Search Results (845)

Quote Author Cited
Eloquence, at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection, but addresses itself entirely to the desires and affections, captivating the willing hearers, and subduing their understanding. David Hume
Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. Buddha
The enemies of freedom do not argue; they shout and they shoot. William Ralph Inge
I call a fig a fig, a spade a spade. Menander
Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them. Thomas Mann
If we had had more time for discussion we should probably have made a great many more mistakes. Leon Trotsky
We should keep silent about those in power; to speak well of them almost implies flattery; to speak ill of them while they are alive is dangerous, and when they are dead is cowardly. Jean de la Bruyere
There is one rule for politicians all over the world: Don't say in Power what you say in opposition; if you do, you only have to carry out what the other fellows have found impossible. John Galsworthy
An orator is the worse person to tell a plain fact. Maria Edgeworth
Iteration, like friction, is likely to generate heat instead of progress. George Eliot
I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. Alexis de Tocqueville
A concept is stronger than a fact. Charlotte Perkins Gilman
We have first raised a dust and then complain we cannot see. George Berkeley
Euclid taught me that without assumptions there is no proof. Therefore, in any argument, examine the assumptions. E. T. Bell
He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. Edmund Burke
If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely. Thomas Babington Macaulay
Brevity is the best recommendation of speech, whether in a senator or an orator. Marcus Tulliuis Cicero
Discussion in America means dissent. James Thurber
Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory. Denis Diderot
Society can exist only on the basis that there is some amount of polished lying and that no one says exactly what he thinks. Lin Yutang
In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism. Spiro Agnew
When a man is asked to make a speech, the first thing he has to decide is what to say. Gerald R. Ford
Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions. Edward R. Murrow
Quotations are useful in periods of ignorance or obscurantist beliefs. Guy Debord
Unless one is a genius, it is best to aim at being intelligible. Anthony Hope
When you make speeches you elicit expectations against which you will be held accountable. Bill Bradley
Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy. Jesse Jackson
No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous. Henry Adams
Once you label me you negate me. Soren Kierkegaard
Speeches are not magic and there is no great speech without great policy. Peggy Noonan
The most important thing in an argument, next to being right, is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent, so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without too much apparent loss of face. Sydney J. Harris
The measure of your quality as a public person, as a citizen, is the gap between what you do and what you say. Ramsey Clark
A witty saying proves nothing. Voltaire
If a person never contradicts himself, it must be that he says nothing. Miguel de Unamuno
The logic of words should yield to the logic of realities. Louis D. Brandeis
Be calm in arguing; for fierceness makes error a fault, and truth discourtesy. George Herbert
While the spoken word can travel faster, you can't take it home in your hand. Only the written word can be absorbed wholly at the convenience of the reader. Kingman Brewster, Jr.
Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think. Michel de Montaigne
Words are chameleons, which reflect the color of their environment. Learned Hand
I never said I had no idea about most of the things you said I said I had no idea about. Elliott Abrams
When ideas fail, words come in very handy. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The die is cast. Julius Caesar
Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary. Martin Luther King Jr.
With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost. William Lloyd Garrison
Things are more like they are now than they ever were before. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Argument is to me the air I breathe. Given any proposition, I cannot help believing the other side and defending it. Gertrude Stein
The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us. Paul Valery
Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. Rudyard Kipling
No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous. Henry Adams
Whenever two good people argue over principles, they are both right. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
He said true things, but called them by wrong names. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech. Martin Farquhar Tupper
I always avoid prophesying beforehand, because it is a much better policy to prophesy after the event has already taken place. Winston Churchill
Our words have wings, but fly not where we would. George Eliot
For an author to write as he speaks is just as reprehensible as the opposite fault, to speak as he writes; for this gives a pedantic effect to what he says, and at the same time makes him hardly intelligible. Arthur Schopenhauer
Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality. Joseph Conrad
... madness entered my veins. Jawaharlal Nehru
One thing that we should have learned from history is to pay attention to the words of foreign leaders. Rick Santorum
Using vague, slippery or just meaningless language is not the same as lying: it's not intended to deceive so much as to preserve options, buy time, distance oneself from others, or just to sound like you're saying something instead of nothing. Barton Swaim
Looking back at the past, together with deep remorse over the war, I pray that this tragedy of war will not be repeated and together with the people, express my deep condolences for those who fell in battle and in the ravages of war, and pray for world peace and the further prosperity of our country. Akihito
... there were few forces willing to confront the neoconservative juggernaut and its drive towards war with Iraq. They had mastered the art of marketing their policy prescriptions and were aggressive and intimidating in debate. Their strategy, as I discovered, was to make an opening statement, interrupt the person making a different argument, and then filibuster to the end of a five-minute television segment. That domination of the available time, coupled with aggressively stated talking points and ad hominem attacks on the credibility and intelligence of their interlocutors, was designed to leave viewers with the impression these neocon experts were the only ones who knew what they were talking about. After a while, many of the genuine experts on the region, people who had spent their careers living and working in the Arab world, simply refused to subject themselves to such demeaning behavior and retired to the sidelines. Joseph C. Wilson
... there is little upside in analyzing [Donald] Trump's words. Those who support him are not looking for fancy language, of political correctness, or logical coherence, or human decency–all those establishment poses. Michael Gerson
By linking these countries together in his 'axis of evil' speech, President Bush implied an identity between them not only in terms of their threat, but also in terms of the action necessary to deal with the threat. A lot of work will now need to be done to delink the three, and to show why military action against Iraq is so much more justified than against Iran and North Korea. Jack Straw
One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say. Voltaire
Words are extremely powerful. They have the power to hurt and they have the power to heal. They can help heal the racial divide that still exists in our country. It’s going to take people on all sides of the issue to come together and discuss it. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
There are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of. Leonard Henry Courtney
There are three kind of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Benjamin Disraeli
Whoever in discussion adduces authority uses not intellect but rather memory. Leonardo da Vinci
There is a holy mistaken zeal in politics as religion. By persuading others, we convince ourselves. Junius; Philip Francis
Man can no more think without words than see without light. Felicite Robert de Lamennais
Criticism alone can sever the root of materialism, fatalism, atheism, free-thinking, fanaticism, and superstition, which can be injurious universally. Immanuel Kant
What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof Christopher Hitchens
Gesturing with his body and head rather than with his arms, he grew very impassioned and seemed transfigured. Then the inspiration that possessed him took possession of his hearers also. His speaking went to the heart because it came from the heart. I have heard celebrated orators who could start thunders of applause without changing any man’s opinion. Mr. Lincoln’s eloquence was of the higher type, which produced conviction in others because of the conviction in others because of the conviction of the speaker himself. Horace White
The past is over. George W. Bush
I have always tried to believe what I said and say what I believe and I still do that. Edward Brooke
If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue peace . . . Don't ever defend. Always attack. L. Ron Hubbard
Humor is hostility. Art Buchwald
All that a truth commission can achieve is to reduce the number of lies that can be circulated unchallenged in public discourse. Michael Ignatieff
In Washington the politicians lie on the record and tell the truth off the record. In the Middle East, it’s the opposite. They lie off the record, and tell the truth on the record. Thomas Friedman
… very low food security Department of Agriculture
Think today and speak tomorrow Vietnamese Proberb
Good humour may be said to be one of the very best articles of dress one can wear in society. William Makepeace Thackeray
There's not a problem we have that we can't talk out. We can't shout it out. Hubert Humphrey
It is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be judged. Thomas Jefferson
One of the jobs of a stand-up comedienne is to expose hypocrisy. Omid Djalili
A man can be valued through his sayings. Ali ibn Abi Talib
Let not your tongue cut your throat Welsh Proverb
The precise correlation between the information you communicated, and the facts insofar as they can be determined and demonstrated is such as to cause epistemological problems, of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear. Jonathan Lynn; Antony Jay
When like-minded people deliberate as an organized group, the general opinion shifts towards extreme versions of their common beliefs. Cass Sunstein
Humans naturally think more highly of themselves and their communities than their evidence can justify, but deny that they are biased in this way. This sincere confidence helps people to convince others to think highly of them, and to convince their group of their strong attachment to it. If you force yourself to face facts squarely you may gain better insight into yourself and human nature, and perhaps even signal a certain rare ability to achieve this result. But you may less convince others of your other abilities, and to convince your group of your loyalty Robin Hanson
Ideological amplification happens when like minded people deliberate…they push each other to extreme points of views….The argument pool in a group of liberals will be only liberal. Likewise with conservatives, the other way…. Most of us on most issues do not have a ton of information…we might be steered away from moderation…. Political correctness is a good example of ideological amplification. Cass Sunstein
A soft answer turns away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger ;, .d. oratory;, .d. anger;, .d. debate;, A soft answer turns away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger Book of Proverbs; Solomon
Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Book of Proverbs; Solomon
As history shows, verbal attacks on the Jewish people are portends of more savage criminality to come. John Ashcroft
Prebuttal Al Gore
Commonwealth Annie Besant
Now every time I start to put a word on paper, I’ll wonder whether it’s an expensive $10 word, or a little, unimportant word like ‘is’ or ‘and’ that only costs $1.75. Adlai Stevenson
I should say this, that Pat doesn’t have a mink coat. But she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat, and I always tell her that she would look good in anything. One other thing I probably should tell you, because if I don’t they will probably be saying this about me, too. We did get something, a gift, after the nomination. A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog and, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore, saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel dog, in a crate that he had sent all the way from Texas - black and white, spotted, and our little girl Tricia, the six-year-old, named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, loved the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we are going to keep it. Richard Nixon
People pay attention to what a President says, whether or not he pauses for emphasis in the right places. Sometimes they even read the text. Hendrik Hertzberg
The speechwriter’s very existence is an affront to the politician, because it intimates that the politician is too lazy or stupid to decide what it is he is going to say…. By giving the politician something to say the speechwriter suggests by implication that the politician has nothing to say. So a politician is generally a little resentful toward and ashamed of his speechwriter—not ashamed of the particular person holding the job, simply of the fact that the job exists. Hendrik Hertzberg
Critics have their uses. They can crystallize a moment and bring into sharp relief the mistakes that have been made and what must be done to correct them. Paul Martin
Whilst we devoutly return thanks to the beneficent Being who has been pleased to breathe into them the spirit of conciliation and forgiveness, we are bound with peculiar gratitude to be thankful to Him that our own peace has been preserved through so perilous a season… Thomas Jefferson
I am not going to indulge in issuing proclamations of overenthusiastic assurance. We cannot bally-ho ourselves back to prosperity. Franklin D. Roosevelt
People don’t change from lions to rabbits in mid-flight. Ross Perot
In speeches to negroes you must remember that argument has no effect upon them: they can only be influenced by their fears, superstition and cupidity. Do not attempt to flatter and persuade them. . . . Treat them so as to show them you are the superior race, and that their natural position is that of subordination to the white man. Wade Hampton
Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at a very small expense Samuel Johnson
There was a time when liberals were linguistically dominant in America. Geoffrey Nunberg
I’d be happy to take any of your questions and with the advantage of no longer being Secretary of State so that I can actually answer them. Madeleine Albright
If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle. I Book of Corinthians
The tongue is more to be feared than the sword. Japanese Proverb
Speech is what makes man a political being. Hannah Arendt
Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well. Mike Brown
Soft words and hard arguments. Portuguese Proverb
One camel does not make fun of another camel's hump. Ghana Proverb
Having two ears and one tongue, we should listen twice as much as we speak. Turkish Proverb
Whoever defines the word, defines the world. John Locke
Listening speaks louder than words. Mardy Grothe
Words must be weighed, not counted. Polish Proverb
There's nothing wrong with changing your position to fit the facts; there's everything wrong with changing the facts to fit your position. James Carville
Journalists want me to keep repeating myself and they don't see that it would make people think I didn't believe myself. If what I say isn't worth believing when I say it, what additional value would it have from being repeated? If I were to repeat that statement this afternoon, in two weeks the newspapers would all be clamoring to have me say it again. Then pretty soon I should have to say it every day, and nobody would believe it. Theodore Roosevelt
Make your point as clear as possible and thrust the steel well home. Theodore Roosevelt
No politician has ever been defeated by a speech he didn’t give. Sam Rayburn
I don’t believe in an answering questions that have not become relevant yet. Christopher Dodd
Regan’s greatness as a rhetorician was in his delivery not in the content of what he said as with Churchill and Roosevelt. William F. Buckley Jr.
