Quotes / Meaningless Meaningful Words

Jerry: So Kramer, what are you going to do now?
Kramer: Do? Do? I'm doing what I do! I've always done what I do. Just doin' what I do. The way I've always done it. And the way I'll always do it.
George: Kramer... what the hell are you talking about?
Seinfeld Season 4 Episode 2 The Trip Part 2

When philosophers use a word — 'knowledge', 'being', 'object', 'I', 'proposition', 'name' — and try to grasp the essence of the thing, one must always ask oneself: is the word ever actually used in this way in the language-game which is its original home? — What we do is to bring words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations

13. Use the right word, not its second cousin.

The key words in this kind of writing are 'death', 'life', 'birth', 'sun', 'moon', 'womb', 'cosmic' and 'catastrophe', and by free use of them the most banal statement can be made to sound picturesque, while what is outright meaningless can be given an air of mystery and profundity. Even the title of this book, 'The Cosmological Eye', doesn't actually mean anything, but it sounds as though it ought to mean something.
George Orwell, review of The Cosmological Eye by Henry Miller

I don't really know what he just said, but I think it sounded cool, so yay!

[on characterizing Ozpin] "I just made up the most nonsensical bullshit I could and took a step back and was like… Yeah, that’s it. That’s something this f-er would say."
— Fanfiction author xekstrin

As a teenager [Marcus] Borg lost his faith in God, Christ, and the Bible. But a few years after graduating from seminary, he had a number of mystical experiences which gave him a new concept of God. He says, "I realized that God does not refer to a supernatural being ‘out there’ . . . . Rather God refers to the sacred at the center of existence, the holy mystery that is all around and within us." Now if you intone these words the right way, they might sound very meaningful and profound. But really this is pretty thin soup as an understanding of God. What does Borg mean when he says, "God is more than everything and yet everything is in God"?

Darwin: Well, love is in the air. It's in your heart, in the eyes of others. It's in the way people touch, the way people talk, and it's all over the universe!
Bobert: If I understand you correctly, you have narrowed the definition of love down to "everything" and "everywhere" and "everyone". (error sound) Does not compute.

"No one denies the need for a specialized vocabulary in biochemistry or physics or in technical areas of the humanities like linguistics. But among literature professors who do what they now call "theory" — mostly inept philosophy applied to literature and culture — jargon has become the emperor's clothing of choice. [...] The pretentiousness of the worst academic writing betrays it as a kind of intellectual kitsch, analogous to bad art that declares itself "profound" or "moving" not by displaying its own intrinsic value but by borrowing these values from elsewhere. Just as a cigar box is elevated by a Rembrandt painting, or a living room is dignified by sets of finely bound but unread books, so these kitsch theorists mimic the effects of rigor and profundity without actually doing serious intellectual work. Their jargon-laden prose always suggests but never delivers genuine insight [...] To ask what this means is to miss the point. This sentence beats readers into submission and instructs them that they are in the presence of a great and deep mind. Actual communication has nothing to do with it."