Quotes about speech

A collection of quotes on the topic of speech, people, use, can.

Total 1406 quotes, filter:

Benjamin Disraeli photo

„There is no doubt a difference in the right hon. gentleman's demeanour as leader of the Opposition and as Minister of the Crown. But that's the old story; you must not contrast too strongly the hours of courtship with the years of possession. 'Tis very true that the right hon. gentleman's conduct is different. I remember him making his protection speeches. They were the best speeches I ever heard. It was a great thing to hear the right hon. gentleman say: "I would rather be the leader of the gentlemen of England than possess the confidence of Sovereigns". That was a grand thing. We don't hear much of "the gentlemen of England" now. But what of that? They have the pleasures of memory—the charms of reminiscence. They were his first love, and, though he may not kneel to them now as in the hour of passion, still they can recall the past; and nothing is more useless or unwise than these scenes of crimination and reproach, for we know that in all these cases, when the beloved object has ceased to charm, it is in vain to appeal to the feelings. You know that this is true. Every man almost has gone through it. My hon. gentleman does what he can to keep them quiet; he sometimes takes refuge in arrogant silence, and sometimes he treats them with haughty frigidity; and if they knew anything of human nature they would take the hint and shut their mouths. But they won't. And what then happens? What happens under all such circumstances? The right hon. gentleman, being compelled to interfere, sends down his valet, who says in the genteelest manner: "We can have no whining here". And that, sir, is exactly the case of the great agricultural interest—that beauty which everybody wooed and one deluded. There is a fatality in such charms, and we now seem to approach the catastrophe of her career. Protection appears to be in about the same condition that Protestantism was in 1828. The country will draw its moral. For my part, if we are to have free trade, I, who honour genius, prefer that such measures should be proposed by the hon. member for Stockport than by one who through skilful Parliamentary manoeuvres has tampered with the generous confidence of a great people and a great party. For myself, I care not what may be the result. Dissolve, if you please, the Parliament you have betrayed. For me there remains this at least—the opportunity of expressing thus publicly my belief that a Conservative Government is an organised hypocrisy.“

—  Benjamin Disraeli British Conservative politician, writer, aristocrat and Prime Minister 1804 - 1881

Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1845/mar/17/agricultural-interest in the House of Commons (17 March 1845).
1840s

Benjamin Disraeli photo
Noam Chomsky photo

„If you're in favor of freedom of speech, that means you're in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.“

—  Noam Chomsky american linguist, philosopher and activist 1928

Quotes 1990s, 1990-1994, Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, 1992
Context: If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don't like. Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you're in favor of freedom of speech, that means you're in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.

Winston S. Churchill photo
William Shakespeare photo
Tiberius photo

„In a free state there should be freedom of speech and thought.“
In civitate libera linguam mentemque liberas esse debere (jactabat).

—  Tiberius 2nd Emperor of Ancient Rome, member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty -42 - 37 BC

Variant translation: In a free state, both the tongue and the mind ought to be free.
From Suetonius, The Twelves Caesars, ch. 28

George Steiner photo
James Legge photo

„The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.“

—  James Legge missionary in China 1815 - 1897

Bk. 14, Ch. 29 (p. 208)
Translations, The Confucian Analects

Mahathir bin Mohamad photo
Charbel Makhlouf photo
Muhammad al-Baqir photo

„Take the good speech from whoever said it even if his practice was not accordingly.“

—  Muhammad al-Baqir fifth of the Twelve Shia Imams 677 - 733

Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.75, p. 170

Robert Baden-Powell photo

„If you have ever seen the play Peter Pan you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of goodbye.

Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over.

I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life too.

I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness doesn't come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so can enjoy life when you are a man.

Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.

