Top Syntax Quotes

Browse top 46 famous quotes and sayings about Syntax by most favorite authors.

Favorite Syntax Quotes

1. "A letter is always better than a phone call. People write things in letters they would never say in person. They permit themselves to write down feelings and observations using emotional syntax far more intimate and powerful than speech will allow."
Author: Alice Steinbach
2. "Who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Spacethrough images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame"
Author: Allen Ginsberg
3. "The course of a man's destiny can seem sharply altered by a sudden illumination. But illumination is no more than the Spirit's sudden vision of a road that is long prepared. Gradually I learned grammar. I practiced syntax. My feelings were awakened. Then a poem suddenly blazed in my heart."
Author: Antoine De Saint Exupéry
4. "I could not give up either of these worlds, neither the book I am holding nor the gleaming forest, though I have told you almost nothing of what is said here on these grim pages, from the sentences of which I've conjured images of a bleak site years ago. Here in this room, I suppose, is to be found the interior world of the book; but it opens upon a world beyond the windows, where no event has been collapsed into syntax, where the vocabulary, it seems, is infinite. The indispensable connection for me lies with the open space (of the open window ajar year round, never closed) that lets the breath of every winter storm, the ripping wind and its pelting rain, enter the room."
Author: Barry Lopez
5. "I watched the enormity of the clouds for several minutes. What I wanted to experience in the water, I realized, was how life of the reef was layered and intertwined. I now had many individual pieces at hand: named images, nouns. How were they related? What were the verbs? Which syntaxes were indigenous to the place? I asked a dozen knowledgeable people. No one was inclined to elaborate- or they didn't know. "Did you see the octopus?" Someone shouted after the dive. Yes, I thought, but who among us knows what it was doing? What else was THERE, just then? WHY?"
Author: Barry Lopez
6. "Grammar and ordinary language are bad guides to metaphysics. A great book might be written showing the influence of syntax on philosophy."
Author: Bertrand Russell
7. "My favorite language for maintainability is Python. It has simple, clean syntax, object encapsulation, good library support, and optional named parameters."
Author: Bram Cohen
8. "What that book does for me is give me the tools in the same way that I had the tools when I learned the regular scales or the alphabet. If you give me the tools, the syntax, and the grammar, it still doesn't tell me how to write Ulysses."
Author: David Baker
9. "A voice from the dark called out,"The poets must give usimagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiarimagination of disaster. Peace, not onlythe absence of war."But peace, like a poem,is not there ahead of itself,can't be imagined before it is made,can't be known exceptin the words of its making,grammar of justice,syntax of mutual aid.A feeling towards it,dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we haveuntil we begin to utter its metaphors,learning them as we speak.A line of peace might appearif we restructured the sentence our lives are making,revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,questioned our needs, allowedlong pauses. . . .A cadence of peace might balance its weighton that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,an energy field more intense than war,might pulse then,stanza by stanza into the world,each act of livingone of its words, each worda vibration of light--facetsof the forming crystal."
Author: Denise Levertov
10. "There's a rumor it seems involving the finance minister. He's supposed to resign any time now," she said. "Some kind of scandal about a misconstrued comment. He made a comment about the economy that may have been misconstrued. The whole country is analyzing the grammar and syntax of this comment. Or it wasn't even what he said. It was when he paused. They are trying to construe the meaning of the pause. It could be deeper, even, than grammar. It could be breathing."
Author: Don DeLillo
11. "Those who prefer their English sloppy have only themselves to thank if the advertisement writer uses his mastery of the vocabulary and syntax to mislead their weak minds."
Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
12. "There's life for you. Spend the best years of your life studying penmanship and rhetoric and syntax and Beowulf and George Eliot, and then somebody steals your pencil."
Author: Dorothy Parker
13. "Few classical programmers found prototypal inheritance to be acceptable, and classically inspired syntax obscures the language's true prototypal nature. It is the worst of both worlds."