I am looking forward to the day in which the American President ends his speeches with, “God bless America and all the other people on this planet.” Michael Lerner
Lower your voice and strengthen your argument. Lebanese Proverb
The inarticulate speak longest. Japanese Proverb
The line cannot be too strongly drawn. Richard M. Johnson
Famous quotes are seldom quoted correctly. Simeon Strunsky
It is well known that German intellectuals are reluctant to agree with French intellectuals and the French are reluctant to agree with the German. G. V. Plekhanov
I have serious doubts about the value of debates in a presidential election. They tend to be a test of reaction time rather than a genuine exposition of the participants' philosophies and programs Dwight D. Eisenhower
God made man because he loved to listen to stories. African Proverb
The world will not find rest by just saying "peace. Afghanistan Proverb
If you hear the question wrong, you will answer wrong. Arab Proverb
Words become deeds and then meet needs. Joseph Lowery
With a soft tongue you can even pull a snake out of its nest. Armenian Proverb
I like good strong words that mean something. Louisa May Alcott
I often begin a thought with spirit and finish it with nonsense. The chain of my argument often escapes me, and when lost can seldom be retrieved. These faults are so overpowering that I should sink into perpetual silence were it not that sometimes in ardor of debate, when my feelings are wound up to a high tone, elocution pours itself along with unusual rapidity, and I have passages which would not shame a good speaker; this is the only thing that makes me tolerable to others or to myself. John Quincy Adams
Everything has been said but not everyone has yet said it. Anonymous
Now, you've seen that each one of us have a couple of soapboxes that we like to mount. And after about five minutes of our opinion, then we ask you a question. Jon Kyl
A proverb is one man’s wit and all men’s wisdom. John Russell
It is easier to pull down than to build up. Anonymous
Use soft words and hard arguments. Anonymous
Words must be weighed, not counted. Anonymous
Don’t pull the listener’s ear to make your point. Anonymous
Only lie about the future. Anonymous
Poets are born, orators are made. Anonymous
Scutnicks Anonymous
O Lord, give me the wisdom to utter words which are gentle and tender, for tomorrow I may have to eat them. Anonymous
I listen with my tongue. Anonymous
Strong language is in the nature of the dialogue between the dispossessed and their possessors …. Words become weapons rather than tools. Chinua Achebe
We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them. Abigail Adams
Argument [is] useless against a people in a passion, convinced of their own injuries. Henry Adams
The Union and the Fathers belonged to no party, and might be used to advantage by orators of every section. Henry Adams
His tongue drips poison. John Quincy Adams
At the [U. S.] House [of Representatives], Stephen Douglas, of Illinois, the author of the majority report from the Committee of Elections, had taken the floor last evening, and now raved out his hour in abusive invective upon the members who had pointed out its slanders, and upon the Whig party. His face was convulsed, his gesticulations frantic, and he lashed himself into such a heat that if his body had been made of combustible matter it would have burnt out. In the midst of his roaring, to save himself from choking, he stripped off and cast away his cravat, unbuttoned his waistcoat, and had the air and aspect of a half-naked pugilist. And this man comes from a judicial bench, and passes for an eloquent orator! John Quincy Adams
This shuffling trick of misstating the question, and setting up a man of straw to make a pompous demonstration of knocking him down, is the measure of the capacity of [Congressman] Edward Black and of the majority of the House [of Representatives]. John Quincy Adams
… a style of oratory that I never heard equaled in this or any other country John Adams
Every man in it is a great man—an orator, a critic, a statesman, and therefore every man upon every question must show his oratory, his criticism, and his political abilities. The consequence is that business is drawn and spun out to immeasurable length. John Adams
All parts of the body get tired eventually—except the tongue. Konrad Adenauer
It is dangerous to speak the truth to tyrants. Aesop
When the occasion arrives so does the proverb. African Proverb
It’s very easy for those of us who are out [of office] to criticize those of us who are in. Madeleine Albright
Shall we neglectfully pass thee by, now thou art prostrate on the ground because thou once invaded Greece, or shall we erect thee again in consideration of the greatness of thy mind and thy other virtues? Alexander III
Hold on. It’s not a fight. It’s a discussion. Cynthia Alksne
Mr. Chairman, I desire to say to those present that their perfect attention will not embarrass me in the least. John Mills Allen
The preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword Book of Alma
Humility, far more than brilliance, makes for longevity in the speech writing line. Patrick Anderson
By words the mind is winged. Aristophanes
One person's grandstanding may be another person's way of getting the message across. Richard K. Armey
The demagogue ... is a good showman, whether at Nuremberg at a youth conference, or in Georgia at a political barbecue. He knows the tricks of the ham actor, the gestures, the tones of voice that can arouse passions. Always he dresses himself up as the little man come to life, grown to Brobdingnagian stature and become the "Duce" or the "Leader" or, maybe, "Ploughboy Pete. Ellis G. Arnall
I used to recite my speeches walking up a hill. It gives you wind power. I could throw fifty-six pound words across the Grand Canyon. Henry F. Ashurst
Lies are sufficient to breed opinion and opinion brings on substance. Francis Bacon
The speaking in perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but love. Francis Bacon
Princes need, in tender matters and ticklish times, to beware what they say. Francis Bacon
Argument is conclusive … but … it does not remove doubt. Roger Bacon
Unfortunately, one picture is worth a thousand facts. Steven Badsey
Long speeches work if they’re filled with substance. Don Baer
The voice is a second face. Gerard Bauer
Do not prove things too much. Henry Ward Beecher
There is tonic in the things that men do not love to hear. Henry Ward Beecher
The whole art of a political speech is to put nothing into it. It is much more difficult than it sounds. Hilaire Belloc
If it doesn't go [fit] on a bumper sticker, we don't listen. Richard Ben Cramer
In the midst of a discourse, speak not. Wisdom of Ben Sira
It's best not to appear to believe what you say but to believe what you say. William Bennett
Why do Republicans fear debate? For the same reason baloney fears the slicer. Lloyd Bentsen
If you want to convince somebody, make up a quote and attribute it to some renowned authority …. People are incredibly gullible. Silvio Berlusconi
I don't want to make the wrong mistake. Yogi Berra
The mediocrity of his [Winston Churchill's] thinking is concealed by the majesty of his language.... He mistakes verbal facilities for mental inspiration. Aneurin Bevan
You have to speak diplomatically. I don't. Joseph R. Biden Jr.
If your opponent can make a charge in 10 words and you need 30 or more words to answer, you are going to lose that argument. Jeffrey Biggs
Better pointed bullets than pointed words. Otto Von Bismarck-Schoenhausen
Don't denounce, just state the facts. Charles E. Bohlen
A myth is a fixed way of looking at the world which cannot be destroyed because, looked at through the myth, all evidence supports the myth. Edward de Bono
With reference to political speeches in political campaigns or with reference to discussions in the Senate, I do no more than make a skeleton outline of the line of argument I wish to pursue. I do not undertake to reduce the speech to manuscript form. Many of my speeches which have been most satisfactory to me I have prepared in a few hours. I think it is quite accurate to say that the manuscript is practically unknown in my speaking. Furthermore, I should say that even the skeleton outline referred to above is generally forgotten after I begin my speech. I try to get the subject and the outline of the subject and the objective thoroughly in my mind, and all the preparations are with a view of doing this rather than with the idea of having something before me to follow. William E. Borah
If you cannot say what you have to say in 20 minutes, you should go away and write a book about it. Derek Charles More Brabazon
When you are not a candidate you have greater credibility. William W. Bradley
It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears. Louis D. Brandeis
Theodore Roosevelt may have invented the sound byte. Henry Williams Brands
The government may not prohibit expression simply because it disagrees with its message. William J. Brennan, Jr.
Neither table pounding nor dreamy euphoria can be permitted to substitute for plausible argument. If impatience is not to be allowed to short-circuit argument with unsupported assertions, reason must be honored above the crude and noisy enthusiasms and antipathies. Kingman Brewster, Jr.
He managed to hit all the keys on the great American political piano. David Brinkley
No political cliche can stand up to reality. David Brinkley
There is no standard for truth. We cannot even agree on the meaning of words. George S. Brown
Reality bears no relationship to the super-heated rhetoric. James Burnley
Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease. George W. Bush
Axis of Evil George W. Bush
Fluency in English is something that I'm often not accused of. George W. Bush
We really kicked a little ass last night. George W. Bush
When I rattle a saber, the man will know it. George W. Bush
Would you please shut up and sit down. George W. Bush
Equal opportunity does not come from tolerance; it comes from acceptance. Cruz Bustamante
Sentences defended as literally accurate can mislead. Joann Byrd
If your grocery store owner provided your health care plan, I can guarantee you that it would be cheaper for him and inconvenient for you. Peter Camejo
I know that what you have faced. I know that you have faced disappointment and loss in your lives. I have, too. I wanted more than anything to be a concert cellist. Kim Campbell
What a commentary on the real nature of capitalism in its decadent phase is this, that the scientific conquest of the marvelous secret of atomic energy, which might rationally be used to lighten the burdens of all mankind, is employed first for the wholesale destruction of half a million people…. This is how American imperialism is bringing civilisation to the Orient. James P. Cannon
I am the voice of my people. Kintpuash
Speech that leads not to action, still more that hinders it, is a nuisance on the earth. Thomas Carlyle
There is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument—and that is to avoid it. Dale Carnegie
We spend our time bandying statistics about. Lord Carrington
I never spoke to this many Yankees at one time. Billy Carter
I have to be careful not to excite people. Jimmy Carter
I'm not a good joke teller. Jimmy Carter
Consider the speech, not the speaker. Joseph Ben Abba Mari Caspi
Hunger, the inseparable companion of the poor, is the offspring of the unequal distribution of the wealth and the injustices in this world. The rich do not know hunger. Fidel Castro
Discuss anything, argue anything, but without bitterness or hot temper. Catherine II
You must ... communicate your passion to others and act accordingly, without hesitation when your decision is once made. Catherine II
It is a difficult task, O citizens, to make speeches to the belly, which has no ears. Cato the Elder; Cato the Censor; Marcus Porcius Cato
I will begin to speak when I have that to say which had not better be unsaid. Cato the Younger; Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis
If you are to reach masses of people in this world, you must do it by a sign language. Whether your vehicle be commerce, literature, or politics, you can do nothing but raise signals, and make motions to the people. John Jay Chapman
Better than a play! Charles II
Questioning the ancestral gods [heroes] of any nation has never been an enterprise rewarded by anything save calumny. John Charmley
The aim of the sculptor is to convince us that he is a sculptor; the aim of the orator, is to convince us that he is not an orator. Gilbert K. Chesterton
There are two kinds of people in the world: the conscious and the unconscious dogmatists. I have always found that the unconscious dogmatists were by far the most dogmatic. Gilbert K. Chesterton
Truths turn into dogmas the instant that they are disputed. Gilbert K. Chesterton
Truths turn into dogmas the moment they are disputed. Gilbert K. Chesterton
He generally speaks about facts, issues, and if he's got a fault in speaking, it's probably that he knows so much about what he's talking about, sometimes he talks over people's heads. George B. Christian Jr.
