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Herbert Spencer

The Philosophy of Style

    Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted5 years ago
    To have a specific style is to be poor in speech
    Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted5 years ago
    As immediately after looking at the sun we cannot perceive the light of a fire, while by looking at the fire first and the sun afterwards we can perceive both; so, after receiving a brilliant, or weighty, or terrible thought, we cannot appreciate a less brilliant, less weighty, or less terrible one, while, by reversing the order, we can appreciate each.
    Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted5 years ago
    when, by the action of a faculty, waste has been incurred, some lapse of time must take place before full efficiency can be reacquired; and this time must be long in proportion as the waste has been great.
    Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted5 years ago
    Having, in actual life, habitually heard them in connection with vivid mental impressions, and having been accustomed to meet with them in the most powerful writing, they come to have in themselves a species of force
    Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted5 years ago
    Heroes and Heroworship
    Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted5 years ago
    Prometheus Unbound,' of Shelley
    Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted5 years ago
    This superiority of specific expressions is clearly due to a saving of the effort required to translate words into thoughts.
    Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted5 years ago
    word which in itself embodies the most important part of the idea to be conveyed, especially when that idea is an emotional one, may often with advantage be a polysyllabic word
    Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted5 years ago
    child's vocabulary is almost wholly Saxon. He says, I have, not I possess—-I wish, not I desire; he does not reflect, he thinks; he does not beg for amusement, but for play; he calls things nice or nasty, not pleasant or disagreeable. The synonyms which he learns in after years, never become so closely, so organically connected with the ideas signified, as do these original words used in childhood; and hence the association remains less strong
    Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted5 years ago
    To say, "Leave the room," is less expressive than to point to the door. Placing a finger on the lips is more forcible than whispering, "Do not speak." A beck of the hand is better than, "Come here." No phrase can convey the idea of surprise so vividly as opening the eyes and raising the eyebrows. A shrug of the shoulders would lose much by translation into words
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