Top Phrases Quotes

Browse top 213 famous quotes and sayings about Phrases by most favorite authors.

Favorite Phrases Quotes

1. "People speak because they are afraid of silence. They speak mechanically whether aloud or to themselves. They are intoxicated by this vocal gruel that ensnares every object and every being. They talk about rain and fine weather; they talk about money, about love, about nothing. And even when they are talking about their most exalted love, they use words uttered a hundred times, threadbare phrases."
Author: Andreï Makine
2. "Man, know thyself. I say it out loud. The phrase is one of those phrases with which everyone is familiar, of which everyone acknowledges the value, and which only the most sagacious put into practice. I don't know why."
Author: Arnold Bennett
3. "The reporters who came to the press conference in theoffice of the John Galt Line were young men who hadbeen trained to think that their job consisted ofconcealing from the world the nature of its events.It was their daily duty to serve as audience for somepublic figure who made utterances about the public good,in phrases carefully chosen to convey no meaning.It was their daily job to sling words together in anycombination they pleased, so long as the words did notfall into a sequence saying something specific.They could not understand the interview now beinggiven to them."
Author: Ayn Rand
4. "«She had Google, and she had Wikipedia. She could look up anything obscure, any words or phrases that she didn't understand. A romance novel was just a book, while the Internet was the Internet. The Internet would crack these nuts for sure.»"
Author: Bruce Sterling
5. "The next night, alone in the tent, Laurent said: 'As we draw closer to the border, I think it would be safer--more private--to hold our discussions in your language rather than mine.'He said it in carefully pronounced Akielon.Damen stared at him, feeling as though the world had just been rearranged.'What is it?' said Laurent.'Nice accent,' said Damen, because despite everything, the corner of his mouth was beginning helplessly to curve up.[...]It was of course no surprise to find that Laurent had a well-stocked armoury of elegant phrases and bitchy remarks, but could not talk in detail about anything sensible."
Author: C.S. Pacat
6. "There was a warmth of fury in his last phrases. He meant she loved him more than he her. Perhaps he could not love her. Perhaps she had not in herself that which he wanted. It was the deepest motive of her soul, this self-mistrust. It was so deep she dared neither realise nor acknowledge. Perhaps she was deficient. Like an infinitely subtle shame, it kept her always back. If it were so, she would do without him. She would never let herself want him. She would merely see."
Author: D.H. Lawrence
7. "Children frequently sing meaningful phrases to themselves over and over again before they learn to make a distinction between singing and saying."
Author: David Antin
8. "In a head-on collision with Fanatics, the real problem is always the same: how can we possibly behave decently toward people so arrogantly ignorant that they believe, first, that they possess Christ's power to bestow salvation, second, that forcing us to memorize and regurgitate a few of their favorite Bible phrases and attend their church is that salvation, and third, that any discomfort, frustration, anger or disagreement we express in the face of their moronic barrages is due not to their astounding effrontery but to our sinfulness?"
Author: David James Duncan
9. "All trademarks, company names, registered names, products, characters, mottos, logos, jingles and catchphrases used or cited in this work are the property of their respective owners and have only been mentioned and or used as cultural references to enhance the narrative and in no way were used to disparage or harm the owners and their companies. It is the author's sincerest wish the owners of the cited trademarks, company names, etc. appreciate the success they have achieved in making their products household names and appreciate the free plug."
Author: E.A. Bucchianeri
10. "The bulletproof vest--'bullet resistant,' technically--is made of two double panels of a synthetic material called Kevlar, inside a cloth carrier that holds it around your torso like a lead X-ray smock. One cop wrote phrases from the Bible on his, 'Yea, though I walk in the valley of the Shadow of Death...' Other cops wrote their blood type."
Author: Edward Conlon
11. "There are metaphors more real than the people who walk in the street. There are images tucked away in books that live more vividly than many men and women. There are phrases from literary works that have a positively human personality. There are passages from my own writing that chill me with fright, so distinctly do I feel them as people, so sharply outlined do they appear against the walls of my room, at night, in shadows... I've written sentences whose sound, read out loud or silently (impossible to hide their sound), can only be of something that acquired absolute exteriority and a full-fledged soul."
Author: Fernando Pessoa
12. "Emotionally, I was affected a lot by Rage Against the Machine, not specifically the literal intention of the words or what it was about, but the feel, the sound, those phrases that got me."
Author: Fred Durst
13. "George: 'Ringo would always say grammmatically incorrect phrases and we'd all laugh. I remember when we were driving back to Liverpool from Luton up the M1 motorway in Ringo's Zephyr, and the car's bonnet hadn't been latched properly. The wind got under it and blew it up in front of the windscreen. We were all shouting, 'Aaaargh!' and Ringo calmly said, 'Don't worry, I'll soon have you back in your safely-beds."
