A rag-bag of quotes,
some of them funny,
some of them profound,
some of them neither,
and none of them mine!


Edward Abbey 1927-1989

  • A critic is to an author as a fungus to an oak
  • A good writer must have more than vin rose in his veins, use more than Chablis for ink
  • A leader leads from in front, by the power of example. A ruler pushes from behind, by means of the club, the whip, the power of fear
  • America My Country: last nation on earth to abolish human slavery; first of all nations to drop the nuclear bomb on our fellow human beings
  • By the age of eighteen, a human has acquired enough joy and heartache to provide the food of reflection for a century
  • Cowboys make better lovers: Ask any cow
  • Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell
  • How long does it take to write a good book? All of the years that you've lived
  • One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork
  • 'Rock': music to hammer out fenders by. Music for vomiting to after a hard day spreading asphalt. Vietnam music. Imitation-Afro, industrial air-compressor music
  • Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top
  • 'The mind is everything,' wrote Proust. No doubt true, when you're dead from the neck down
  • The plow has probably done more harm -in the long run - than the sword
  • The rich are not very nice. That's why they're rich
  • The world is wide and beautiful. But almost everywhere, the children are dying
  • There has got to be a God; the world could not have become so fucked up by chance alone
  • There is no force more potent in the modern world than stupidity fuelled by greed
  • There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience.
    And then there is California
  • We have the best politicians that money can buy
  • We should restore the practice of duelling. It might improve manners around here
  • When the situation is hopeless, there's nothing to worry about
  • When the writer has done his best, he then should proceed to do his second best
  • When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem
  • Women truly are better than men. Otherwise, they'd be intolerable

Henry Brooks Adams 1838-1918

  • Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatred
  • Practical politics consists in ignoring facts
  • Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts
  • Simplicity is the most deceitful mistress that ever betrayed man
  • There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence
  • A friend in power is a friend lost
  • The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where their interests are involved. One can trust nobody and nothing
  • A psychiatrist is a fellow who asks you a lot of expensive questions your wife asks for nothing
  • I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by
  • Morality is a private and costly luxury

Douglas Adams 1952-2001

  • He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher...or, as his wife would have it, an idiot

Franklin Pierce Adams 1881-1960

  • I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way
  • Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory
  • The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time

Scott Adams 1957-

  • Nothing inspires forgiveness quite like revenge
  • Normal people .. believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet
  • If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it's done
  • The only risk of failure is promotion
  • If you think that offering excellent reasons for your thinking will change anyone's mind you might be new on this planet
  • The thing to remember about freedom is that its not given, its taken
  • Dogbert: If there are no stupid questions, then what sort of questions do stupid people ask?
  • Dogbert: Next week a doctor with a flashlight shows us where sales predictions come from

Joseph Addison 1672-1719

  • One should take good care not to grow too wise for so great a pleasure of life as laughter
  • Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.
  • The utmost extent of man's knowledge, is to know that he knows nothing.
  • Their is no defense against criticism except obscurity.
  • Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves
  • ... Woman .... [I] have in particular observed, that in all ages they have been more careful then the men to adorn that part of the head, which we generally call the outside

Aesop 550 BC

  • Beware that you do not lose the substance by grasping at the shadow
  • It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds
  • The gods help them that help themselves
  • Don't count your chickens before they are hatched

Alain [Émile-Auguste Chartier] 1868-1951

  • Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you only have one

James Agate 1877-1947

  • A professional is a man who can do his job when he doesn't feel like it. An amateur is a man who can't do his job when he does feel like it

Edward Albee 1928

  • Musical beds is the faculty sport around here
  • You're alive only once, as far as we know, and what could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn't lived it?
  • American critics are like American universities. They both have dull and half-dead faculties

Woody Allen [Allen Stewart Konigsberg] 1935

  • It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens
  • I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying
  • Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions
  • Remember, if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast
  • Sex alleviates tension. Love causes it

Maya Angelou 1928

  • I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a 'life'
  • The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear
  • If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be
  • Nothing will work unless you do
  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away

