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A Quote by Paul Valery on words, language, sentence, and function

You have certainly observed the curious fact that a given word which is perfectly clear when you hear it or use it in everyday language, and which does not give rise to any difficulty when it is engaged in the rapid movement of an ordinary sentence becomes magically embarrassing, introduces a strange resistance, frustrates any effort at definition as soon as you take it out of circulation to examine it separately and look for its meaning after taking away its instantaneous function.

Paul Valery (1871 - 1945)

Source: The Poetics of Reverie, Pages: 48

Contributed by: Chris

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