But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn come to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. "Be Prepared" in this way, to live happy and to die happy - stick to your Scout promise always - even after you have ceased to be a boy - and God help you do it.“

—  Robert Baden-Powell lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, founder and Chief Scout of the Scout Movement 1857 - 1941

Nathuram Godse photo
Max Scheler photo

„There are two fundamentally different ways for the strong to bend down to the weak, for the rich to help the poor, for the more perfect life to help the “less perfect.” This action can be motivated by a powerful feeling of security, strength, and inner salvation, of the invincible fullness of one’s own life and existence. All this unites into the clear awareness that one is rich enough to share one’s being and possessions. Love, sacrifice, help, the descent to the small and the weak, here spring from a spontaneous overflow of force, accompanied by bliss and deep inner calm. Compared to this natural readiness for love and sacrifice, all specific “egoism,” the concern for oneself and one’s interest, and even the instinct of “self-preservation” are signs of a blocked and weakened life. Life is essentially expansion, development, growth in plenitude, and not “self-preservation,” as a false doctrine has it. Development, expansion, and growth are not epiphenomena of mere preservative forces and cannot be reduced to the preservation of the “better adapted.” … There is a form of sacrifice which is a free renunciation of one’s own vital abundance, a beautiful and natural overflow of one’s forces. Every living being has a natural instinct of sympathy for other living beings, which increases with their proximity and similarity to himself. Thus we sacrifice ourselves for beings with whom we feel united and solidary, in contrast to everything “dead.” This sacrificial impulse is by no means a later acquisition of life, derived from originally egoistic urges. It is an original component of life and precedes all those particular “aims” and “goals” which calculation, intelligence, and reflection impose upon it later. We have an urge to sacrifice before we ever know why, for what, and for whom! Jesus’ view of nature and life, which sometimes shines through his speeches and parables in fragments and hidden allusions, shows quite clearly that he understood this fact. When he tells us not to worry about eating and drinking, it is not because he is indifferent to life and its preservation, but because he sees also a vital weakness in all “worrying” about the next day, in all concentration on one’s own physical well-being. … all voluntary concentration on one’s own bodily wellbeing, all worry and anxiety, hampers rather than furthers the creative force which instinctively and beneficently governs all life. … This kind of indifference to the external means of life (food, clothing, etc.) is not a sign of indifference to life and its value, but rather of a profound and secret confidence in life’s own vigor and of an inner security from the mechanical accidents which may befall it. A gay, light, bold, knightly indifference to external circumstances, drawn from the depth of life itself—that is the feeling which inspires these words! Egoism and fear of death are signs of a declining, sick, and broken life. …
This attitude is completely different from that of recent modern realism in art and literature, the exposure of social misery, the description of little people, the wallowing in the morbid—a typical ressentiment phenomenon. Those people saw something bug-like in everything that lives, whereas Francis sees the holiness of “life” even in a bug.“

—  Max Scheler German philosopher 1874 - 1928

Source: Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen (1912), L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 88-92

Ai Weiwei photo

„Without freedom of speech, there is no modern world, just a barbaric one.“

—  Ai Weiwei Chinese concept artist 1957

2000-09, Ai Weiwei, Nursing Head Wound, Sharpens Criticism, 2009
Variant: Without freedom of speech, there is no modern world, just a barbaric one.

Stephen Chbosky photo
Pythagoras photo

„A fool is known by his Speech; and a wise man by Silence.“

—  Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -495 BC

The Sayings of the Wise (1555)

Nathan Bedford Forrest photo
Frantz Fanon photo
Jay Leiderman photo

„Our best and brightest should be encouraged to find new methods of expression; direct action in protest must not stifled. The dawning of the digital age should be seen as an opportunity to expand our knowledge, and to collectively enhance our communication. Government should have the greatest interest in promoting speech – especially unpopular speech. The government should never be used to suppress new and creative – not to mention, effective – methods of speech and expression“

—  Jay Leiderman lawyer 1971

From an op-Ed in the Guardian newspaper by Jay Leiderman 22 January 2013 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/22/paypal-wikileaks-protesters-ddos-free-speech
Variant: Our best and brightest should be encouraged to find new methods of expression; direct action in protest must not stifled. The dawning of the digital age should be seen as an opportunity to expand our knowledge, and to collectively enhance our communication. Government should have the greatest interest in promoting speech – especially unpopular speech. The government should never be used to suppress new and creative – not to mention, effective – methods of speech and expression

