Famous Quotes About Language

“There is no mode of action, no form of emotion, that we do not share with the lower animals. It is only by language that we rise above them.” (Oscar Wilde)

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

“Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.” (Albert Einstein)

“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.” (W.H. Auden)

“He who does not love his own language is worse than an animal and smelly fish.” (Jose Rizal)

“I’m very sensitive to the English language. I studied the dictionary obsessively when I was a kid and collect old dictionaries. Words, I think, are very powerful and they convey an intention.” (Drew Barrymore)

“If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers.” (Doug Larson)

“To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.” (Charles Baudelaire)

“The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in babyhood, when no one can teach them anything!” (Maria Montessori)

“Everything in writing begins with language. Language begins with listening.” (Jeanette Winterson)

“Language is the friendliest of the things from which we cannot escape.” (Mason Cooley)

“Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.” (Cesar Chavez)

“All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared hearer.” (Robert Louis Stevenson)

“Literature is the expression of a feeling of deprivation, a recourse against a sense of something missing. But the contrary is also true; language is what makes us human. It is a recourse against the meaningless noise and silence of nature and history.” (Octavio Paz)

“We should never denigrate any other culture but rather help people to understand the relationship between their own culture and the dominant culture. When you understand another culture or language, it does not mean that you have to lose your own culture.” (Edward T. Hall)

“What I take from writers I like is their economy – the ability to use language to very effective ends. The ability to have somebody read something and see it, or for somebody to paint an entire landscape of visual imagery with just sheets of words – that’s magical. (Mos Def)

“Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

“Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.” (George Orwell)

“We tend to look through language and not realize how much power language has.” (Deborah Tannen)

“Although spoken English doesn’t obey the rules of written language, a person who doesn’t know the rules thoroughly is at a great disadvantage.” (Marilyn vos Savant)

“Language is not only the vehicle of thought. It is a great and efficient instrument in thinking.” (Humphrey Davy)

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” (James Humes)

“I am very aware that playwrights, particularly good ones, have an intention for everything they write. Language and punctuation is used specifically, and most of the time actors can find wonderful clues about character in the rhythm and cadence of the language used.” (Laura Linney)

“I mean, language fascinates me anyway, and different words have different energies and you can change the whole drive of a sentence.” (Alan Rickman)

“We’ve driven teenagers crazy in every language.” (Robert B. Sherman)

“Make definite assertions. Avoid tame, colorless, hesitating, non-committal language.” (William Strunk, Jr)

“Do not be troubled for a language. Cultivate your soul and she will show herself.” (Eugene Delacroix)

What is interesting about these quotes?

They illuminate the value of human expression through language which might seem banal, but is actually essential, wildly fascinating, and crucial to the continued evolution of the human species.

We should always appreciate the beauty of the English language -- and language in general -- every single day as one of life's secret, simple joys.