Aristotle BC 384-322

  • When he was asked, What is a friend?
    he said, One soul inhabiting two bodies
  • The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet
  • Dignity does not consist of possessing honours, but in deserving them
  • Inferiors revolt so that they may be equal, and equals so that they may be superior
  • Wit is educated insolence
  • The gods too are fond of a joke

Margot Asquith 1864-1845

  • The bible tells us to forgive out enemies; not our friends

Sholem Asch 1880-1957

  • The lash may force men to physical labour; it cannot force them to spiritual creativity
  • It has to be said that writing comes more easily if you have something to say

Justin Brooks Atkinson 1894-1984

  • After each war there is a little less democracy to save

Alan Ayckbourn 1939

  • I was brought up to believe it was very insulting to sleep with your wife or any lady. A gentleman stays eagerly awake. He sleeps at his work



Francis Bacon 1561-1626

  • Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man
  • I have often though upon death, and find it the least of all evils
  • It is a strange desire to seek power and to lose liberty
  • Money is like muck, not good except it be spread
  • There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little
  • Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books
  • Hope is a good breakfast, but a bad supper
  • Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise
  • Beauty is like a rich stone, best plain set
  • Houses are built to live in and not to look on
  • To spend too much time in studies is sloth
  • The folly of one man in the fortune of the other; for no man prospers so suddenly as by the others' errors
  • A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds
  • Knowledge is power
  • A man that is young in yours may be old in hours if he has lost no time
  • Some book are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested
  • A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds
  • If any human being earnestly desire to push on to new discoveries instead of just retaining and using the old; to win victories over Nature as a worker rather than over hostile critics as a disputant; to attain, in fact, clear and demonstrative knowledge instead of attractive and probable theory; we invite him as a true son of Science to join our ranks
  • Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humour to console him for what he is
  • It is impossible to love and to be wise
  • Universities incline wits to sophistry and affectation

Pat Bahn

  • If the human mind were simple enough to understand, we'd be too simple to understand it

Arthur Balfour 1848-1930

  • History does not repeat itself. Historians repeat each other.

John Barrymore 1882-1942

  • The good die young - because they see it's no use living if you've got to be good
  • You never realise how short a month is until you pay alimony

Marie Bashkirtseff 1858-1884

  • Let us love dogs, let us love only dogs! Men and cats are unworthy creatures.

Henry Ward Beecher 1813-1878

  • There are three schoolmasters for everybody that will employ them - the senses, intelligent companions, and books
  • When is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?

Max Beerbohm 1872-1956

  • You cannot make a man by standing a sheep on its hind-legs. But by standing a whole flock of sheep in that position you can make a crowd of men

Brendan Behan 1923-1964

  • Critics are like eunuchs in a harem: they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves

Alan Bennett 1934-

  • I am never so utterly at peace as blackberrying or looking for mushrooms
  • HEADMASTER: Of course they're out of date. Standards are always out of date. That is what makes them standards

Milton Berle 1908-2002

  • A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours

Bernard Berenson 1865-1919

  • Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago

Ingrid Bergman 1915-1982

  • Some women blush when they are kissed; some call for the police, some swear; some bite. But the worst are those who laugh
  • Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get
  • Happiness is good health and a bad memory

Ambrose Bierce 1842-1914

  • Acquaintance: A person who we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to
  • Cynic: A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be
  • Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure
  • Love: the temporary insanity curable by marriage
  • History: an account mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools
  • Idiot: a member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling
  • Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic
  • Pray: to ask that the laws of the universe by annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy
  • Revolution: In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment
  • To be positive: to be mistaken at the top of one's voice

Josh Billings [Henry Wheeler Shaw] 1818-1885

  • To enjoy a good reputation, give publicly and steal privately
  • It is better to know nothing than to know what ain't so
  • Metaphysics is the science of proving what we don't understand
  • The trouble ain't that people are ignorant: it's that they know so much that ain't so
  • Every man has his follies - and often they are the most interesting things he has got
  • As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand
  • There are many people who mistake their imagination for their memory
  • When a man comes to me for advice, I find out the advice he wants, and I give it to him
  • Nature never makes blunders; when she makes a fool she means it
  • My advice to those that are about the begin, in earnest, the journey of life, is to take their heart in one hand and a club in the other

