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HoraceOnce a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled.

—  Horace, 65-8 BC, Roman poet

Lao-TzuThose who know do not speak; those who speak do not know.

—  Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher

David Lloyd GeorgeLucidity of speech is unquestionably one of the surest tests of mental precision. In my experience a confused talker is never a clear thinker.

—  David Lloyd George, 1863-1945, British Prime Minister [1916-1922]

Mahatma GandhiSpeak only if it improves upon the silence.

—  Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, Indian leader of independence

Winston ChurchillCourage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.

—  Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, British Prime Minister, Nobel 1953

Winston ChurchillEating words has never given me indigestion.

—  Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, British Prime Minister, Nobel 1953

H.L. MenckenI never lecture, not because I am shy or a bad speaker, but simply because I detest the sort of people who go to lectures and don't want to meet them.

—  H.L. Mencken, 1880-1956, American columnist & cultural critic

Ambrose BierceSpeak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.

—  Ambrose Bierce, 1842–1914, American writer

TalleyrandSpeech was given to man to disguise his thoughts.

—  Talleyrand, 1754-1838, French statesman & diplomat

Ralph Waldo EmersonAll the great speakers were bad speakers at first.

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1884, American philosopher

John KennedyThe only reason to give a speech is to change the world.

—  John Kennedy, 1917-1963, American President [1961-1963]

Francis BaconDiscretion in speech is more than eloquence.

—  Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, English philosopher

Khalil GibranYou talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.

—  Khalil Gibran, 1883-1931, Lebanese-American poet & philosopher

Alfred North WhiteheadNobody has a right to speak more clearly than he thinks.

—  Alfred North Whitehead, 1861-1947, British philosopher & mathematician

La RochefoucauldWe say little when vanity does not make us speak.

—  La Rochefoucauld, 1613-1680, French writer

Will DurantNothing is often a good thing to do and always a good thing to say.

—  Will Durant, 1885-1981, American historian & philosopher

Robert FrostHalf the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.

—  Robert Frost, 1874-1963, American poet

Theodore RooseveltI have always been fond of the West African proverb “Speak softly and carry a big stick”; you will go far.

—  Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919, American President [1901-1909]

Calvin CoolidgeYou can't know too much, but you can say too much.

—  Calvin Coolidge, 1872-1933, American President [1923-1929]

Lou HoltzI never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.

—  Lou Holtz, 1937-, American football coach

David Lloyd GeorgeThe finest eloquence is that which gets things done.

—  David Lloyd George, 1863-1945, British Prime Minister [1916-1922]

Franklin RooseveltBe sincere, Be brief, Be seated.

—  Franklin Roosevelt, 1882-1945, American President [1936-1945]

     (advice to his son James on how to make a public speech)

Emile M. CioranSpeech and silence. We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth.

—  Emile M. Cioran, 1911-1995, French-Romanian philosopher

Stupid Quotes

Harry WarnerWho the hell wants to hear actors talk?

—  Harry Warner, 1881-1958, American film producer

     (in 1927)

Ancient Greek

Bias of PrieneHear much; speak to the point.

Άκουε πολλά, λάλει καίρια.

—  Bias of Priene, 625-540 BC, Greek philosopher, one of the 7 sages of Ancient Greece

TheocritusNow begins a river of words and a trickling of sense.

Άρχεται λέξεων μεν ποταμός, νου δε σταλαγμός.

—  Theocritus, 3rd cent. BC, Ancient Greek poet

     (on one of his opponents who was about to make a public speech)

HomerFrom whose lips the streams of words ran sweeter than honey.

Του και από γλώσσης μέλιτος γλυκίων ρέεν αυδή.

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Iliad I

     (about Nestor)


Yiddish proverbWhile the word is still in your mouth, you are a lord; once you say it, you are a fool.

—  Yiddish proverb


Movie Quotes

Taxi Driver (1976)You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Well, who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well, I'm the only one here.

—  from the film Taxi Driver (1976)


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou