Top Sign Language Quotes

Browse top 68 famous quotes and sayings about Sign Language by most favorite authors.

Favorite Sign Language Quotes

1. "The revolt in Asia Minor was snugged out in 494, and the Athenians realized that they had acquired a dangerous enemy. Darius I's first attempt at invasion in 492 was abortive: a huge storm wrecked his fleet. In 491 the Persians demanded 'earth and water' --signs of submission--from the Aegean islands and mainland cities. Many submitted. Athens and Sparta not only stood firm but murdered the Persian ambassadors. The Athenians put them on trial and killed both the ambassadors and their translator for offenses against the Greek language; the Spartans simply thew them down a well."
Author: Alan Ryan
2. "Twenty miles on, we have spotted a roadside sign: 'CHAINSAW CARVED MUSHROOMS'. Troubles promptly forgotten, Stuart falls to gawping at the road ahead. What could it all be about? 'As one victim to another,' his body language seems to marvel, 'what's a mushroom done to deserve that kind of abuse?' Not even in the worst days of street-fighting did he ever experience ill-treatment on this scale."
Author: Alexander Masters
3. "What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood."
Author: Alice Miller
4. "He is the intermediary between us, his audience, the living, and they, the dolls, the undead, who cannot live at all and yet who mimic the living in every detail since, though they cannot speak or weep, still they project those signals of signification we instantly recognize as language."
Author: Angela Carter
5. "I'm trained as an architect; writing is like architecture. In buildings, there are design motifs that occur again and again, that repeat -- patterns, curves. These motifs help us feel comfortable in a physical space. And the same works in writing, I've found. For me, the way words, punctuation and paragraphs fall on the page is important as well -- the graphic design of the language. That was why the words and thoughts of Estha and Rahel, the twins, were so playful on the page ... I was being creative with their design. Words were broken apart, and then sometimes fused together. "Later" became "Lay. Ter." "An owl" became "A Nowl." "Sour metal smell" became "sourmetal smell."Repetition I love, and used because it made me feel safe. Repeated words and phrases have a rocking feeling, like a lullaby. They help take away the shock of the plot -- death, lives destroyed or the horror of the settings -- a crazy, chaotic, emotional house, the sinister movie theater."
Author: Arundhati Roy
6. "Suppose that for millennia aliens have been sending a radio signal to Earth in the language of mathematics. Not having any fingers to inspire them, they never developed a base-10 decimal system. Instead of pulses of monads their message uses only zero, the expression of their limblessness and the name of their most important God (also limbless). Leibniz's void has been speaking to us all along, but we never picked up on the silence. If such a species were revealed to exist, there would be no need for chirps of a belated cosmic anticlimax, or even complaints over the waste of taxpayers' dollars. Instead, the quietude of the astronomy community would imply these things, relegating their hopes to the status of all the discredited religions they so despise. There is no death like discovery."
Author: Bauvard
7. "But the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It's a love that operates more like a sign language than being spoken outright."
Author: Bob Goff
8. "Programmers are always surrounded by complexity; we cannot avoid it. Our applications are complex because we are ambitious to use our computers in ever more sophisticated ways. Programming is complex because of the large number of conflicting objectives for each of our programming projects. If our basic tool, the language in which we design and code our programs, is also complicated, the language itself becomes part of the problem rather than part of its solution."
Author: C.A.R. Hoare
9. "He had since forever been working on a book called Uncanny Blossom. When Leon had told him, Billy had said, "I had no idea you were entering the Shit Title Olympics." "If you didn't swim in your sump of ignorance you'd know that title's designed to fuck with the French. Neither word's translatable into their ridiculous language."
Author: China Miéville
10. "A shoe is not only a design, but it's a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you're going to move is quite dictated by your shoes."
Author: Christian Louboutin
11. "There have existed, and for the time being still exist, many cultures whose members refuse to cut the vocal cords of the planet, and refuse to enter into the deadening deal which we daily accept as part of living. It is perhaps significant that prior to contact with Western Civilization many of these cultures did not have rape, nor did they have child abuse (the Okanagans of what is now British Columbia, to provide just one example, had neither word nor concept in their language corresponding to the abuse of a child.)"
