[Lecturing to college students] was like being in a house with a whole
set of very bright baboons. You expected them to burst into human speech
at any minute, but they never did.
-Katherine Anne Porter
A good indignation makes an excellent speech.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
A speech is made great, not from the words used, but from the ideas
conveyed. If the ideas, principles and values and substance of the
speech are great, then it's going to be a great speech, even if the
words are pedestrian. The words can be soaring, beautiful and eloquent
but if the ideas are flat, empty or mean, it's not a great speech.
-Theodore (Ted) Sorensen
Anyone wishing to communicate with Americans should do so by e-mail,
which has been specially invented for the purpose, involving neither
physical proximity nor speech.
Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing
college students should never be released into the world until they have
been properly sedated.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
except to encourage attendance in Christian churches; or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof, except to require prayer in schools; or abridging
the freedom of speech, except for those questioning the Bush
administration; or of the press, except that not owned by Rupert
Murdoch; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, except those
protesting pre-emptive wars; and to petition the government for a
redress of grievance, except those we don't like.
During an election campaign the air is full of speeches and vice versa.
Election year is that period when politicians get free speech mixed up
with cheap talk.
Freedom of speech in no way guarantees freedom from hearing.
I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the
economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal
freedom that America used to believe in.
I want to be American. America is the coolest place on the face of the
Earth. You've got freedom of speech. You've got McDonalds.
If figures of speech based on sport and fornication were suddenly
banned, American corporate communication would be reduced to pure
If you want free speech, walk in a closet and talk to yourself.
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the
It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three
unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience,
and the prudence never to practice either of them.
-Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
It is not enough to "have" free speech. People must learn to speak
Liberty don't work as good in practice as it does in speeches.
Look wise, say nothing, and grunt: speech was given to conceal thought.
Making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg. It
seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.
-Lyndon B. Johnson
Nixon is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then
mount the stump for a speech on conservation.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II
Of what use is freedom of speech to those who fear to offend?
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of
thought which they seldom use.
Politically popular speech has always been protected: even the Jews were
free to say "Heil Hitler."
Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.
Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory
word, preserves contact- it is silence which isolates.
Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where
it often substitutes for both.
-John Andrew Holmes
Speech is not free if it costs people their jobs.
-Henry A. Wallace
Speeches easy to young speakers are generally very difficult to old
The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech.
The best impromptu speeches are the ones written well in advance.
The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is besides the
point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation
to tolerate speech.
The First Amendment was designed to protect offensive speech, because
nobody ever tries to ban the other kind.
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in
falsely shouting "fire" in a theater and causing a panic.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that
we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish.
-Justice Robert Jackson
The price of liberty is, in addition to eternal vigilance, eternal
patience with the vacuous blather occasionally expressed from behind the
shield of free speech.
The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not
the power of speech.
-George Bernard Shaw
Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial
in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead
to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.
Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books,
and there is some evidence that they can't read them, either.
We are so proud of our guarantees of freedom in thought and speech and
worship, that, unconsciously, we are guilty of one of the greatest
errors that ignorance can make- we assume our standard of values is
shared by all other humans in the world.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
We have to go forth and crush every world view that doesn't believe in
tolerance and free speech.
What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.
-Hansell B. Duckett
Women speak because they wish to speak, whereas a man speaks only when
driven to speech by something outside himself-like, for instance, he
can't find any clean socks.
You have the right to free speech, as long as you're not dumb enough to
actually try it.