Author: George Harrison
14. "I tossed up whether I'd see [the critic] or not: I knew too well the pompous phrases of his article, the buried significance he would discover of which I was unaware and the faults I was tired of facing."
Author: Graham Greene
15. "The most exaggerated speeches usually hid the weakest of feelings - as though the fullness of the soul did not overflow into the emptiest phrases, since no one can ever express the exact measure of his needs, his conceptions or his sorrows, and human speech is like a cracked pot on which we beat out rhythms for bears to dance to when we are striving to make music that will wring tears from the stars"
Author: Gustave Flaubert
16. "Thus she is almost always a failure as a lawyer, for the law requires only an armament of hollow phrases and stereotyped formulae, and a mental habit which puts these phantasms above sense, truth and justice; and she is almost always a failure in business, for business, in the main, is so foul a compound of trivialities and rogueries that her sense of intellectual integrity revolts against it."
Author: H.L. Mencken
17. "The undersigned pointed out that nothing was required of a pastor except that he intimate in church at the dead man's bier his date of birth and date of death and thereafter say some little prayer or other, even if it were only the Lord's Prayer; and finally sprinkle the State's three spadefuls of earth with the statutory innocent phrases, Earth to earth, etc., as is the custom. Pastor Jón Prímus: That's not so innocent as it looks. It derives from those scholastics. They were always doing their utmost to falsify Aristotle, though he was quite bad enough already. They tried to feed the fables with yet more fables, such as that the primary elements of matter first disintegrate and then reassemble to resurrect. They lied so fast in the Middle Ages they hadn't even time to hiccup."
Author: Halldór Laxness
18. "A terrible crisis unquestionably has arisen in the Church. In the ministry of evangelical churches are to be found hosts of those who reject the gospel of Christ. By the equivocal use of traditional phrases, by the representation of differences of opinion as though they were only differences about the interpretation of the Bible, entrance into the Church was secured for those who are hostile to the very foundations of the faith."
Author: J. Gresham Machen
19. "In attempting to say who Jesus is, the best we can do is to utter words provoked by the collective attempts to do so over the centuries-- a choral work we cannot possibly translate back into a few phrases, any more than we can assume that a concert is adequately described by its listing in the program, or that a painting is interchangeable with its title. Reading the program or the museum's catalogue, we have no notion of what actually was performed or displayed. We can extend the metaphor: a literal reading of the Bible amounts to little more than what we learn from a concert program, or even the score. It is the symphonic whole that bears the meaning that nothing less can remotely capture."
Author: James P. Carse
20. "To say exactly what one means, even to one's own private satisfaction, is difficult. To say exactly what one means and to involve another person is harder still. Communication between you and me relies on assumptions, associations, commonalities and a kind of agreed shorthand, which no-one could precisely define but which everyone would admit exists. That is one reason why it is an effort to have a proper conversation in a foreign language. Even if I am quite fluent, even if I understand the dictionary definitions of words and phrases, I cannot rely on a shorthand with the other party, whose habit of mind is subtly different from my own. Nevertheless, all of us know of times when we have not been able to communicate in words a deep emotion and yet we know we have been understood. This can happen in the most foreign of foreign parts and it can happen in our own homes. It would seem that for most of us, most of the time, communication depends on more than words."
Author: Jeanette Winterson
21. "Si seulement je pouvais m'arrêter de penser, ça irait déjà mieux. Les pensées, c'est ce qu'il y a de plus fade. Plus fade encore que de la chair. Ça s'étire à n'en plus finir et ça laisse un drôle de goût. Et puis il y a les mots, au-dedans des pensées, les mots inachevés, les ébauches de phrases qui reviennent tout le temps."
Author: Jean Paul Sartre
22. "It bothered me that he was right. Without Sir Stuart's intervention, I'd have been dead again already.That's right--you heard me: dead again already.I mean, come on. How screwed up is your life (after- or otherwise) when you find yourself needing phrases like that?"
Author: Jim Butcher
23. "I grunted. It's something I picked up over a fifteen-year career in law enforcement. Men have managed to create a complex and utterly impenetrable secret language consisting of monosyllabic sounds and partial words—and they are apparently too thick to realize it exists. Maybe they really are from Mars. I'd been able to learn a few Martian phrases over time, and one of the useful ones was the grunt that meant "I acknowledge that I've heard what you said; please continue."
Author: Jim Butcher
24. "Authoritarian, paralyzing, circular, occasionally elliptical stock phrases, also jocularly referred to as nuggets of wisdom, are a malignant plague, one of the very worst ever to ravage the earth."
Author: José Saramago
25. "Ah". Tzimisces smiled. "Let me guess. Flowery periphrases, back-to-back literary allusions and quotations from thousand-year-old authors. A marked reluctance to use one word when twelve can be jammed in if you sit on the lid."
Author: K.J. Parker
26. "For fools admire and love those things they see hidden in verses turned all upside down, and take for truth what sweetly strokes the ears and comes with sound of phrases fine imbued."
Author: Lucretius
27. "Always write as if you are talking to someone. It works. Don't put on any fancy phrases or accents or things you wouldn't say in real life."
Author: Maeve Binchy
28. "She had been taught in her girlhood to fondle and cherish those long-necked, sinuous creatures, the phrases of Chopin, so free, so flexible, so tactile, which begin by seeking their ultimate resting-place somewhere beyond and far wide of the direction in which they started, the point which one might have expected them to reach, phrases which divert themselves in those fantastic bypaths only to return more deliberately—with a more premediated reaction, with more precision, as on a crystal bowl which, if you strike it, will ring and throb until you cry aloud in anguish—to clutch at one's heart."
Author: Marcel Proust
29. "In that way Vinteuil's phrase, like some theme, say, in Tristan, which represents to us also a certain acquisition of sentiment, has espoused our mortal state, had endued a vesture of humanity that was affecting enough. Its destiny was linked, for the future, with that of the human soul, of which it was one of the special, the most distinctive ornaments. Perhaps it is not-being that is the true state, and all our dream of life is without existence; but, if so, we feel that it must be that these phrases of music, these conceptions which exist in relation to our dream, are nothing either. We shall perish, but we have for our hostages these divine captives who shall follow and share our fate. And death in their company is something less bitter, less inglorious, perhaps even less certain."
Author: Marcel Proust
30. "Ollie-O was in a semicatatonic state, uttering nonsensical phrases like "This is not biodegradable - the downstream implications are enormous - the optics make for rough sledding - going forward -" before getting stuck on the words "epic fail," which he kept repeating."
Author: Maria Semple
31. "One must travel, to learn. Every day, now, old Scriptural phrases that never possessed any significance for me before, take to themselves a meaning."
Author: Mark Twain
32. "I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists. I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings are only the objects of pity, and that kind of love which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt."
Author: Mary Wollstonecraft
33. "Have you heard," he said "that many of our people believe if you know five colloquial expressions in their tribal language, they must always provide you with nourishment and shelter? But-" He paused as though to make sure she was paying attention. "But if you know fewer than five, they owe you not even a sip of water."She nodded, understanding his point, but he pressed it."Learn those five phrases, Miss Sweeney," he said."
Author: Masha Hamilton
34. "There was no pretention here, no hidden meanings in the phrases they spoke, no elaborate plans designed to impress the other. Though it had always been easy to spend time with Mike, she suddenly realized that in the whirlwind of the past couple of weeks, she'd almost forgot how much she enjoyed it."
Author: Nicholas Sparks
35. "I'm sitting at the bar, rearranging the order of my jokes. I'm under the delusion that I'm having bad shows because of some cosmic misalignment of words, phrases, and ideas. I may as well have cast runes into a spirit bowl, hoping that the collective heart of the audience would open to my necromantic call. Maybe that's how jugglers do it. Those guys never have shitty sets."
Author: Patton Oswalt
36. "Like prepositional phrases, certain structural arrangements in English are much more important than the small bones of grammar in its most technical sense. It really wouldn't matter much if we started dropping the s from our plurals. Lots of words get along without it anyway, and in most cases context would be enough to indicate number. Even the distinction between singular and plural verb forms is just as much a polite convention as an essential element of meaning. But the structures, things like passives and prepositional phrases, constitute, among other things, an implicit system of moral philosophy, a view of the world and its presumed meanings, and their misuse therefore often betrays an attitude or value that the user might like to disavow."
Author: Richard Mitchell
37. "I love words.  I crave descriptions that overwhelm my imagination with vivid detail.  I dwell on phrases that make my heart thrum.  I cherish expressions that pierce my emotions and force the tears to spill over.   In essence, I long for a writer's soul sealed in ink on the page."
