Top English Language Quotes

Browse top 193 famous quotes and sayings about English Language by most favorite authors.

Favorite English Language Quotes

1. "She thought human thoughts and stone thoughts. The latter were slow, patchily coloured, textured and extreme, both hot and cold. They did not translate into the English language, or into any other she knew: they were things that accumulated, solidly, knocked against each other, heaped and slipped."
Author: A.S. Byatt
2. "I like to see an angry Englishman," said Poirot. "They are very amusing. The more emotional they feel the less command they have of language."
Author: Agatha Christie
3. "English is a curiously expressive language. Womb, room, tomb. It sums up living in three words."
Author: Anthony Burgess
4. "English is only a weak second language, so that the third language--which at the moment is getting the most play, since French is what I speak, read, and hear almost 24/7--is trying to take over the no. 2 spot."
Author: Apol Lejano Massebieau
5. "And there was never a better time to delve for pleasure in language than the sixteenth century, when novelty blew through English like a spring breeze. Some twelve thousand words, a phenomenal number, entered the language between 1500 and 1650, about half of them still in use today, and old words were employed in ways not tried before. Nouns became verbs and adverbs; adverbs became adjectives. Expressions that could not have grammatically existed before - such as 'breathing one's last' and 'backing a horse', both coined by Shakespeare - were suddenly popping up everywhere."
Author: Bill Bryson
6. "Psychobabble attempts to redefine the entire English language just to make a correct statement incorrect. Psychology is the study of why someone would try to do this."
Author: Criss Jami
7. "I fell in love the moment I saw her in her grandfather's kitchen, her dark curls crashing over her Portuguese shoulders. 'Would you like to drink coffee?' she smiled.'I'm really not that thirsty.''What? What you say?' Her English wasn't too good. Now I'm seventy-three and she's just turned seventy. 'Would you like to drink coffee?' she asked me today, smiling. 'I'm really not that thirsty.''What? What you say?' Neither of us has the gift of language acquisition. After fifty years of marriage we have never really spoken, but we love each other more than words can say."
Author: Dan Rhodes
8. "I definitely wish to distinguish American poetry from British or other English language poetry."
Author: Diane Wakoski
9. "I came up with new leads for game stories by being observant and clever, by using the many gifts of the English language to intrigue and hook a reader."
Author: Dick Schaap
10. "If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers."
Author: Doug Larson
11. "They had nothing in common but the English language, and tried by its help to express what neither of them understood."
Author: E.M. Forster
12. "I've never lived in an English-speaking country, ever, but I lived in Austria. So, my second language is German. And when I went to school, I had a lot of classes in English."
Author: Edgar Ramirez
13. "Hey, any idea why Australians speak something that sounds deceptively like English but isn't? I mean, I'm trying to figure out why I can't seem to converse with another human being who speaks the same language as I do."
Author: Elle Lothlorien
14. "Australians are descended from a boatload of English convicts, right? So two hundred years in isolation at the bottom of the planet is plenty of time for the language to evolve into some sort of double-speak prison slang."
Author: Elle Lothlorien
15. "And Philippe won't speak English. She's sure he can - he's got that European je ne sais quoi that usually means "Oh, I speak six languages. And a little Japanese."
Author: Ellen Sussman
16. "English should be our official language. Reading and speaking English are requirements to become a citizen."
Author: Ernest Istook
17. "Sheriff Gibbs, the vocabulary of the English language is the wonder of the whole world. Chaucer spoke it and Shakespeare and Winston Churchill. With such a precedent, you could possibly make better use of it," said Mrs. Perley."Huh," said Sheriff Gibbs"
Author: Gary D. Schmidt
18. "Has it ever occurred to you,' he said, 'that the whole history of English poetry has been de-termined by the fact that the English language lacks rhymes?"
Author: George Orwell
19. "She would speak her story in Spanish and la señora Maureen would tell hers in English; it was obvious to her that the two languages did not carry equal weight."
Author: Héctor Tobar
