Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Sedulously eschew obfuscatory hyper verbosity and prolixity.

Use tasteful words. You may have to eat them later.

There are more than 200,000 useless words in the English language and at some committee meetings you hear all of them!

The mind of fools is in their mouth, but the mouth of wise men is in their mind. Sirach 21:26

We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them. - Abigail Adams (1744-1818) Letter to John Adams, 1774

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.ADAMS, DOUGLAS (1952-2001) {Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.-Henry Brooks Adams "The Education of Henry Adams"

Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery of party, faction, and division of society. -- John Adams

Words are the physicians of a mind diseased. -- Aeschylus

How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms. --Aristotle (384-322 BC)

The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? --Ecclesiastes 6:11 NIV

By words the mind is winged. -Aristophanes (448BC - 385BC) Greek dramatist

A man finds joy in giving an apt reply -- and how good is a timely word! - Prov. 15:23 NIV

The ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding.-Francis Bacon_New Organon_I, Aphorism 42

Incomprehensible jargon is the hallmark of a profession.
Kingman Brewster, Jr. (1919-1988) In "Quotable Business," ed. Louis E. Boone, 1992.

If I take refuge in ambiguity, I assure you it's quite conscious.
Kingman Brewster, Jr. (1919-1988) In "Webster's Electronic Quotebase," ed. Keith Mohler, 1994

[Poetic words] set echoes going the way a choir in a great cathedral does, only it is we who become the cathedral and in us that the words echo
Frederick Buechner

You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone. -- Al Capone

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all." -- Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking Glass)

Men are twisted out of the path of truth by the terms they are forced to use. G. K. Chesterton

Eating words has never given me indigestion Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer

By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer

When Calvin Coolidge was vice president, Channing Cox, who had succeeded Coolidge as Governor of Massachusetts, came to Washington and stopped in to see him. Cox was impressed by the fact that Coolidge was able to see long lists of callers every day, yet finished his work by five o'clock. Cox pointed out that he often found himself tied up with visitors until nine in the evening. "What makes the difference?" he asked.
"You talk back," Silent Cal explained. - Bits & Pieces, October 14,1993

Language is the apparel in which your thoughts parade before the public. Never clothe them in vulgar or shoddy attire. George Crane

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.-- Philip K. Dick (1928&endash;1982)

Blessed is the person who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact. -- attr to George Eliot

Some people are much like blisters-they don't show up until the work is done. -- Sam Ewing , The Saturday Evening Post ,August '92

Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.--Anne Frank (1929 - 1945) German-Dutch diarist "The Diary of a Young Girl," 1947; tr. 1952

Loquacity storms the ear, but modesty wins the heart. -- Thomas Fuller

Abstract words are ancient coins whose concrete images in the give and take of talk have worn away with use. -Julian Jaynes

Language most shewes a man: speake that I may see thee. It springs out of the most retired, and inmost parts of us, and is the Image of the Parent of it, the mind. No glasse renders a mans forme, or likenesse, so true as his speech. - Ben Jonson "Oratio Imago Animi"

Among those who have endeavoured to promote learning and rectify judgment, it has long been customary to complain of the abuse of words, which are often admitted to signify things so different that, instead of assisting the understanding as vehicles of knowledge, they produce error, dissension, and perplexity, because what is affirmed in one sense is received in another. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #202 New Quote 10

Tongues, like governments, have a natural tendency to degeneration; we have long preserved our constitution, let us make some struggles for our language. - Samuel Johnson: Preface to the Dictionary

Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use. - Wendell Johnson (1906 &endash; 1965)

Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assaults of thought on the unthinking. -John Maynard Keynes

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind -- Rudyard Kipling

The description is not the described; I can describe the mountain, but the description is not the mountain, and if you are caught up in the description, as most people are, then you will never see the mountain. -- J. Krishnamurti

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg. -- Abraham Lincoln

We might knit that knot with our tongues that we shall never undo with our teeth ~ John Lyly

Language screens reality as a filter on a camera lens screens light waves.
Casey Miller and Kate Swift, _Words and Women_ (1976)

I once spoke to a human geneticist who declared that the notion of intel-ligence was quite meaningless, so I tried calling him _un_intelligent. He was annoyed, & it did not appease him when I went on to ask how he came to attach such a clear meaning to the notion of lack of intelligence. We never spoke again. --P. B. Medawar, _Advice to a Young Scientist_

I am a bear of very little brain, and long words bother me. --Alan Alexander Milne (1882-1956) _Winnie-the-Pooh_ [1926], Chapter 4

I am not denying anything I did not say. - Brian Mulroney (1939 &endash; )

The thoughtless are rarely wordless.... Howard W. Newton

It's is not, it isn't ain't, and it's it's, not its, if you mean it is. If you don't, it's its. Then too, it's hers. It isn't her's. It isn't our's either. It's ours, and likewise yours and theirs. -Oxford University Press, EdpressNews

Words are like leaves, and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.
Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism
One of our defects as a nation is a tendency to use what have been called "weasel words." When a weasel sucks eggs the meat is sucked out of the egg. If you use a "weasel word" after another there is nothing left of the other.
Theodore Roosevelt

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.
William Shakespeare. Love's Labour 's Lost. Act v. Sc.

A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly shot off. William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona

Commonly they must use their feet for defense whose only weapon is their tongue. - Sir Philip Sidney (1554 &endash; 1586)

If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as it is with sunbeams - the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. -Robert Southey

It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. ~Robert Southey 1774-1843

Don't rely to much on labels,
Far too often they are fables.
C.H. Spurgeon, Salt-Cellars

Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone but principally by catchwords. --Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) _Virginibus Puerisque_ [1881], Part 1, Chapter 2

What's another word for Thesaurus? Steven Wright

If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know? Steven Wright, 1994

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