Quotations about   expression

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Sing your song. Dance your dance. Tell your tale.

Frank McCourt (1930-2009) Irish-American teacher and writer
Angela’s Ashes (1996)

Also included in the dedication to Teacher Man (2006).
Added on 10-Sep-20 | Last updated 10-Sep-20
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The wretched Artist himself is alternatively the lowest worm that ever crawled when no fire is in him: or the loftiest God that ever sang when the fire is going.

Caitlin Thomas (1913-1994) British author, wife of Dylan Thomas [née Macnamara]
Not Quite Posthumous Letter to My Daughter (1963)
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Added on 27-Aug-20 | Last updated 27-Aug-20
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An intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way; an artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way.

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
Notes of a Dirty Old Man (1969)
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Added on 14-Feb-20 | Last updated 14-Feb-20
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I really love language; it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and the delicacies, of our existence. Most of all, it allows us to laugh. We need language.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet, memoirist, activist [b. Marguerite Ann Johnson]
“The Art of Fiction,” Paris Review, #116, Interview with George Plimpton (1990)
Added on 28-Feb-19 | Last updated 28-Feb-19
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A man who cannot get angry is like a stream that cannot overflow, that is always turbid. Sometimes indignation is as good as a thunder-storm in summer, clearing and cooling the air.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American clergyman and orator
Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit, “Man” (1887)
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Added on 3-Aug-18 | Last updated 3-Aug-18
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Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

William Arthur Ward (1921-1994) American aphorist, author, educator
(Attributed)
Added on 20-Nov-17 | Last updated 20-Nov-17
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Don’t express your ideas too clearly. Most people think little of what they understand, and venerate what they do not.

[No allanarse sobrado en el concepto. Los más no estiman lo que entienden, lo que no perciben lo veneran. Las cosas, para que se estiman, han de costar; será celebrado cuando no fuese entendido.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], #253 (1647) [tr. Maurer (1982)]

Alt. trans.: "Do not Explain overmuch. Most men do not esteem what they understand, and venerate what they do not see. ... Many praise a thing without being able to tell why, if asked. The reason is that they venerate the unknown as a mystery, and praise it because they hear it praised." [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
Added on 31-Mar-17 | Last updated 31-Jan-20
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The more an idea is developed, the more concise becomes its expression; the more a tree is pruned, the better is the fruit.

Bougeard - better is the fruit - wist_info quote

Alfred Bougeard (1815-1882) French writer
(Attributed)

In J. De Finod (ed., tr.) A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness (1881).
Added on 8-Apr-16 | Last updated 8-Apr-16
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Art is not living. It is a use of living.

Lorde - art is not living - wist_info quote

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) American writer, feminist, civil rights activist
“My Words Will Be There”
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Added on 22-Feb-16 | Last updated 22-Feb-16
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Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.

Robert Frost (1874-1963) American poet
(Attributed)
Added on 19-Feb-16 | Last updated 19-Feb-16
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I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) American writer, feminist, civil rights activist
“The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action,” speech, Modern Language Association (28 Dec 1977)
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Added on 15-Feb-16 | Last updated 15-Feb-16
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After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English novelist, essayist and critic
“The Rest is Silence,” Music at Night and Other Essays (1931)
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Added on 13-Sep-11 | Last updated 20-Dec-19
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The more important the emotion is, the fewer words required to express it:
Will you go out with me?
I think I like you.
I care for you.
I love you.
Marry me.
Goodbye.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated, “A Quote by JMS” (31 Jan 2008)
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Straczynski is quoting something he'd previously written on the death of Andreas Katsulas (Feb 2006). A variant of the quote can be found as a sig line at least as far back as Sep 2007:

I had this theory that the more important and intimate the emotion, the fewer words are required to express it.

First it's in dating: "Will you go out with me?" Six words.
"Honey, I care for you." Five words.
"You matter to me." Four words.
"I love you." Three words.
"Marry me." Two words.

But what's left? What's the one most important and intimate word you can ever say to somebody?

It's "goodbye."
Added on 12-Feb-10 | Last updated 17-Jul-20
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The limits of my language mark the limits of my world.

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) Austrian-English philosopher
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 5.6 (1921)

Alt. trans:
  • "The boundary of my language is the boundary of my world." [tr. Kolak]
  • "The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." [tr. Pears and McGuinness]
  • "The limits of my language stand for the limits of my world."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 25-Feb-20
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DELENN: In my experience, if you cannot say what you mean, you cannot mean what you say.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, 4×06 “Into the Fire” (3 Feb 1997)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 17-Jul-20
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