Ludwig Wittgenstein in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (ending with the significant number seven and calling for silence regarding things that can only be seen):
6.54 My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.) He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly.
7. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
[Note: Wittgenstein’s confidence in the abilities of language to portray reality is largely restored later in life as this passage indicates.]
We have got onto slippery ice where there is no friction and so in a certain sense the conditions are ideal, but also, just because of that, we are unable to walk. We want to walk so we need friction. Back to the rough ground!
From in Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein, part I, 107.
In this iconic passage, Wittgenstein is speaking of the failed effort by the logical positivists to develop or describe an ideal language, one that had a perfect logical consistency. We need the messiness of metaphor, irony, etc. to make language useful to our actual human needs.
[Note: See this passage for an earlier version of Wittgenstein’s assessment regarding the limitations of language.]