Words are the only things that last forever. Winston Churchill
I admit that I have more truth than eloquence. Marcus Tulliuis Cicero
The practice of public speaking flourishes in every peaceful and free state. Marcus Tulliuis Cicero
At public meetings avoid specific discussion of public policy. Quintus Tullius Cicero
Rather judge a person by his actions than by his words; because many act badly and speak splendidly. Matthias Claudius
The ideologue does not perform miracles. Very fittingly he confines himself to the deceptive charm of the realized abstraction. Georges Clemenceau
When you're on the side of the angels, it's easier to stretch the truth. Earl Clements
Different occasions require different rhetoric. Eleanor Clift
We are a country that does better when we do debate and air our differences. Hillary Clinton
Are we diminishing the bully pulpit to a pulpit of bull? Bill Clinton
It depends on what the meaning of “is” is. Bill Clinton
It wasn't my finest hour. It wasn't even my finest hour and a half. Bill Clinton
Truth is too naked. She does not inflame men. Jean Cocteau
We should speak as the populace, think as the learned. Edward Coke
The attempt to turn a complex problem of the head into a simple moral question for the heart to answer, is of course a necessary part of all political discussion. Frank Moore Colby
Arguments that prove too much prove nothing. Charles Caleb Colton
In answering an opponent, arrange your ideas, but not your words. Charles Caleb Colton
Some of mankind's most terrible misdeeds have been committed under the spell of certain magic words or phrases. James Bryant Conant
Unless one understands the power of words, he will never understand men. Confucius; Kung Fu-tse
Draco wrote his laws in blood; the Senate writes its laws in wind. Thomas T. Connally
He who wants to persuade should put his trust, not in the right argument, but in the right word. Joseph Conrad
Words, as is well known, are the greatest foes of reality. Joseph Conrad
A man may lack everything but tact and conviction and still be a forcible speaker. Charles Horton Cooley
Be brief. Above all things be brief. Calvin Coolidge
We can not permit ourselves to be narrowed and dwarfed by slogans and phrases. It is not the adjective, but the substantive, which is of real importance. It is not the name of the action, but the result of the action, which is the chief concern. Calvin Coolidge
Many times I only say yes or no and even that winds them up for twenty minutes more. Calvin Coolidge
I have noticed that nothing that I never said ever did me any harm. Calvin Coolidge
If you don't say anything, you can't be called upon to repeat it. Calvin Coolidge
One of the reasons for retiring from public life was to avoid further speechmaking. Calvin Coolidge
If any cleric or monk speaks jocular words such as provoke laughter, let him be anathema. Council of Constance
The New Englanders by their canting, whining, insulting tricks have persuaded the rest of the [American] colonies that the Government [of George III] is going to make absolute slaves of them. Nicholas Cresswell
Some of my constituents let me know, that they would not listen to me on such a dry subject as the welfare of the nation, until they had something to drink, and that I must treat them. David Crockett
When I get into an argument I generally could get something out of Shakespeare which I could put on an opponent to his disadvantage. He has helped me out of many a tight place. James M. Curley
Public discussion demands at least the profession of good faith. John Emerich Edward Dalberg; Lord Acton
We will reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement. Richard Joseph Daley
Speechwriting is where the philosophical, ideological and political tensions of the administration get worked out. Richard G. Darman
We’ve got to stop supporting big business with corporate welfare and do something for small business which creates most of our new jobs. Howard Dean
Be careful. Legal at State was worried about this yesterday—Genocide finding could commit the U. S. Government to actually do something. Defense Department
Action! Action! Action! Demosthenes
Governments hesitate to call the horror by its name, for to do so would oblige them to act. Alison Des Forges
I must use beautiful words. I never know when I might have to eat them. Everett Dirksen
A man may speak very well in the House of Commons, and fail completely in the House of Lords. Benjamin Disraeli
Ignorance never settles a question. Benjamin Disraeli
A majority is always the best repartee. Benjamin Disraeli
It is said that a bird never makes so much noise as when she lays her first egg. I will sit down now, but the time will come when you will hear me. Benjamin Disraeli
Then there was a maiden speech, so inaudible that it was doubted whether, after all, the young orator really did lose his virginity. Benjamin Disraeli
With words we govern men. Benjamin Disraeli
Everybody loves flattery, and when it comes to royalty lay it on with a trowel. Benjamin Disraeli
The automobile industry was made up of men, primarily who had never been in any union before, and who were completely inexperienced, not knowing even how to make a motion on the floor …. But the members of the Communist Party know how to speak; some of them had extensive soap-box experience …. It is very simple for a man who understands public speaking and parliamentary rules to control a meeting of unitiated people….By preparing motions ahead of time, having discussion ahead of time, and then by dividing up in various sections of the hall, the Communists would give the impression that the particular policy they were trying to have the meeting adopt was generally supported throughout the membership. Zygmund Dobryzynski
There's a difference between rhetoric and reality. Bob Dole
We like to make tough speeches, but we don't like to make tough choices. Bob Dole
It wasn't a Freudian slip. I wasn't even aware of it. Robert Dornan
U. S. A. is the slice of a continent. U. S. A. is a group of holding companies, some aggregations of trade unions, a set of laws bound in calf, a radio network, a chain of moving picture theaters, a column of stock quotations …a public library full of old newspapers and dog-eared history books with protests scrawled on the margins in pencil. U. S. A. is the world’s greatest river valley fringed with mountains and hills, U. S. A. is a set of big-mouthed officials with too many bank accounts. U. S. A is a lot of men buried in their uniforms in Arlington Cemetery. U. S. A. is the letters at the end of the address when you are away from home. But mostly U. S. A. is the speech of the people. John Dos Passos
Sit down, Lincoln, your time is up. Stephen Douglas
If you want to permanently change men's minds and hearts, you have to trust in the power of the spoken word. Frederick Douglass
I'm a victim of my metaphors. Vuk Draskovic
The key to Presidential debates is to rehearse those [dramatic] moments but don’t let them look scripted. Kenneth M. Duberstein
It doesn’t matter that the President believes in Jesus. The Klu Klux Klan believed in Jesus. It doesn’t matter how you do the rhetoric; it’s how you do the reality. Michael Dyson
General, you do the praying for this army, and I'll do the cussin'. Jubal Anderson Early
Governments first decide on their interests and then seek the vocabulary most congenial to their policies. Abba Eban
a charge of monumental inconsequentiality. Abba Eban
Reason without passion is sterile, but passion without reason is hysteria. Abba Eban
... They depended far more on their physical power of oratory than upon any semblance of argument ... with small regard for modesty, truth or time. Walter E. Edge
Only two people are permitted to refer to themselves as "We"—a king, and a man with a tape-worm inside of him. Edward VII
The President goes around the country speaking Spanish. The only thing he has to say about jobs is “Hasta La Vista.” John Edwards
Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. Albert Einstein
I refuse to put anything into suave diplomatic language. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Words are also actions. Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of our statesmen said, "The curse of this country is eloquent men. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fair speech breaks never bone. English Proverb or Saying
The long war of words and writing ends in blows. Desiderius Erasmus
We need a new stump speech. Susan Estrich
I would hope that ... this Senate does return to the decorum that calls for courtesy when one is speaking and others should be listening, the decorum of people in their seats rather than straggling in the aisles when debate is going on. Daniel J. Evans
I [Moses] am not a man of words. Book of Exodus
For me an hour-long speech is not a filibuster. It is a brief observation. Rodriguez Fabregat
The curse of speech writing is being part of a team. James Fallows
Nothing is more despicable than a professional talker who uses his words as a quack uses remedies. Francois Fenelon
For every speech given by a politician there should be a tax levied thereon. James Ferris
I regard most of my speeches as opportunities to teach rather than traditional political speeches. Newt Gingrich
In every election in American history both parties have their cliches. The party that has the cliches that ring true wins. And if the cliches continue to ring true when the party governs, then that party and those cliches can change history. Newt Gingrich
It illustrates vividly my incapacity of knowing when to be silent and when to speak. William E. Gladstone
Self-vindication never does a man any good, unless he has been assailed. William E. Gladstone
This is a classic case of using the “bully pulpit.” We got the public to think about the issue. And more of them came to the same basic conclusion I had—that this is about fairness. Parris Glendening
His conduct still right with his argument wrong. Oliver Goldsmith
Most of us in Congress steal our speeches. Barry Goldwater
Here comes another spell-binder. William Cassius Goodloe
Humane, visionary, confident, hard-working, reformer [for yourself] Sick, pathetic, liberal, tax-spending, traitor [for your opponent.] GOPAC
Don’t take the wrong side of the argument just because your opponent has taken the right side. Baltasar Gracian
I'll bring my stopwatch. William Gradison
If we can rebuild the electric grid of Iraq, we can do it here at home. Bob Graham
You cannot possibly persuade people that what they have firmly in mind is not so. Harold H. Greene
Refusal to answer a question by setting up a straw man to attack is a not an uncommon device of debating. Meg Greenfield
I've learned to mumble with great incoherence. Alan Greenspan
Figures won’t lie but liars will figure. Charles Henry Grosvenor
Figures wont lie, but liars will figure. Charles Henry Grosvenor
Our boys [the communists] not only attended all the union educational classes … but also took lessons in speaking from Party experts. We were also trained in the fine points of parliamentary trickery … We raised points of order, points of information, divisions of the house, objection to consideration of the question, amendments to amendments, and appeals from the decision of the chair in endless and swift succession. Clayton W. Fountain
During five whole sessions I spoke every night but one; and I regret only that I did not speak on that night too. Charles James Fox
For your own good" is a persuasive argument that will eventually make man agree to his own destruction. Janet Frame
The truth is always the strongest argument. Frederick II
Ridicule is more powerful than any argument. Fredrick II
... tell candidates who desire total control [of debates] that in a democracy elections belong to the voters. Barbara Friedman
Do you want to make a point or do you want to make a difference? Thomas Friedman
Something deep in the Canadian spirit compels us to avoid direct statement and skate around confrontation. Robert Fulford
Don’t preach. Teach. Judi Funkhouser
As long as words are in your mouth, you are their lord; once you utter them, you are their slave. Solomon Ibn Gabirol
This trial has developed in the most remarkable manner, the insane love of speaking among public men. We are wading knee deep in words, words, words …. James A. Garfield
On this subject [slavery] I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. William Lloyd Garrison
Lest men suspect your tale untrue, Keep probability in view. John Gay
Like father, like son; four years and he’s done. Richard A. Gephardt
It is much better when a member resumes his seat after he has made a speech for the House to have the feeling that they wish he had gone on longer instead of wondering why he did not stop sooner. Edward Algernon Fitzroy
Speak to the generations of the future. Floyd Flake
People [in politics] do go on and talk. Floyd Flake
... writing had become an essential element of the process of thinking. Not until I had put my thoughts down on paper could I examine them with objectivity. Ralph E. Flanders
Some of the finest speeches in the Senate Record have been delivered to a scattering half-dozen of listeners. Nine-tenths of the verbal proceedings are "for the record" rather than with any expectation of changing votes. Yet the most important of the speeches "for the record" have their effect on public opinion, when reported in the press ... or when distributed as reprints. Ralph E. Flanders
You cannot ... transmute some incoherent mixture of words into sense merely by introducing the three-letter word “God” to be its grammatical subject. Antony Flew
I say this in the utmost affection ... he has passed from rising hope to elder statesman without any intervening period whatsoever. Michael Foot
When the fox preacheth then beware your geese. John Heywood
All epoch-making revolutionary events have been produced not by the written word but by the spoken word. Adolf Hitler
Only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on the memory of the crowd. Adolf Hitler
The speaker does not own the words he utters, or control their effect. James Hoagland
There is nothing more dangerous than debate in a crowd. Thomas Hobbes
In a Democracy, look how many … many powerful Orators there are with the people. Thomas Hobbes
No Discourse whatsoever, can End in absolute Knowledge of Fact. Thomas Hobbes
Silence is sometimes an argument of Consent. Thomas Hobbes
Words are wise men's counters—they do but reckon by them; but they are the money of fools. Thomas Hobbes
A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged. It is the skin of a living thought and may vary in color and context according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Eloquence may set fire to reason. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
He that goeth about to persuade a multitude, that they are not so well governed as they ought to be, never wants attentive and favourable hearers. Richard Hooker
If someone could get off a good joke every ten days I think our troubles will be over. Herbert Hoover
I think we should have a President who is fluent in at least one language. Bob Hope
I labor to be brief, and manage to be obscure. Horace; Quintus Horatius Flaccus
Man learns more readily and remembers more willingly what excites his ridicule than what deserves his esteem and respect. Horace; Quintus Horatius Flaccus
You have only 30 seconds to speak. Moreover, even if you had time to make your argument, the audience you need to reach … wouldn't understand it. David Horowitz
I have multiplied visions, and used simultudes. Book of Hosea
I’m bilingual. I speak English and I speak educationese. Shirley Hufstedler
One of your jobs as a speechwriter is to transform the bureaucratic into the poetic. James Hume
Some people compose their thoughts in front of a typewriter but I find that I am better at composing my thoughts in front of an audience. Hubert Humphrey
[Criticizing Republican attacks:] The politics of smear and fear are not worthy of this republic. Hubert Humphrey
Boasting of glory does not make glory. Hussein ibn Talal
A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use. Washington Irving
Don't I deserve just as much credit for picking out the man who could write it? Andrew Jackson
Regrettably, sometimes harsh language is needed to get results. Carlo Jagmetti
If you use words to rebut a visual image, we know the visual image is dominant. Kathleen Hall Jamieson
When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, an hundred. Thomas Jefferson
Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. Thomas Jefferson
I observe that the House of Representatives are sensible of the ill effects of the long speeches in their house on their proceedings. But they have a worse effect in the disgust they excite among the people, and the disposition they are producing to transfer their confidence from the legislature to the executive branch, which would soon sap our Constitution. These speeches, therefore, are less and less read, and if continued, will cease to be read at all. Thomas Jefferson
I never heard either of them speak ten minutes at a time, nor to any but the main point which was to decide the question. They laid their shoulders to the great points, knowing that the little ones would follow of themselves. Thomas Jefferson
The gifts of nature are necessary; but they are not sufficient to make a complete orator without art and study. John of Salisbury
They err … who think that virtue consists of words .. good actions are the glory of virtue. John of Salisbury
I have been a Democrat all my life and accustomed to the rule of the majority. If a majority of this crowd want me to stop speaking, I will stop. If the majority want me to continue, I will speak on regardless of you and your company. Andrew Johnson
Come on down to the speakin' tonight! Lyndon B. Johnson
[To his then-Press Secretary:] Give me some jokes for my statement on behalf of retarded children. Lyndon B. Johnson
I don't believe the President of the United States should debate with anybody. Lyndon B. Johnson
Pretty damn good speech. Now if all you had to do to run for and be president was talk, Adlai'd be the best. But it ain't. Lyndon B. Johnson
Making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg. It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else. Lyndon B. Johnson
That speech was worth several divisions to Israel. Lyndon B. Johnson
You ain't learning nothing when you're talking. Lyndon B. Johnson
[On his debating style:] Attack is the re-action; I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds. Samuel Johnson
... like Daniel Webster after taking a pint of brandy. J. B. Jones
There happened in my time one noble speaker [Sir Francis Bacon] who was full of gravity in his speaking. His language (where he could spare or pass by a jest) was nobly censorious. No man ever spake more neatly, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness, in what he uttered. His hearers could not cough, or look aside from him, without loss. The fear of every man that heard him was, lest he should make an end. Ben Jonson
... the persons who control the President's rhetoric exert an enormous influence over his actions and policies. Hamilton Jordan
We may convince others by our argument; but we can only persuade them by their own. Joseph Joubert
Clearness is so often one of the characteristics of truth that often it even passes for truth itself. Joseph Joubert
This is my wish,; so I command: Let my will take the place of reason. Decimus Junius Juvenal
Logicians may reason about abstractions. But the great mass of men must have images. Thomas Babington Macaulay
The object of oratory alone is not truth, but persuasion. Thomas Babington Macaulay
It is a foolish thing to make a long prologue and be short in the story itself. Book of Maccabees
Society is made of words, whose meanings the powerful control, or try to. Catharine MacKinnon
Nothing he [a Foreign Secretary] can say can do very much good, and almost anything he may say may do a great deal of harm. Anything he says that is not obvious is dangerous; whatever is not trite is risky. He is forever poised between the cliche and the indiscretion. Harold MacMillan
It is fortunate when disputed theories can be decided by undisputed facts. James Madison
A truth does not become greater through repetition. Rambam; Moses Maimonides
I want to see wealth cascading down the generations. John Major
If every politician, in or out of government, were made to apologize for injudicious remarks, he would have little time to do anything else. John Major
A candidate for office can have no greater advantage than muddled syntax; no greater liability than a command of language. Marya Mannes
Lies are dangerous but sometimes necessary when a country is in danger. Marcel Marceau
The Fascists kill because they cannot argue. Victor Margueritte
I once said that democracy is a discussion. But real discussion is only possible where men trust one another, and honestly seek the truth. Democracy is a conversation among equals, the thinking of free people open to complete publicity—the word "parliament" has a fine meaning, if only we could give it body! Tomas G. Masaryk
Everyone wants a whack at the speech. Mary Matalin
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Book of Matthew
Charitably, you could say it was a little long. In fact, it was a lot long. Jim Mattox
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to make one statement, two observations, and one conclusion. Maury Maverick
He spoke in a big bow-wow style of oratory. His speeches leave the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea. Sometimes these meandering words would actually capture a straggling thought and bear it triumphantly, a prisoner in their midst, until it died of servitude and overwork. William Gibbs McAdoo
One has to watch the new words that are introduced into politics—you never know what you are admitting to. Eugene McCarthy
Illegal immigration undermines legal immigration. Tom McClintock
I said what I said, but I shouldn’t have said it. Michael D. McCurry
Illuminate choice. Michael D. McCurry
The bully pulpit is not an open microphone. You have to target it very carefully. Michael D. McCurry
It is the weak and confused who worship the pseudosimplicities of brutal directness. Marshall McLuhan
In politics you'll never get into trouble by not saying too much. Charles L. McNary
I detest writing. The process itself epitomizes the European concept of “legitimate” thinking: what is written has an importance that is denied the spoken. My culture, the Lakota culture, has an oral tradition, so I ordinarily reject writing. It is one of the white world’s ways of destroying the cultures of non-European peoples … Russell Means
One horselaugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. H. L. Mencken
He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. John Stuart Mill
It is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied. John Stuart Mill
Sometimes hyperbole and lying are not easily distinguishable [in politics]. Merle Miller
Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter. John Milton
Obstinacy and heat of opinion are the surest proof of stupidity. Michel de Montaigne
Demagoguery from the pulpit is no different from demagoguery on the campaign trail. If anything, it is worse, because it clothes itself in self-righteousness. Robert B. Morgan
Success depends on three things: who says it, what he says, how he says it; and of these three things, what he says is the least important. John Morley
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. Daniel P. Moynihan
Statistics is the plural of anecdote. Daniel P. Moynihan
Sometimes heads of state have to make statements for [local] public consumption. Hosni Mubarak
God loveth not the speaking ill of any one in public. Muhammad
A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. Hector Hugh Munro; Saki
The politician is ... trained in the art of inexactitude. His words tend to be blunt or rounded, because if they have a cutting edge, they may later return to wound him. Edward R. Murrow
I still believe with Adlai Stevenson that you can win elections by talking sense to the American people. Edmund S. Muskie
I always hate a speech after I make it. Robert M. La Follette
I will say that I never had a more respectful hearing or fewer interruptions. Robert M. La Follette
I'd rather split an infinitive than split an idea. Fiorello H. La Guardia
How easy it is for a politician to forget that he is not usually saying anything at all. Jeremy Larner
I say out loud what everyone thinks deep inside. Jean-Marie Le Pen
The only kind of statement worth making is an overstatement. Stephen Leacock
Lower your voice and strengthen your argument Lebanese Proverb
The trick to political humor is not to know more than everyone else knows, but to know just what everyone else knows. Jay Leno
You don't change anybody's mind with political humor. You just reinforce what people already believe. Jay Leno
Generosity is a part of my character, and I therefore hasten to assure this Government that I will never make an allegation of dishonesty against it wherever a simple explanation of stupidity will suffice. Leslie Lever
That which separates ourselves from previous generations is rhetoric. Clive Staples Lewis
What Thucydides said of the Greeks at the time of the Peleponnesian War applies to us at present [1860]. The Greeks did not understand each other any longer, though they spoke the same language; words received a different meaning in different parts. Francis Lieber
Anybody can tell you what they think. But if you can illustrate what you think, you have a better chance of persuading people. Rush Limbaugh
Henry Clay's eloquence did not consist, as many fine specimens of eloquence do, of types and figures, of antitheses and elegant arrangements of words and sentences, but rather of that deeply earnest and impassioned tone and manner which can proceed only through conviction in the speaker of the justice and importance of his cause. This it is that truly touches the chords of sympathy; and those who heard Mr. Clay never failed to be moved by it, or ever after forgot the impression. All his [oratorical] efforts were made for practical effect. He never spoke merely to be heard. Abraham Lincoln
His [Stephen Douglas] argument is as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had been starved to death. Abraham Lincoln
I am very little inclined on any occasion to say anything unless I hope to produce some good by it. Abraham Lincoln
I believe it’s my best effort, but it’s not immediately popular. Abraham Lincoln
Under your recent order, which I have approved, you will only arrest individuals and suppress assemblies or newspapers when they may be working palpable injury to the military in your charge, and in no other case will you interfere with the expression of opinion in any form or allow it to be interfered with violently by others. Abraham Lincoln
