It may be added, to prevent misunderstanding, that when I speak of contemplated objects in this last phrase as objects of contemplation, the act of contemplation itself is of course an enjoyment.
I respond to mood. I hear some phrase, or pick up a rhythm.
The Greeks said grandly in their tragic phrase, ‘Let no one be called happy till his death;’ to which I would add, ‘Let no one, till his death, be called unhappy.’
Listen to any musical phrase or rhythm, and grasp it as a whole, and you thereupon have present in you the image, so to speak, of the divine knowledge of the temporal order.
The American Dream is a phrase we’ll have to wrestle with all of our lives. It means a lot of things to different people. I think we’re redefining it now.
I have an idea that the phrase ‘weaker sex’ was coined by some woman to disarm the man she was preparing to overwhelm.
There is probably nothing wrong with art for art’s sake if we take the phrase seriously, and not take it to mean the kind of poetry written in England forty years ago.
When I used to teach civil procedure as a law professor, I would begin the year by telling my students that ‘civil procedure is the etiquette of ritualized battle.’ The phrase, which did not originate with me, captured the point that peaceful, developed societies resolve disputes by law rather than by force.
Starting in the early 1800s, Southerners in the United States began to defend slavery as their ‘peculiar institution,’ and northerners didn’t mind, since the phrase suggested that chattel bondage was quarantined from the rest of the nation: that it was, or soon would be, a relic of its past and would not define its future.
Sometimes I have a very fleeting emotional dance with a fleeting phrase, like ‘half-Mexican.’