Author: Douglas Crockford
14. "Who pays any attentionto the syntax of thingswill never wholly kiss you"
Author: E.E. Cummings
15. "Since feeling is firstwho pays any attentionto the syntax of thingswill never wholly kiss you;wholly to be a foolwhile Spring is in the worldmy blood approves,and kisses are a far better fatethan wisdomlady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry--the best gesture of my brain is less thanyour eyelids' flutter which sayswe are for eachother: thenlaugh, leaning back in my armsfor life's not a paragraphAnd death i think is no parenthesis"
Author: E.E. Cummings
16. "I want to prove you don't need to have academic syntax to be intelligent."
Author: Eddie Huang
17. "GOING to him! Happy letter! Tell him— Tell him the page I did n't write; Tell him I only said the syntax, And left the verb and the pronoun out. Tell him just how the fingers hurried, 5Then how they waded, slow, slow, slow; And then you wished you had eyes in your pages, So you could see what moved them so. "Tell him it was n't a practised writer, You guessed, from the way the sentence toiled; 10You could hear the bodice tug, behind you, As if it held but the might of a child; You almost pitied it, you, it worked so. Tell him—No, you may quibble there, For it would split his heart to know it, 15And then you and I were silenter. "Tell him night finished before we finished, And the old clock kept neighing ‘day!' And you got sleepy and begged to be ended— What could it hinder so, to say? 20Tell him just how she sealed you, cautious, But if he ask where you are hid Until to-morrow,—happy letter! Gesture, coquette, and shake your head!"
Author: Emily Dickinson
18. "This too to remember. If a man writes clearly enough any one can see if he fakes. If he mystifies to avoid a straight statement, which is very different from breaking so-called rules of syntax or grammar to make an efffect which can be obtained in no other way, the writer takes a longer time to be known as a fake and other writers who are afflicted by the same necessity will praise him in their own defense. True mysticism should not be confused with incompetence in writing which seeks to mystify where there is no mystery but is really only the necessity to fake to cover lack of knowledge or the inability to state clearly. Mysticism implies a mystery and there are many mysteries; but incompetence is not one of them; nor is overwritten journalism made literature by the injection of a false epic qulaity. Remember this too: all bad writers are in love with the epic."
Author: Ernest Hemingway
19. "I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language. To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization."
Author: Frantz Fanon
20. "A poem must be authentic. It could be flowery, it could have the most brilliant metaphor, it could be bursting with onomatopoeia and alliteration, assonance and consonance, hyperbole and paradox, from every end, it could have daring syntax and clever cacophony, it could have a neat and ordered rhyme scheme...but, if it loses its authenticity, its ability to convey the very heart and soul of the poet, then all the euphony and cacophony in the world cannot make up for the loss of its identity as a poem. And that is the true cacophony."
Author: Gina Marinello Sweeney
21. "Ils en conclurent que la syntaxe est une fantaisie et la grammaire une illusion."
Author: Gustave Flaubert
22. "If you're a poet, you do something beautiful. I mean, you're supposed to leave something beautiful after you get off the page and everything. The ones you're talking about don't leave a single, solitary thing beautiful. All that maybe the slightly better ones do is sort of get inside your head and leave something there, but just because they do, just because they know how to leave something, it doesn't have to be a poem for heaven's sake. It may just be some kind of terribly fascinating, syntaxy droppings--excuse the expression. Like Manlius and Esposito and all those poor men."
Author: J.D. Salinger
23. "Long looking at paintings is equivalent to being dropped into a foreign city, where gradually, out of desire and despair, a few key words, then a little syntax make a clearing in the silence. Art... is a foreign city, and we deceive ourselves when we think it familiar... We have to recognize that the language of art, all art, is not our mother-tongue."