The point—the power to hurt—of all figures [of speech] consist in the truthfulness of their application. Abraham Lincoln
[Woodrow Wilson] could state a principle better than the expert from whom he had borrowed it. Walter Lippmann
Speech was made to open man to man, and not to hide him. David Lloyd
We have a Sunday code and a weekday code. We preach good and practice evil. We clothe the wolf of our actions in the sheep's clothing of our beautiful phrases. Meyer London
[In a political debate:] I'm afraid those are facts that are not facts. Jeane Kirkpatrick
Following the pattern of right-wing philosophizing, he [Barry Goldwater] proves his points by quoting 18th-Century Americans, 19th-Century Englishmen, and 20th-Century Communists. Andrew Kopkind
Sometimes disingenuous arguments are correct nonetheless. William Kristol
The emancipation of Texas will extend the principles of self-government, over a rich and neighbouring country, and open a vast field there for enterprise, wealth, and happiness, and for those who wish to escape from the frozen blasts of a northern climate, by removing to a more congenial one. It will promote and accelerate the march of the present age, for it will open a door through which a bright and constant stream of light and intelligence will flow from this great northern fountain over the benighted regions of Mexico Stephen F. Austin
The definition of committing a gaff in Washington is telling the truth when most people think that you should not have. Howard Dean
Republics are in the beginning and for a time industrious, but they finally destroy themselves because they are badly constituted. I dread the consolidation of the States and hope for a good national Government from the present Division of the States with a feeble Executive. John Dickinson
Deeds are fruits, words are leaves English Proverb or Saying
The Queen Mum officiated. It is remarkable that a lady of 76 or 77 can stand in the same spot for an hour and three quarters and, apparently without being prompted and without a crib, remember a little something significant to say to over a hundred people in the right order. Peter Hall
We find few disputes, that are not founded on some ambiguity in the expression [thereof]. David Hume
I apprehend, if through the interference of the general [Federal] government, the slave-trade was abolished was abolished, it would evince to the people a general disposition toward total emancipation. James Jackson
What right do these Quaker pacifists have to tell us how to run our newly won independent nation when it is we, who at the risk of our lives and fortunes, secured to the community their liberty and property? James Jackson
On the same ground, and literally sitting among the senators, were a whole regiment of ladies, whispering, talking, laughing, and fidgeting… the whole thing was more irregular, and unbusiness-like than any one could have imagined … Fanny Kemble
We want to watch what he does, not listen to what he says. Edward M. Kennedy
Here on earth, God’s work is our own. John F. Kennedy
No Man would be so daring as to place a veto on a Law that had passed with the assent of the Legislature James Madison
McCarthy was destroyed. He was of course sabotaged from within his own staff. The aliens who control our press and radio and the boob tubes spattered their slime over the country. Revilo P. Oliver
I noticed again, too, that he can tell a lie with as straight a face as any man. Probably some of the lies are not lies to him because he believes fanatically the words he is saying. William L. Shirer
The only difference between the Negro slave of the South, and the white wage slave of the North is, that the one has a master without asking for him, and the other has to beg for the privilege of becoming a slave. . . . The one is the slave of an individual; the other is the slave of an inexorable class. Michael Walsh
I have often heard Your Majesty say so. Duke of Wellington
It we mean to found a national Govt., States must submit like individuals-the Government must be supreme—either the national, or State Government. must be so. James Wilson
We have seen the Legislatures in our own Country deprive the Citizen of Life, of Liberty & of Property. We have seen Laws of Attainder, Punishment and Confiscation James Wilson
In those days it was very nice to have a President who clearly spoke the English language. Theodore C. Sorensen
There is no equality between that which is right and that which is wrong. Abraham Lincoln
It’s really hard, with any confidence to affirm a negative. Abraham Lincoln
if we see a number of persons engaged in bringing about a particular result, no matter what the result may be, and their actions are consistent with the existence of a design to bring about such a result, and that they finally do succeed in bringing it about, all must assume that there was some concerted action, some agreement or arrangement between them to cement their unity of conduct to reach the result afterwards accomplished. Charles Daniels
The character of Slavery is not to be discussed. We have an indubitable right to demand of the Free States to suppress such discussion, totally and promptly. David L. Swain
Sovereignty means that you’ve been given sovereignty George W. Bush
… the debate of the understudies Candy Crowley
I can’t be in charge of people’s perceptions. Alan Greenspan
President Johnson wanted his speech writers to use words with fou r letters, sentences with four words, and paragraphs with four sentences Robert Hardesty
To deal with the nuclear proliferation problem with North Korea and Iran, we and our allies need a coordinated carrot and stick approach. But we have to cook our carrots and our European allies have to sharpen their sticks Samuel A. Nunn
Speeches made to the people are essential to the arousing of enthusiasm for a war. Benito Mussolini
Suicide mass murderers, not suicide bombers. Horrorism, not terrorism Martin Amis
He's a wonderful talker, who has the art of telling you nothing in a great harangue. Jean Molière
The Nobel Peace Prize is not very important, the ones that count are the scientific and literary prizes Mohammed Khatami
We love to hear some men speak, though we hear not what they say. Henry David Thoreau
It’s not what you say; it’s what people hear. John McCaslin
John Chancellor said he could remember a time when arguments could be settled by government statistics. Today, nobody’s statistics can be trusted. Michael Crichton
Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous to this country as irresponsible talk. The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character. Margaret Chase Smith
Many speeches can be heard throughout the world, but one always has to wait for deeds Finnish Proverb
Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them. Peter Ustinov
When you talk, you only talk about something that you already know. But when you listen, you can learn something you don’t know. John Whitehead
I do not now or ever did stand pledged for unconditional repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law…I did not ever nor do I now stand pledged against the entry of any slave state into the union…. I do not stand pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia…. Abraham Lincoln
You can never in negotiations be totally predictable. The minute you’re predictable, they’re going to figure out how to take advantage. Rudolph W. Giuliani
The President of the United States should be very careful about the veracity of his public assertions. Zbigniew Brzezinski
… adjudged not to him who had the truth on his side, but by the last word in the dispute. John Locke
Eloquence and wisdom are by no means the same thing. They are sometimes united, but not necessarily ; perhaps never when eloquence is the mere gift of nature rather than the slow result of nature and art conjoined. A ready supply of glittering language and an ardent conception, i. e. a fertile imagination, and quick feelings, united to a retentive memory—these are together quite sufficient to make an orator, but by no means to make a wise man; to make a speaker or even a leader in a popular assembly, but not necessarily a statesman. William Smyth
To make a politic speech is like being carried up a flight of steps by the pressure of a crowd. Arnold J. Toynbee
We have lived six centuries in six years. Let not this costly experience be lost on you. It is time to profit by the crimes of the monarchy, the errors of the Constituent Assembly, the vacillations and eccentricities of the Legislative Assembly, the misdeeds of the decemviral tyranny, the calamities of anarchy, and the misfortunes of civil war. Francois-Antoine de Boissy d'Anglas
Great quarrels, it has been well said, arise from small occasions but seldom from small causes. Winston Churchill
Part of politics is redundancy. You just have to repeat things sometimes because not everyone has heard your message. Barack Obama
The “cant” of the politician, like the cant of the “religious” man, is also protean in its guise, but its chief method is to explain away words. The politician can always show you that he didn’t mean what he says, but something rather different from what he says. Political cant consists in pretending to agreement with hearers, whoever they may be. This cant is part of the stock-in-trade of every politician, be he Tory, Whig, or Radical, and it is by its means that he tries to haul in stray votes. E. Belfort Bax
There are certain catchwords which have a marvelous charm to calm the breast political, a magic power to levitate the mind captivated by them, out of the regions of mere argument and recognition of facts. Such a hold do these words and the deified abstractions they cover have on the average man of the nineteenth century, that they and they alone are worshipped as the ultimate manifestation of goodness, beauty, and truth. To be opposed to these abstractions is to be condemned as blasphemous against the first principles of rectitude, moral and political. E. Belfort Bax
Only in Washington do you hear a budget increase described as a cut. Lynne Cheney
An easy solution for many controversies may be found as long as we are able to be on our guard for the same words being used with conflicting meanings by different authors. Peter Abelard
I could sway people with words—words that welled up within me. Emma Goldman
I am a capitalist—a rich businessman and most of you are not. Karen Hughes
I would rather speak to 500 men that would give me their attention that to 100,000 that would not. Andrew Johnson
It does not good to shout anyone down….There will be no shouting. Michael Martin
Government is not for the short-winded. Daniel P. Moynihan
Through over-long contention the truth is lost Marcus Terentius Varro
Titles and honor and salutes it is in the power of the supreme authority in many countries to bestow, and it is from no vain or childish instinct that the world in all ages has attached value to these emblems or rewards. George Nathaniel Curzon; 1st Baron Kedleston
Whichever side looses is horrified at the outcome. Newt Gingrich
Very often in political debate questions of fact turn into questions of motive. Otis Graham Jr.
...the worst horror of the Russian Revolution was the letting loose of one hundred million orators, for their passion for talk was immediately responsible for all the other horrors ...Oratory prevented Russia from becoming a constitutional country Rheta Childe Dorr
Nothing is so difficult to believe that oratory cannot make it acceptable … Marcus Tulliuis Cicero
Amplification is the vice of modern oratory. Thomas Jefferson
Speeches measured by the hour, die by the hour. Thomas Jefferson
The interests of the assembly are best subserved by allowing the floor to alternate between the friends and enemies of a measure. Henry M. Robert
I must remind the right honorable gentleman that a monologue is not a decision. Clement Attlee
Anger is seldom without argument but seldom with a good one. Lord Halifax
If you are a wise man, sitting in the council of your lord, direct your thought toward that which is wise. Be silent rather than scatter your words. When you speak, know that which can be brought against you. To speak in the council is an art, and speech is criticized more than any other labor; it is contradiction which puts it to the proof Ptah-Hotep
If you find a disputant while he is hot, do not despise him because you are not of the same opinion. Be not angry against him when he is wrong; away with such a thing. Ptah-Hotep
Once you say “racism”, the other side loses automatically. Penn Jillette
What words are we going to use to describe a Fascist Pig, if every police officer is a Fascist Pig? Edwin Newman
Action is eloquence William Shakespeare
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. George W. Bush
Human beings and fish can co-exist peacefully. George W. Bush
I don’t attack people. I attack ideas. And some very good people can have some very bad ideas. Antonin Scalia
A story is much more effective than a statistic. George Stephanopoulos
Great speech is impassioned; small speech cantankerous. Chuang Tzu
There is more than two sides. Facts are often apart from what both sides say about each other. Walter Pincus
This fellow has a silver tongue Jerry Voorhis
I don’t think that politicians should use words like ‘global economic crisis’ because some times when you do, you make a crisis where there was none before. Rudolph W. Giuliani
That white man not only stood up at the plate but knocked the ball over the fence. Martin Luther King Jr.
