Many people today don’t want honest answers insofar as honest means unpleasant or disturbing, They want a soft answer that turneth away anxiety.
Nothing so soothes our vanity as a display of greater vanity in others; it makes us vain, in fact, of our modesty.
The technique of winning is so shoddy, the terms of winning are so ignoble, the tenure of winning is so brief; and the specter of the has-been-a shameful rather than a pitiable sight today-brings a sudden chill even to our sunlit moments.
She ate so many clams that her stomach rose and fell with the tide.
The moving van is a symbol of more than our restlessness, it is the most conclusive evidence possible of our progress.
It is the gossip columnist’s business to write about what is none of his business.
Ours must be the first age whose great goal, on a nonmaterial plane, is not fulfillment but adjustment; and perhaps just such a goal has served as maladjustment’s weapon.
Someone who gossips well has a reputation for being good company or even a wit, never for being a gossip.
Ours is not so much an age of vulgarity as of vulgarization; everything is tampered with or touched up, or adulterated or watered down, in an effort to make it palatable, in an effort to make it pay.
In general, American social life constitutes an evasion of talking to people. Most Americans don’t, in any vital sense, get together; they only do things together.
Privacy was in sufficient danger before TV appeared, and TV has given it its death blow.
One of the misfortunes of our time is that in getting rid of false shame, we have killed off so much real shame as well.