Author: Jeanette Winterson
24. "It's all as if words, phrases, images, syntax were small glass beads from a necklace which was wrenched from some neck and spilled on the floor and down the sides of sofa cushions and armchairs and under bookshelves and maybe swallowed by the cat. I've got to find all the glass pieces before I can even reorder the color sequence, and restring it and tie it tighter than before. There's always a splendor in beginning all over. Even if it means getting on one's knees to search beneath that bookshelf or prospecting through years of lint and ashes beneath those cushions. Even if it means breaking open that cat's shit, which it conveniently has deposited in a plastic box, more orderly than any secretary could ever hope to be.Then I'll appreciate the value of each bead – rather, each word and image – that much more, never wasting another. And I will, I swear to myself, get it all back in time, string it all together, tighter, as I said, than before."
Author: Jim Carroll
25. "Syntax, like government, can only be obeyed. It istherefore of no use except when youhave something particular to commandsuch as: Go buy me a bunch of carrots."
Author: John Cage
26. "It seemed to a number of philosophers of language, myself included, that we should attempt to achieve a unification of Chomsky's syntax, with the results of the researches that were going on in semantics and pragmatics. I believe that this effort has proven to be a failure. Though Chomsky did indeed revolutionize the subject of linguistics, it is not at all clear, at the end the century, what the solid results of this revolution are. As far as I can tell there is not a single rule of syntax that all, or even most, competent linguists are prepared to agree is a rule."
Author: John Searle
27. "We writers aren't sculpting in DNA, or even clay or mud, but words, sentences, paragraphs, syntax, voice; materials issued by tongue or fingertips but which upon release dissolve into the atmosphere, into cloud, confection, specter. Language, as a vehicle, is a lemon, a hot rod painted with thrilling flames but crazily erratic to drive, riddled with bugs like innate self-consciousness, embedded metaphors and symbols, helpless intertextuality, and so forth. Despite being regularly driven on prosaic errands (interoffice memos, supermarket receipts, etc.), it tends to veer on its misaligned chassis into the ditch of abstraction, of dream."
Author: Jonathan Lethem
28. "Why do you seem so annoyed at what I'm saying?""Because we're too much like each other. I loathe your face, which is a caricature of mine, I loathe your voice, which is a mockery of mine, I loathe your pathetic syntax, which is my own."
Author: Jorge Luis Borges
29. "I have talents that I'm not supposed to have: I can tell who crushes on who by how they stand, I can read strides, I can hear the tonal differences between an alto and a soprano singing the same line so clearly that to me they sing entirely different notes, and I can read through the lines and tell when a person doesn't need to be writing at all. That, that is what makes me a snob, because I cannot abide a person putting pen to paper or fingers on keys when they don't need to, when word choice is not as relevant and demanding and essential to them as breathing and syntax is about being correct and not about being evocative."
Author: Julia Bascom
30. "The next day it's Virginia Woolf who wafts through. Hers is acuriously insistent presence; take your eyes off her for a moment andthe next thing you know she's rearranging your syntax as though itwere cutlery improperly laid out for a seven-course meal with someforeign dignitary who disdains your nation's table manners."
Author: Kamila Shamsie
31. "Modernism was based on a kind of arrogance ... and led designers to believe that if they thought of something cool, it must be considered universally cool. That is, if something's worth doing, it's worth driving into the ground to the exclusion of all other approaches. Look at the use of parentheses in Lisp or the use of white space as syntax in Python. Or the mandatory use of objects in many languages, including Java. All of these are ways of taking freedom away from the end user "for their own good". They're just versions of Orwell's Newspeak, in which it's impossible to think bad thoughts. We escaped from the fashion police in the 1970s, but many programmers are still slaves of the cyber police."
Author: Larry Wall
32. "Gjerji raises his hand. In English he says, "I like to tell in the words of a great American philosopher what freedom is.""Say it in your language to your peers," I urge.Gyerji makes his statement. The class grows silent and thoughtful; there is much nodding. Twain perhaps? Emerson? Diana sidles up and whispers in my ear. "He says to them that freedom is a word when nothing is anymore able to be losed."Janis Joplin, de-syntaxed."
Author: Laura Kelly
33. "The ambiguities of language, both in terms of vocabulary and syntax, are fascinating: how important connotation is, what is lost and what is gained in the linguistic transition."