Author: Richelle E. Goodrich
38. "The associations get only richer and more intense when you realise that the very concept of truth - the cornerstone of philosophy and religion alike, let alone law - also rests heavily on the meaning of waking up. And you don't need a philosopher to appreciate it, because there are clues to its dependency in everyday phrases such as 'waking up to the truth', 'my eyes were opened' and even 'wake up and smell the coffee'. If such phrases hint that waking up and truth are bedfellows of some sort, you need only go back to the ancient Greek for corroboration. There you'll find that the word truth is 'aletheia', from which in English we get the word for 'lethargy'. But see how the Greek word is 'a-letheia' rather than letheia - that is truth is the opposite of lethargy. And what is opposite of lethargy, if not waking up?"
Author: Robert Rowland Smith
39. "Old English poetry also contained a wide range of conventional poetic diction, many of the words being created to allow alliterative patterns to be made. There are therefore numerous alternatives for key words like battle, warrior, horse, ship, the sea, prince, and so on. Some are decorative periphrases: a king can be a 'giver of rings' or a 'giver of treasure' (literally, a king was expected to provide his warriors with gifts after they had fought for him)."
Author: Ronald Carter
40. "Phrases such as "I'm beside myself," "I was frightened to pieces," "I feel lost," "I feel like part of me is missing," originated from a sense of soul loss."
Author: S. Kelley Harrell
41. "True art selects and paraphrases, but seldom gives a verbatim translation."
Author: Thomas Bailey Aldrich
42. "He read political books. They gave him phrases which he could only speak to himself and use on Shama. They also revealed one region after another of misery and injustice and left him feeling more helpless and more isolated than ever. Then it was that he discovered the solace of Dickens. Without difficulty he transferred characters and settings to people and places he knew. In the grotesques of Dickens everything he feared and suffered from was ridiculed and diminished, so that his own anger, his own contempt became unnecessary, and he was given strength to bear the most difficult part of his day: dressing in the morning, that daily affirmation of faith in oneself, which at times for him was almost like an act of sacrifice."
Author: V.S. Naipaul
43. "The parrot had a range of phrases. His own name ('Niko, Niko'), the name of his original owner and now 'Stavros'. Occasionally he would also say 'Panagia mou', which could be an expression of piety but also a gentle expletive, depending on how it was said. With the parrot it was hard to tell. It did not sound pious."
Author: Victoria Hislop
44. "Every human occupation has it repertoire of stock phrases, within which every man twists and turn until his death. His vocabulary, which seems so lavish, reduces itself to a hundred routine formulas at most, which he repeats over and over."
Author: Villiers De L'Isle Adam
45. "I walk making up phrases; sit, contriving scenes; am in short in the thick of the greatest rapture known to me."
Author: Virginia Woolf
46. "Let me now raise my song of glory. Heaven be praised for solitude. Let me be alone. Let me cast and throw away this veil of being, this cloud that changes with the least breath, night and day, and all night and all day. While I sat here I have been changing. I have watched the sky change. I have seen clouds cover the stars, then free the stars, then cover the stars again. Now I look at their changing no more. Now no one sees me and I change no more. Heaven be praised for solitude that has removed the pressure of the eye, the solicitation of the body, and all need of lies and phrases"
Author: Virginia Woolf
47. "It was love, she thought, love that never clutch its object; but, like the love which mathematicians bear their symbols, or poets their phrases, was meant to be spread over the world and become part of human gain. The world by all means should have shared it, could Mr Bankes have said why that woman pleased him so; why the sight of her reading a fairy tale to her boy had upon him precisely the same effect as the solution of a scientific problem."
Author: Virginia Woolf
48. "And thus she made it impossible for me to roll out my sonorous phrases about "elemental feelings," the "common stuff of humanity," "depths of the human heart," and all those other phrases which support us in our belief that, however clever we may be on top, we are very serious, very profound and very humane underneath."
Author: Virginia Woolf
49. "Waves of hands, hesitations at street corners, someone dropping a cigarette into the gutter-all are stories. But which is the true story? That I do not know. Hence I keep my phrases hung like clothes in a cupboard, waiting for some one to wear them. Thus waiting, thus speculating, making this note and then an· other I do not cling to life. I shall be brushed like a bee from a sunflower. My philosophy, always accumulating, welling up moment by moment, runs like quicksilver a dozen ways at once."
Author: Virginia Woolf
50. "I am tied down with single words. But you wander off; you slip away; you rise up higher, with words and words in phrases."
Author: Virginia Woolf

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People who hold important positions in society are commonly labelled "somebodies," and their inverse "nobodies"-both of which are, of course, nonsensical descriptors, for we are all, by necessity, individuals with distinct identities and comparable claims on existence. Such words are nevertheless an apt vehicle for conveying the disparate treatment accorded to different groups. Those without status are all but invisible: they are treated brusquely by others, their complexities trampled upon and their singularities ignored."
Author: Alain De Botton

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