Quotes about Silence and Noise

Selected quotes about silence, noise, and hearing.

Quotes of Note book

If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.

~ Proverbs 27:14

I have often lamented that we cannot close our ears with as much ease as we can our eyes.

~ Sir Richard Steele, from Essay No. 148 in his magazine The Spectator (1711)

I have long held the opinion that the amount of noise that anyone can bear undisturbed stands in inverse proportion to his mental capacity and may therefore be regarded as a pretty fair measure of it.

~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation (1819)

And silence, like a poultice, comes
To heal the blows of sound.

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., from the poem "The Music-Grinders" (1836)

The sanitary and mechanical age we are now entering makes up for the mercy it grants to our sense of smell by the ferocity with which it assails our sense of hearing.

~ Havelock Ellis, 1912, in Impressions and Comments (1930)

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

~ Max Ehrmann, from the poem "Desiderata" (1927)

Temple Grandin: The Way I See It

One of my sensory problems was hearing sensitivity, where certain loud noises, such as a school bell, hurt my ears. It sounded like a dentist drill going through my ears.

~ Dr. Temple Grandin, about her experiences as an autistic child (1996 interview)

As a culture I see us as presently deprived of subtleties. The music is loud, the anger is elevated, sex seems lacking in sweetness and privacy.

~ Shelley Berman (1999 interview)

I hadn’t really noticed that I had a hearing problem. I just thought most people had given up on speaking clearly.

~ Hal Linden (2005 interview)

I have terrible hearing trouble. I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf.

~ Pete Townshend of The Who (2006 interview)

Funny and Whimsical Quotes on Noise

When asked what he would like the orchestra to play while he was dining at a posh London restaurant, playwright George Bernard Shaw caustically replied: "Dominoes."

quoted in "The Fury and the Sound," Los Angeles Times (1991)

Ambrose Bierce: Devil's Dictionary

NOISE, n. A stench in the ear. Undomesticated music. The chief product and authenticating sign of civilization.

~ Ambrose Bierce, in Devil's Dictionary (1911)

A noise annoys an oyster,
But a noisy noise annoys an oyster more.

~ R.P. Weston and Bert Lee, from the song "A Noise Annoys an Oyster" (1921)

Parents are not interested in justice; they're interested in peace and quiet.

~ Bill Cosby (1983)

I was also sick of my neighbors, as most Parisians are. I now knew every second of the morning routine of the family upstairs. At 7:00 am alarm goes off, boom, Madame gets out of bed, puts on her deep-sea divers’ boots, and stomps across my ceiling to megaphone the kids awake. The kids drop bags of cannonballs onto the floor, then, apparently dragging several sledgehammers each, stampede into the kitchen. They grab their chunks of baguette and go and sit in front of the TV, which is always showing a cartoon about people who do nothing but scream at each other and explode. Every minute, one of the kids cartwheels (while bouncing cannonballs) back into the kitchen for seconds, then returns (bringing with it a family of excitable kangaroos) to the TV. Meanwhile the toilet is flushed, on average, fifty times per drop of urine expelled. Finally, there is a ten-minute period of intensive yelling, and at 8:15 on the dot they all howl and crash their way out of the apartment to school.

~ Stephen Clarke, writing as Paul West, in A Year in the Merde (2004)

Sound and Noise Quotations from Movies and Television

It's wabbit season, and I'm hunting wabbits, so be vewy, vewy quiet!

~ Looney Tunes cartoon character Elmer Fudd (1940)

Now, every night before you get into bed, where you used to say your prayers, I want you to say, "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain," fifty times. You'll get much further with the Lord if you learn not to offend His ears.

~ Professor Henry Higgins (to Eliza) in My Fair Lady (1964)

Grinch noisy Whos figurine

That's one thing I hate! All the noise, noise, noise, noise!

~ The Grinch in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" (1966)

These go to eleven.

~ Nigel Tufnel (about the volume knob on his amplifier) in This is Spinal Tap (1984)

Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that's all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.

~ Emperor Joseph II (to Mozart) in Amadeus (1984)

Hearing is a form of touch. You feel it through your body, and sometimes it almost hits your face.

~ Evelyn Glennie (deaf percussionist), Touch the Sound (2004 documentary)

Carl Fredricksen: Hey, let's play a game. It's called "See who can be quiet the longest."
Russell: Cool! My mom loves that game!

~ Up (2009)


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