Edmund Blackadder (Richard Curtis, Rowan Atkinson, Ben Elton)

  • Blackadder
    Bad weather is God's way of telling us to burn more Catholics
    And remember Baldrick, we're not at home to Mr. Cock-Up!
    If you want something done properly, kill Baldrick before you start

HP Blavatsky 1831-1891

  • Knowledge increases in proportion to its use - that is, the more we teach the more we learn

Arthur Bloch 1948

  • The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone he can blame it on
  • A Conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking
  • The Ninety-Ninety Rule of Project Schedules: The first ninety percent of the task takes ninety percent of the time, and the last ten percent takes the other ninety percent

Boethius 480-524

  • In other living creatures ignorance of self is nature; in man it is vice

Niels Bohr 1885-1962

  • An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field
  • Prediction is difficult, especially about the future
  • Not only does God play dice with the universe, he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen
  • Anyone who says that they can contemplate quantum mechanics without becoming dizzy has not understood the concept in the least
  • Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think

Erma Bombeck 1927-1996

  • But some emotions don't make a lot of noise. It's hard to hear pride. Caring is real faint - like a heartbeat. And pure love - why, some days it's so quiet, you don't even know it's there
  • Guilt: the gift that goes on giving

Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821

  • Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake
  • In policits stupidity is not a handicap

Kenneth Ewart Boulding 1910-1993

  • Peace is the skillful management of conflict
  • Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist

Ashleigh Brilliant [Ashleigh Warren] 1933

  • The trouble is that sex is a force of nature, and reason is not
  • The difference between friendship and love is how much you can hurt each other
  • I don't understand you. You don't understand me. What else do we have in common?
  • I waited and waited, and when no message came, I knew it must have been from you
  • By accepting you as you are, I do not necessarily abandon all hope of your improving
  • We've been through so much together, and most of it was your fault
  • Sometimes the best way to be useful is to get out of somebody's way
  • Success for some people, depends on becoming well-known; for others, it depends on never being found out
  • The closest you will ever come in this life to an orderly universe is a good library
  • My biggest problem is what to do about all the things I can't do anything about
  • If I had more skill in what I'm attempting, I wouldn't need so much courage
  • My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating

Anthony Burgess 1917-1993

  • The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it
  • We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation

Edmund Burke 1729-1797

  • Education is the cheap defence of nations
  • History is a pact between the dead, the living and the yet unborn
  • The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

Samuel Butler 1835-1902

  • Friendship is like money, easier made than kept
  • The oldest books are still only just out to those that have not read them
  • Silence is not always tact, and it is tact that is golden, not silence

Lord Byron 1788-1824

  • Folly loves the martyrdom of Fame
  • The dew of compassion is a tear



John Milton Cage Jr. 1912-1992

  • I can't understand why people are frightened by new ideas. I'm frightened by old ones

Simon Cameron 1799-1889

  • An honest politician is one who when he is bought will stay bought

Albert Camus 1913-1960

  • Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people slept
  • What is a rebel? A man who says no
  • Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower
  • By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more
  • Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better
  • It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money
  • It is normal to give away a little of one's life in order not to lose it all
  • The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants
  • There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn

Dale Carnegie 1888-1955

  • Any fool can criticise, condemn, and complain - and most fools do

George Carlin 1937

  • Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!
  • Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit
  • By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth
  • The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live
  • I've never had a 10, but one night I had five twos

Lewis Caroll [Charles Dodgson] 1832-1898

  • It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards, the Queen remarked

Pierre Charron 1541-1603

  • He who receives a good turn should never forget it; he who does one should never remember it

G.K. Chesterton 1874-1936

  • Wit is a sword; it is meant to make people feel the point as well as see it
  • The chief object of education is not to learn things but to unlearn things
  • No man who worships education has got the best out of education... Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete
  • Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated. [New York Times, 1931]
  • Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another
  • I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees
  • The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right
  • A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it
  • The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese
  • Artistic temperament is the disease that afflicts amateurs
  • The only defensible war is a war of defence
  • Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions

Sir Winston Churchill 1874-1965

  • He's [Attlee] a sheep in sheep's clothing
  • Mr Attlee is a modest man. But then he has much to be modest about
  • He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire
  • The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes
  • True genius resides in the in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information
  • History will be kind to me for I intend to write it

Marcus Tillius Cicero 106-43 BC

  • No sane man will dance
  • If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need
  • A room without books is like a body without a soul
  • There are more men ennobled by study than by nature
  • An unjust peace is better than a just war
  • Anyone can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error
  • The more laws, the less justice
  • To live long, it is necessary to live slowly
  • To know nothing of what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child

Charles Caleb Colton 1780-1832

  • Examinations are formidable, even to the best prepared, as the greatest fool can ask more than the wisest man can answer
  • When you have nothing to say, say nothing

Frank Moore Colby 1865-1925

  • I have found some of the best reasons I ever had for remaining at the bottom simply by looking at the men at the top

Confucius 551-479 BC

  • Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life
  • To be wrong is nothing unless you continue to remember it
  • Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change
  • Hear and you forget; see and you remember; do and you understand

Virginia Cowles 1910-1983

  • I kiss your hand, madam...........a second choice of course

Archibald Joseph Cronin 1896-1981

  • Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, but only saps today of its strength



Lord Darling [Robert Charles Henry Darling] 1849-1936

  • In England, justice is open to all, like the Ritz Hotel

Charles Darwin 1809-1882

  • It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change
  • The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference
  • A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life
  • Man tends to increase at a greater rate than his means of subsistence
  • Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science
  • If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin

W. Edwards Deming 1900-1993

  • Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival

George Dennison 1802-1870

  • When a young man complains that a young lady has no heart, it's pretty certain that she has his

Chauncey Depew 1834-1928

  • A pessimist is a man who thinks all women are bad. An optimist is one who hopes they are

Philip K. Dick 1928-1982

  • Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
  • The trouble with being educated is that it takes a long time; it uses up the better part of your life and when you are finished what you know is that you would have benefited more by going into banking

Denis Diderot 1713-1784

  • How old the world is! I walk between two eternities.... What is my fleeting existence in comparison with that decaying rock, that valley digging its channel ever deeper, that forest that is tottering and those great masses above my head about to fall? I see the marble of tombs crumbling into dust; and yet I don't want to die!
  • There are things I can't force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint
  • The best mannered people make the most absurd lovers
  • The possibility of divorce renders both marriage partners stricter in their observance of the duties they owe to each other. Divorces help to improve morals and to increase the population
  • From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step

Paul Dirac 1902-1984

  • In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite

Benjamin Disraeli 1804-1881

  • Many thanks for your book; I shall lose no time in reading it
  • The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it
  • The fool wonders, the wise man asks
  • Seeing much, suffering much, and studying much, are the three pillars of learning
  • Bore: one who has the power of speech but not the capacity for conversation
  • There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics
  • A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy
  • Nobody is forgotten when it is convenient to remember him

Isaac D'Israeli 1766-1848

  • Fortune has rarely condescended to be the companion of genius

Fats Domino [Antoine Dominique Domino] 1928

  • A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D.
    Unfortunately, they don't have a J.O.B

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1859-1930

  • It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts

Alexandre Dumas 1824-1895

  • The chain of wedlock is so heavy that it takes two to carry it, sometimes three

Will Durant 1885-1981

  • Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance



Abba Eban 1915-2002

  • History teaches that men behave wisely once they have exhausted all alternatives

Umberto Eco 1932-

  • Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them

Thomas A. Edison 1847-1931

  • Show me a thoroughly satisfied man - and I will show you a failure

Albert Einstein 1879-1955

  • Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former
  • Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen
  • He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed
  • The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self
  • Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
  • God is clever, but not dishonest
  • Everything should be made as simple as possible; but not simpler
  • If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
  • The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources
  • If A equals success, then the formula is: A=X+Y+Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut
  • Information is not knowledge
  • Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere
  • Imagination is more important than knowledge
  • When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking
  • I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive
  • It's not that I'm so smart , it's just that I stay with problems longer
  • If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor
  • Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater
  • You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else
  • Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it
  • I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn
  • It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education
  • The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education
  • One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year
  • If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather chose a plumber or peddler in the hope to find a modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances
  • Evil triumphs when good people do nothing
  • The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don't do anything about it
  • If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed
  • To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself
  • Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind
  • He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
  • I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
  • Generations to come will find it difficult to believe that a man such as Gandhi ever walked the face of this earth
  • The faster you go, the shorter you are
  • The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once
  • I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it
  • Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. _that's_ relativity

