Quotes: Word, Words, Part 1

(presentations of living conceptions; the medium of exchange for thoughts and ideas between people)

word, words
1. A unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning. Words are composed of one or more morphemes and are either the smallest units susceptible of independent use or consist of two or three such units combined under certain linking conditions. Words are usually separated by spaces in writing, and are distinguished phonologically, as by accent, in many languages.
2. Speech or talk: to express one's emotion in words.
wurdz, wurds, werdz, werds, wordz
Words for those who don't care how they spell "words" or for those who don't know how to spell the word "words".


Verbal Vendetta

Nouns now are morphing into verbs
With unrelenting zeal.
We’re “lawyering” our words, I’ve heard,
And “brokering” a deal,
We’re “doctoring” the truth, and yes,
“Sandbagging” evidence.
Still other nouns, it is my guess,
Will make the future tense.
—Doris O’Brien

Words can be more quickly acquired, more accurately understood, and remembered longer through the elements that compose them. English words are predominantly of Latin or Greek origin, the percentage increasing as the level of vocabulary rises. Furthermore, modern science and industry turn constantly to Greek and Latin roots for the creation of new terms to meet new needs because (1) the meanings of these roots remain steadfast and (2) terms from Greek or Latin roots are internationally intelligible.
—Based on information from Amsel Greene, Word Clues

The more words you know the more clearly and powerfully you will think . . . and the more ideas you will invite into your mind.
—Wilfred Funk

The quality of words, the company they keep, their strange and sometimes unaccountable fortunes as they journey down through the centuries are rewarding fields of exploration.
—J. Donald Adams

Success and vocabulary go hand in hand. This has been proven so often that it no longer admits of argument.
—Wilfred Funk

When words fail, wars begin. When wars finally end, we settle our disputes with words.
—Wilfred Funk

No knowledge of a science can be properly acquired until the terminology of that science is mastered, and this terminology is in the main of Greek and Latin origin.
—Spencer Trotter

The terms used in the scientific world are largely, and in some sciences almost exclusively, derived from the classics [Greek and Latin].
—Spencer Trotter

The finest words in the world are only vain sounds if you cannot comprehend them.
—Anatole France

When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Actions lie louder than words.
—Carolyn Wells

It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English—up to fifty words used in correct context—no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.
—Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

"Always" and "never" are two words you should always remember never to use.
—Wendell Johnson

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
—Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them.
—John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.
—Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. (1900-965), quoted by Human Behavior, May 1978

The body says what words cannot.
—Martha Graham (1893-1991)

Become the change you want to see—those are words I live by.
—Oprah Winfrey (1954-), O Magazine

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: “It goes on.”
—Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Was the first computer “bug” a real insect?

The story is told that one of the early electromechanical computers suffered a failure because a hapless insect had crawled into the vitals of the machine and been squashed between the contacts of a relay. The incident was written up in the log-book and spread from there throughout the whole of the infant computer industry. However, although the account seems to be genuine, the word is older: the event was recorded as an amusement for posterity precisely because the term “bug” was already in use. The term in fact originates not with computer pioneers, but with engineers of a much earlier generation. The first example cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from the Pall Mall Gazette of 11 March 1889:

Mr. Edison, I was informed, had been up the two previous nights discovering “a bug” in his phonograph—an expression for solving a difficulty, and implying that some imaginary insect has secreted itself inside and is causing all the trouble.

It seems clear from the above information that the original “bug”, though it was indeed an insect, was in fact imaginary.

Links to quotations units. Other Quotes, Quotation Units.