Ferdinand de Saussure photo

„Speech has both an individual and a social side, and we cannot conceive of one without the other.“

—  Ferdinand de Saussure, book Course in General Linguistics

Source: Cours de linguistique générale (1916), p. 9

Pythagoras photo

„In anger we should refrain both from speech and action.“

—  Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -495 BC

As quoted in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, "Pythagoras", Sect. 23–24, as translated in Dictionary of Quotations (1906) by Thomas Benfield Harbottle, p. 370
Original: (el) ἐν ὀργῇ μήτε τι λέγειν μήτε πράσσειν

Rumi photo

„Silence
is an ocean. Speech is a river.“

—  Rumi Iranian poet 1207 - 1273

"The Three Fish" Ch. 18 : The Three Fish, p. 196
Variant translations or adaptations:
Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.
As quoted in Teachers of Wisdom (2010) by Igor Kononenko, p. 134
Silence is an ocean. Speech is a river. Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.
As quoted in "Rumi’s wisdom" (2 October 2015) http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2015/10/02/character-of-the-week-rumi/, by Paulo Coelho
The Essential Rumi (1995)
Context: Silence
is an ocean. Speech is a river.When the ocean is searching for you, don't walk
into the language-river. Listen to the ocean,
and bring your talky business to an end Traditional words are just babbling
in that presence, and babbling is a substitute
for sight.

Keanu Reeves photo
Rose Wilder Lane photo

„Freedom is the nature of man; every person is self-controlling and himself responsible for his thoughts, his speech, his acts.“

—  Rose Wilder Lane American journalist 1886 - 1968

Discovery of Freedom: Man's Struggle Against Authority (1943)

Antonin Scalia photo

„I define speech as any communicative activity. [Can it be nonverbal? ] Yes. [Can it be nonverbal and also not written? ] Yes. [Can it encompass physical actions? ] Yes. Watt [Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Watt, 703 F.2d 586 (1983)] was a case in which what was at issue was sleeping as communicative activity. What I said was that for purposes of the heightened protections that are accorded, sleeping could not be speech. That is to say, I did not say that one could prohibit sleeping merely for the purpose of eliminating the communicative aspect of sleeping, if there is any... [and] I did not say that the Government could seek to prohibit that communication without running afoul of the heightened standards of the first amendment. If they passed a law that allows all other sleeping but only prohibits sleeping where it is intended to communicate, then it would be invalidated. But what I did say was, where you have a general law that just applies to an activity which in itself is normally not communicative, such as sleeping, spitting, whatever you like; clenching your fist, for example; such a law would not be subject to the heightened standards of the first amendment. That is to say, if there is ordinary justification for it, it is fine. It does not have to meet the high need, the no other available alternative requirements of the first amendment. Whereas, when you are dealing with communicative activity, naturally communicative activity—writing, speech, and so forth— any law, even if it is general, across the board, has to meet those higher standards.“

—  Antonin Scalia former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 1936 - 2016

Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, (8/5/1986), transcript https://web.archive.org/web/20060213232846/http://a255.g.akamaitech.net/7/255/2422/22sep20051120/www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/senate/judiciary/sh99-1064/31-110.pdf at pp. 51-52).
1980s

Philip Melanchthon photo

„No one will be able to speak suitably and clearly about anything unless he has shaped his speech by some art, by imitation of the best.“

—  Philip Melanchthon German reformer 1497 - 1560

Source: Praise of Eloquence (1523), p. 62

Ursula K. Le Guin photo
Chris Colfer photo
George Washington photo
Otto von Bismarck photo

„Not by speeches and votes of the majority are the great questions of the time decided — that was the error of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood.“