Author: Marilyn Hacker
34. "What I really devoured . . . was the truculence of my hosts' language: the syntax may have been brutally sloppy, but it was oh so warm in its juvenile authenticity. I feasted on their words, yes, the words flowing at that get-together of country brothers, the sort of words that, at times, delight one much more than the pleasures of the flesh. Words: repositories for singular realities which they transform into moments in an anthology, magicians that change the face of reality by adorning it with the right to become memorable, to be placed in a library of memories. Life exists only by virtue of the osmosis of words and facts, where the former encase the latter in ceremonial dress."
Author: Muriel Barbery
35. "When a man walks into a room and you shake hands with him, you do not feel that you are shaking hands with him. Death changes that. This is the body of X, not this is X. The syntax is entirely different. Now we are talking about two things instead of one, implying that the man continues to exist, but only as an idea, a cluster of images and memories in the minds of the other people. As for the body, it is no more than flesh and bones, a heap of pure matter."
Author: Paul Auster
36. "Muddled syntax is the outward and audible sign of confused minds, and the misuse of grammar the result of illogical thinking."
Author: Quentin Crisp
37. "It was the single forgiving phrase in the syntax of weaponry I had strapped about me. The rest were unequivocal sentences of death."
Author: Richard K. Morgan
38. "A truly enlightened attitude to language should simply be to let six thousand or more flowers bloom. Subcultures should be allowed to thrive, not just because it is wrong to squash them, because they enrich the wider culture. Just as Black English has left its mark on standard English Culture, South Africans take pride in the marks of Afrikaans and African languages on their vocabulary and syntax. New Zealand's rugby team chants in Maori, dancing a traditional dance, before matches. French kids flirt with rebellion by using verlan, a slang that reverses words' sounds or syllables (so femmes becomes meuf). Argentines glory in lunfardo, an argot developed from the underworld a centyry ago that makes Argentine Spanish unique still today. The nonstandard greeting "Where y'at?" for "How are you?" is so common among certain whites in New Orleans that they bear their difference with pride, calling themselves Yats. And that's how it should be."
Author: Robert Lane Greene
39. "Geordie wrote a letter to Mr. Webster in which the shrieking figure of Apology was hounded through a labyrinth of agonized syntax."
Author: Robertson Davies
40. "I have been so-many too-many persons; life, unlike syntax, allows one more than three."
Author: Salman Rushdie
41. "I thought that strange syntax was the language of story books. I didn't realize those were poor translations... English from Edwardian times."
Author: Sandra Cisneros
42. "It's not what you think, Z. Turn on those god powers and use them. I am not responsible for her knowledge of nothing." – Sundown"Impressively screwed-up syntax there, Cowboy. Glad I could follow it…Sort of. As for the powers, don't really have time to scan her and I really don't give a shit. Rather kill her and save myself the expended energy for something I might actually enjoy…like picking my pose." – Zarek‘Ew. Someone was socially awkward.' – Abigail"
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
43. "Our memory fragments don't have any coherence until they're imagined in words. Time is a property of language, of syntax, and tense."
Author: Siri Hustvedt
44. "Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do? to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street."
Author: Stephen King
45. "If the nails are weak, your house will collapse. If your verbs are weak and your syntax is rickety, your sentences will fall apart."
Author: William Knowlton Zinsser
46. "But oh, mesdames, if you are not allowed to touch the heart sometimes in spite of syntax, and are not to be loved until you all know the difference between trimeter and tetrameter, may all Poetry go to the deuce, and every schoolmaster perish miserably!"
Author: William Makepeace Thackeray

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. "We're both... I mean, you're more so, but we're both really fucked up emotionally. I mean, how do I know you're not still loopy from being shot full of... of...""Benzodiazepine," he said."Yes, that." Victoria's eyes met with his a moment and then looked away. "It's been awhile for me," she said at last. "I mean, I've slept with people...""So have I," he said."
Author: Benjamin R. Smith

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