Talk:Conversation

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If you can provide a precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Conversation.
  • (wife) "Are you listening to me?" -(Steve Sayles)"yes"-(wife)" Well you are not looking at me"-(Steve Sayles) "I listen to the radio, but I don't sit looking at it!" (2004) Steve Sayles
  • The first ingredient in conversation is truth, the next good sense, the third good humor, and the fourth wit.
  • When we are in the company of sensible men, we ought to be doubly cautious of talking too much, lest we lose two good things, their good opinion and our own improvement; for what we have to say we know, but what they have to say we know not.
  • The conversational overachiever is someone whose grasp exceeds his reach. This is possible but not attractive.
  • One thing which makes us find so few people who appear reasonable and agreeable in conversation is, that there is scarcely any one who does not think more of what he is about to say than of answering precisely what is said to him.
  • The extreme pleasure we take in talking of ourselves should make us fear that we give very little to those who listen to us.
  • Speak little and well if you wish to be considered as possessing merit. (original: French)
  • If you want to talk with an idiot, you have to talk like an idiot.
  • Amongst such as out of cunning hear all and talk little, be sure to talk less; or if you must talk, say little.
  • There is speaking well, speaking easily, speaking justly and speaking seasonably: It is offending against the last, to speak of entertainments before the indigent; of sound limbs and health before the infirm; of houses and lands before one who has not so much as a dwelling; in a word, to speak of your prosperity before the miserable; this conversation is cruel, and the comparison which naturally arises in them betwixt their condition and yours is excruciating.
  • He who sedulously attends, pointedly asks, calmly speaks, coolly answers, and ceases when he has no more to say, is in possession of some of the best requisites of man.
  • Writing, when properly managed (as you may be sure I think mine is) is but a different name of conversation.
  • Verbal ability is a highly overrated thing in a guy, and it's our pathetic need for it that gets us into so much trouble.
  • In my whole life I have only known ten or twelve persons with whom it was pleasant to speak—i.e., who keep to the subject, do not repeat themselves, and do not talk of themselves; men who do not listen to their own voice, who are cultivated enough not to lose themselves in commonplaces, and, lastly, who possess tact and good taste enough not to elevate their own persons above their subjects.
  • The pith of conversation does not consist in exhibiting your own superior knowledge on matters of small consequence, but in enlarging, improving and correcting the information you possess by the authority of others.
  • There are three things in speech that ought to be considered before some things are spoken—the manner, the place and the time.
  • It is a secret known but to few, yet of no small use in the conduct of life, that when you fall into a man's conversation, the first thing you should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you should hear him.
  • The secret of tiring is to say everything that can be said on the subject.
    • Voltaire, The original text may be in French.