—  Otto von Bismarck German statesman, Chancellor of Germany 1815 - 1898

Nicht durch Reden und Majoritätsbeschlüsse werden die großen Fragen der Zeit entschieden — daß ist der große Fehler von 1848 und 1849 gewesen — sondern durch Eisen und Blut.
Variant translations :
: It is not by speeches and majority vote that the great questions of our time will be decided — as that was error of 1848 and 1849 — but rather by iron and blood.
The great questions of the time are not decided by speeches and majority decisions — that was the error of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood.
The great issues of the day are not decided through speeches and majority resolutions — that was the great error of 1848 and 1849 — but through blood and iron.
The great questions of the day will not be decided by speeches and the resolutions of majorities — that was the great mistake from 1848 to 1849 — but by blood and iron.
The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions … but by iron and blood.
Speech to the Budget Commission of the Prussian Diet (30 September 1862), published in Fürst Bismarck als Redner, Vol. 2 (after 1881), edited by Wilhelm Böhm, p. 12 http://books.google.de/books?id=3WsIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA12); after some objections to his initial speech Bismarck returned to the podium and declared:
::Auswärtige Conflicte zu suchen, um über innere Schwierigkeiten hinwegzukommen, dagegen müsse er sich verwahren; das würde frivol sein; er wolle nicht Händel suchen ; er spreche von Conflicten, denen wir nicht entgehen würden, ohne daß wir sie suchten.
:: I must protest that I would never seek foreign conflicts just to go over domestic difficulties; that would be frivolous. I was speaking of conflicts that we could not avoid, even though we do not seek them.
::* Die Reden des Ministerpräsidenten von Bismarck-Schönhausen im Preußischen Landtage 1862-1865 (1903) edited by Horst Kohl, p. 31
1860s

Edward Snowden photo

„Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say.“

—  Edward Snowden American whistleblower and former National Security Agency contractor 1983

Reddit, May 21, 2015 https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/36ru89/just_days_left_to_kill_mass_surveillance_under/crglgh2
2015

Lazar Kaganovich photo

„Every time they say that what's happening in the country is... Stalin's fault. It's the moral of every speech: Stalin's guilty, it was Stalin, Stalin, Stalin, everyone against him. But Stalin died 35 years ago! 35 years! What does that have to do with today's troubles?“

—  Lazar Kaganovich Soviet politician 1893 - 1991

Interview (5 October 1990) as quoted in La Repubblica https://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/1990/10/05/parla-kaganovich-non-siamo-dei-mostri.html

Winston S. Churchill photo

„Everyone is in favour of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

"The Coalmining Situation", Speech to the House of Commons (October 13, 1943)
The Second World War (1939–1945)
Source: Google books link https://books.google.com/books?id=hc8pAAAAQBAJ&pg=PT373&lpg=PT373&dq=%22if+anyone+says+anything+back+that+is+an+outrage%22&source=bl&ots=vQG7eKCVNO&sig=FgGJGUVc7MSNY3-hyQrYpC8tiOY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFEQ6AEwDWoVChMI-J-rpoiWyQIVF9tjCh2cLAel#v=onepage&q=%22if%20anyone%20says%20anything%20back%20that%20is%20an%20outrage%22&f=false

„I found the speech, after listening to it in context, vile in manner, repugnant, malicious, mean-spirited and spoken in mockery of individuals and people, which is against the spirit of Islam. While I stand by the truths that he spoke, I must condemn in the strongest terms the manner in which those truths were represented.“

—  Khalid Abdul Muhammad American activist 1948 - 2001

Louis Farrakhan, dismissing Khalid from his Nation of Islam post. See New York Times (4 February 1994) "Farrakhan Repudiates Speech For Tone, Not Anti-Semitism"
About Khalid

Philip Melanchthon photo
Ramana Maharshi photo

„Silence is most powerful. Speech is always less powerful than silence.“

—  Ramana Maharshi Indian religious leader 1879 - 1950

Abide as the Self

Richard Feynman photo

„The real problem in speech is not precise language. The problem is clear language.“

—  Richard Feynman American theoretical physicist 1918 - 1988

" New Textbooks for the "New" Mathematics http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/2362/1/feynman.pdf", Engineering and Science volume 28, number 6 (March 1965) p. 9-15 at p. 14
Paraphrased as "Precise language is not the problem. Clear language is the problem."
Context: The real problem in speech is not precise language. The problem is clear language. The desire is to have the idea clearly communicated to the other person. It is only necessary to be precise when there is some doubt as to the meaning of a phrase, and then the precision should be put in the place where the doubt exists. It is really quite impossible to say anything with absolute precision, unless that thing is so abstracted from the real world as to not represent any real thing.Pure mathematics is just such an abstraction from the real world, and pure mathematics does have a special precise language for dealing with its own special and technical subjects. But this precise language is not precise in any sense if you deal with real objects of the world, and it is only pedantic and quite confusing to use it unless there are some special subtleties which have to be carefully distinguished.

