An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.


Abigail Adams (1744-1818, American First Lady)


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 (1838-1918, American historian)


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


John Adams (1735-1826, American President (2nd))


Thomas Jefferson -- still surv…


John Adams (1735-1826, American President (2nd))


Words of love, are works of love.


William R. Alger (1822-1905, American writer)


When I was born I was so surprised I didn't talk for a year and a half.


Gracie Allen (1894-1956, American actress)


Courage! I have shown it for years.  Think you I shall lose it at the moment when my sufferings are to end?


Marie Antoinette (1755-1793 French Queen)


Nothing we use or hear or touch can be expressed in words that equal what we are given by the senses.


Hannah Arendt (1906-1975, German-born American political philosopher)


A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of.


Burt Bacharach (1928-, American musician)


I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. Then words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company.


Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962, French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist)


The words of the world want to make sentences.


Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962, French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist)


Words are all we have.


Samuel Beckett (1906-1989, Irish dramatist, novelist)


All words are pegs to hang ideas on.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


Now comes the mystery.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


Friends applaud, the comedy is over.


Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827, German composer)


Today the discredit of words is very great. Most of the time the media transmit lies. In the face of an intolerable world, words appear to change very little. State power has become congenitally deaf, which is why -- but the editorialists forget it -- terrorists are reduced to bombs and hijacking.


John Berger (1926-, British actor, critic)


There are words which sever hearts more than sharp swords; there are words the point of which sting the heart through the course of a whole life.


Frederika Bremer (1801-1865, Swedish novelist, feminist, pacifist)


Bu" is a word that cools many a warm impulse, stifles many a kindly thought, puts a dead stop to many a brotherly deed. No one would ever love his neighbor as himself if he listened to all the "Buts" that could be said.


Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British novelist, poet)


I don't feel good.


Luther Burbank (1849-1926, American horticulturist)


A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword.


Robert Burton (1576-1640, British clergyman, scholar)


Words are not as satisfactory as we should like them to be, but, like our neighbors, we have got to live with them and must make the best and not the worst of them.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.


Orson Scott Card (American author)


You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world's happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.


Dale Carnegie (1888-1955, American trainer, author, "How to Win Friends and Influence People")


When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone," it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.


Lewis Carroll (1832-1898, British writer, mathematician)


Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact.


Willa Cather (1876-1947, American author)


I find it difficult to believe that words have no meaning in themselves, hard as I try. Habits of a lifetime are not lightly thrown aside.


Stuart Chase (1888-1985, American writer)


Our expression and our words never coincide, which is why the animals don't understand us."


Malcolm De Chazal (1902-1981, French writer)


Eating words has never given me indigestion.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


I have never developed indigestion from eating my words.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.


Confucius (BC 551-479, Chinese ethical teacher, philosopher)


Words today are like the shells and rope of seaweed which a child brings home glistening from the beach and which in an hour have lost their luster.


Cyril Connolly (1903-1974, British critic)


A word carries far -- very far -- deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space.


Joseph Conrad (1857-1924, Polish-born British novelist)


Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality.


Joseph Conrad (1857-1924, Polish-born British novelist)


I have never been hurt by what I have not said.


Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933, American President (30th))


Words are made for a certain exactness of thought, as tears are for a certain degree of pain. What is least distinct cannot be named; what is clearest is unutterable.


Rene Daumal (1908-1944, French poet, critic)


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 (1928-1982, American science fiction writer)


A word is dead when it is said: Some say. I say it just, begins to live that day.


Emily Dickinson (1830-1886, American poet)


The fog is rising.


Emily Dickinson (1830-1886, American poet)


I've been asked to say a couple of words about my husband, Fang. How about short and cheap?


Phyllis Diller (1917-, American author, actor)


My work is done why wait.


George Eastman


Our words have wings, but fly not where we would.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.


T. S. Eliot (1888-1965, American-born British poet, critic)


If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to blind, imprison, and destroy.


Ralph Ellison (1914-1994, American writer)


It makes a great difference in the force of a sentence, whether a man be behind it or no.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Gentle words, quiet words, are after all the most powerful words. They are more convincing, more compelling, more prevailing.


W. Gladden


Turn up the lights. I don't want to go home in the dark.


O. Henry (1862-1910, American writer)


Words are alive; cut them and they bleed.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


You can stroke people with words.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


The finest words in the world are only vain sounds if you cannot understand them.


Anatole France (1844-1924, French writer)


Words may show a man's wit but actions his meaning.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Words represent your intellect. The sound, gesture and movement represent your feelings.


Patricia Fripp (British-born American author, speaker)


I haven't much opinion of words. They're apt to set fire to a dry tongue, that's what I say.


Ellen Glasgow (1874-1945, American novelist)


Be generous with kindly words, especially about those who are absent.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Every spoken word arouses our self-will.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


More light!


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


When ideas fail, words come in very handy.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Words are the money of fools.


Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679, British philosopher)


Words are wise men's counters, they do but reckon by them: but they are the money of fools.


Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679, British philosopher)


Of all cold words of tongue or pen, the worst are these: "I knew him when..."


Arthur Guiterman


In fact, words are well adapted for description and the arousing of emotion, but for many kinds of precise thought other symbols are much better.


John B. S. Haldane (1892-1964, British scientist, author)


We are getting into semantics again. If we use words, there is a very grave danger they will be misinterpreted.


Harold Robbins Haldeman (1926-1993, American advertising executive, government official)


There can be no doubt that distrust of words is less harmful than unwarranted trust in them. Besides, to distrust words, and indict them for the horrors that might slumber unobtrusively within them -- isn't this, after all, the true vocation of the intellectual?


Vaclav Havel (1936-, Czech playwright, president)


Our lives are fed by kind words and gracious behavior. We are nourished by expressions like excuse me and other such simple courtesies... Rudeness, the absence of the sacrament of consideration, is but another mark that our time-is-money society, is lacking in spirituality, if not also in its enjoyment of life.


Ed Hays


All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.


Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American writer)


All our words from loose using have lost their edge.


Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American writer)


Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don't know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.


Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American writer)


I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.


Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679, British philosopher)


A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


A word once uttered can never be recalled.


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


A word once uttered can never be recalled.


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


Words will not fail when the matter is well considered.


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


Strong words are required for weak principles.


Doug Horton


Without words to objectify and categorize our sensations and place them in relation to one another, we cannot evolve a tradition of what is real in the world.


Ruth Hubbard (1924-, American biologist)


Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.


Pearl Strachan Hurd


Words are tools which automatically carve concepts out of experience.


Julian S. Huxley (1877-1975, British writer, biologist)


A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.


Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906, Norwegian dramatist)


Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will make me go in a corner and cry by myself for hours.


Eric Idle


Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.


Stonewall Jackson


This is the fourth?


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


As a poet and writer, I deeply love and I deeply hate words. I love the infinite evidence and change and requirements and possibilities of language; every human use of words that is joyful, or honest or new, because experience is new... But as a Black poet and writer, I hate words that cancel my name and my history and the freedom of my future: I hate the words that condemn and refuse the language of my people in America.


June Jordan (1939-, American poet, civil rights activist)


Words are like eyeglasses they blur everything that they do not make clear.


Joseph Joubert (1754-1824, French moralist)


All words are part true and part false.


Master Kahn


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


John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946, British economist)


Words are the most powerful drugs used by mankind.


Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936, British author of Prose, Verse)


What do you call a boomerang that doesn't work? A stick!




Our great men have written words of wisdom to be used when hardship must be faced. Life obliges us with hardship so the words of wisdom shouldn't go to waste.




Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.


Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism)


He who seldom speaks, and with one calm well-timed word can strike dumb the loquacious, is a genius or a hero.


Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801, Swiss theologian, mystic)


Let the tent be struck.


Robert E. Lee (1807-1870, American confederate army commander)


Words can have no single fixed meaning. Like wayward electrons, they can spin away from their initial orbit and enter a wider magnetic field. No one owns them or has a proprietary right to dictate how they will be used.


David Lehman (1948-, American poet, editor, critic)


We should have a great many fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.


John Locke (1632-1704, British philosopher)


Blessed are they who have nothing to say and who cannot be persuaded to say it.


James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American poet, critic, editor)


Words can be like baseball bats when used maliciously.


Sidney Madwed


The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.


Mohammed (c.570-c.632, Mecca spiritual leader)


Violence of the tongue is very real-sharper than any knife.


Mother Teresa (1910-1997, Albanian-born Roman Catholic missionary)


Beware of allowing a tactless word, rebuttal, a rejection to obliterate the whole sky.


Anais Nin (1914-1977, French-born American novelist, dancer)


Minimum information given with maximum politeness.


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994, American First Lady)


The two most beautiful words in the English language are: "Check Enclosed."


Dorothy Parker (1893-1967, American humorous writer)


The safest words are always those which bring us most directly to facts.


Charles H. Parkhurst (1842-1933, American clergyman, reformer)


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