„But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either, which is infamous, or, which is imbecile.“

— Patrick O'Brian, Context: “But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.” Master and Commander (1970)
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Patrick O'Brian
1914 - 2000
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„You know, I found out recently that the word "heretic" comes from the Greek word "airetikós", meaning "able to choose" — which pretty much says it all, don't you think?“

— Pat Condell Stand-up comedian, writer, and Internet personality 1949
"The arrogance of clergy" (2 October 2009) http://youtube.com/watch?v=STlYN5KCiWg&feature=sub

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„Three generations of imbeciles are enough.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. United States Supreme Court justice 1841 - 1935
Context: We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.... Three generations of imbeciles are enough. U.S. Supreme Court rationale for sterilizing the "unfit." Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, 207 (1927) (endorsing Virginia's eugenics program).

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„There is, in the institutions of this country, one principle, which, had they no other excellence, would secure to them the preference over those of all other countries. I mean — and some devout patriots will start — I mean the principle of change.“

— Frances Wright American activist 1795 - 1852
Context: There is, in the institutions of this country, one principle, which, had they no other excellence, would secure to them the preference over those of all other countries. I mean — and some devout patriots will start — I mean the principle of change. I have used a word to which is attached an obnoxious meaning. Speak of change, and the world is in alarm. And yet where do we not see change? What is there in the physical world but change? And what would there be in the moral world without change?

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„The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable". The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another.“

— George Orwell English author and journalist 1903 - 1950
Context: The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable". The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

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„As many of you know, I come from San Francisco. We don't have a lot of farms there. Well, we do have one—it's a mushroom farm, so you know what that means.“

— Nancy Pelosi American politician, first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, born 1940 1940
To The Agribusiness Club of Washington (July 24, 2006)

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„The cult of the masterpieces of art and thought is the only impulse of the soul which, by general consent, has always soared above patriotic littlenesses.“

— Henri Barbusse French novelist 1873 - 1935
Context: If, from the idea of motherland, you take away covetousness, hatred, envy and vainglory; if you take away from it the desire for predominance by violence, what is there left of it? It is not an individual unity of laws; for just laws have no colors. It is not a solidarity of interests, for there are no material national interests — or they are not honest. It is not a unity of race; for the map of the countries is not the map of the races. What is there left? There is left a restricted communion, deep and delightful; the affectionate and affecting attraction in the charm of a language — there is hardly more in the universe besides its languages which are foreigners — there is left a personal and delicate preference for certain forms of landscape, of monuments, of talent. And even this radiance has its limits. The cult of the masterpieces of art and thought is the only impulse of the soul which, by general consent, has always soared above patriotic littlenesses.

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„The Letheri are masters at corrupting words, their meanings. They call war peace, they call tyranny liberty. On which side of the shadow you stand decides a word's meaning.“

— Steven Erikson Canadian fantasy author 1959
Context: For Hood's sake,' the foreigner muttered. 'What's wrong with words?' 'With words,' said Redmask, turning away, 'meanings change.' 'Well,' Anaster Toc said, following as Redmask made his way back to his army's camp, 'that is precisely the point. That's their value — their ability to adapt -' 'Grow corrupt, you mean. The Letheri are masters at corrupting words, their meanings. They call war peace, they call tyranny liberty. On which side of the shadow you stand decides a word's meaning. Words are the weapons used by those who see others with contempt. A contempt which only deepens when they see how those others are deceived and made into fools because they choose to believe. Because in their naivety they thought the meaning of a word was fixed, immune to abuse.

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„Amarantine is an ancient word, which means eternity. The poets describe an undying flower with that word, and I fell in love with that idea ...“

—  Enya Irish singer, songwriter, and musician 1961
Context: Amarantine is an ancient word, which means eternity. The poets describe an undying flower with that word, and I fell in love with that idea... For me that word suited rhythmically to the refrain of the piece. A-ma-ran-ti-ne. In our website the fans tried to guess something super-romantic to be the album's name, but this word was obviously never guessed by anyone.

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„For this is the Great Deed that our Lord shall do, in which Deed He shall save His word and He shall make all well that is not well. How it shall be done there is no creature beneath Christ that knoweth it, nor shall know it till it is done; according to the understanding that I took of our Lord’s meaning in this time.“

— Julian of Norwich English theologian and anchoress 1342 - 1416
Context: Our Faith is grounded in God’s word, and it belongeth to our Faith that we believe that God’s word shall be saved in all things; and one point of our Faith is that many creatures shall be condemned: as angels that fell out of Heaven for pride, which be now fiends; and man in earth that dieth out of the Faith of Holy Church: that is to say, they that be heathen men; and also man that hath received christendom and liveth unchristian life and so dieth out of charity: all these shall be condemned to hell without end, as Holy Church teacheth me to believe. And all this standing, methought it was impossible that all manner of things should be well, as our Lord shewed in the same time. And as to this I had no other answer in Shewing of our Lord God but this: That which is impossible to thee is not impossible to me: I shall save my word in all things and I shall make all things well. Thus I was taught, by the grace of God, that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith as I had aforehand understood, therewith that I should firmly believe that all things shall be well, as our Lord shewed in the same time. For this is the Great Deed that our Lord shall do, in which Deed He shall save His word and He shall make all well that is not well. How it shall be done there is no creature beneath Christ that knoweth it, nor shall know it till it is done; according to the understanding that I took of our Lord’s meaning in this time.

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