There are two things we don’t like to talk about: bad government and bad culture. Newt Gingrich
That guy is really good. John F. Kennedy
This is the most unheard of thing that I have ever heard of Joseph R. McCarthy
A silent man is not a conquered man. Russian Proverb
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. Noam Chomsky
I may challenge the whole orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator, if Europe has furnished more eminent, to produce a single passage superior to the speech of Logan Thomas Jefferson
Eloquence being, therefore, considered so essential, must always be a great standard of personal merit, a certain road to popular favor, and an universal passport to public honors. DeWitt Clinton
The Confederates (The Iroquois Indian Confederacy) were as celebrated for their eloquence, as for their military skill and political wisdom. Popular, or free governments have, in all ages, been the congenial soil of oratory. And it is, indeed, all important in institutions merely advisory; where persuasion must supply the place of coercion; where there is no magistrate to execute, no military to compel; and where the only sanction of law is the controlling power of public opinion. DeWitt Clinton
I have opinions of my own—strong opinions—but I don’t always agree with them. George W. Bush
Half the lies our opponents tell about us are not true. Boyle Roche
Those of us in public life have to realize that our words reach the contented and the demented. Bill Clinton
In Washington telling the truth is a gaff. Richard N. Haas
The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holder’s lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately. Bertrand Russell
Control of the tongue! Vital for the man who would try to tread the Path, for no harsh or unkind word, no hasty impatient phrase, may escape from the tongue which is consecrated to service, and which must not injure even an enemy; for that which wounds has no place in the Kingdom of Love. Annie Besant
Americans have called on moderates in Muslim countries to speak out against extremists, to stand up for the tolerance they say they believe in. We should all have the guts do the same at home. Nicholas Kristof
We come too late to say anything which has not been said already. Jean de la Bruyere
Forbear to speak evil not only of your friends, but also of your enemies. Pittacus of Mytilene
It is a sad thing when men have neither the wit to speak well, nor the judgment to hold their tongues. Jean de la Bruyere
It's deeds we need, not words. Vasil Levski
I must say I'm not very fond of oratory that's so full of energy it hasn't any room for facts. Sinclair Lewis
As reason is the glory of man, so the lamp of reason is eloquence. Marcus Tulliuis Cicero
It seems that in the world of politics, lying is not such a big deal. Ali Ardashir Larijani
If anyone objects to any statement I make, I am quite prepared not only to retract it, but also to deny under oath that I ever made it. Tom Lehrer
In an Inaguaral Address, it’s important not to kick the predecessor. Raymond K. Price
In oratory, affectation must be avoided; it being better for a man by a native and clear eloquence to express himself than by those words which may smell either of the lamp or inkhorn. Edward Herbert
Mr. Speaker, having received unanimous consent to extend my remarks in the RECORD, I would like to indicate that I am not really speaking these words. Try as I might, I could not get the floor to deliver my plea on behalf of the coal miners.... I do not want to kid anybody into thinking that I am now on my feet delivering a stirring oration. As a matter of fact, I am back in my office typing this out on my own hot little typewriter . Such is the pretense of the House that it would have been just as easy to quietly include these remarks in the RECORD, issue a brave press release, and convince thousands of cheering constituents that I was in there every step of the way, influencing the course of history in the heat of debate. Kenneth Hechler
These Russians [Communists] attach a hell of a lot to ideological theory ... most of them would sooner talk than work, or even eat. William Dudley Haywood
If you're not sure of what to say, don't say anything. Rutherford B. Hayes
Next to fried foods, the South has suffered most from oratory. Lawrence Brooks Hays
I am not a professional speaker, nor a studied orator, but I am an old soldier and a farmer, and as my sole objective is to speak what I think, you will excuse me if I do it in my own way. William Henry Harrison
Progression is not proclamation nor palaver. It is not pretense nor play on prejudice. It is not of personal pronouns, nor perennial pronouncement. It is not the perturbation of a people passion-wrought, nor a promise proposed. Warren G. Harding
I never saw this before. I didn't write this speech and I don't believe what I just read. Warren G. Harding
Kick him in the balls! Robert Kennedy
It is an extremely novel mode of terminating a controversy by charitably throwing the mantle of maniacal irresponsibility over one's antagonist. John P. Hale
Get the hell off the beach! Chris Christie
James Madison was the Speaker of the House. But he also wrote many speeches for George Washington. He even wrote some of Washington’s Messages to Congress. Then as the Speaker, he would write the reply to Washington’s message that he had written. Raymond Smock
I shall resist the temptation to say that that was a sound byte. Tony Blair
That was a sacred effort. Frederick Douglass
We can argue and we can disagree, but we don’t need to poke our fingers in each other’s eyes in order to get our points across. Lisa Murkowski
I don’t think that you have to run down someone’s reputation in order to run for the Presidency. Jon Huntsman, Jr.
If conservatives get to call universal healthcare 'socialized medicine,' I get to call private, for-profit healthcare 'soulless, vampire bastards making money off human pain.’ Bill Maher
Islamofascism Khalid Duran
Churchill would spend as many hours practicing as there were minutes in the speech. Andrew Roberts
I can forgive the Israelis for occupying our town, but I can never forgive them for imposing a curfew and forcing me to live in the same house as my mother-in-law for 43 days. . Suad Amiry
Talk is cheap. Allegations come easily. Daniel D. Rostenkowski
… shining city upon a hill Ronald Reagan
… we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. John Winthrop
Sustentative ideas are more important than applause lines. Substance makes speeches. Theodore C. Sorensen
Use declarative sentences… Use an elevated tone… Use graceful language Theodore C. Sorensen
Many people can contribute suggestions to a speech, but only one person can write it. Theodore C. Sorensen
Choose each word as a precision tool. Consider how it sounds, not how it reads. Theodore C. Sorensen
The best way to study about speech writing is to read great speeches. Theodore C. Sorensen
Less is almost always better than more. Short words, short sentences, short speeches. Theodore C. Sorensen
Kennedy had a much better speech writer than I do. Theodore C. Sorensen
Together we must rise to ever higher and higher platitudes. Richard Joseph Daley
… words acquire scope and function from the history of events which they summarize Felix Frankfurter
I am inclined to believe dictators. Not to is dangerous. Newt Gingrich
The definition of a gaff is when a politician says what he really thinks. E. J. Dionne Jr.
Teddy Roosevelt was called a radical—a socialist—even a communist. Barack Obama
When you agree with someone, you tend not to talk about it for too long. Mark Zuckerberg
Just cross out Mormon everywhere in the speech and replace it with Quaker. Calvin Trillin
It lies deep in our habits, confirmed by all manner of educational and other arrangements for several centuries back, to consider human talent as best of all evincing itself by the faculty of eloquent speech. Thomas Carlyle
We men do nothing but lie and make ourselves important. Speech was invented for the purpose of magnifying all of our sensations and impressions — perhaps so that we could believe in them. Miguel de Unamuno
Our friend, Mr Hume, made a most violent speech at a dinner … last week. He called Sir R. Peel and some other Tories "the cloven foot," which I think rather strong. I think that great violence and striving such a pity, on both sides … They irritate one another so uselessly by calling one another fools, blockheads, liars, and so forth for no purpose. I think violence so bad in everything. Queen Victoria
When a thing is said to be not worth refuting you may be sure that either it is flagrantly stupid—in which case all comment is superfluous—or it is something formidable, the very crux of the problem. Miguel de Unamuno
Argue as you please, you are nowhere, that grand old man, the Prime Minister, insists on the other thing. Stafford Northcote
It wasn't by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics. Ernest Hemingway
… another man‘s opinion rarely convinces. Anthony Trollope
Let your tongue become accustomed to the words “I do not know”. Chinese Proverb
One take Windsor Anonymous
The wound that’s made by fire will heal, But the wound that’s made by tongue will never heal. Thiruvalluvar
To use bitter words, when kind words are at hand, Is like picking unripe fruit when the ripe fruit is there. Thiruvalluvar
Never exaggerate, but express your feelings with moderation. Teresa of Avila
Never affirm anything unless you are sure it is true Teresa of Avila
… every international bloc, every State or indeed every community has enemies and opponents that seek to eliminate it, and, as the conflict becomes violent, each party tries to undermine the reputation of the other by attributing to it repulsive epithets, such as "anarchist", "criminal", "outlaw", "inhuman", "terrorist", and the like. Muhammad Ali Taskhiri
When a man hears himself somewhat misrepresented, it provokes him—at least, I find it so with myself; but when misrepresentation becomes very gross and palpable, it is more apt to amuse him. Abraham Lincoln
A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purposes when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea. This is why freedom of speech…is…protected against censorship or punishment… There is no room under our Constitution for a more restrictive view. For the alternative would lead to standardization of ideas either by legislatures, courts, or dominant political or community groups William O. Douglas
The truth isn't the truth until people believe you, and they can't believe you if they don't know what your saying, and they can't know what you've saying if they don't listen to you, and they won't listen to you if you're not interesting, and you won't be interesting until you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly. William Bernbach
When it comes to scientific matters the ready talkers simply run riot. There are a lot of pseudo-scientists who with a little technical jargon to spatter through their talk are always getting in the limelight Charles Proteus Steinmetz
A good talker, even more than a good orator, implies a good audience. Modern society is too vast and too restless to give a conversationalist a fair chance. Leslie Stephen
When the mind has grasped the matter, words come like flowers at the call of spring. John Lancaster Spalding
Preaching has become a byword for long and dull conversation of any kind; and whoever wishes to imply, in any piece of writing, the absence of everything agreeable and inviting, calls it a sermon. Sydney Smith
One of the basic causes for all the trouble in the world today is that people talk too much and think too little. Margaret Chase Smith
My basic rule is to speak slowly and simply so that my audience has an opportunity to follow and think about what I am saying. Margaret Chase Smith
Churchill has spent the best years of his life preparing impromptu remarks. Frederick Elwin Smith Birkenhead
Never say more than is necessary. Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Wise men say nothing in dangerous times. John Selden
What is the short meaning of the long speech? Johann Friedrich von Schiller
I always have a quotation for everything - it saves original thinking Dorothy L. Sayers
Look out how you use proud words. When you let proud words go, it is not easy to call them back. They wear long boots, hard boots. Carl Sandburg
Oratory is, after all, the prose literature of the savage. George Saintsbury
No one can speak well, unless he thoroughly understands his subject. Marcus Tulliuis Cicero
He leads a new crusade, his bald head glistening... One somehow pities him, despite his so palpable imbecilities... But let no one, laughing at him, underestimate the magic that lies in his black, malignant eye, his frayed but still eloquent voice. He can shake and inflame these poor ignoramuses as no other man among us... H. L. Mencken
Truth: An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance … Ambrose Bierce
Discussion: A method of confirming others in their errors Ambrose Bierce
Neither irony nor sarcasm is argument. Rufus Choate
I have often regretted my speech, never my silence. Publius Syrus
Power comes through public persuasion. David Gergen
The assembly has witnessed how historical truth is established. Once an allegation is repeated a few times, it is no longer an allegation. It is an established fact, even if no evidence has been brought out in order to support it. Dag Hammarskjold
Dialect words—those terrible marks of the beast to the truly genteel. Thomas Hardy
Don't you go believing in sayings … they are all made by men, for their own advantages. Thomas Hardy