Author: Derrick Jensen
12. "Let us suppose that someone is writing a story. From the world of conventional signs he takes an azalea bush, plants it in a pleasant park. He takes a gold pocket watch from the world of conventional signs and places it under the azalea bush. He takes from the same rich source a handsome thief and a chastity belt, places the thief in the chastity belt and lays him tenderly under the azalea, not neglecting to wind the gold pocket watch so that its ticking will, at length, awaken the now-sleeping thief. From the Sarah Lawrence campus he borrows a pair of seniors, Jacqueline and Jemima, and sets them to walking in the vicinity of the azalea bush and the handsome, chaste thief. Jacqueline and Jemima have just failed the Graduate Record Examination and are cursing God in colorful Sarah Lawrence language. What happens next? Of course, I don't know."
Author: Donald Barthelme
13. "The Babel fish is small, yellow, leechlike, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centers of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish."
Author: Douglas Adams
14. "Sometimes the signs and signals of the non-language speaking world are not very clear. Then we have to walk in trust, move forward step by small step, until we are sure of the proper path."
Author: Elaine Seiler
15. "Hardy's astonishing technical versatility has won the admiration of major poets from Ezra Pound and Cecil Day Lewis to Philip Larkin. Among other genres he employs the lyric, narrative, ballads, and the sonnet. He also moves easily between the amplitude of dramatic monologue and the compression of imagism. He experiments continually with an ingenious variety of stanza forms and rhyme schemes, rejecting the fluidity of contemporary poetry for his own idiosyncratic style, based on a real understanding of the variety of speech rhythms and registers. Each individual poem is designed to express in its language and form, and with utter honesty, Hardy's impressions of life."
Author: Geoffrey Harvey
16. "No season lives here. This space has quite successfully shut out any such interference. The cunning designer saw to it that there is not even a mirror in which the reader might contemplate his own appearance or anxiously search for the marks of age. The climate is grammatical. Nothing here but books, as if I were swaddled in them, as if the porous walls of books were by now almost a second skin. Or as if they provided a padding like the walls of madhouses, a cushion constructed of the language of the dead."
Author: Geoffrey O'Brien
17. "I passed a large dark room where a wall-mounted flat-screen with sound muted showed an overweight rapper performing rap hand gestures, which are supposed to project masculine cool but in fact look like a pointlessly violent version of deaf sign language."
Author: Glen Duncan
18. "If woman has always functioned "within" the discourse of man, a signifier that has always referred back to the opposite signifier which annihilates its specific energy and diminishes or stifles its very different sounds, it is time for her to dislocate this "within," to explode it, turn it around, and seize it; to make it hers, containing it, taking it in her own mouth, biting that tongue with her very own teeth to invent for herself a language to get inside of. And you'll see with what ease she will spring forth from that "within" - the "within" where once she so drowsily crouched - to overflow at the lips she will cover the foam."
Author: Hélène Cixous
19. "The symbolic view of things is a consequence of long absorption in images. Is sign language the real language of Paradise?"
Author: Hugo Ball
20. "The language of intrinsic human rights represented a significant advance beyond the previous language of world religions in terms of its universal applicability and its thiswordliness."
Author: Immanuel Wallerstein
21. "AimlesslyIt pounds the shore. White and aimless signals. NoOne listens to poetry.— from "Thing Language"
Author: Jack Spicer
22. "There is a progression from pictographic, writing the picture; to ideographic, writing the idea; and then logographic, writing the word. Chinese script began this transition between 4,500 and 8,000 years ago: signs that began as pictures came to represent meaningful units of sound. Because the basic unit was the word, thousands of distinct symbols were required. This is efficient in one way, inefficient in another. Chinese unifies an array of distinct spoken languages: people who cannot speak to one another can write to one another. It employs at least fifty thousand symbols, about six thousand commonly used and known to most literate Chinese. In swift diagrammatic strokes they encode multidimensional semantic relationships. One device is simple repetition: tree + tree + tree = forest; more abstractly, sun + moon = brightness and east + east = everywhere. The process of compounding creates surprises: grain + knife = profit; hand + eye = look."
Author: James Gleick
23. "We wish to be loved as we ourselves would love. Any other way makes as uncomfortable. We respond with doubt and suspicion. We misinterpret the signs. We do not understand the language. We accuse. We assert that the other person does not love us. But perhaps he merely loves us in some idiosyncratic way that we fail to recognize."
Author: Jan Philipp Sendker
24. "I'm learning sign language to be a better communicator and masturbator."
Author: Jarod Kintz
25. "Two things significantly distinguish human beings from the other animals; an interest in the past and the possibility of language. Brought together they make a third: Art. The invisible city not calculated to exist. Beyond the lofty pretensions of the merely ceremonial, long after the dramatic connivings of plitical life, like it or not, it remains. Time past eternally present and undestroyed."
