I'm very anxious not to fall into archaism or "literary" diction. I want my vocabulary to have a very large range, but the words must be alive.
* James Agee
Words convey the mental treasures of one period to the generations that follow; and laden with this, their precious freight, they sail safely across gulfs of time in which empires have suffered shipwreck and the languages of common life have sunk into oblivion.
I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. Then words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company.
* Gaston Bachelard
Words are not as satisfactory as we should like them to be, but, like our neighbours, we have got to live with them and must make the best and not the worst of them.
* Samuel Butler
But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
* Lord Byron
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less."
* Lewis Carroll
Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality.
* Joseph Conrad
It's strange that words are so inadequate.
Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath,
So the lover must struggle for words.
* T. S. Eliot
English is such a deliciously complex and undisciplined language, we can bend, fuse, distort words to all our purposes. We give old words new meanings, and we borrow new words from any language that intrudes into our intellectual environment.
* Willard Gaylin
Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don't know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.
* Ernest Hemingway
Words, like glass, obscure when they do not aid vision.
* Joseph Joubert
Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.
* Rudyard Kipling
We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.
* John Locke
A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.
* Charles Peguy
A wise man hears one word and understands two.
* Yiddish Proverb
Words not only affect us temporarily; they change us, they socialize or unsocialize us.
* David Riesman
Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.
* Adlai Stevenson
One forgets words as one forgets names. One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.
* Evelyn Waugh