Because of its rhetorical power, the Founding Fathers mythos is always going to be invoked for rhetorical legitimacy. Michael Austin
What you say in defense of … ideas matters, and what people hear matters even more. Frank Luntz
To the rule that Presidential messages are usually excellent studies in the art of saying nothing unforeseen or unexpected, we have not found the late message of General Grant an exception. Atlantic Monthly
... there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. James Truslow Adams
Words are slippery and thoughts are vicious. Henry Adams
Ron Paul is very smart, so I don't want to talk to him too long for fear that he will convince me. Ann Coulter
...if all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world. Blaise Pascal
Eloquence is an art of saying things in such a way—(1) that those to whom we speak may listen to them without pain and with pleasure; (2) that they feel themselves interested Blaise Pascal
We must put ourselves in the place of those who are to hear us Blaise Pascal
We either carry our audience with us, or irritate them. Blaise Pascal
If they don't behave themselves in the South, it will be shots across the border Ian Paisley
Just as the sword can kill, so can the tongue. Babylonian Talmud
Facts just don’t mean anything anymore. It’s who shouts the loudest and repeats it the most. Patricia Schroeder
Not everything I say is elegant. Mitt Romney
If you want someone to accept new evidence, make sure to present it to them in a context that doesn’t trigger a defensive, emotional reaction. Chris Mooney (journalist)
I want no criticism of America at my table. The Americans criticize themselves more than enough. Winston Churchill
When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home. Winston Churchill
I think we all agree, the past is over. George W. Bush
This is an impressive crowd -- the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base. George W. Bush
We must know what we think and speak out, even at the risk of unpopularity. In the final analysis, a democratic government represents the sum total of the courage and the integrity of its individuals. It cannot be better than they are. Eleanor Roosevelt
Eloquence is the essential thing in a speech, not information. Mark Twain
… nearly any invented quotation, played with confidence, stands a good chance to deceive. Mark Twain
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain
Arguments have no chance against petrified training; they wear it as little as the waves wear a cliff. Mark Twain
It is very wholesome exercise, this trying to make one's words represent one's thoughts, instead of merely looking to their effect on others Elizabeth Gaskell
He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. William Shakespeare
Nobody talks much that doesn't say unwise things,--things he did not mean to say; as no person plays much without striking a false note sometimes. Oliver Wendell Holmes
Weasel Words Theodore Roosevelt
State of the Union Franklin D. Roosevelt
Considering how much we are all given to discuss the characters of others, and discuss them often not in the strictest spirit of charity, it is singular how little we are inclined to think that others can speak ill-naturedly of us, and how angry and hurt we are when proof reaches us that they have done so. Anthony Trollope
As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action … Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests. Gore Vidal
New York and I are not punching bags. You hit us and we will hit back. Edward I. Koch
Today, “socialism” … is just an all purpose term of abuse. Eric Foner
An ounce of algebra is worth of a ton of verbal argument. John Burdon Sanderson Haldane
One thing I regret about American politics is that no one seems to have a sense of humor any more. John McCain
Ich bin ein Berliner. (I am a Berliner.) John F. Kennedy
Precisely because our political speeches are meant to be reported, they are not worth reporting. Precisely because they are carefully designed to be read, nobody reads them. Gilbert K. Chesterton
I have sometimes been haunted with the idea that it was an imperative duty, knowing what I know and having seen what I have seen, to do all that lies in my power to show the dangers and the evils of this frightful institution. [American Slavery] Frances Anne Kemble
It is often attempted to palliate slavery by comparing the state of slaves with our poorer countrymen: if the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin; but how this bears on slavery, I cannot see; as well might the use of the thumb-screw be defended in one land, by showing that men in another land suffered from some dreadful disease. Charles Darwin
I do not recollect ever to have been conversant with anyone who had more of that silent and subtle power which we call personal presence than this woman... Her tall form, as she rose up before me, is still vivid to my mind. She was dressed in some stout, grayish stuff, neat and clean, though dusty from travel. On her head, she wore a bright Madras handkerchief, arranged as a turban, after the manner of her race. She seemed perfectly self-possessed and at her ease, -- in fact, there was almost an unconscious superiority, not unmixed with a solemn twinkle of humor, in the odd, composed manner in which she looked down on me Harriet Beecher Stowe
The whole world knows, that, when a wrong stings a man, making him fierce and loud, his direct expressions have often small value; but that his parenthetical expressions often have great value. This is one of the simplest principles in homely every-day-criticism, serving truth-seekers, wherever wordy war rages, whether among statesmen or hackmen. Andrew Dickson White
People tend to say a lot of things that are not true. Sandra Day O'Connor
No story lives unless someone wants to listen. J. K. Rowling
Unless Gingrich and Dole and the Republicans say, ‘Am I inflaming a bunch of nuts?’, you know we're going to have some more events (like the Oklahoma City bombing). I am absolutely certain the harsher rhetoric of the Gingriches and the Doles … creates a climate of violence in America. Carl T. Rowan Jr.
Few speeches which have produced an electrical effect on an audience can bear the colorless photography of a printed record. Archibald Philip Primrose Rosebery
Be sincere, be brief, be seated. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Repetition often becomes fact. Tom Daschle
Don’t push out figures when facts are going in the opposite direction. Hyman Rickover
A falsehood in which some truth is not stated at the beginning, cannot be maintained in the end. Shlomo ben Yitzchak; Rashi
Get into the habit of always speaking calmly to everyone. This will prevent you from anger, a serious character flaw… Ramban
Speaking much also is a sign of vanity; for he that is lavish in words is a niggard in deeds. Walter Raleigh
Our future is still ahead of us. Jimmy Quillen
I made a misstatement, and I stand by all my misstatements. J. Danforth Quayle
It doesn't matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice. Deng Xiaoping
False opinions are like false money, struck first of all by guilty men and thereafter circulated by honest people who perpetuate the crime without knowing what they are doing Joseph de Maistre
I don’t expect anyone to just sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job. Margaret Thatcher
Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent. Dionysius the Elder
What torture it is to hear a frigid speech being pompously delivered Jean de la Bruyere
Some condemnations praise; some praise damns. Francois de La Rochefoucauld
There is a better thing than the great man who is always speaking, and that is the great man who only speaks when he has a great word to say. William Winter
Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.. Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is the last of earth! I am content. John Quincy Adams
The word “must” may not be used to princes. Elizabeth I
Eternal Rome Albius Tibullus
Accent [emphasis] is the soul of speech; it gives it feeling and truth. Jean Jacques Rousseau
A good orator is pointed and impassioned. Marcus Tulliuis Cicero
A lie should be trampled on and extinguished wherever found. Thomas Carlyle
A man hears only what he understands. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We need to become more acutely conscious that words matter. None of us would deny that ideas and opinions matter, but we can sometimes be careless about how we express them. The words we choose to advance an idea, opinion, or point of view have a huge impact on how people react and respond to that view. When we use hyperbole, we increase the chances of being misunderstood and of promoting equally exaggerated counter-reactions, especially when people are reacting almost instantaneously. Rich Turner
Hyperbole engaged in consciously to achieve a desired effect can be, as we have noted, a useful rhetorical tool. Indeed, its use in this manner is sometimes called "exaggeration in the service of truth." However, there's much to be said for restraint of tongue and pen, and restraint refers not only to what we say but also to how we say it. It is possible, believe it or not, to be emphatic without indulging in overstatement; it is possible to be forceful without exaggerating. Rich Turner
Drawing forceful distinctions and being civil are not mutually exclusive. New York Times
I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible, I don’t know if you fully understand that I have just been shot. But it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose. Theodore Roosevelt
We must be careful about speech writers making foreign policy. David Broder
The greatest menace in the world is not poison gas. There are gas masks against that. The menace is poisoned words, poisoned ideas. The greatest menace in the world is not poison gas. There are gas masks against that. The menace is poisoned words, poisoned ideas. Dorothy Thompson
If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. Barack Obama
If you’re one of the more than 250 million who already have health insurance, you will keep your insurance. Barack Obama
Kennedy understood something that is not so obvious, and that is that words are more important than deeds. You can’t govern 300 million people—or 180 million when Kennedy was president—by doing things. You can only do it by rhetoric. Richard Reeves
An enemy, waging war in a manner violative of the usage of civilized nations, has invaded our country. With presumptuous reliance on superior numbers, he has declared his purpose to reduce us to submission. . . . Recent disaster has spread gloom over the land, and sorrow sits at the hearthstones of our countrymen; but a people conscious of rectitude and faithfully relying on their Father in Heaven may be cast down, but cannot be dismayed. Jefferson Davis
When you begin to speak for a nation as big as ours, it seems to me that any one individual is undertaking an extremely difficult piece of work. Eleanor Roosevelt
If people tell an untruth long enough and loud enough, they begin to believe it themselves. Louise Slaughter
The human word is neither immortal nor invulnerable; but it is the power that orders our chaos, and the light by which we live. Northrop Frye
Tell them about the dream, Martin—the dream. Mahalia Jackson
Senator Obama has been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately, and you know, I couldn’t agree with him more. John McCain
George W. Bush did an incredible job in the Presidency defending us from freedom. Rick Perry
No one, however smart, however well educated … is the suppository of all wisdom. Tony Abbott
Corporations are people, my friend. Mitt Romney
A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker. Buddha
Remember, little girl, I’m like the thorn tree that flowers on the plain. I waft my scent to passers-by and prick he who shakes me. Don’t mess with me, Condoleezza. Don’t mess with me, girl. Hugo Chavez
In this region declarations, speeches, words are worthless. Ariel Sharon
You may hiss as much as you please, but women will get their rights anyway. You can’t stop us, neither Sojourner Truth
… that's what I do. The Lord has made me a sign unto this nation, an' I go round a'testifyin', an' showin' on 'em their sins agin my people Sojourner Truth
As soon as woman raises her voice or uses her pen in defense- however cool and earnest- of her own side of the question, there is an immediate outcry made in order to drown her. It is so easy for men to talk of ‘the clamor of shrill voices,’ ‘the cackle of female tongues,’ that in the pleasure of so describing them they occasionally forget that they have not answered their opponents’ argument… Victoria Woodhull
Words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government Vaclav Havel
I think we Americans tend to put too high a price on unanimity ... as if there were something dangerous and illegitimate about honest differences of opinion honestly expressed by honest men. J. William Fulbright
I think we Americans tend to put too high a value on unanimity, as if there were something dangerous and illegitimate about honest differences of opinion honestly expressed by honest men. J. William Fulbright
To criticize one's country is to do it a service and to pay it a compliment. It is a service because it may spur the country to do better than it is doing; it is a compliment because it evidences a belief that the country can do better than it is doing. J. William Fulbright
Speeches in our culture are the vacuum that fills a vacuum. John Kenneth Galbraith
If I take refuge in ambiguity, I assure you that it’s quite conscious. Kingman Brewster, Jr.
