The Art of Conversation

Sunday, August 15, 2010 – The Art of Conversation

Saying what we think gives us a wider conversational range than saying what we know. ~ Cullen Hightower

A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people’s patience. ~ John Updike

What’s the point of havin’ a rapier wit if I can’t use it to stab people? ~ Jeph Jacques

A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That’s why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet. ~ Truman Capote

A good pun may be admitted among the smaller excellencies of lively conversation. ~ James Boswell

A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation. ~ Mark Twain

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. ~ Emile M. Cioran

After about tweny years of marriage, I’m finally starting to scratch the surface of what women want. And I think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate. ~ Mel Gibson

You can pick out actors by the glazed look that comes into their eyes when the conversation wanders away from themselves. ~ Michael Wilding

Debate is masculine, conversation is feminine. ~ Amos Bronson Alcott

Debate is the death of conversation. ~ Kitty O’Neill Collins

Although there exist many thousand subjects for elegant conversation, there are persons who cannot meet a cripple without talking about feet. ~ Ernest Bramah

By definition, gay is smart. I see plenty of macho heterosexual idiots, but nine times out of ten you can have a great conversation if you find a gay guy. ~ Jason Bateman

Conceit causes more conversation than wit. ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative. ~ Oscar Wilde

Conversation may be compared to a lyre with seven chords – philosophy, art, poetry, love, scandal, and the weather. ~ Anna Jameson

Conversation between Adam and Eve must have been difficult at times because they had nobody to talk about. ~ Agnes Repplier

I just use my muscles as a conversation piece, like someone walking a cheetah down 42nd Street. ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

Conversation didn’t seem necessary when I put the accordion down and swung some young lady around the floor. ~ Lawrence Welk

Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius. ~ Edward Gibbon

I myself spent nine years in an insane asylum and I never had the obsession of suicide, but I know that each conversation with a psychiatrist, every morning at the time of his visit, made me want to hang myself, realizing that I would not be able to cut his throat. ~ Antonin Artaud

Eating without conversation is only stoking. ~ Marcelene Cox

I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation. ~ George Bernard Shaw

If other people are going to talk, conversation becomes impossible. ~ James Whistler

It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much. ~ Yogi Berra

I wish you would read a little poetry sometimes. Your ignorance cramps my conversation. ~ Anthony Hope

In America journalism is apt to be regarded as an extension of history: in Britain, as an extension of conversation. ~ Anthony Sampson

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. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

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. ~ Lord Chesterfield

Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of witnesses. ~ Margaret Miller

In conversation, humor is worth more than wit and easiness more than knowledge. ~ George Herbert

In England only uneducated people show off their knowledge; nobody quotes Latin or Greek authors in the course of conversation, unless he has never read them. ~ George Mikes

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. ~ Winston Churchill

Lettuce is like conversation; it must be fresh and crisp, so sparkling that you scarcely notice the bitter in it. ~ Charles Dudley Warner

No animal should ever jump up on the dining-room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation. ~ Fran Lebowitz

People say conversation is a lost art; how often I have wished it were. ~ Edward R. Murrow

The happiest conversation is that of which nothing is distinctly remembered, but a general effect of pleasing impression. ~ Samuel Johnson

The primary use of conversation is to satisfy the impulse to talk. ~ George Santayana

What a delightful thing is the conversation of specialists! One understands absolutely nothing and it’s charming. ~ Edgar Degas

What frightens us most in a madman is his sane conversation. ~ Anatole France

Men of great conversational powers almost universally practice a sort of lively sophistry and exaggeration which deceives for the moment both themselves and their auditors. ~ Thomas Babington Macaulay, “On the Athenian Orators”

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing. ~ Robert Benchley

Conversation is a game of circles. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all. ~ Rebecca West