Quotes: Language, Part 2

(medium of exchange of thoughts and ideas between people; the storehouse of accumulated knowledge through the centuries)

1. The speech of a country, region, or group of people, including its diction, syntax, and grammar.
2. The human use of spoken or written words as a communication system.
3. A system of communication with its own set of conventions or special words.
4. A nonverbal form of communication used by birds and animals.
5. The use of signs, gestures, or inarticulate sounds to communicate something.
6. The verbal style by which people express themselves; such as, the language of diplomacy.
7. Like English tongue, Latin lingua "tongue" was used figuratively for "language"; from it English gets linguist and linguistic.

In the Vulgar Latin spoken by the inhabitants of Gaul, the derivative linguaticum emerged, and this became in due course Old French langage, source of the current English language.

Language is primarily speech. The word language itself comes from the Latin lingua, meaning "tongue." Its original meaning is "that which is produced with the tongue."
—Mario Pei, What's in a Word?


language: An instrument that sometimes expresses thought, sometimes obscures thought, but most often replaces thought.
—Evan Esar, Esar’s Comic Dictionary

The tongue is the only muscle in the human body that never gets tired [talking].
—Evan Esar

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
—George Orwell (1903-1950), British author

I see a lot of people converging on a standard [English language], but there are just as many going in a divergent direction.
—Heather Littlefield, Professor of Linguistics at Northeastern University (February 19, 2004)

Someone has stated that there are three races of humans—men, women, and children; and none of them speaks the same language.
—A revision from a quote in the Kaiser News, 1965

In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.
—Mark Twain (1835-1910)

England and America are two countries separated by a common language.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.
—Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), The Canterville Ghost 1882

We need a president who's fluent in at least one language.
—Buck Henry

Political language–and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists–is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
—George Orwell (1903-1950), 1946

"Do Not Disturb" signs should be written in the language of the hotel maids.
—Tim Bedore

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

Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.
—Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch, 1988

Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.
—William Penn (1644-1718)

Perhaps of all the creations of man, language is the most astonishing.
—Lytton Strachey

A people's speech is the skin of its culture.
—Max Lerner

There are three races: men, women and children. And none of them speaks the same language.
Kaiser News, #3, 1965

If you will scoff at language study how, save in terms of language, will you scoff?
—Mario Pei

Language is the armory of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.

You acquire a language most readily in the country where it is spoken; you study mineralogy best among miners; and so with everything else.

If your foot slips, you may recover your balance, but if your tongue slips, you cannot recall your words.
—Martin Vanbee

In human relations a little language goes farther than a little of almost anything else. Whereas, one language now often makes a wall, two can make a gate.
—Walter V. Kaulfers

Because everyone uses language to talk, everyone thinks he can talk about language.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Women speak two languages, one of which is verbal.
—Steve Rubenstein

A silly remark can be made in Latin as well as in Spanish.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Spanish novelist

Links to quotations units. Other Quotes, Quotation Units.

Cross references of word families related directly, or indirectly, to: "talk, speak, speech; words, language; tongue, etc.": cit-; clam-; dic-; fa-; -farious; glosso-; glotto-; lalo-; linguo-; locu-; logo-; loqu-; mythico-; -ology; ora-; -phasia; -phemia; phon-; phras-; Quotes: Language,Part 1; Quotes: Language, Part 3; serm-; tongue; voc-.