Rumor is rarely more interesting than fact, but it is always more readily available. Stephen Carter
Say what you say plainly, and then take responsibility for it Ai Weiwei
Whoever criticizes others must have something to replace them. Criticism without suggestion is like trying to stop flood with flood and put out fire with fire. It will surely be without worth. Moizi
Wordiness is a sickness of American writing. Too many words dilute and blur ideas. Eric Hoffer
Add a few drops of venom to a half truth and you have an absolute truth. Eric Hoffer
Well, back to the old drawing board. Peter Arno
They are big fish in a small pond. Galveston Daily News
Our future is still ahead of us. James Henry Quillen
I think as in so many cases, the people who criticize, do so without a complete knowledge of the facts. Eleanor Roosevelt
Aloha Daniel Inouye
I will speak till I can no longer speak. Rand Paul
When in doubt, tell the truth. Mark Twain
There is nothing in the world like persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus. Mark Twain
We can calm down our argument a little so that we can learn what it is that we are actually arguing about. Yuval Levin
… he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him. Abraham Lincoln
In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity. Abraham Lincoln
The future requires action and not mere conversation. Eleanor Roosevelt
Frontlash Lyndon B. Johnson
He was murdered by every white minister of the gospel who remained silent behind the safe security of his stained glass window. He was murdered by the irresponsibility of every politician from governor on down who had fed his constituents the stale bread of hatred and the spoiled meat of racism. He was murdered by the timidity of the Federal government that is willing to spend millions of dollars a day to defend freedom in Vietnam, but cannot protect the rights of its citizens at home…. He was murdered by the cowardice of every Negro who passively accepts the evils of segregation and stands on the sidelines in the struggle for justice. Martin Luther King Jr.
The political value of a word must be measured not in terms of its linguistic coherence but in the way people use it. Michael Rocard
Judge us not by the rhetoric; judge us by the results. Al Gore
An organization which claims to speak for the needs of a community ... must speak in the tone of that community, not as somebody else's buffer zone. Stokely Carmichael; Kwame Toure
Be careful what you say. Words matter. Words really matter in foreign policy. James Baker
Few orators have known how to achieve such admirable results by dint of repetition. Besides, Lenin always felt his audience. He never rose too high above its level, nor did he ever omit to descend to it at just the necessary moment, in order not to break the continuity of the hypnosis which dominated the will of his flock; and more than any one he realized that a mob is like a horse that wants to be firmly bestrode and spurred, that wants to feel the hand of a master. Victor Mikhailovich Chernov
Platitudes are safe, because they're easy to wink at, but truth is something else again. Hunter S. Thompson
Analogies prove nothing, that is quite true, but they can make one feel more at home. Sigmund Freud
When we speak freely, let us speak plainly, for plain speech is wholesome; especially, plain speech about public affairs and public men. Albert J. Nock
A despot doesn't fear eloquent writers preaching freedom—he fears a drunken poet who may crack a joke that will take hold. E. B. White
I do not say what I do not mean. Neither can anyone force me to say what I don't wish to say. Anson Chan
My gran'ther's rule was safer 'n 'tis to crow: Don't never prophesy — onless ye know. James Russell Lowell
Communication has become a fulcrum of policy [of the Federal Reserve]. Policy makers shape expectations and, thus, economic behavior. Douglas R. Holmes
I’m better speaking with my own voice. That is one of the reasons I left the Senate Jim Webb
I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit. Theodore Roosevelt
The time has come to stop telling the American people only what they want them to hear, and start talking frankly about the sacrifices we must all make. John Anderson
The “gaffe” gives Scalia’s critics ample occasion to deride the error, and I won’t fault then for having fun doing so, as I won’t dispute that I and others would likely be doing the same for a blunder for a liberal justice. Edward Whalen
I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD. William Lloyd Garrison
I realize that, in speaking to you this afternoon, there are certain limitations placed upon the right of free speech. I must be exceedingly careful, prudent, as to what I say, and even more careful and prudent as to how I say it. I may not be able to say all I think; but I am not going to say anything that I do not think. Eugene V. Debs
… sledgehammer eloquence... Boston Globe
… the thug is aware that loudness convinces 60 persons where reasoning convinces but one.. Mark Twain
Hurl your calumnies boldly; something is sure to stick. Audacter calumniare, semper aliquid haeret Francis Bacon
I always admired Niels Bohr for uttering his opinions like one perpetually groping and never like one in the possession of definite truth. Albert Einstein
Conventional wisdom John Kenneth Galbraith
An orator is a man who says what he thinks and feels what he says. William Jennings Bryan
It is a poor head that cannot find plausible reason for doing what the heart wants to do. William Jennings Bryan
An orator is a man who says what he thinks and feels what he says. William Jennings Bryan
I have serious doubts about the value of debates in a presidential election. They tend to be a test of reaction time rather than a genuine exposition of the participants' philosophies and programs. Dwight D. Eisenhower
If that comes up, I'll just confuse them. Dwight D. Eisenhower
We live in a sea of semantic disorder in which old labels no longer faithfully describe. Police states are called "people's democracies." Armed conquest of free people is called "liberation. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. Saul Alinsky
When [Lyndon B.] Johnson wanted to persuade you of something, when you got the "Johnson treatment," you really felt as if a St. Bernard had licked your face for an hour, had pawed you all over. Benjamin C. Bradlee
If Abraham Lincoln were alive today, he’d be rolling in his grave. Gerald R. Ford
In order to make a good speech you must have something to say and you have to believe it. Mario Cuomo
Debates measure abilities you don't need to govern, like glibness. To govern you should be thoughtful, not glib. A debater has a sense of humor, but what's it got to do with governing? The ability to think on your feet. You make a budget sitting on your tush. Mario Cuomo
Differences in political opinions are as unavoidable … but it is exceedingly to be regretted that subjects cannot be discussed with temper in hand, or decisions submitted to … without improperly implicating the motives which led to them; and this regret borders on chagrin, when we find that men of ability, zealous patriots, having the same general objects in view, the same upright intentions to prosecute them, will not utilize their charity in deciding on the opinions and actions of each other. George Washington
Ronald Reagan thundered against Soviet perfidy for the television cameras … the substantive measures he took against the Soviets were remarkably modest. H. W. Brands
Do not be deceived by the way men of bad faith misuse words and names…. Beware of those who use words to mean their opposites. At the same time have pity on them, for usually this trick is their only stock in trade. Raphael Aloysius Lafferty
In a Congressional Hearing, when the red light of the television camera came on it had the effect of a full moon on weir wolves. Robert M. Gates
That argument is just as offensive as if somebody from a foreign country asked, “Why are you guys so outraged by the attack on the World Trade Center when Americans kill far more Americans than Al Qaeda ever has?” It’s just as offensive. Antonio D. French
Eugenics. Francis Galton
There are the talkers and there are the doers. Harry Hopkins
I will not last 6 months in this town because I am going to say what I damn well please. Harry Hopkins
I have made it a policy not to draft documents that will be reviewed by a public body. Benjamin Franklin
Here comes the orator with his flood of words and his drop or reason. Benjamin Franklin
Many a long dispute among divines [theologians] may be thus abridged: It is so; It is not so. It is so; it is not so. Benjamin Franklin
When truth and error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter. Benjamin Franklin
Would you persuade, speak of interest, not of reason. Benjamin Franklin
Write with the learned. Pronounce with the vulgar. Benjamin Franklin
Lies here food for the worms yet the work shall not be lost. Benjamin Franklin
I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately. George Carlin
Words slip, slide and sometimes crack. T. S. Eliot
Grow your tree of falsehood from a small grain of truth. Do not follow those who lie in contempt of reality. Let your lie be even more logical than the truth itself, So the weary travelers may find repose in the lie. Czeslaw Milosz
The … most important thing that happens in a debate is a candidate delivering an effective one-liner. Now, we all know, or should know, that the one-liner has most likely been proposed by the candidate's advisers and that it's been rehearsed. It has all the spontaneity of a can of tuna. And it has nothing to do with governing. It's nice if a president is clever, but that's not required Elizabeth Drew
Political speeches are a particularly low form of rhetoric. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
The corrosion of our public language reflects deep pathologies — societal, cultural, economic — in the body politic. Jeff Shesol
You owe it to the community not to be swerved by eloquence and specious argument. Margaret Shove Morriss
When you want to attack your opponent’s position, first you have to attack it rationally. William F. Buckley Jr.
You can never say, “I am humble.” You have disproved the assertion by saying it. Rachel Maddow
Since opinions do not find in me a ready soil to thrust and spread their roots into, no premise shocks me, no belief hurts me, no matter how opposite to my own they may be. Michel de Montaigne
I embark upon discussion and argument with great ease and liberty Michel de Montaigne
Whenever we meet opposition, we do not look to see if it is just, but how we can get out of it, rightly or wrongly. Instead of welcoming arms we stretch out our claws. Michel de Montaigne
When I am contradicted it arouses my attention, not my wrath. I move toward the man who contradicts me: he is instructing me. The cause of truth ought to be common to both of us. Michel de Montaigne
I could get on [with the Kennedys] because I spoke Boston — meaning you never let the other person finish their sentence Stan Salett
The way candidates react, immediately and usually involuntarily, while caught by the camera dominates impressions of who has “won” or “list” an encounter [political debate]. Molly Ball
How does it happen that virtually every corporation in America has been found guilty of violating the law and not one CEO has got to jail? Bernie Sanders
“There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts. Scottie Nell Hughes
Government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. Sarah Palin
African American Communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they've ever been before. Ever, ever, ever. Donald Trump
I leaned in science class that everything that generates light generates a little bit of heat, but not everything that generates head generates light. So it is with journalism. Joshua Johnson
Mr, Trump's comment reflect an insulting degree of ignorance and/or insensitivity. It demonstrates a profound ignorance of history. Cornell William Brooks
I speak as simply as possible because the issue is too great to be obscured by eloquence. Margaret Chase Smith
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you. Anonymous
Hillbilly Demosthenes Anonymous
Go out there guttin’, cuttin’, and struttin. Jim Folsom
He could talk a dog off a meat wagon. He talked a lot but said nothing. John Kennedy (Louisiana politician)
If You Do Not Write It, You Never Said It Lewis D. Eigen
Kim Il Sung loves his people. Donald Trump