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[ Also see Accent Argument Censorship Conversation Discussion Eloquence Free Speech Gossip Language Linguists Loquacity Names Noise Orators Oratory Repartee Rhetoric Satire Silence Slander Style Talk Talking Thought Tongue Voice Wit Words ]

And empty heads console with empty sound.
      - Alexander Pope, The Dunciad
         (bk. IV, l. 542)

God, that all-powerful Creator of nature and architect of the world, has impressed man with no character so proper to distinguish him from other animals, as by the faculty of speech.
  [Lat., Deus ille princeps, parens rerum fabricatorque mundi, nullo magis hominem separavit a ceteris, quae quidem mortalia sunt, animalibus, quam dicendi facultate.]
      - Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus),
        De Institutione Oratoria (II, 17, 2)

He replies nothing but monosyllables. I believe he would make three bites of a cherry.
  [Fr., Il ne rend que monosyllables. Je croy qu'il feroit d'une cerise trois morceaux.]
      - Francois Rabelais, Pantagruel
         (bk. V, ch. XXVIII)

According to Solomon, life and death are in the power of the tongue; and as Euripides truly affirmeth, every unbridled tongue in the end shall find itself unfortunate; for in all that ever I observed in the course of worldly things, I ever found that men's fortunes are oftener made by their tongues than by their virtues, and more men's fortunes overthrown thereby, also, than by their vices.
      - Sir Walter Raleigh (1)

One learns taciturnity best among people who have none, and loquacity among the taciturn.
  [Ger., Man lernt Verschwiegenheit am meisten unter Menschen, die Keine haben--und Plauderhaftigheit unter Verschwiegenen.]
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul),
        Hesperus (XII)

What is the short meaning of this long harangue?
  [Ger., Was ist der langen Rede kurzer Sinn?]
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller,
        Piccolomini (I, 2, 160)

Just at the age 'twixt boy and youth,
  When thought is speech, and speech is truth.
      - Sir Walter Scott, Marmion
         (canto II, introduction)

Speech is the index of the mind.
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

Men's conversation is like their life.
  [Lat., Talis hominibus est oratio qualis vita.]
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca),
        Epistoloe Ad Lucilium (114)

A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.
      - William Shakespeare

I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
      - William Shakespeare

We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us.
      - William Shakespeare

Your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
  Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
      - William Shakespeare

Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Albany at V, iii)

A heavy heart bears not a humble tongue;
  Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks
    For my great suit so easily obtained.
      - William Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost
         (Princess of France at V, ii)

The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen
  As is the razor's edge invisible,
    Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen;
      Above the sense of sense, so sensible
        Seemeth their conference, their conceits have wings
          Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter things.
      - William Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost
         (Boyet at V, ii)

It may be right, but you are i' the wrong
  To speak before your time; proceed.
      - William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
         (Vincentio, the Duke at V, i)

She speaks poniards, and every word stabs. If her breath were as her terminations, there were no living near her; she would infect to the North Star. I would not marry her though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgressed.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Much Ado About Nothing
         (Benedick at II, i)

Rude am I in my speech,
  And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace;
    For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith
      Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
        Their dearest action in the tented field;
          And little of this great world can I speak
            More than pertains to feats of broil and battle;
              And therefore little shall I grace my cause
                In speaking for myself.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Othello at I, iii)

I had a thing to say,
  But I will fit it with some better tune.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life and Death of King John
         (King John at III, ii)

If he do, i' faith, and find anybody in the house, here will be an old abusing of God's patience and the King's English.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merry Wives of Windsor
         (Mistress Quickly at I, iv)

These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
  Draws out our miles and makes them wearisome;
    And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
      Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
         (Northumberland at II, iii)

I would be loath to cast away my speech; for, besides that it is excellently penned, I have taken great pains to con it.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Viola at I, v)

She had lost the art of conversation, but not, unfortunately, the power of speech.
      - George Bernard Shaw

I don't want to talk grammar, I want to talk like a lady.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion

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