserve what we are verbally trying to deny. Add to this general observation, the particular circumstance that in simple spirits, the remorse caused by committing some evil act often becomes confused with ancestral fears of every kind, and the result will be that the punishment of the prevaricator ends up being, without mercy or pity, twice what he deserved.
Think of negative speech as verbal pollution. And that's what I've been doing: visualizing insults and gossip as a dark cloud, maybe one with some sulfur dioxide. Once you've belched it out, you can't take it back. As grandma said, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. The interesting this is, the less often I vocalize my negative thoughts, the fewer negative thoughts I cook up in the first place.
It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication; after this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.
Those are the only to verbalizations usually that we make in movies—either to scream or to laugh—because those two reactions are rather close. Most things we laugh at are things that are really horrible, when you think about them. It’s funny and you don’t scream, as long as it’s not you. If it’s somebody else you can laugh.
But when I am around strangers, I turn into a conversational Mount St. Helens. I'm dormant, dormant, quiet, quiet, old-guy loners build log cabins on the slopes of my silence and then, boom, it's 1980. Once I erupt, they'll be wiping my verbal ashes off their windshields as far away as North Dakota.
Why do you love the woman you're in love with? Because she is. And that, after all, is God's own definition of Himself; I am that I am. The girl is who she is. Some of her isness spills over and impregnates the entire universe. Objects and events cease to be mere representations of classes and become their own uniqueness; cease to be illustrations of verbal abstractions and become fully concrete. Then you stop being in love, and the universe collapses, with an almost audible squeak of derision, into its normal insignificance.