Meanings Of Words Quotes by John Crowe Ransom, Deena Metzger, S. I. Hayakawa, Hilary of Poitiers, Mason Cooley, Wilson Follett and many others.
Now between the meanings of words and their sounds there is ordinarily no discoverable relation except one of accident; and it is therefore miraculous, to the mystic, when words which make sense can also make a uniform objective structure of accents and rhymes.
The world of public discourse – political, social, diplomatic, commercial – has so corrupted language that we are rightly more suspicious of the meaning of words than we are convinced of their veracity. Language has been turned on its head.
The meanings of words are not in the words, they are in us.
For there have risen many who have given to the plain words of Holy Writ some arbitrary interpretation of their own, instead of its true and only sense, and this in defiance of the clear meaning of words. Heresy lies in the sense assigned, not in the word written; the guilt is that of the expositor, not of the text.
In love, we worry more about the meaning of silences than the meaning of words.
It is nonetheless the best usage that decides the meaning of words.
What do we mean by “knowledge” or “understanding”? And how do billions of neurons achieve them? These are complete mysteries. Admittedly, cognitive neuroscientists are still very vague about the exact meaning of words like “understand,” “think,” and indeed the word “meaning” itself.
How could an argument soothe or settle a controversy when every word is a nest for a bird of doubt? (meaning of words as inferences)
Like psychoanalysis, constitutional jurisprudence has become a game without rules. By defying the plain meaning of words, ignoring context and history, and using a little ingenuity, you can make the Constitution mean anything you like.
How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!
Once we have learned to read, meaning of words can somehow register without consciousness.
The meaning of words had no longer the same relation to things… Reckless daring was held to be loyal courage; prudent delay was the excuse of a coward; moderation was the disguise of unmanly weakness; to know everything was to do nothing. Frantic energy was the true quality of man.
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.
If language is to be of any use to us, then we ought to try and preserve the meaning of words, and ‘god’ historically has not meant the laws of nature.
Ideas improve. The meaning of words participates in the improvement. Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it. It embraces an author’s phrase, makes use of his expressions, erases a false idea, and replaces it with the right idea.
For it was not so much that by means of words I came to a complete understanding of things, as that from things I somehow had an experience which enabled me to follow the meaning of words.
The investigation of the meaning of words is the beginning of education.
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