That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted.
— George Boole, quoted in Iverson's Turing Award Lecture
Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat our tunes to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.
Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
Last, but not least, avoid cliche's like the plague.
— William Safire's rules for writing, quoted here
Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.
— Winston Churchill
A man, a plan, a canoe, pasta, heros, rajahs, a coloratura, maps, snipe, percale, macaroni, a gag, a banana bag, a tan, a tag, a banana bag again (or a camel), a crepe, pins, Spam, a rut, a Rolo, cash, a jar, sore hats, a peon, a canal-- Panama!
— Guy Steele, CLTL2
I've just come back from the Conservative Party of New York dinner in midtown Manhattan and would like to make a couple of language notes. The magnificent Lynn Cheney was there, introducing her husband. She began her remarks with, "This is a great honor for Dick and me" and my heart leapt, that Mrs. Cheney should know how to use "me" and "I" correctly. I wanted to run and hug her (though the Secret Service would have made mincemeat of me). And a woman at my table made a bad face and said, "'Dick and me'? She's not even literate!" Ah, that's my country.
— Jay Nordlinger
And this reminds me of an anecdote from the language maven, William Safire. Someone he hadn't seen in a long while said, "I've missed not seeing you." Safire corrected: "Well, actually, you've missed seeing me." The friend answered: "Maybe I was right the first time."
— Jay Nordlinger