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Quotations about Speaking




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To speak and to speak well are two things.  A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.  ~Ben Jonson


If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it.  ~Earl Wilson


Two monologues do not make a dialogue.  ~Jeff Daly


Of those who say nothing, few are silent.  ~Thomas Neiel


The older I grow the more I listen to people who don't talk much.  ~Germain G. Glien


Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness.  ~Margaret Millar


To be able to ask a question clearly is two-thirds of the way to getting it answered.  ~John Ruskin


There is no such thing as conversation.  It is an illusion.  There are intersecting monologues, that is all.  ~Rebecca West (Cicily Maxwell Andrews), "The Harsh Voice," There Is No Conversation, 1935


By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.  ~Winston Churchill


The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid.  ~Author Unknown


Talking is like playing on the harp; there is as much in laying the hands on the strings to stop their vibration as in twanging them to bring out their music.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say.  ~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Cat's Cradle


Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.  ~Quentin Crisp


Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.  ~Martin Farquhar Tupper, "Of Discretion," Proverbial Philosophy


The true genius shudders at incompleteness - and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.  ~Edgar Allan Poe


The trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you haven't thought of yet.  ~Ann Landers


Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.  ~Hermann Hesse


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.  ~Dorothy Nevill


The easiest way to save face is to keep the lower half shut.  ~Author Unknown


Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut.  ~Author Unknown


Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.  ~Orson Rega Card


Be careful of your thoughts; they may become words at any moment.  ~Ira Gassen


Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.  ~Josh Billings


Foolishness always results when the tongue outraces the brain.  ~Author Unknown


The words you choose to say something are just as important as the decision to speak.  ~Author Unknown


Among provocatives, the next best thing to good preaching is bad preaching.  I have even more thoughts during or enduring it than at other times.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.  ~Pubilius Syrus


An inability to stay quiet is one of the conspicuous failings of mankind.  ~Walter Bagehot


It is better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and resolve all doubt.  ~Abraham Lincoln


I am annoyed by individuals who are embarrassed by pauses in a conversation.  To me, every conversational pause refreshes.  ~George Sanders


Isn't it surprising how many things, if not said immediately, seem not worth saying ten minutes from now?  ~Arnot L. Sheppard, Jr.


It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood.  ~Karl Popper, Unended Quest


Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.  ~Ambrose Bierce


Drawing on my find command of language, I said nothing.  ~Robert Charles Benchley


Don't tell your friends about your indigestions:  "How are you!" is a greeting, not a question.  ~Arthur Guiterman, A Poet's Proverbs


Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled.  ~Horace


Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence.  ~Spanish Proverb


One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.  ~Will Durant


If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[ pasdlgkhasdfasdf.  ~Lemony Snicket


Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving evidence of the fact.  ~George Eliot, Impressions of Theophrastus Such, 1879


Calvin:  Sometimes when I'm talking, my words can't keep up with my thoughts.  I wonder why we think faster than we speak.
Hobbes:  Probably so we can think twice.
~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes


Not the fastest horse can catch a word spoken in anger.  ~Chinese Proverb


Never miss a good chance to shut up.  ~Will Rogers (verification of author per The Estate of Will Rogers, CMG Worldwide)


One way to prevent conversation from being boring is to say the wrong thing.  ~Frank Sheed


Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours.  ~Benjamin Disraeli


Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument an exchange of ignorance.  ~Robert Quillen


Coolidge was known for his terse speech and reticence.  A woman bet her friend that she could get Coolidge to speak to her, which was something he was reluctant to do.  She went up to him and said: "Hello, Mr. President, I bet my friend that I could get you to say three words to me."  "You lose," Coolidge replied dryly, and walked away.  ~Author Unknown


The difference between a smart man and a wise man is that a smart man knows what to say, a wise man knows whether or not to say it.  ~Frank M. Garafola


I just wish my mouth had a backspace key.  ~Author Unknown


No man would listen to you talk if he didn't know it was his turn next.  ~E.W. Howe


He's a wonderful talker, who has the art of telling you nothing in a great harangue.  ~Jean Baptiste Molière, Le Misanthrope


The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.  ~George Bernard Shaw


If you keep your mouth shut you will never put your foot in it.  ~Austin O'Malley


If everybody thought before they spoke, the silence would be deafening.  ~George Barzan


Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.  ~Adlai Stevenson


The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said.  ~Author Unknown


In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.  ~Winston Churchill


The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.  ~Napoleon I, Maxims


Keep your words soft and tender because tomorrow you may have to eat them.  ~Author Unknown


Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use.  ~Wendell Johnson


Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.  ~Author Unknown


Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.  ~Author unknown, attributed to Mark Twain


When you're arguing with a fool, make sure he isn't doing the same thing.  ~Author Unknown


Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk.  That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.  ~Ernest Hemingway


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