Quotes About Language And Meaning

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Quotes About Language And Meaning

Dear God. When did language and meaning divorce each other and decide to go their separate ways?
— Kate Atkinson —

A word's meaning depends not so much on its linguistic past but rather on the place the word occupies in relation to the general system of the language at the period in question.

— Jean-Pierre Vernant

I think of myth and magic as the hieroglyphics of the human psyche. They are a special language that circumvents conscious thought and goes straight to the subconscious.
Non-fiction uses the medium of information. It tells us what we need to know.
Science fiction primarily uses the medium of physics and mathematics. It tells us how things work, or could work.
Horror taps into the darker imagery of the psychology, telling us what we should fear.
Fantasy, magic and myth, however, tap into the spiritual potential of the human life. Their medium is symbolism, truth made manifest in word pictures, and they tell us what things mean on a deep, internal level. I have always been a meaning-maker. I have always been someone who strives to make sense of everything and perhaps that is where my life as a storyteller first began. Life doesn't always make sense, but story must. And so I write stories, and the world comes right again.

— Ripley Patton

Silence is the language of the cosmos. From the smallest stone to the sun itself, they all communicate through silence, greatly rich with meaning and deep, very deep. In order to understand it, we need to have a special mind.

— Anu Lal

Sometimes language can't even read the music of meaning.

— David Mitchell

The heroic books, even if printed in the character of our mother tongue, will always be in a language dead to degenerate times; and we must laboriously seek the meaning of each word and line, conjecturing a larger sense than common use permits out of what wisdom and valor and generosity we have.

— Henry David Thoreau

God is love, and music is the language of love; therefore, music is the language of God. Music is a language more profound than words. How often have you heard a great piece of music and felt that? Great music does not just make you feel good; great music suggests some profound truth or mysterious meaning that is objectively true but not translatable into words.

— Peter Kreeft

She is convinced that when language dies, out of carelessness, disuse, indifference and absence of esteem, or killed by fiat, not only she herself, but all users and makers are accountable for its demise. In her country children have bitten their tongues off and use bullets instead to iterate the voice of speechlessness, of disabled and disabling language, of language adults have abandoned altogether as a device for grappling with meaning, providing guidance, or expressing love.

— Toni Morrison

The meaning of quality in photography's best pictures lies written in the language of vision. That language is learned by chance, not system.

— Walker Evans

The moment we shake our addiction to narrative and give up our strong-headed intent that language must say something "meaningful," we open ourselves up to different types of linguistic experience, which could include sorting and structuring words in unconventional ways: by constraint, by sound, by the way words look, and so forth, rather than always feeling the need to coerce them toward meaning.

— Kenneth Goldsmith

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