Conversation is the fine art of mutual consideration and communication about matters of common interest that basically have some human importance.
Great talkers are trying to fill the gap between themselves and others, but only widen it.
Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.
Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we have been ignorant of their value.
Speech is civilization itself.
The habit of common and continuous speech is a symptom of mental deficiency. It proceeds from not knowing what is going on in other people's minds.
The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively but says nothing.
There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues. That is all.
He was one of those men whose constitutional inability to make small talk forfeits all one's sympathy, and makes one think that social grace is sometimes a moral duty.
He (Macaulay) has occasional flashes of silence that make his conversation perfectly delightful.
As I got warmed up, and felt perfectly at home in talk, I heard myself boasting, lying, exaggerating. Oh, not deliberately, far from it. It would be unconvivial and dull to stop and arrest the flow of talk, and speak only after carefully considering whether I was telling the truth.
Men always talk about the most important things to perfect strangers.
Not a sentence or a word is independent of the circumstances under which it is uttered.
Communication is and should be hell fire and sparks as well as sweetness and light.
The really important things are said over cocktails and are never done.
You never say a word of yourself, dear Lady Grey. You have that dreadful sin of anti-egotism.
The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf.
People love to talk but hate to listen. Listening is not merely not talking, though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us. You can listen like a blank wall or like a splendid auditorium where every sound comes back fuller and richer.
A man who listens because he has nothing to say can hardly be a source of inspiration. The only listening that counts is that of the talker who alternately absorbs and expresses ideas.