N.B.

The obligation of philosophy is to eradicate illusions born of misunderstanding – Emmanuel Kant

The problem was, I think, that the places I fit in were always falling behind the times, or was it way ahead of our century.

‘Tusen pussar och kramar’ (a thousand kisses and hugs) – Sweedish

The monster Caliban, according to his master, Prospero, was “a devil, a pure devil, on whose nature nurture can never stick.” Yet only a few decades before shakespeare wrote the Tempest, St Ignatius Loyola had founded the Jesuit order, with its famous maxim: “Give me the child until he is 7, and I will show you the man.”

Adolescents have finely honed grammatical skills in employment of the passive voice and use of the interrogative rising pitch to turn factual statements into subjunctive conjectures.

There are mistakes too monstrous for remorse…  – Edwin arlington Robinson

It’s nothing to stop. I’ve quit a hundred times.

He who defends everything defends nothing – Frederick the great

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler – Albert Einstein

Honeymooners would have more patience with a life-insurance salesman who knocked on their motel door at midnight than I had with Latin grammar.

Prowess has been rendered inoperative with extreme prejudice.

“This is bullshit, ” Gold said “He’s blowing smoke up our ass.”

Oh, yes, a useless wart on fate’s ass.

‘Ki yaar yeh kyaa bol rahi hai?’ (What the hell is she saying?) – Hindustani

Chootiya – Hindustani

George feels pure only in his transgressions – Philip Roth

… but because I couldn’t meet the costs of its clamoring anymore, could no longer marshal the wit, the strength, the patience, the illusion, the irony, the ardor, the egoism, the resilience – or the toughness, or the shrewdness, or the falseness, the dissembling, the dual being, the erotic professionalism – to deal with its array of misleading and contradictory meanings.

More and more that Miss leslie said made sense. I was trapped in a Bermuda Triangle. My aura of classroom celebrity disappeared along with my self-esteem, my motivation, and almost my affection for things foreign. I limped along, barely making passing grades.

“I’ve got a deep-rooted fondness for survival. I’m getting out of here.” – Philip roth

“Pas de lieu Rhone que nous” – Paddle your own canoe

“Almondan egy betorovel viaskodtom” (In my dream I had a fight with a burglar!) – Hungarian

“Sa pasaY, paPA?” (How are you?) – Haitian Creole

“Tak for maten” (Thanks for the food) – Norwegian

“He gogot / ti pilon / peeten” – Indian Ocean Creole

Alcohol and the writer: Writitng involves fantasy; alcohol promotes fantasy. Writing requires self-confidence; alcohol bolsters confidence. Writing is lonely work; alcohol assuages loneliness. Writing demands intense concentration; alcohol relaxes – Donald Goodman

The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus gives little essays by writers like Zadie smith and Francine Prose on the past lives and personality traits of words; on morals versus ethics; on who versus whom.

“Veritas o dit moras,” is from line 850 of Seneca’s version of Oedipus. It means “Truth hates delay.”

Robert conquest (historian poet, 1969 addressing the state of the school curriculum of the time, declared that “an educated man (sic) must have a certain minimum of general knowledge.”

A true gentleman should know 1001 arts.

« Février remplit les fossés, c’est à mars de les assécher »

‘Bisogna Pescare’ (You need to go fishing)

without altering the truth of any statement (salva veritate).”

without altering the truth of any statement (salva veritate), are the same (eadem) or coincident (coincidentia).

without loss of truth (salva veritate).

“salva veritate” is “with unharmed truth”

Verbosity (also called wordiness, prolixity and garrulousness)

Nothing: Nada, nichts, néant
“In the night, insomnia is discussion, not the work of arguments bumping against other arguments, but the extreme shuddering of no thoughts, percussive stillness.”

Women were “tricky, deceitful, untrustworthy flesh.”

“In the night when I cannot sleep, thoughts crowd into my mind…. Whence and how do they come? I do not know and I have nothing to do with it.”

Mr. William Strunk’s famous quote:
“A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”

The Almighty has granted you the most valuable things that a son of adam can have – intelligence, eloquence, health, beauty, the desire for knowledge and a lust for life, the admiration of men and, I suspect, the sighs of women – Amin Maalouf

King Tantalus, breaking the taboo as easily breaking bread, invited me to taste divine ambrosia and nectar (amanita muscaria).
slender dung-mushroom panaeolus papilionaceus

In other words, when we think we’re reasoning, we may instead be rationalizing. Or to use an analogy offered by University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt: We may think we’re being scientists, but we’re actually being lawyers.

The linguist Noam Chomsky once suggested that  our ignorance can be divided into problems and mysteries.

Mark Twain:  is especially hard on a countess who owns the villa in which he lived with his family in Florence, Italy, in 1904. He describes her as “excitable, malicious, malignant, vengeful, unforgiving, selfish, stingy, avaricious, coarse, vulgar, profane, obscene, a furious blusterer on the outside and at heart a coward.”

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” – Shakespeare’s Hamlet

In ancient Greek philosophy, ‘Logos’ was thought to constitute the controlling and unifying principle in the universe. Heraclitus (540 – 480 BC) defined ‘logos’ as the ‘universal principle through which all things were interrelated and all natural events occurred’. According to the stoics, ‘logos’ was a cosmic governing or generating principle that was immanent and active in all reality and that pervaded all reality. According to philo, a greek speaking Jewish philosopher (and contemporary of Jesus), ‘logos’ was the intermediate between ultimate reality and the sensible world.

As Bandler and grinder point out: The nervous system which is responsible for producing the representational system of language is the same nervous system by which humans produce every other model of the world-visual, kinesthetic, etc… The same principles of structure are operating in each of these systems.

Thus, language can parallel and even substitute for the experiences and activities in our other internal representational systems. An important implication of this is that ‘talking about’ something can do more than simply reflect out our perceptions; it can actually create or change our perceptions. This implies a potentially deep and special role for language in the process of change and healing.

The ancient Greeks:

rhema – to indicate words used as a medium of communication

logos – to indicate words associated with thinking and understanding

Rhema meant a saying or ‘words as things’

Logos meant words associated the ‘manifestation of reason’


The Greek philosopher Aristotle described the relationship between words and mental experience:

Spoken words are the symbols of mental experience and written words are the symbols of spoken words. Just as all men have not the same writing, so all men have not the same speech sounds, but the mental experiences, which these directly symbolize, are the same for all, as also are those things of which our experiences are the images.

“truly hostis humani generis” – an enemy of the human race

Jefferson to Abigail adams in 1785: I fancy it must be the quantity of animal food eaten by the English which renders their character insusceptible to civilization. I suspect it is in kitchens and not their churches that their reformation must be worked.

Don’t take silence or non-talk as a sign of low-interest. Girls tend to be shy, nervous, and blubbering when they are around guys they are interested in… unless they know you already are interested.

“Cogito, ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am) – Descartes

Wisdom, defined as the exercise of judgment acting on experience, common sense and available information

“Mens sana, in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body)

“Die Stimme der Vernunft ist leise” (The voice of Reason is soft)

paraskevidekatriaphobia – Fear of Friday the 13th

Cambronne (Pierre), general francais, ne a Nantes (1770 – 1842). Il commandait a Waterloo un des derniers carres de la vieille garde; somme de se rendre, il aurait riposte a l’ennemi: La garde meurt et ne se rend pas. d’apres une autre version, il repondit par un simple mot de cinq lettres, appele, depuis, <<le mot de Cambronne>>.

“No one can hurt you without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them” – Gandhi

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny,” the maxim goes

“Habits are like a cable. We weave a strand of it everyday and soon it cannot be broken” – Horace mann (educator)

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them” – Albert Einstein

“We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time” – T.S. Eliot

A thousand mile journey begins with the first step.

“It never pays to teach a woman pleasure. Pleasure is a tragic masculine invention” – Yukio Mishima

” Of course, the mastery of language is not the sine qua non of competence in literacy – but ease in communication in the language shows how one’s cognitive abilities have developed” – Kennedy Buhere

“A system is an entity which maintains its existence through the mutual interaction of its parts” – Austrian Biologist Ludwig von Bertolanffy

Men want to be trusted.

women want to feel cared for.

Huntresses: Zip your lip and let him botch it all by himself.

Hunters: Unzip your lip and lend a helping hand.

Women are attracted to men whose appearances elicit their nurturant feelings; who appear to passess sexual maturity and dominance characteristics; who seem sociable, approachable and of high social status…

Individuals who display an optimal combination of neotenous (boyish) features of large eyes, the mature features of prominent cheekbones and a large chin, the expressive feature of a big smile, and high-status clothing were seen more attractive than other men.

“Love is the irresistible desire to be desired irresistibly.”

Your body should shout, “I desire you irresistibly. My conscious mind may not know it yet, but see how my body is responding to yours.”

A fascinating study revealed that when a person of superior competence commits a social blunder, we like him or her more, but when a person of average competence makes a blooper, we like him or her less. Revealing a small foible is endearing. A big one is not.

Take the initiative and reach out to others.

Show genuine interest in people.

Treat others with respect and kindness.

Value others and yourself as unique individuals who have much to share and offer one another.

“All the world’s a stage” – Shakespeare

“Illegitimis non carborundum” (Don’t let the bastards grind you down) – US. General Joseph W. “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell (1883 – 1946)

“El sueno de la razon produce momtruos” (The sleep of reason brings forth monsters) – Francisco Goya: “Los Caprichos”

“Whoever imagines himself a favorite of God holds others in contempt” – Robert Green Ingersoll, lawyer and orator (1833 – 1899)

“Let us face a pluralistic world in which there are no universal churches, no single remedy for all diseases, no one way to teach or write or sing, no magic diet, no world poets, and no chosen races, but only the wretched and wonderfully diversified human race” – Jacques Barzun, professor and writer (1907 –    )

Take out the Keystone, and the arch crumbles.

Orwell: Politics and the english Language 1946

1. What am I trying to say?

2. What words will express it?

3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?

4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

And he will probably ask himself two more:

1. Could I put it more shortly?

2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

5. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.


There’s a sigh for yes, and a sigh for no,

And a sigh for I can’t bear it!

O what can be done, shall we stay or run?

O cut the sweet apple and share it!

– Keats

Biologists are turning up evidence that humans are not, physically or even mentally, in a class by themselves.

… there may be soul in the sense of “the universal spitrit of the cosmos,” but the soul as it is usually spoken of, “an immaterial spitit that occupies individual brains and that only evolved in humans – all that is complete nonsense.” Belief in that kind of soul ” is basically superstition,”  – V.C. Ramachandran

Albert Einstein, “Our thinking creates problems that the same type of thinking will not solve.”

The people who are the most effective are the ones who have a map of the world that allows them to perceive the greatest number of available choices and perspectives.


It is important to have a sense of security; a sense of readiness; a full knowledge that come what may, you can meet it and handle it – and enjoy doing it. It’s also a nice learning to come up against the situation that you can’t handle – and then later think it over, and realize that, too, was a learning that’s useful in many, many different ways. It allows you to assess your strength. It also allows you to discover the areas in which you need to use some more of your own security, which rests within yourself… Reacting to the good and the bad, and dealing with it adequately – that’s the real joy in life.

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