20. "He said you have to be on the side of the losers, the people with bad lungs. You have to be with those who are homesick and can't breathe very well in Ireland. He said it makes no sense to hold a stone in your hand. A lot more people would be homeless if you speak the killer language. He said Ireland has more than one story. We are the German-Irish story. We are the English-Irish story, too. My father has one soft foot and one hard foot, one good ear and one bad ear, and we have one Irish foot and one German foot and a right arm in English. We are the brack children. Brack, homemade Irish bread with German raisins. We are the brack people and we don't have just one language and one history. We sleep in German and we dream in Irish. We laugh in Irish and we cry in German. We are silent in German and we speak in English. We are the speckled people."
Author: Hugo Hamilton
21. "T. S. Eliot and Jean-Paul Sartre, dissimilar enough as thinkers, both tend to undervalue prose and to deny it any imaginative function. Poetry is the creation of linguistic quasi-things; prose is for explanation and exposition, it is essentially didactic, documentary, informative. Prose is ideally transparent; it is only faute de mieux written in words. The influential modern stylist is Hemingway. It would be almost inconceivable now to write like Landor. Most modern English novels indeed are not written. One feels they could slip into some other medium without much loss. It takes a foreigner like Nabokov or an Irishman like Beckett to animate prose language into an imaginative stuff in its own right."
Author: Iris Murdoch
22. "Like, What is the least often heard sentence in the English language? That would be: Say, isn't that the banjo player's Porsche parked outside?"
Author: Jackson Browne
23. "I found cause to wonder upon what ground the English accuse Americans of corrupting the language by introducing slang words. I think I heard more and more different kinds of slang during my few weeks' stay in London than in my whole "tenderloin" life in New York. But I suppose the English feel that the language is theirs, and that they may do with it as they please without at the same time allowing that privilege to others."
Author: James Weldon Johnson
24. "Particularly for English people, Shakespeare is always at the forefront of both drama and the English language. He's always been there. I can't remember starting school and not learning about him."
Author: Jamie Campbell Bower
25. "I think we should model parts of the English language after the Inuits, who have 52 words for snow. Why don't we have 52 words for love? Instead, I have to rely on metaphors like, Her love was as pure as yellow snow."
Author: Jarod Kintz
26. "I lived in England to learn English. When I went to England for the first time, it was like being on the Moon. I had no friends, I couldn't speak the language. I was very isolated."
Author: Jean Alesi
27. "Speaks cheerful English and in the past has written this language with a paintbrush that talks."
Author: Jimmy Breslin
28. "We closed the deal and moved to New York.Where in fact I had lived before, from the time I was twenty-one and just out of the English Department at Berkeley and starting work at Vogue (a segue so profoundly unnatural that when I was asked by the Condé Nast personnel department to name the languages in which I was fluent I could think only of Middle English) until I was twenty-nine and just married."
Author: Joan Didion
29. "The themes Poe used were universal and timeless. As long as the English language exists at all, we will be able to appreciate what he did. It will not age! It will not become dated!"
Author: John Astin
30. "I don't know what 'operational control' of the border means, but I do understand the English language. And as I understand that phrase, that's not true. We do not have operational control."
Author: John Cornyn
31. "As languages go, English is pretty user friendly. If you look at a tiny language spoken somewhere that most of us have never heard of, chances are it's going to be so complicated that you have a hard time imagining how people can walk around speaking it without having a stroke."
Author: John McWhorter
32. "Kyle had to give her credit; it took skill—plus noheart and a serious abuse of the English language—to break up with someone in fewer than 140characters."
Author: Julie James
33. "That wasn't English she was speaking: it was the language of diplomacy."
Author: Kevin Hearne
34. "Cited by the author of 'Lucky Jim' as one of the most dismal depressing questions in the English language: "Shall we go straight in?"
Author: Kingsley Amis
35. "Even English Language doesn't provide you with the Synonyms of the word Success."
Author: Kshitij Shringi
