Best Quotes about Conversation
An American cannot converse, but he can discuss, and his talk falls into a dissertation. He speaks to you as if he was addressing a meeting; and if he should chance to become warm in the discussion, he will say Gentlemen to the person with whom he is conversing.
Tocqueville, Alexis De
The first ingredient in conversation is truth, the next good sense, the third good humor, and the fourth wit.
Temple, Sir William
Never hold anyone by the button or the hand in order to be heard out; for if people are unwilling to hear you, you had better hold your tongue than them.
You guys are both saying the same thing. The only reason you're arguing is because you're using different words. Conversation in a dorm room quoted in Language in Thought and Action,
Hayakawa, S. I.
The great secret of succeeding in conversation is to admire little, to hear much; always to distrust our own reason, and sometimes that of our friends; never to pretend to wit, but to make that of others appear as much as possibly we can; to hearken to what is said and to answer to the purpose.
The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it.
Bulwer-Lytton, Edward G.
It's apparent that we can't proceed any further without a name for this institutionalized garrulousness, this psychological patter, this need to catalogue the ego's condition. Let's call it psychobabble, this spirit which now tyrannizes conversation in the seventies.
Rosen, Richard D.
In my opinion, the most fruitful and natural play of the mind is in conversation. I find it sweeter than any other action in life; and if I were forced to choose, I think I would rather lose my sight than my hearing and voice. The study of books is a drowsy and feeble exercise which does not warm you up.
Montaigne, Michel Eyquem De
Conversation would be vastly improved by the constant use of four simple words: I do not know.
The techniques of opening conversation are universal. I knew long ago and rediscovered that the best way to attract attention, help, and conversation is to be lost. A man who seeing his mother starving to death on a path kicks her in the stomach to clear the way, will cheerfully devote several hours of his time giving wrong directions to a total stranger who claims to be lost.
No collection of people who are all waiting for the same thing are capable of holding a natural conversation. Even if the thing they are waiting for is only a taxi.
The great gift of conversation lies less in displaying it ourselves than in drawing it out of others. He who leaves your company pleased with himself and his own cleverness is perfectly well pleased with you.
Bruyere, Jean De La
The primary use of conversation is to satisfy the impulse to talk.
Mediocre people have an answer for everything and are astonished at nothing. They always want to have the air of knowing better than you what you are going to tell them; when, in their turn, they begin to speak, they repeat to you with the greatest confidence, as if dealing with their own property, the things that they have heard you say yourself at some other place. A capable and superior look is the natural accompaniment of this type of character.
In conversation the game is, to say something new with old words. And you shall observe a man of the people picking his way along, step by step, using every time an old boulder, yet never setting his foot on an old place.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Reply to wit with gravity, and to gravity with wit.
Colton, Charles Caleb
If you ever have to support a flagging conversation, introduce the topic of eating.
Never talk for half a minute without pausing and giving others a chance to join in.
The happiest conversation is that of which nothing is distinctly remembered but a general effect of pleasing impression.
No one is qualified to converse in public except those contented to do without such conversation.
Debate is masculine, conversation is feminine.
Alcott, Amos Bronson
Conversation has a kind of charm about it, an insinuating and insidious something that elicits secrets just like love or liquor.
Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory.
Saying what we think gives a wider range of conversation than saying what we know.
Not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
If other people are going to talk, conversation becomes impossible.
Whistler, James Mcneill
Repartee is perfect when it effects its purpose with a double edge. It is the highest order of wit, as it indicates the coolest yet quickest exercise of genius, at a moment when the passions are roused.
Colton, Charles Caleb
I would rather take hellebore than spend a conversation with a good, little man.
A sudden silence in the middle of a conversation suddenly brings us back to essentials: it reveals how dearly we must pay for the invention of speech.
Cioran, E. M.
Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affection, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood.
And when you stick on conversation's burrs, don't strew your pathway with those dreadful urs.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell
One of the very best rules of conversation is to never, say anything which any of the company wish had been left unsaid.
With thee conversing I forget all time.
There is nothing so dangerous for anyone who has something to hide as conversation! A human being, Hastings, cannot resist the opportunity to reveal himself and express his personality which conversation gives him. Every time he will give himself away.
Things said for conversation are chalk eggs. Don't say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Say nothing good of yourself, you will be distrusted; say nothing bad of yourself, you will be taken at your word.
Conceit causes more conversation than wit.
La Rochefoucauld, Francois De
We do not talk -- we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests.
It is all right to hold a conversation but you should let go of it now and then.
There is nothing that exasperates people more than a display of superior ability or brilliance in conversation. They seem pleased at the time, but their envy makes them curse the conversationalist in their heart.
She has lost the art of conversation, but not, unfortunately, the power of speech.
Shaw, George Bernard
Nothing lowers the level on conversation more than raising the voice.
It is not what we learn in conversation that enriches us. It is the elation that comes of swift contact with tingling currents of thought.
Talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you, and at the end of your first season you will have the reputation of possessing the most perfect social tact.
Conversation should touch everything, but should concentrate itself on nothing.
No one will ever shine in conversation, who thinks of saying fine things: to please, one must say many things indifferent, and many very bad.
Talk ought always to run obliquely, not nose to nose with no chance of mental escape.
Colby, Frank Moore
There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all.
In conversation, humor is worth more than wit and easiness more than knowledge.
Can we talk?
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