Quotes About Etymology

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Quotes About Etymology

Words are little houses, each with its cellar and garret. Common-sense lives on the ground floor, always ready to engage in "foreign commerce" on the same level as the others, as the passers-by, who are never dreamers. To go upstairs in the word house, is to withdraw, step by step; while to go down to the cellar is to dream, it is losing oneself in the distant corridors of an obscure etymology, looking for treasures that cannot be found in words. To mount and descend in the words themselves - this is a poets life. To mount too high or descend too low, is allowed in the case of poets, who bring earth and sky together.
— Gaston Bachelard —

The universal principle of etymology in all languages: words are carried over from bodies and from the properties of bodies to express the things of the mind and spirit. The order of ideas must follow the order of things.

— Giambattista Vico

The word 'courage,' one of my favorite words, the root or the etymology of that word is 'cour,' which means heart. I think true courage is actually following your heart and not getting or succumbing to what other people's definition of what your life should be. Live your life.

— Hill Harper

Names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit.

— Salman Rushdie

Who will consider that no dictionary of a living tongue ever can be perfect, since, while it is hastening to publication, some words are budding, and some falling away; that a whole life cannot be spent upon syntax and etymology, and that even a whole life would not be sufficient; that he, whose design includes whatever language can express, must often speak of what he does not understand.

— Samuel Johnson

'Religion,' I should note, has a disputed etymology in Latin: some say it's from 'relegere,' meaning 'to reread', while others say it's from religare, meaning 'to connect' or 'link.' Literature is life's fastener.

— Joshua Cohen

Do not lose your enthusiasm. In its Greek etymology, the word enthusiasm means, "God in us."

— Ken Burns

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