Averbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.Sam(uel) originally Schmuel Gelbfisz Goldwyn: Attributed. Quoted in A Scott Berg Goldwyn (1989).
To those who work outside Washington, I would send a special message. At times it may be frustrating when it seems that the head office is thousands of miles away and the message is not getting through. But if I may, I'm going to issue a verbal Executive order: We're going to listen, because the heart of our government is not here in Washington, it's in every county office, every town, every city across this land. Wherever the people of America are, that's where the heart of our government is.george h. w. bush: George Bush: "Remarks to Members of the Senior Executive Service," January 26, 1989. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
Whatever is felt upon the page without being specifically named there — that, one might say, is created. It is the inexplicable presence of the thing not named, of the overtone divined by the ear but not heard by it, the verbal mood, the emotional aura of the fact or the thing or the deed, that gives high quality to the novel or the drama, as well as to poetry itself.willa cather: "The Novel Démeublé" ~ Originally published in The New Republic (1922)
Things may have a real essence, which will consist of their physical constitution, but this is in the main unknown to us, and is not the "essence" of which scholastics speak. Essence as we can know it is purely verbal; it consists merely in the definition of a general term.Bertrand Russell, in A History of Western Philosophy (1945), Book Three, Part I, Chapter XIII, Locke's Theory of Knowledge, p. 610
We define religion as the assumption that life has meaning. Religion, or lack of it, is shown not in some intellectual or verbal formulations but in one's total orientation to life. Religion is whatever the individual takes to be his ultimate concern. One's religious attitude is to be found at that point where he has a conviction that there are values in human existence worth living and dying for.Rollo May, in Man's Search for Himself (1953), p. 180.
Verbal ability is a highly overrated thing in a guy, and it's our pathetic need for it that gets us into so much trouble.Nora Ephron: From the screenplay Sleepless in Seattle (1993), written and directed by Ephron
The "poetic avant-garde" relies on fantasy and dream reality as much as the Theatre of the Absurd does; it also disregards such traditional axioms as that of the basic unity and consistency of each character or the need for a plot. Yet basically the "poetic avant-garde" represents a different mood; it is more lyrical, and far less violent and grotesque. Even more important is its different attitude toward language: the "poetic avant-garde" relies to a far greater extent on consciously "poetic" speech; it aspires to plays that are in effect poems, images composed of a rich web of verbal associations.The Theatre of the Absurd, on the other hand, tends toward a radical devaluation of language, toward a poetry that is to emerge from the concrete and objectified images of the stage itself. The element of language still plays an important part in this conception, but what happens on the stage transcends, and often contradicts, the words spoken by the characters. In Ionesco's The Chairs, for example, the poetic content of a powerfully poetic play does not lie in the banal words that are uttered but in the fact that they are spoken to an ever-growing number of empty chairs.martin esslin: Introduction : The absurdity of the Absurd
As soon as a thought or word becomes a tool, one can dispense with actually ‘thinking’ it, that is, with going through the logical acts involved in verbal formulation of it. As has been pointed out, often and correctly, the advantage of mathematics the model of all neo-positivistic thinking lies in just this ‘intellectual economy.’ Complicated logical operations are carried out without actual performance of the intellectual acts upon which the mathematical and logical symbols are based. … Reason … becomes a fetish, a magic entity that is accepted rather than intellectually experienced.Max Horkheimer, Eclipse of Reason (1947), p. 23
It may sound paradoxical, but verbal fluency is the product of many hours spent writing about nothing, just as musical fluency is the product of hours spent repeating scales.stanley fish: Chapter 3, It's Not The Thought That Counts, p. 26
Swearing is a really important part of one's life. It would be impossible to imagine going through life without swearing and without enjoying swearing... There used to be mad, silly, prissy people who used to say swearing was a sign of a poor vocabulary -such utter nonsense. The people I know who swear the most tend to have the widest vocabularies and the kind of person who says swearing is a sign of a poor vocabulary usually have a pretty poor vocabulary themselves... The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest or -is just a fucking lunatic... I haven't met anybody who's truly shocked at swearing, really, they're only shocked on behalf of other people. Well, you know, that's preposterous... or they say 'it's not necessary'. As if that should stop one doing it! It's not necessary to have coloured socks, it's not necessary for this cushion to be here, but is anyone going to write in and say 'I was shocked to see that cushion there, it really wasn't necessary'? No, things not being necessary is what makes life interesting -the little extras in life.Stephen Fry: Stephen Fry on the joys of swearing. Stephen Fry: Guilty, BBC4, September 8th 2007
The first thing that confronts us in studying verbal structures is that they are arranged sequentially, and have to be read or listened to in time.Northrop Frye: Chapter Two, p. 31
The supremacy of the verbal over the monumental has something about it of the supremacy of life over death.Northrop Frye: Chapter 8, p. 200
What hours I spent of precious time,What pints of ink I used to waste,Attempting to secure a rhymeTo suit the public taste,Until I found a simple planWhich makes the lamest lyric scan!When I’ve a syllable de trop,I cut it off, without apol.:This verbal sacrifice, I know,May irritate the schol.;But all must praise my dev’lish cunn.Who realise that Time is Mon.Harry Graham: Lines 1-12
An ounce of algebra is worth a ton of verbal argument.j. b. s. haldane: As quoted in his obituary by Maynard Smith in Nature 206 (1965), p. 239
