Sunday, September 27, 2009

Power in Knowing the Words

"We find amongst men of all degrees of civilization a deep-seated belief in the magic potency of words. This belief underlies all kinds of charms and incantations. It is not the magician who forces the demon to appear or produces the convulsion of nature, but the words themselves which the magician speaks. His power consists only in knowing the words."
—James Bradstreet Greenough & George Lyman Kittredge, Words and Their Ways in English Speech, 1915

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