Thursday, January 13, 2011

Love words

Continuing to read Caring for Words. . .
We gather these gifts of language as we go along - lines from poems, verses from Scripture, quips, turns of phrase, or simply words that delight us.  We use them in moments of need.  We share them with friends, and we reach for them in our own dark nights.
 And another quote:
The dumbing-down, oversimplification, or flattened character of public speech may make our declamations and documents more accessible, but it deprives us all of a measure of beauty and clarity that could enrich our lives together.  In more and more venues where speech and writing are required, adequate is adequate.
"When a person has a poor ear for music, he will flat and sharp right along without knowing it.  He keeps near the tune, but it is not the tune.  When a person has a poor ear for words, the result is a literary flatting and sharping; you perceive what he is intending to say, but you also perceive that he doesn't say it.  This is Cooper.  He was not a word-musician.  His ear was satisfied with the approximate word."  (quote from Mark Twain)

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