We all inherit a great deal of useless knowledge, and a great deal of misinformation and error (maps that were formerly thought to be accurate), so that there is always a portion of what we have been told that must be discarded. But the cultural heritage of our civilization that is transmitted to us -- our socially pooled knowledge, both scientific and humane -- has been valued principally because we have believed that it gives us accurate maps of experience. The analogy of verbal words to maps is an important one [...]. It should be noticed at this point, however, that there are two ways of getting false maps of the world into our heads: first, by having them given to us; second, by creating them ourselves when we misread the true maps given to us.s. i. hayakawa: p. 32 (Maps and Territories)
We cannot by a little verbal sophistry confound the qualities of different minds, nor force opposite excellences into a union by all the intolerance in the world. ... If we have a taste for some one precise style or manner, we may keep it to ourselves and let others have theirs. If we are more catholic in our notions, and want variety of excellence and beauty, it is spread abroad for us to profusion in the variety of books and in the several growth of men's minds, fettered by no capricious or arbitrary rules.william hazlitt: "On Criticism"
The last sort I shall mention are verbal critics — mere word-catchers, fellows that pick out a word in a sentence and a sentence in a volume, and tell you it is wrong. The title of Ultra-Crepidarian critics has been given to a variety of this species.william hazlitt: "On Criticism"
I investigated reported Japanese atrocities committed by the Japanese Army in Nanking and elsewhere. Verbal accounts of reliable eyewitnesses and letters from individuals whose credibility is beyond question afford convincing proof that the Japanese Army behaved and is continuing to behave in a fashion reminiscent of Attila and his Huns. Not less than 300,000 Chinese civilians were slaughtered, many in cold blood.kōki hirota: Quoted in "Nanking 1937: Memory and Healing" - Page 56 - by Robert Sabella, Fei Fei Li, David Liu - History - 2002
It was in the year 1843 that I read a paper "On the Calorific Effects of Magneto-Electricity and the Mechanical Value of Heat" to the Chemical Section of the British Association assembled at Cork. With the exception of some eminent men, among whom I recollect with pride Dr. Apjohn, the president of the Section, the Earl of Rosse, Mr. Eaton Hodgkinson, and others, the subject did not excite much general attention; so that when I brought it forward again at the meeting in 1847, the chairman suggested that, as the business of the section pressed, I should not read my paper, but confine myself to a short verbal description of my experiments. This I endeavoured to do, and discussion not being invited, the communication would have passed without comment if a young man had not risen in the section, and by his intelligent observations created a lively interest in the new theory. The young man was William Thomson, who had two years previously passed the University of Cambridge with the highest honour, and is now probably the foremost scientific authority of the age.james prescott joule: James Prescott Joule (1887). Joint Scientific Papers. The Physical Society of London. p. 215.
Poetry is an affair of sanity, of seeing things as they are, to recreate the familar,eternalizing the poet's own poerception in unique and original verbal form.philip larkin: Required Writing-Miscellaneous Pieces 1955-1982 Farrar Strauss 1984
A psychedelic experience is a journey to new realms of consciousness. The scope and content of the experience is limitless, but its characteristic features are the transcendence of verbal concepts, of space-time dimensions, and of the ego or identity. Such experiences of enlarged consciousness can occur in a variety of ways: sensory deprivation, yoga exercises, disciplined meditation, religious or aesthetic ecstasies, or spontaneously. Most recently they have become available to anyone through the ingestion of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, DMT, etc. Of course, the drug does not produce the transcendent experience. It merely acts as a chemical key — it opens the mind, frees the nervous system of its ordinary patterns and structures.timothy leary: The Psychedelic Experience (1995)
Let's give this entity which you call soul another name . Soul has too many incorrect meanings for humans, too many verbal reverberations, too many contrary definitions . Speak the word soul , and unbelievers will automatically become deaf to what follows. Those who believe in souls will always hear you through the mental constructs that they formed on Earth . Let us call this nonmatter twin the... ah... ka . That is the old Egyptian word for one of the several souls in their religion. Except for the Egyptians this will have no special connotation. And they can adapt to it.Philip José Farmer, in The Magic Labyrinth (1980), Ch. 20
Let's give this entity which you call soul another name . Soul has too many incorrect meanings for humans, too many verbal reverberations, too many contrary definitions. Speak the word soul , and unbelievers will automatically become deaf to what follows. Those who believe in souls will always hear you through the mental constructs that they formed on Earth . Let us call this nonmatter twin the... ah... ka . That is the old Egyptian word for one of the several souls in their religion. Except for the Egyptians this will have no special connotation. And they can adapt to it.Philip José Farmer, in The Magic Labyrinth (1980), Ch. 20
The only link between the verbal and objective world is exclusively structural, necessitating the conclusion that the only content of all 'knowledge' is structural. Now structure can be considered as a complex of relations, and ultimately as multi-dimensional order. From this point of view, all language can be considered as names for unspeakable entities on the objective level, be it things or feelings, or as names of relations. In fact... we find that an object represents an abstraction of a low order produced by our nervous system as the result of a sub-microscopic events acting as stimuli upon the nervous system.Alfred Korzybski (1933) Science and Sanity, p. 20.
I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect.audre lorde: essay "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action", in Sister Outsider