Author: Jeanette Winterson
26. "Kids use words in ways that release hidden meanings, revel the history buried in sounds. They haven't forgotten that words can be more than signs, that words have magic, the power to be things, to point to themselves and materialize. With their back-formations, archaisms, their tendency to play the music in words--rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, repetition--children peel the skin from language. Words become incantatory. Open Sesame. Abracadabra. Perhaps a child will remember the word and will bring the walls tumbling down."
Author: John Edgar Wideman
27. "Keep a journal, and learn how to see how you as an individuals sees information so you can learn your own sign language. Meditate and practice psychic self defense and surrounding yourself with prayer."
Author: John Edward
28. "When truth is at odds with meaning, it is meaning that wins. Why this should be so is a delicate question. Why is meaning so important? Why do humans need a reason to live? Is it because they could not endure life if they did not believe it contained hidden significance? Or does the demand for meaning come from attaching too much sense to language – from thinking that our lives are books we have not yet learnt to read?"
Author: John Nicholas Gray
29. "The seed for my novel 'Half Brother' was planted in my mind over twenty years ago, but didn't germinate until late 2007 when I came across the obituary for Washoe, an extraordinary chimpanzee who had learned over 250 words of American Sign Language."
Author: Kenneth Oppel
30. "Her mother would be appalled, but she wouldn't say anything. She would just telegraph her distress with tightened lips and raised brows. She was good at that. Clemmie's mother's brows were better than sign language, complicated concepts conveyed with the minimum of movement."
Author: Lauren Willig
31. "What was a face on television but a code, and what was the difference between these faces but a realignment of line and color to shift among signals? If he grasped deeply this language of symbols, grasped it beneath the surface, he could course through the currents of authority as they coursed through him like heat or the tremble of cold."
Author: Lydia Millet
32. "...punctuation marks are the traffic signals of language: they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour, and stop."
Author: Lynne Truss
33. "I had an unusually large-sized head, though this was not uncommon for a baby in the Midwest. The craniums in our part of the country were designed to leave a little extra room for the brain to grow in case one day we found ourselves exposed to something we didn't understand, like a foreign language, or a salad."
Author: Michael Moore
34. "Sign is a live, contemporaneous, visual-gestural language and consists of hand shapes, hand positioning, facial expressions, and body movements. Simply put, it is for me the most beautiful, immediate, and expressive of languages, because it incorporates the entire human body."
Author: Myron Uhlberg
35. "I have never designed a language for its own sake."
Author: Niklaus Wirth
36. "Oh," Sally brightened proud of herself for deciphering his sign language, "you're telling me not to leave my room."Costin nodded his big wolf head again. His eyes had begun glowing back in the party and even now they continued to emit an eerie shade of green.Sally's inner Jen had been triggered as soon as she got the words out. So naturally she did what her inner Jen told her to. She stepped forward putting one toe outside her door. Costin growled, so she stepped back. Watching him coyly she put her other toe outside her door and he growled again. She was inwardly scolding herself for taunting him and allowing her inner Jen to control her actions, but she had discovered long ago that sometimes inner Jen is just more fun.When Sally stuck her foot out for the third time, she giggled when Costin snapped at her. She could tell that he was playing by the way his tail wagged and his eyes lightened, but had not stopped glowing all together."
Author: Quinn Loftis
37. "Nature is a language and every new fact one learns is a new word; but it is not a language taken to pieces and dead in the dictionary, but the language put together into a most significant and universal sense. I wish to learn this language--not that I may know a new grammar, but that I may read the great book which is written in that tongue."
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
38. "It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group. A racial group. Or a religion. Or a language. Anything, as long as it isn't the whole population."
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
39. "Zorro also is part of the bandido tradition, most closely associated with the possibly mythical Joaquin Murrieta and the historical Tiburcio Vasquez. As well as these local California legendary figures, Zorro is an American version of Robin Hood and similar heroes whose stories blend fiction and history, thus moving Zorro into the timeless realm of legend. The original story takes place in the Romantic era, but, more important, Zorro as Diego adds an element of poetry and sensuality, and as Zorro the element of sexuality, to the traditional Western hero. Not all Western heroes are, as D. H. Lawrence said of Cooper's Deerslayer, "hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer," but in the Western genre the hero and villain more often than not share these characteristics. What distinguishes Zorro is a gallantry, a code of ethics, a romantic sensibility, and most significant, a command of language and a keen intelligence and wit."
