„Language can be compared to a sheet of paper: thought is its recto and sound its verso: one cannot cut the verso without simultaneously cutting the recto. Similarly, in the matter of language, one can separate neither sound from thought nor thought from sound; such separation could be achieved only by abstraction, which would lead either to pure psychology, or to pure phonology.“

—  Ferdinand de Saussure, livro Course in General Linguistics, Cours de linguistique générale (1916), p. 157; as cited in: Schaff (1962:11)
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Ferdinand de Saussure photo

„Language can be compared to a sheet of paper: thought is its recto and sound its verso: one cannot cut the verso without simultaneously cutting the recto.“

—  Ferdinand de Saussure Swiss linguist 1857 - 1913
Cours de linguistique générale (1916), Similarly, in the matter of language, one can separate neither sound from thought nor thought from sound; such separation could be achieved only by abstraction, which would lead either to pure psychology, or to pure phonology. p. 157; as cited in: Schaff (1962:11)

Ferdinand de Saussure photo

„The characteristic role of language with respect to thought is not to create a material phonic means for expressing ideas but to serve as a link between thought and sound,“

—  Ferdinand de Saussure, livro Course in General Linguistics
Cours de linguistique générale (1916), Context: The characteristic role of language with respect to thought is not to create a material phonic means for expressing ideas but to serve as a link between thought and sound, under conditions that of necessity bring about the reciprocal delimitations of units. Thought, chaotic by nature, has to become ordered in the process of its decomposition. Neither are thoughts given material form nor are sounds transformed into mental entities; the somewhat mysterious fact is rather that "thought-sound" implies division, and that language works out its units while taking shape between two shapeless masses. Visualize the air in contact with a sheet of water; if the atmospheric pressure changes, the surface of the water will be broken up into a series of divisions, waves; the waves resemble the union or coupling of thought with phonic substance. p. 112

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David Crystal photo
Bertrand Russell photo
George Orwell photo

„Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.“

—  George Orwell, livro Politics and the English Language
"Politics and the English Language" (1946), Context: Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Helder Camara photo
George Orwell photo

„But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.“

—  George Orwell, 1984
"Politics and the English Language" (1946), Context: But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better. Context: All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find — this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify — that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship. But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better.

Luigi Russolo photo

„We must break at all cost from this restrictive circle of pure sounds and conquer the infinite variety of noise-sounds.“

—  Luigi Russolo Electronic music pioneer and Futurist painter 1885 - 1947
1910's, The Art of Noise', 1913, Context: This evolution toward noise-sound is only possible today. The ear of an eighteenth century man never could have withstood the discordant intensity of some of the chords produced by our orchestras (whose performers are three times as numerous); on the other hand our ears rejoice in it, for they are attuned to modern life, rich in all sorts of noises. But our ears far from being satisfied, keep asking for bigger acoustic sensations. However, musical sound is too restricted in the variety and the quality of its tones. Music marks time in this small circle and vainly tries to create a new variety of tones... We must break at all cost from this restrictive circle of pure sounds and conquer the infinite variety of noise-sounds. p. 6

Arthur Machen photo
Karl Kraus photo

„Language is the mother of thought, not its handmaiden.“

—  Karl Kraus Czech playwright and publicist 1874 - 1936
Half-Truths and One-And-A-Half Truths (1976)

Ferdinand de Saussure photo
Gottlob Frege photo

„This ideography is a "formula language", that is, a lingua characterica, a language written with special symbols, "for pure thought", that is, free from rhetorical embellishments, "modeled upon that of arithmetic", that is, constructed from specific symbols that are manipulated according to definite rules.“

—  Gottlob Frege mathematician, logician, philosopher 1848 - 1925
paraphrasing Frege's Begriffsschrift, a formula language, modeled upon that of arithmetic, for pure thought (1879) in Jean Van Heijenoort ed., in From Frege to Gödel: A Source Book in Mathematical Logic, 1879-1931 (1967)

 Sallustius photo

„The essences of the Gods never came into existence (for that which always is never comes into existence; and that exists for ever which possesses primary force and by nature suffers nothing): neither do they consist of bodies; for even in bodies the powers are incorporeal. Neither are they contained by space; for that is a property of bodies. Neither are they separate from the first cause nor from one another, just as thoughts are not separate from mind nor acts of knowledge from the soul.“

—  Sallustius Roman philosopher and writer
On the Gods and the Cosmos, II. That God is unchanging, unbegotten, eternal, incorporeal, and not in space. Variant translation: The essences of the gods are neither generated; for eternal natures are without generation; and those beings are eternal who possess a first power, and are naturally void of passivity. Nor are their essences composed from bodies; for even the powers of bodies are incorporeal: nor are they comprehended in place; for this is the property of bodies: nor are they separated from the first cause, or from each other; in the same manner as intellections are not separated from intellect, nor sciences from the soul. II. That a God is immutable, without Generation, eternal, incorporeal, and has no Subsistence in Place, as translated by Thomas Taylor

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