Friday, February 22, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Henry Adams

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No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
Ch. 31.

Henry Adams

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A multitude of words is probably the most formidable means of blurring and obscuring thought. There is no thought, however momentous, that cannot be expressed lucidly in 200 words.

Eric Hoffer

Even well-known words were often pronounced differently and could have unfamiliar meanings; connotations were not fixed, but fluid. Definitions drifted. He was constantly brought up short by the sudden realization that what he thought he had said was not at all what he meant—at least as it had been understood by his hearers. Still, he was coming to grips with the slippery speech, and his confidence was growing.

Stephen R. Lawhead

The culture as a whole is losing its individual notes, its diversity. And this is… it's not only sad. It's devastating. It's devastating because routine language means routine thought. And it means unquestioning thought. It means if I can't — if new words cannot occur to me and new image does not occur to me, then what I'm doing is I'm simply repeating what I've heard.
And what we hear from an overpowering cultural force and the forces of homogenization, what we hear is sell, sell, buy, buy. That's it. That is the function.

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All human thought proceeds through words, so if words are askew, thought cannot proceed aright. When Confucius says that nothing is more important than that a father be a father, that a ruler be a ruler, he is saying that we must know what we mean when we use those words. But equally important, the words must mean the right things. Rectification of Names is the call for a normative semantics--the creation of a language in which key nouns carry the meanings they should carry if life is to be well ordered.

Huston Smith

To love only indefinite thought that never reaches words, and the instantaneous thought that lives by words alone: divagation and boutade.

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