Author: Robert E. Morsberger
40. "Stone: Yes, we are everything, every experience we've ever had, and in some of us, a lot of it translates and makes patterns, poems. But, my God, we don't even began to touch upon it. There's an enormous amount, but we can touch such a little.Interviewer: That's true, just a very small portion.Stone: Very small. I think that's one of the things that our minds do; they sort out, somehow, often, and make patterns of significant things to us. And I think our minds do that for us in the dark, and then they offer them back in poems. I think your mind makes up your poem before you get it. You know, you receive the poem from your mind, you know you do. It takes a multitude of experiences, and all this language, and all this sound, and puts it together in these patterns that are significant to you and gives it back to you."
Author: Ruth Stone
41. "I took some classes in sign language when I was in my early teens because I was told that I would be completely deaf very early. But I never really wanted to learn."
Author: Stephanie Beacham
42. "He pointed toward the silhouettes on the side of the [bathrooms] instead--black cutout man, black cutout woman. The man had his legs apart, the woman had hers together. Pretty much the story of the human race in sign language."
Author: Stephen King
43. "Human eyes are the sign language of the brain. If you watch them carefully, you can see the truth played out, raw and unguarded."
Author: Tarryn Fisher
44. "If I were assigned poems I suppose I'd write more of them but it is entirely voluntary and for the most part ignored in the market sense of the word so the language to me is most intimate, most important, most sublime and most satisfying when it gets done."
Author: Thomas Lynch
45. "A minute passes as we enter Little Tokyo. It's kind of similar to what you see in the movies, with a lot of signs in different languages with "engrish" translations underneath and those big red gates with the curved wood on top, whatever they're called. The passing people on the street are, understandably, largely of Asian descent.... I get a couple looks, but I suspect it's 'cause my hair is a variety of shades not seen outside of an anime."
Author: Vaughn R. Demont
46. "So, thought Septimus, looking up, they are signalling to me. Not indeed in actual words; that is, he could not read the language yet; but it was plain enough, this beauty, this exquisite beauty, and tears filled his eyes as he looked at the smoke words languishing and melting in the sky and bestowing upon him in their inexhaustible charity and laughing goodness one shape after another of unimaginable beauty and signalling their intention to provide him, for nothing, for ever, for looking merely, with beauty, more beauty! Tears ran down his cheeks."
Author: Virginia Woolf
47. "Each one of us is alone in the world. He is shut in a tower of brass, and can communicate with his fellows only by signs, and the signs have no common value, so that their sense is vague and uncertain. We seek pitifully to convey to others the treasures of our heart, but they have not the power to accept them, and so we go lonely, side by side but not together, unable to know our fellows and unknown by them. We are like people living in a country whose language they know so little that, with all manner of beautiful and profound things to say, they are condemned to the banalities of the conversation manual. Their brain is seething with ideas, and they can only tell you that the umbrella of the gardener's aunt is in the house."
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
48. "Fragments of a vessel which are to be glued together must match one another in the smallest details, although they need not be like one another. In the same way a translation, instead of resembling the meaning of the original, must lovingly and in detail incorporate the original's mode of signification, thus making both the original and the translation recognizable as fragments of a greater language, just as fragments are part of a vessel."
Author: Walter Benjamin
49. "...the exorcist should not believe too readily that a person is possessed by an evil spirit; but he aught to ascertain by the signs by which a person possessed can be distinguished from one who is suffering from some illness; especially one of a psychological nature. Signs of possession may be the following: ability to speak with some facility in a strange language or to understand it when spoken by another; the facility of divulging future and hidden events; display of powers which are beyond the subject's age and natural condition; and various other conditions which, when taken together as a whole, build up the evidence."
Author: William Peter Blatty
50. "Ken brought my hand to his lips and kissed it. I'd been paying so much attention to Ken, I didn't know what happened during the game. I don't think anyone cared too much what the outcome was after Ken's at bat."Do you know who won?" I asked Cooper, who automatically translated into sign language for Shawn.Shawn laughed his odd laugh and signed something back. He looked at Ken, who had an arm wrapped possessively around my waist.Cooper grinned. "Shawn says it looks like you did, Jordie."
Author: Z.A. Maxfield

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I knew something as I watched almost everyone was saying goodbye to me. I was becoming one of many little girl-losts. They would go back to their homes and put me to rest, a letter from the past never reopened or reread. And I could say goodbye to them, wish them well, bless them somehow for their good thoughts. A handshake in the street, a dropped item picked up and retrieved and handed back, or a friendly wave from a distant window, a nod, a smile, a moment when the eyes lock over the antics of a child."
Author: Alice Sebold

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