Silence is not always tact, but it is tact that is golden, not silence.
One shouldn't talk of halters in the hanged man's house.
'Tis ill talking of halters in the house of a man that was hanged.
Tact is after all a kind of mind reading.
Forbear to mention what thou canst not praise.
'Tis not seasonable to call a man traitor, that has an army at his heels.
How can we hope to remain economically competitive in a world in which.
.. 90% of Dutch high-school students take advanced math courses and 100% of teachers in Germany have double majors, while the best we can say about our pocket of excellence is that 75% of American students have learned to critique tactfully?
Talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you, and at the end of your first season you will have the reputation of possessing the most perfect social tact.
It is certain that stealing nourishes courage, strength, skill, tact, in a word, all the virtues useful to a republican system and consequently to our own. Lay partiality aside, and answer me: is theft, whose effect is to distribute wealth more evenly, to be branded as a wrong in our day, under our government which aims at equality? Plainly, the answer is no.
The chief misery of the decline of the faculties, and a main cause of the irritability that often goes with it, is evidently the isolation, the lack of customary appreciation and influence, which only the rarest tact and thoughtfulness on the part of others can alleviate.
Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.
Private and public life are subject to the same rules;
and truth and manliness are two qualities that will carry you through this world much better than policy, or tact, or expediency, or any other word that was ever devised to conceal or mystify a deviation from the straight line.
I recall that my workshop leaders were tactful in their ways of acquainting me with my shortcomings as a writer. So much so that I hardly realized they were doing it. I want always to keep that sort of thing in mind when I'm teaching. The way you get better in everything in this life is to make mistakes. Otherwise you're probably doing it right by accident. But you have to do everything wrong before you can really start with some authority to do it right.
Simplicity is a pleasant thing in children, or at any age, but it is not necessarily admirable, nor is affectation altogether a thing of evil. To be normal, to be at home in the world, with a prospect of power, usefulness, or success, the person must have that imaginative insight into other minds that underlies tact and savoir-faire, morality and beneficence. This insight involves sophistication, some understanding and sharing of the clandestine impulses of human nature. A simplicity that is merely the lack of this insight indicates a sort of defect.
The art of the parenthesis is one of the greatest secrets of eloquence in Society.
Tact in audacity consists in knowing how far we may go too far.
Euphemisms are not, as many young people think, useless verbiage for that which can and should be said bluntly; they are like secret agents on a delicate mission, they must airily pass by a stinking mess with barely so much as a nod of the head, make their point of constructive criticism and continue on in calm forbearance. Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.
So long as the laws remain such as they are today, employ some discretion: loud opinion forces us to do so; but in privacy and silence let us compensate ourselves for that cruel chastity we are obliged to display in public.