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WORDS
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[ Also see Argument Assertions Books Conversation Dictionaries Eloquence Gossip Ideas Language Linguists Loquacity Names Nicknames Oratory Poetry Promises Rhetoric Scandal Silence Slander Speech Talk Tongue Voice Writing ]

Fair words butter no parsnips.
      - John Clarke, Paroemiologia
         (p. 21, ed. 1639)

It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement. . . . Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.
      - William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton,
        in a deposition during the Paula Jones/Monica Lewinsky matter

Words are freeborn, and not the vassals of the gruff tyrants of prose to do their bidding only. They have the same right to dance and sing as the dewdrops have to sparkle and the stars to shine.
      - Abraham Coles

Mum's the word.
      - George Colman ("The Younger"),
        Battle of Hexham (act II, sc. 1)

Words indeed are but the signs and counters of knowledge, and their currency should be strictly regulated by the capital which they represent.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Some of mankind's most terrible misdeeds have been committed under the spell of certain magic words or phrases.
      - James B. Conant

A blemish may be removed from a diamond by careful polishing, but evil words once spoken cannot be effaced.
      - Confucius

For one word a man is often deemed to be wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be foolish. We ought to be careful indeed what we say.
      - Confucius

Words are the voice of the heart.
      - Confucius

Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.
      - Confucius, Analects (bk. XX, ch. III)

Words, as is well known, are great foes of reality.
      - Joseph Conrad (Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski)

Words that weep, and tears that speak.
      - Abraham Cowley, The Prophet (st. 2, l. 8)

There is nothing outside of the text.
  [Fr., Il n'y a pas de hors-texte.]
      - Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology

Father is rather vulgar, my dear. The word Papa, besides, gives a pretty form to the lips. Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism are all very good words for the lips; especially prunes and prism.
      - Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son
         (pt. II, ch. V)

Immodest words admit of no defence,
  For want of decency is want of sense.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon

What you keep by you, you may change and mend;
  But words once spoke can never be recall'd.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon

Words are like leaves; some wither every year, and every year a younger race succeed.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon

But words once spoke can never be recall'd.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon,
        Art of Poetry (l. 442)

It is used to be a common saying of Myson's that men ought not to seek for things in words, but for words in things; for that things are not made on account of words but that words are put together for the sake of things.
      - Laertius Diogenes,
        Lives of the Philosophers
         (bk. I, Myson, ch. III)

I trade both with the living and the dead for the enrichment of our native language.
      - John Dryden,
        Dedication to translation of The Aeneid

And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.
      - John Dryden, Mac Flecknoe (l. 208)

Words are both better and worse than thoughts; they express them, and add to them; they give them power for good or evil; they start them on an endless flight, for instruction and comfort and blessing, or for injury and sorrow and ruin.
      - Tryon Edwards

Your words bring daylight with them when you speak.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

Our words have wings, but fly not where we would.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        The Spanish Gypsy (bk. III)

What if my words
  Were meant for deeds.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        The Spanish Gypsy (bk. III)


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