George Eliot [Mary Ann Cross] 1819-1880

  • First love, like the first poem, is best forgotten
  • He was like a cock who thought that the sun had risen to hear him crow
  • The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history
  • Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact

George Ellis [Sir George Gander] 1753-1815

  • 'The Twelve Months'
    Snowy, Flowy, Blowy, Showery, Flowery, Bowery, Hoppy, Croppy, Droppy, Breezy, Sneezy, Freezy

Harlan Ellison 1934-

  • The two most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity
  • I don't mind you thinking I'm stupid, but don't talk to me like I'm stupid

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882

  • Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones
  • Intellect annuls fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free
  • Shallow men believe in luck, wise and strong men in cause and effect
  • Never read a book that is not a year old
  • A man's library is a sort of harem
  • Science does not know its debt to imagination
  • Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait
  • Common sense is genius dressed in working clothes
  • Foolish legislation is a rope of sand, which perishes in the twisting
  • Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine

Marian Engel 1933-1985

  • There is a difference between art and life and that difference is readability

Epictetus 50-138

  • It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows
  • There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will
  • Only the educated are free
  • We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak

Eramus 1465-1536

  • When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes

Evan Esar 1899-1995

  • Many a beautiful girl ruins her charm by using the four-letter words - like 'don't' and 'stop'
  • Most new books are forgotten within a year, especially by those who borrow them

MC Escher 1898-1972

  • He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder



Richard Feynman 1918-1988

  • We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover up all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or describe how you had the wrong idea at first, and so on. So there isn't any place to publish, in a dignified manner, what you actually did in order to get to do the work
    What do you care what other people think?
  • To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven;
    the same key opens the gates of hell

    The Character of Physical Law
  • In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is -- if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it

W.C. Fields [William Claude Dukenfield] 1880-1946

  • Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people
  • I don't drink water. Fish fuck in it
  • I always keep a supply of stimulant handy in case I see a snake
    - which I also keep handy
  • Once... in the wild's of Afghanistan, I lost my corkscrew, and we were forced to live on nothing but food and water for days
  • The cost of living has gone up another dollar a quart
  • I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food
  • I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I'm indebted to her for
  • Madam, there's no such thing as a tough child--if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender
  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again. Then give up. There's no use being a damned fool about it
  • Start every day with a smile and get it over with
  • There comes a time in the affairs of a man when he has to take the bull by the tail and face the situation
  • I was married once--in San Francisco. I haven't seen her for many years. The great earthquake and fire in 1906 destroyed the marriage certificate. There's no legal proof. Which proves that earthquakes aren't all bad
  • A man without a woman is like a neck without pain
  • When Louis B. Mayer (head of MGM) invited him to a round of golf:
    My boy, when I want to play with a prick, I'll play with my own

Sir Ronald A. Fisher 1890-1962

  • Our view. . . is that it is an essential characteristic of experimentation that it is carried out with limited resources, and an essential part of the subject of experimental design to ascertain how these should be best applied; or, in particular, to which causes of disturbance care should be given, and which ought to be deliberately ignored

Phineas Fletcher 1582-1650

  • Love is like linen - often changed, the sweeter

Errol Flynn 1909-1959

  • My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income

Malcolm S Forbes 1919-1990

  • Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one

Brendan Francis 1923-1964

  • The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less

Benjamain Franklin 1706-1790

  • Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead
  • Half the truth is often a great lie
  • Well done is better than well said
  • Words may show a man's wit but actions his meaning
  • Folly is wisdom spun too fine
  • He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals
  • Originality is the art of concealing your sources
  • They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety
  • Some people die at 25 and aren't buried until 75
  • We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid
  • To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals

Frederick II, [Frederick the Great] 1712-1786

  • If I wished to punish a province, I would have it governed by philosophers

Robert Frost 1874-1963

  • The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office
  • A liberal is a man too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel
  • A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer

Robert Fulghum 1937-

  • Sticks and stones will break our bones, but words will break our hearts..

