The idea in bold-face print is a summary of the quote. The number after the topic is the page on which the quote was found.
Labor 108 One of "Bitter Bierce's" definitions. "Labor: One of the processes by which A acquires property for B." Ambrose Bierce. 1906. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Language 237 Every one we meet is using language to define his role in life and a good deal of anger goes along with that task. "Every person we meet in the course of our daily life, no matter how unlettered he may be, is groping with sentences toward a sense of his life and his position in it; and he has what almost always goes with an impulse to ideology, a good deal of animus and anger." Lionel Trilling 1950. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Language v "There is an old Spanish proverb which holds that English is the language of business, Italian the language of singers, French the language of diplomats, German the language of soldiers and horses, and Spanish…the language of lovers." Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Language v "…English has taken over the functions of a world language." Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Language v "…English…essentially simple grammatically and without word gender…." Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Language 353 "The language of truth is simple." Seneca. Latin. Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Language 24 The louder one speaks, the less sense. "...and sometimes the greater sound has the less sense." Samuel Butler. “A Degenerate Noble: Or One That Is Proud of His Birth.” 1668. Gross, ed. Essays.
Language 27 Speaking well on behalf of the vice of avarice. "...no vice has been so pelted with good sentences...." Abraham Coulee, “Of Avarice.” 1665. Gross, ed. Essays.
Language 544 Some characteristics of modern English. "I think of the thick layers of abstract jargon we carry on top of our heads, of the incessant urge to rename everything in roundabout phrases (personal armor system – the new army helmet), of the piling up of modifiers before the noun (easy-to-store safety folding ironing board), of the evil passion for agglutinating half-baked ideas into single terms (surprizathon = advertising goods by lottery).…" Jacques Barzun. “What If--? English Versus German and French.” 1984. Gross, ed. Essays.
Language 544 English is made up primarily of Latin and French vocabulary. "…flexible and clear Anglo-Latin-French, which we call American English." Jacques Barzun. “What If--? English Versus German and French.” 1984. Gross, ed. Essays.
Language 545 [This statement calls for examples.] "Make no mistake: syntax can change the course of history." Jacques Barzun. “What If--? English Versus German and French.” 1984. Gross, ed. Essays.
Language 545 English has two vocabularies, formal and vernacular. "English has a great advantage over German, on the one hand, French and the rest of the Romance languages, on the other, in that it possesses two vocabularies, nearly parallel, which carry the respective suggestions of abstract and concrete, formal and vernacular….concede or give in; assume or take up; deliver or hand over; insert or put in; retreat or fall back…." Jacques Barzun. “What If--? English Versus German and French.” 1984. Gross, ed. Essays.
Language 546 The French language--most logical of languages? Filled with illogicalities. "…the French language has a reputation—wholly undeserved—for being most logical…but French grammar and usage and spelling are full of illogicalities—like those of other languages." Jacques Barzun. “What If--? English Versus German and French.” 1984. Gross, ed. Essays.
Language 546 English's "mongrel" qualities expand possibilities for expression while other languages are limited. "If any body is inclined to belittle English for its mongrel character and its ‘illogicalities,’ let him remember the limitations of its rivals." Jacques Barzun. “What If--? English Versus German and French.” 1984. Gross, ed. Essays.
Language 626 "…the root function of language is to control the universe by describing it." James Baldwin. “Stranger in the Village.” 1953. Gross, ed. Essays.
Language 230 The problem with lack of education. Ántonia: "It must make you very happy, Jim, to have fine thoughts like that in your mind all the time, and to have words to put them in." Cather, My Ántonia
Language ix One of the major problems for people who are learning English. "…for the idioms of a dialect are well-nigh untranslatable." Rölvaag, “Foreword.” Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth.
Language 373 An example of piety and cliche in a situation calling for plain speaking. “What is a man to do?” Per Hansa grasped the minister by the arm, clutching hard in his terrible agitation… “He shall humble himself before the Lord his God, and shall take up his cross to bear it with patience!” said the minister impressively… “Ha-ha!” Per Hansa suddenly burst out in a bitter laugh… “Too scanty a fare for me to live on…better put that kind of talk aside…I ask as an ignorant man, and I must have an answer that I can understand: Did I do right or did I do wrong when I brought her out here…what should I have done instead, when I saw nothing else ahead of me in the world?” Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth.
Language 395 Voluble. " …his words came faster, pouring forth without a trace of effort." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth.
Language 96 Dialect. "They think you’re showing off when you say ‘American’ instead of ‘Ammurrican.’ " Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.
Language 324 Mark Shorer, Afterword: "Edith Wharton...did observe [to Sinclair Lewis] that he seemed to depend on an excess of slang...." Lewis, Babbitt.
Language 456 "They heard name-saying birds such as whippoorwills and phoebes." DeLillo, Underworld.
Language 541 "How everyday things lie hidden…because we don’t know what they’re called." DeLillo, Underworld.
Language 713 Emotions that cannot be named. "She had a gesture that seemed to mark a state of hopelessness too deep to be approached with words." DeLillo, Underworld.
Language 8 The wartime censor. "To break the monotony he invented games: Death to all modifiers, he declared one day, and out of every letter that passed through his hands went every adverb and every adjective…next day he made war on articles." Heller, Catch-22.
Language 9 "There’s no patriotism…and no matriotism, either." Heller, Catch-22.
Language 31 Catch-phrase. “Oh, well,” McWatt would sing, “what the hell.” Heller, Catch-22.
Language 69 Repartee. Red: "What the fug is that swill?" Cook: "It’s owl shit; what’d you think it was?" Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Language 98 "However, there had been lately a disquieting uncomfortable insight which he had never brought to the point of words." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Language 71 Utopia. "For it [their language] has a rich vocabulary, a pleasant sound, and is an unsurpassed vehicle for expressing feelings." Sir Thomas More, Utopia.
Language 109 What Shakespeare would not understand in modern English. "Were Shakespeare suddenly to materialize in London or New York today, he would be able to understand, on the average, only five our of every nine words in our vocabulary…"Bard would be semi-literate. Toffler, Future Shock.
Language and war 606 "You can’t fight a war without acronyms." DeLillo, Underworld.