Vocabulary Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 131 quotes )
I am glad that the country world…retains a power to use our English tongue. It is a part of its sense of reality, of its vocabulary of definite terms, and of its habit of earthly common sense. I find this country writing an excellent corrective of the urban vocabulary of abstractions and of the emotion disguised as thinking which abstractions and humbug have loosed upon the world. May there always be such things as a door, a milk pail, and a loaf of bread, and words to do them honor.
A man with a scant vocabulary will almost certainly be a weak thinker. The richer and more copious one's vocabulary and the greater one's awareness of fine distinctions and subtle nuances of meaning, the more fertile and precise is likely to be one's thinking. Knowledge of things and knowledge of the words for them grow together. If you do not know the words, you can hardly know the thing.
When we use these words and we talk about plants having a strategy to do this or wanting this or desiring this, we’re being metaphorical obviously. I mean, plants do not have consciousness. But, this is a fault of our own vocabulary. We don’t have a very good vocabulary to describe what others species do to us, because we think we’re the only species that really does anything.
My vocabulary was now down to nine words... For the record, here is my entire vocabulary of manageable words: fuck, shit, piss, cunt, god-damn, motherfucker, ass-hole, pee pee, and poo poo. A quick analysis will show some redundancy here. I had at my disposal eight nouns which stood for six things. Five of the eight nouns could double as verbs. I retained one indisputable noun, and a single adjective, which also could be used as a verb or expletive. My new language universe was comprised of four monosyllables, three compound words, and two baby talk repetitions. My arena of literal expression offered four avenues to the topic of elimination, two references to human anatomy, one request for divine imprecation, one standard description of or request for coitus, and a coital variation which was no longer an option for me since my mother was deceased. All in all, it was enough.
Women must find their own answer. That’s the important thing. I’m no longer interested in books about women written by men. Even if I could believe in their objectivity, I just can’t find their opinions relevant. Now I will only believe what a woman has to say about women, because even if it’s not entirely true, it’s her struggle and she’s on the way to the answer. Many of you seek masculine approval. Even though you have inside you your way of talking and writing, you have mountains of it inside you, and even though it is enough to begin expressing yourselves so long as it is with your vocabulary, your abstractions, and your own conceptualization, I think you are still afraid of the master: men. Of their judgment. As long as you have this fear, you will not progress. I think the future belongs to women. Men have been completely dethroned. Their rhetoric is stale, used up. We must move on the rhetoric of women, one that is anchored in the organism, in the body.
Creativity is more about taking the facts, fictions, and feelings we store away and finding new ways to connect them. What we're talking about here is metaphor. Metaphor is the lifeblood of all art, if it is not art itself. Metaphor is our vocabulary for connecting what we are experiencing now with what we have experienced before. It's not only how we express what we remember , it's how we interpret it - for ourselves and others.
Ours is a bourgeois civilization. I am not using this term in its Marxian sense. Chicken! In the vocabularies of modern art and religion it is bourgeois to consider that the universe was made for our safe use and to give us comfort, ease, and support. Light travels at a quarter of a million miles per second so that we can see to comb our hair or read in the paper that ham hocks are cheaper than yesterday. De Tocqueville considered the impulse toward well-being as one of the strongest impulses of a democratic society. He can't be blamed for underestimating the destructive powers generated by this same impulse.
In the vocabulary of certain radical theorists contradictions are given the status of some deadly disease to which their opponents alone can succumb. But contradictions are the very stuff of life. If there had been a little dash of contradiction among the Gadarene swine some of them might have been saved from drowning.
They feed back exactly what is given them. Because they do not believe in words - words are for "typeheads," Chester Anderson tells them, and a thought which needs words is just one more of those ego trips - their only proficient vocabulary is in the society's platitudes. As it happens I am still committed to the idea that the ability to think for one's self depends upon one's mastery of the language, and I am not optimistic about children who will settle for saying, to indicate that their mother and father do not live together, that they come from "a broken home." They are sixteen, fifteen, fourteen years old, younger all the time, an army of children waiting to be given the words.
Its funny how certain objects convey a message -- my washer and dryer, for example. They can't speak, of course, but whenever I pass them they remind me that I'm doing fairly well. "No more laundromat for you," they hum. My stove, a downer, tells me every day that I can't cook, and before I can defend myself my scale jumps in, shouting from the bathroom, "Well, he must be doing something. My numbers are off the charts." The skeleton has a much more limited vocabulary and says only one thing: "You are going to die.
The hero is a device which the historian has taken over from the layman. He uses it because he has no scientific vocabulary or technique for dealing with the real facts of history-- the opinions, emotions, attitudes; the wishes, plans, schemes; the habits of men. He can't talk about them so he talks about heroes.
I'm not interested in anybody's guilt. Guilt is a luxury that we can no longer afford. I know you didn't do it, and I didn't do it either, but I am responsible for it because I am a man and a citizen of this country and you are responsible for it, too, for the very same reason... Anyone who is trying to be conscious must begin to dismiss the vocabulary which we've used so long to cover it up, to lie about the way things are.
I don't think you need to worry about Jake too much. Anyone who can cuss with that kind of energy is going to recover.""Jake was awake when you saw him?" I asked, spinning to look at him."Oh, yeah he was awake. You should have heard him-actually, it's better you didn't. I don't think there was anyone in La Push who couldn't hear him. I don't know where he picked up that vocabulary, but I hope he hasn't been using that kind of language around you.
The world' is man's experience as it appears to, and is moulded by, his ego. It is that less abundant life, which is lived according to the dictates of the insulated self. It is nature denatured by the distorting spectacles of our appetites and revulsions. It is the finite divorced from the Eternal. It is multiplicity in isolation from its non-dual Ground. It is time apprehended as one damned thing after another. It is a system of verbal categories taking the place of the fathomlessly beautiful and mysterious particulars which constitute reality. It is a notion labelled 'God'. It is the Universe equated with the words of our utilitarian vocabulary.
My language limitations here are real. My vocabulary is adequate for writing notes and keeping journals but absolutely useless for an active moral life. If I really knew this language, there would surely be in my head, as there is in Webster's or the Dictionary of American Slang, that unreducible verb designed to tell a person like me what to do next.
Isn't language loss a good thing, because fewer languages mean easier communication among the world's people? Perhaps, but it's a bad thing in other respects. Languages differ in structure and vocabulary, in how they express causation and feelings and personal responsibility, hence in how they shape our thoughts. There's no single purpose "best" language; instead, different languages are better suited for different purposes. For instance, it may not have been an accident that Plato and Aristotle wrote in Greek, while Kant wrote in German. The grammatical particles of those two languages, plus their ease in forming compound words, may have helped make them the preeminent languages of western philosophy. Another example, familiar to all of us who studied Latin, is that highly inflected languages (ones in which word endings suffice to indicate sentence structure) can use variations of word order to convey nuances impossible with English. Our English word order is severely constrained by having to serve as the main clue to sentence structure. If English becomes a world language, that won't be because English was necessarily the best language for diplomacy.