Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 290 pages of information about Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases.

One cannot always live in the palaces and state apartments of language, but we can refuse to spend our days in searching for its vilest slums.  —­William Watson

Words without thought are dead sounds; thoughts without words are nothing.  To think is to speak low; to speak is to think aloud.  —­Max Muller

The first merit which attracts in the pages of a good writer, or the talk of a brilliant conversationalist, is the apt choice and contrast of the words employed.  It is indeed a strange art to take these blocks rudely conceived for the purpose of the market or the bar, and by tact of application touch them to the finest meanings and distinctions.  —­Robert Louis Stevenson

It is with words as with sunbeams, the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.  —­Southey

No noble or right style was ever yet founded but out of a sincere heart.  —­Ruskin

Words are things; and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.  —­Byron

A good phrase may outweigh a poor library. 
—­Thomas W. Higginson


   I. Useful phrases
  II.  Significant phrases
 iii.  Felicitous phrases
  IV.  Impressive phrases
   V. Prepositional phrases
  VI.  Business phrases
 VII.  Literary expressions
VIII.  Striking similes
  IX.  Conversational phrases
   X. Public speaking phrases
   XI.  Miscellaneous phrases


The most powerful and the most perfect expression of thought and feeling through the medium of oral language must be traced to the mastery of words.  Nothing is better suited to lead speakers and readers of English into an easy control of this language than the command of the phrase that perfectly expresses the thought.  Every speaker’s aim is to be heard and understood.  A clear, crisp articulation holds an audience as by the spell of some irresistible power.  The choice word, the correct phrase, are instruments that may reach the heart, and awake the soul if they fall upon the ear in melodious cadence; but if the utterance be harsh and discordant they fail to interest, fall upon deaf ears, and are as barren as seed sown on fallow ground.  In language, nothing conduces so emphatically to the harmony of sounds as perfect phrasing—­that is, the emphasizing of the relation of clause to clause, and of sentence to sentence by the systematic grouping of words.  The phrase consists usually of a few words which denote a single idea that forms a separate part of a sentence.  In this respect it differs from the clause, which is a short sentence that forms a distinct part of a composition, paragraph, or discourse.  Correct phrasing is regulated by rests, such rests as do not break the continuity of a thought or the progress of the sense.

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Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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