Thomas Fuller 1654-1734

  • The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all is the person who argues with him
  • He that plants trees loves others beside himself
  • Bad excuses are worse than none
  • Choose a wife rather by your ear than your eye
  • Wine hath drowned more men than the sea



Claude Gagnière (1928-2003)

  • A man who speaks three language is trilingual.
    A man who speaks two languages is bilingual.
    A man who speaks only one language is English.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 1869-1948

  • What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
  • You must be the change you want to see in the world
  • Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will

Paul Gauguin 1848-1903

  • Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge

Chief Dan George [Geswanouth Slahoot] 1899-1981

  • When the white man came, we had the land and they had the bibles. Now they have the land and we have the bibles

John Paul Getty 1892-1976

  • If you owe the bank $100, that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem
  • If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars

Edward Gibbon 1737-1794

  • I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect

WS Gilbert 1836-1911

  • No one can have a higher opinion of him than I have; and I think he is a dirty little beast

Jean Giraudoux 1882-1944

  • Only the mediocre are always at their best

Bhagavad Gita BC 400

  • As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose

Max Gluckman, (American anthropologist) 1911-1975

  • A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go beyond the point reached by the genius of the last generation

Hermann Wilhelm Göring 1893-1946

  • Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.

Goethe 1749-1832

  • He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them, needs religion
  • Of all thieves fools are the worst; they rob you of time and temper
  • Everything has been thought of before, but the problem is to think of it again
  • Few people have the imagination for reality
  • What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals

Roy M. Goodman 1930

  • Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination



Robert Hall 1764-1831

  • He might have been a very clever man by nature, but he had laid so many books on his head that his brain could not move

Lord Harlech [David Ormsby Gore] 1918-1985

  • In the end it may well be that Britain will be honoured by historians more for the way she disposed of an empire than for the way in which she acquired it

Heinrich Heine 1797-1856

  • Ordinarily he is insane, but he has lucid moments when he is only stupid
  • Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks
  • God will forgive me; that's his business

Robert Heinlein 1907-1988

  • Lazarus Long:
    The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning, while those other subjects merely require scholarship
    Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent
    If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion
    A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future
    Of all the strange 'crimes' that human beings have legislated out of nothing, 'blasphemy' is the most amazing — with 'obscenity' and 'indecent exposure' fighting it out for second and third place
    All men are created unequal
    Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How's that again? I missed something
    You live and learn or you don't live long
    Yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again
    Time Enough For Love 1973

Joseph Heller 1923-1999

  • Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them
  • He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody
  • Prostitution gives her a chance to meet people. It provides fresh air and wholesome exercise and it keeps her out of trouble

Katharine Hepburn 1907-2003

  • I didn't realize until quite late in life that women were supposed to be the inferior sex
  • Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then
  • If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased
  • What in the world would we do without our libraries?
  • If you need a helping hand, you can find one at the end of your arm
  • Children need boundaries, so they can know how far they have to go to get beyond them

Herodotus 484-425 BC

  • The worst pain a man can suffer: to have insight into much and power over nothing

Benny Hill 1924-1992

  • Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect

Thomas Hobbes 1588-1679

  • Knowledge is power
  • Life is nasty, brutish, and short
  • Words are the counters of wise men, and the money of fools
  • It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law
  • The Papacy is not other than the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof
  • God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I'm so far behind that I'll never die

John Andrew Holmes 1773-1843

  • It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others
  • The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it unfriendly. It is simply indifferent

Oliver Wendell Holmes 1809-1894

  • Old age is fifteen years older than I am
  • The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract
  • We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe
  • The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live
  • Talking is like playing on the harp, there is as much in laying the hand on the strings to stop their vibrations as in twanging them to bring out their music
  • Lawyers spend a great deal of time shovelling smoke
  • This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice

Alfred Edward Housman 1859-1936

  • Statistics in the hands of an engineer are like a lamppost to a drunk-they're used more for support than illumination