Emil M. Cioran photo

„One disgust, then another — to the point of losing the use of speech and even of the mind…The greatest exploit of my life is to be still alive.“

—  Emil M. Cioran Romanian philosopher and essayist 1911 - 1995

Drawn and Quartered (1983)

Ambrose Bierce photo
Ambrose Bierce photo

„Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.“

—  Ambrose Bierce American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist 1842 - 1914

W. H. Auden photo
David Tennant photo
Paramahansa Yogananda photo

„Making others happy, through kindness of speech and sincerity of right advice, is a sign of true greatness. To hurt another soul by sarcastic words, looks, or suggestions, is despicable.“

—  Paramahansa Yogananda Yogi, a guru of Kriya Yoga and founder of Self-Realization Fellowship 1893 - 1952

Source: Where There is Light: Insight and Inspiration for Meeting Life's Challenges

Abbie Hoffman photo

„Free speech is the right to shout "Theater!" in a crowded fire.“

—  Abbie Hoffman American political and social activist 1936 - 1989

Source: Soon to be a Major Motion Picture (1980), p. 214.

Stephen King photo
Arnold Schwarzenegger photo
Gautama Buddha photo
Jeffrey R. Holland photo
Michael Parenti photo

„Conservative pundits have a remarkable amount of free speech.“

—  Michael Parenti American academic 1933

1 POLITICS AND ISSUES, Free Speech-At A Price, p. 83
Dirty truths (1996), first edition

Henry VIII of England photo
Ben Affleck photo
Nikos Kazantzakis photo

„Enlighten the dark blood of your ancestors, shape their cries into speech, purify their will, widen their narrow, unmerciful brows.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: Enlighten the dark blood of your ancestors, shape their cries into speech, purify their will, widen their narrow, unmerciful brows. This is your second duty.
For you are not only a slave. As soon as you were born, a new possibility was born with you, a free heartbeat stormed through the great sunless heart of your race.

Robert Crumb photo
Hasan al-Basri photo
Edward St. Aubyn photo
T.S. Eliot photo

„Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.“

—  T.S. Eliot 20th century English author 1888 - 1965

Ash-Wednesday (1930)
Context: Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.

Marine Le Pen photo
Hans-Hermann Hoppe photo
Dick Cheney photo

„If fine speech-making, appeals to reason, or pleas for compassion had the power to move them, the terrorists would long ago have abandoned the field.“

—  Dick Cheney American politician and businessman 1941

Speech at the American Enterprise Institute http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/05/21/cheney_obama_keeping_america_safe_96615.html (21 May, 2009)
2000s, 2009

Cristoforo Colombo photo
Vladimir Lenin photo

„I am bound to accord you, in the name of free speech, the full right to shout, lie and write to your heart’s content. But you are bound to grant me, in the name of freedom of association, the right to enter into, or withdraw from, association with people advocating this or that view.“

—  Vladimir Lenin Russian politician, led the October Revolution 1870 - 1924

.
1900s
Context: Everyone is free to write and say whatever he likes, without any restrictions. But every voluntary association (including the party) is also free to expel members who use the name of the party to advocate anti-party views. Freedom of speech and the press must be complete. But then freedom of association must be complete too. I am bound to accord you, in the name of free speech, the full right to shout, lie and write to your heart’s content. But you are bound to grant me, in the name of freedom of association, the right to enter into, or withdraw from, association with people advocating this or that view. The party is a voluntary association, which would inevitably break up, first ideologically and then physically, if it did not cleanse itself of people advocating anti-party views.

