Teaching Word of The Day

Abigail Adams (1744 – 1818), letter to John Adams, 1774

He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.

Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)

Words calculated to catch everyone may catch no one.

Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. (1900 – 1965), speech to Democratic National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, July 21, 1952

Words are the physicians of the mind diseased.

Aeschylus (525 BC – 456 BC), Prometheus Bound

Language is the source of misunderstandings.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 – 1944)

Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in a few words.


JohannWolfgangVonGoetheS75 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



High thoughts must have high language.

Aristophanes (450 BC – 388 BC), Frogs, 405 B.C.

Grasp the subject, the words will follow.

Cato the Elder (234 BC – 149 BC)

Use soft words and hard arguments.

English Proverb

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.

George Orwell (1903 – 1950), “Politics and the English Language“, 1946

A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things.

Herman Melville (1819 – 1891)

For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change.

Ingrid Bengis

When ideas fail, words come in very handy.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)

Deeds, not words shall speak me.

John Fletcher (1579 – 1625)

Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assaults of thought on the unthinking.

John Maynard Keynes (1883 – 1946)

The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand.

Lewis Thomas (1913 – 1993)

Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.

Lily Tomlin (1939 – )

We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.

Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900), The Canterville Ghost, 1882

Words have a longer life than deeds.

Pindar (522 BC – 443 BC), Nemean Odes

Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch, 1988

Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.

Robert Benchley (1889 – 1945)

No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut.

Sam Rayburn (1882 – 1961)

Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.

Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784)

Works of imagination should be written in very plain language; the more purely imaginative they are the more necessary it is to be plain.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834)

Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.

Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.

William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.

William Penn (1644 – 1718)

I understand a fury in your words, But not the words.

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616), “Othello”, Act 4 scene 2

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616), “Hamlet”, Act 3 scene 3

They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.


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