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Word Quotes




Andres Harambour / iStockphoto

Words have power. In some myths, spoken words create worlds, creatures, and human beings. Here are some quotes from famous writers.

  • "All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."
    - Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam
  • "As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence."
    - Benjamin Franklin
  • "Be careful of the words you say,
    Keep them short and sweet.
    You never know, from day to day,
    Which ones you'll have to eat."
    - Anonymous
  • "But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
    Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
    That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."
    - George Gordon Byron
  • "By words we learn thoughts, and by thoughts we learn life."
    - Jean Baptiste Girard
  • "Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure."
    - Edward Thorndike
  • "Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less."
    - Robert E. Lee
  • "For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. Their articulation represents a complete, lived experience."
    - Ingrid Bengis
  • "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."
    - Luke 6:45
  • "Good words are worth much, and cost little."
    - George Herbert
  • "A great many people think that polysyllables are a sign of intelligence."
    - Barbara Walters
  • "However many holy words you read,
    However many you speak,
    What good will they do you
    If you do not act on upon them?"
    - Buddha
  • "I like good strong words that mean something."
    - Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
  • "If language is as inextricably tied up with consciousness as it seems to be, then the continuing diminishment of our inclination to use it to express in letters the times in which we live could mean that an element of human consciousness itself is on the verge of disappearing."
    - Anonymous
  • "If words are to enter men's minds and bear fruit, they must be the right words shaped cunningly to pass men's defenses and explode silently and effectually within their minds."
    - J. B. Phillips
  • "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
    - Nelson Mandela
  • "If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams--the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn."
    - Robert Southey
  • "In a sense, words are encyclopedias of ignorance because they freeze perceptions at one moment in history and then insist we continue to use these frozen perceptions when we should be doing better."
    - Edward de Bono
  • "It has not been for nothing that the word has remained man's principal toy and tool: without the meanings and values it sustains, all man's other tools would be worthless."
    - Lewis Mumford
  • "It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page."
    - Joan Baez
  • "It's always a bit of a struggle to get the words right, whether we're a Hemingway or a few fathoms below his level."
    - Rene J. Cappon
  • "Kind words are a creative force, a power that concurs in the building up of all that is good, and energy that showers blessings upon the world."
    - Lawrence G. Lovasik
  • "The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do."
    - Thomas Jefferson

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