James Joyce photo
Meg Cabot photo
T.S. Eliot photo
P.G. Wodehouse photo
Scott Adams photo
Thomas Carlyle photo

„Silence is deep as Eternity, speech is shallow as Time.“

—  Thomas Carlyle Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher 1795 - 1881

John Steinbeck photo
Alberto Manguel photo

„Darkness promotes speech.“

—  Alberto Manguel writer 1948

Source: The Library at Night

F. Scott Fitzgerald photo
Thich Nhat Hanh photo
William Shakespeare photo
Northrop Frye photo

„Nobody is capable of of free speech unless he knows how to use language, and such knowledge is not a gift: it has to learned and worked at. [p.93]“

—  Northrop Frye Canadian literary critic and literary theorist 1912 - 1991

Source: "Quotes", The Educated Imagination (1963), Talk 6: The Vocation of Eloquence
Context: Freedom has nothing to do with lack of training; it can only be the product of training. You're not free to move unless you've learned to walk, and not free to play the piano unless you practise. Nobody is capable of free speech unless he knows how to use the language, and such knowledge is not a gift: it has to be learned and worked at.

Jean Jacques Rousseau photo
Margaret Atwood photo
Sarah Orne Jewett photo

„It was mortifying to find how strong the habit of idle speech may become in one’s self. One need not always be saying something in this noisy world.“

—  Sarah Orne Jewett American novelist, short story writer and poet 1849 - 1909

Source: The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories

Andy Andrews photo
Diana Gabaldon photo
Cassandra Clare photo
Harriet Beecher Stowe photo
John Steinbeck photo
Gore Vidal photo
George Eliot photo
Gustave Flaubert photo
Rick Riordan photo
George Bernard Shaw photo

„The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.“

—  George Bernard Shaw Irish playwright 1856 - 1950

Widely attributed to Shaw, this quotation is actually of unknown origin.
Misattributed
Variant: She had lost the art of conversation, but not, unfortunately, the power of speech.

Bill Clinton photo

„from Bill Clinton speech-
People are more impressed by the power of our example rather than the example of our power…“

—  Bill Clinton 42nd President of the United States 1946

2000s
Variant: The world has always been more impressed by the power of our [America's] example than by the example of our power.
Context: Former U. S. president Bill Clinton has urged newspaper editors to focus more attention on the depletion of the world's oil reserves. In a June 17 speech to the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention in Little Rock, Arkansas, Clinton said a "significant number of petroleum geologists" have warned that the world could be nearing the peak in oil production. Clinton suggested that at current consumption rates (now more than 30 billion barrels per year, according to the International Energy Agency), the world could be out of "recoverable oil" in 35 to 50 years, elevating the risk of "And then finally, and I think most important of all, more important than the deficit, more important then healthcare, more important than anything, is we have got to do something about our energy strategy because if we permit the climate to continue to warm at an unsustainable rate, and if we keep on doing what we're doing 'til we're out of oil and we haven't made the transition, then it's inconceivable to me that our children and grandchildren will be able to maintain the American way of life and that the world won't be much fuller of resource-based wars of all kinds.”

„A good speech is like a woman's skirt: short enough to hold your attention, long enough to cover the subject“

—  Jonathan Tropper American writer 1970

Source: This is Where I Leave You

Ayn Rand photo
Sören Kierkegaard photo

„My father always said that too many words cheapened the value of a man's speech.“

—  Patricia Briggs American writer 1965

Source: Raven's Shadow

Grant Morrison photo
Anatole France photo
Sören Kierkegaard photo

„People hardly ever make use of the freedom which they have, for example, freedom of thought; instead they demand freedom of speech as compensation.“

—  Sören Kierkegaard Danish philosopher and theologian, founder of Existentialism 1813 - 1855

Source: The Living Thoughts Of Kierkegaard

Harold Pinter photo

„One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.“

—  Harold Pinter playwright from England 1930 - 2008

Writing for the Theatre (1962)
Source: Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics
Context: The speech we hear is an indication of that which we don't hear. It is a necessary avoidance, a violent, sly, and anguished or mocking smoke screen which keeps the other in its true place. When true silence falls we are left with echo but are nearer nakedness. One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness. (14)