36. "Of course, English is a very powerful language, a colonizer's language and a gift to a writer. English has destroyed and sucked up the languages of other cultures - its cruelty is its vitality."
Author: Louise Erdrich
37. "I snorted. ‘For a great sultan who is lord and ruler of all that he surveys, his English is lamentably poor. He can't even spell England properly.'Still holding the note, Mr Ascham looked up at me. ‘Is that so? Tell me, Bess, do you speak his language? Any Arabic or Turkish-Arabic?'‘You know that I do not.'‘Then however lamentable his English may be, he still speaks your language while you cannot speak his. To me, this gives him a considerable advantage over you. Always pause before you criticise, and never unduly criticise one who has made an effort at something you yourself have not even attempted."
Author: Matthew Reilly
38. "I think English is a fantastic, rich and musical language, but of course your mother tongue is the most important for an actor."
Author: Max Von Sydow
39. "I had declared in public my desire to be a writer ... I wanted to develop a curiosity that was oceanic and insatiable as well as a desire to learn and use every word in the English language that didn't sound pretentious or ditzy."
Author: Pat Conroy
40. "My God! The English language is a form of communication! Conversation isn't just crossfire where you shoot and get shot at! Where you've got to duck for your life and aim to kill! Words aren't only bombs and bullets —no, they're little gifts, containing meanings!"
Author: Philip Roth
41. "Average. It was the worst, most disgusting word in the English language. Nothing meaningful or worthwhile ever came from that word."
Author: Portia De Rossi
42. "If I had my way books would not be written in English but in an exceedingly difficult secret language.... This plan would have the advantage of scaring off all amateur authors, retired politicians, country doctors...who would not have the patience to learn the secret language."
Author: Robertson Davies
43. "Writers in what we now call the Middle English period (late twelfth century to 1485) did not necessarily always write in English. The language was in a state of flux: attempts were made to assert the French language, to keep down the local language, English, and to make the language of the church (Latin) the language of writing."
Author: Ronald Carter
44. "I draw because words are too unpredictable.I draw because words are too limited.If you speak and write in English, or Spanish, or Chinese, or any other language, then only a certain percentage of human beings will get your meaning.But when you draw a picture everybody can understand it. If I draw a cartoon of a flower, then every man, woman, and child in the world can look at it and say, "That's a flower."
Author: Sherman Alexie
45. "Is. English. Not. Your. Native. Language?" Grim spoke each word separately, and strung each syllable out.Nick hated it when he did that."Oh, how silly of me," Grim continued. "I forgot Stupid is your native tongue."
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
46. "I wasn't saying you were heartbroken." I sound like English is a new language for me, the way I stutter out the words. "I just meant it was hard for me to...to watch."He neither confirms nor denies that he might or might not have been even a teeny bit heartbroken."
Author: Susan Ee
47. "It's odd, and a little unsettling, to reflect upon the fact that English is the only major language in which "I" is capitalized; in many other languages "You" is capitalized and the "i" is lower case." --"
Author: Sydney J. Harris
48. "English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar."
Author: Terry Pratchett
49. "Baseball. If there's a more beautiful word in the English language. I have yet to hear it....baseball has served as such a powerful link between Dad and me, and later between me and my son."
Author: Tim Russert
50. "Colonialism is a terrible bane for a people upon whom it is imposed, but a blessing for a language. English's drive to exploit the new and the alien, its zeal in robbing words from other languages, its incapacity to feel qualms over the matter, its museum-size overabundance of vocabulary, it shoulder-shrug approach to spelling, its don't-worry-be-happy concern for grammar--the result was a language whose colour and wealth Henry loved."
Author: Yann Martel

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If you feel the need to confront others that have talked bad about you that shows that you value their opinion of you. Take them off the pedestal and know they're not worthy of your thoughts, actions or words."
Author: Bianca Frazier

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