„Money speaks sense in a language all nations understand.“

— Aphra Behn, The Rover, Part II, Act III, sc. i.
Aphra Behn Foto
Aphra Behn
englische Schriftstellerin 1640 - 1689
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„I learned to understand their language and to speak it a little.“

— Cyrano de Bergerac French novelist, dramatist, scientist and duelist 1619 - 1655
Context: I learned to understand their language and to speak it a little. Immediately the news spread throughout the kingdom that two little wild men had been discovered. We were smaller than everybody else because the wilderness had provided us with such bad food. And it was a genetic defect that caused us to have forelimbs that weren't strong enough to support us. This belief gained strength through repetition despite the priests of the country. They opposed it, saying that it was an awful impiety to believe that not only animals but monsters might be of the same species as they.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower Foto

„I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new“

— Dwight D. Eisenhower American general and politician, 34th president of the United States (in office from 1953 to 1961) 1890 - 1969
Context: I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new--one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use. That new language is the language of atomic warfare. The atomic age has moved forward at such a pace that every citizen of the world should have some comprehension, at least in comparative terms, of the extent of this development of the utmost significance to every one of us. Clearly, if the people of the world are to conduct an intelligent search for peace, they must be armed with the significant facts of today's existence.

Snježana Kordić Foto

„I expected too much of educators. I expected them to understand, in a sense, the sugar-coated concepts of LISP used in AI that were embodied in the Logo language. It was then that I learned that computers were built to make money, not minds.“

— Gary Kildall Computer scientist and entrepreneur 1942 - 1994
Unpublished memoir Computer Connections, on the prevalence of BASIC in programming education; quoted in a eulogy http://www2.gol.com/users/joewein/eulogy.htm delivered by Tom Rolander

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Anne Robert Jacques Turgot Foto
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Foto

„Sense and understanding thus come to the aid of memory. Sense is order and order is in the last resort conformity with our nature. When we speak rationally we are only speaking in accordance with the nature of our being.“

— Georg Christoph Lichtenberg German scientist, satirist 1742 - 1799
Context: A great speech is easy to learn by heart and a great poem even easier. How hard it would be to memorize as many words linked together senselessly, or a speech in a foreign tongue! Sense and understanding thus come to the aid of memory. Sense is order and order is in the last resort conformity with our nature. When we speak rationally we are only speaking in accordance with the nature of our being. That is why we devise genera and species in the case of plants and animals. The hypotheses we make belong here too: we are obliged to have them because otherwise we would unable to retain things... The question is, however, whether everything is legible to us. Certainly experiment and reflection enable us to introduce a significance into what is not legible, either to us or at all: thus we see faces or landscapes in the sand, though they are certainly not there. The introducion of symmetries belongs here too, silhouettes in inkblots, etc. Likewise the gradation we establish in the order of creatures: all this is not in the things but in us. In general we cannot remember too often that when we observe nature, and especially the ordering of nature, it is always ourselves alone we are observing. J 65

Marshall McLuhan Foto

„Language alone includes all the senses in interplay at all times. (p. 253)“

— Marshall McLuhan Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar-- a professor of English literature, a literary critic, and a communicat... 1918 - 1980

John Rogers Searle Foto
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José María Aznar Foto

„Catalan language is one of the most complete and perfect expressions that I know from the point of view regarding language, I not only read it since many years ago, but I understand it. Moreover, I speak it intimately too.“

— José María Aznar Spanish President from 1996 to 2004 1953
In: L' Aznar destrossant la llengua catalana http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m95BZOKDPs, December 2006. On an interview with the Catalan Autonomous Television, just before politically coallitioning with Catalan, Canarian and Basque nationalists

Henry Ward Beecher Foto

„Oh, tell me not that they are dead — that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes. They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language?“

— Henry Ward Beecher American clergyman and activist 1813 - 1887
Context: Oh, tell me not that they are dead — that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes. They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society, and inspire the people with nobler motives, and more heroic patriotism? Ye that mourn, let gladness mingle with your tears. It was your son, but now he is the nation's. He made your household bright: now his example inspires a thousand households. Dear to his brothers and sisters, he is now brother to every generous youth in the land. Before, he was narrowed, appropriated, shut up to you. Now he is augmented, set free, and given to all. Before, he was yours: he is ours. He has died from the family, that he might live to the nation. Not one name shall be forgotten or neglected: and it shall by and by be confessed of our modern heroes, as it is of an ancient hero, that he did more for his country by his death than by his whole life. "The Honored Dead" (1863) memorialized the Union dead; a popular piece for declamation among schoolchildren, also published as "Our Heroes Shall Live"

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Octavio Paz Foto

„It may be that, like things which speak to themselves in their language of things, language does not speak of things or of the world: it may speak only of itself and to itself.“

— Octavio Paz Mexican writer laureated with the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature 1914 - 1998
Context: Fixity is always momentary. But how can it always be so? If it were, it would not be momentary — or would not be fixity. What did I mean by that phrase? I probably had in mind the opposition between motion and motionlessness, an opposition that the adverb always designates as continual and universal: it embraces all of time and applies to every circumstance. My phrase tends to dissolve this opposition and hence represents a sly violation of the principle of identity. I say “sly” because I chose the word momentary as an adjectival qualifier of fixity in order to tone down the violence of the contrast between movement and motionlessness. A little rhetorical trick intended to give an air of plausibility to my violation of the rules of logic. The relations between rhetoric and ethics are disturbing: the ease with which language can be twisted is worrisome, and the fact that our minds accept these perverse games so docilely is no less cause for concern. We ought to subject language to a diet of bread and water if we wish to keep it from being corrupted and from corrupting us. (The trouble is that a-diet-of-bread-and-water is a figurative expression, as is the-corruption-of-language-and-its-contagions.) It is necessary to unweave (another metaphor) even the simplest phrases in order to determine what it is that they contain (more figurative expressions) and what they are made of and how (what is language made of? and most important of all, is it already made, or is it something that is perpetually in the making?). Unweave the verbal fabric: reality will appear. (Two metaphors.) Can reality be the reverse of the fabric, the reverse of metaphor — that which is on the other side of language? (Language has no reverse, no opposite faces, no right or wrong side.) Perhaps reality too is a metaphor (of what and/or of whom?). Perhaps things are not things but words: metaphors, words for other things. With whom and of what do word-things speak? (This page is a sack of word-things.) It may be that, like things which speak to themselves in their language of things, language does not speak of things or of the world: it may speak only of itself and to itself. Ch. 4 Ch. 4 -->

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