Elbert Hubbard 1859-1915

  • Luck is tenacity of purpose
  • Failure - The man who can tell others what to do and how to do it, but never does it himself
  • To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing
  • Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped
  • Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit
  • Character is the result of two things:
    Mental attitude and the way we spend our time
  • Live truth instead of professing it

Victor Hugo 1802-1885

  • Our acts make or mar us, we are the children of our own deeds
  • I met in the street a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, his cloak was out at the elbows, the water passed through his shoes, - and the stars through his soul
  • The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring
  • When a woman is talking to you, listen to what she says with her eyes
  • Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time
  • He who opens a school door, closes a prison
  • Joy's smile is much closer to tears than laughter
  • People do not lack strength; they lack will
  • Popularity? It is glory's small change

David Hume 1711-1776

  • Human life is more governed by fortune than by reason
  • The richest genius, like the most fertile soil, when uncultivated, shoots up into the rankest weeds

Robert Maynard Hutchins 1899–1977

  • This is a do-it-yourself test for paranoia: you know you've got it when you can't think of anything that's your fault
  • The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives

Aldous Huxley 1884-1963

  • Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder
  • Chastity - the most unnatural of the sexual perversions
  • An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex
  • Science has 'explained' nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness
  • Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored
  • Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him
  • The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm
  • Medical science is making such remarkable progress that soon none of us will be well
  • Like every other good thing in this world, leisure and culture have to be paid for. Fortunately, however, it is not the leisured and the cultured who have to pay
  • Cynical realism is the intelligent man's best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation
  • In the past, personal and political liberty depended to a considerable extent upon government inefficiency. The spirit of tyranny was always willing; but its organization and material equipment were generally weak. Progressive science and technology have changed all that completely
  • A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy
  • The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human
  • All war propaganda consists, in the last resort, in subsituting diabolical abstractions for human beings. Similarly,those who defend war have invented a pleasant sounding vocabulary of abstractions in which to describe the process of mass murder
  • What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood
  • The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own
  • Dictators can always consolidate their tyranny by an appeal to patriotism
  • Never have so many been manipulated so much by so few
  • Man is so intelligent that he feels impelled to invent theories to account for what happens in the world. Unfortunately, he is not quite intelligent enough, in most cases, to find correct explanations. So that when he acts on his theories, he behaves very often like a lunatic
  • That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach
  • The quality of moral behavior varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved
  • Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence - those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you'd collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster
  • We shall be permitted to live on this planet only for as long as we treat all nature with compassion and intelligence
  • The question of the next generation will not be one of how to liberate the masses, but rather, how to make them love their servitude
  • People will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think
  • On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean
  • Teaching is the last refuge of feeble minds with a classical education
  • Words are good servants but bad masters
  • The only consistent people are the dead
  • In a few years, no doubt, marriage licences will be sold like dog licences, good for 12 months

Thomas Huxley 1825-1895

  • It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance
  • Try to learn something about everything and everything about something
  • The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence
  • There is no greater mistake than the hasty conclusion that opinions are worthless because they are badly argued
  • The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification
  • The great end of life is not knowledge but action
  • Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness
  • Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not...
  • There is the greatest practical benefit in making a few failures early in life
  • If I may paraphrase Hobbes's well-known aphorism, I would say that 'books are the money of Literature, but only the counters of Science'



William Ralph Inge (Dean Inge of St Paul's London) 1860-1954

  • A nation is a society united by delusion about its ancestry and by a common hatred of its neighbours
  • The vulgar mind always mistakes the exceptional for the important
  • The enemies of freedom do not argue; they shout and they shoot
  • A cat can be trusted to purr when she is pleased, which is more than can be said for human beings

Robert G. Ingersoll 1833-1899

  • In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments - there are consequences
  • Few Rich men own their own property. The property owns them
  • In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous
  • It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense

Richard Ingrams 1937

  • I have come to regard the law courts not as a cathedral but rather as a casino



Philander Chase Johnson 1866-1939

  • Cheer up! the worst is yet to come!

Dr Samuel Johnson 1709-1784

  • Patriotism: The last refuge of the Scoundrel
  • Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise
  • The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it
  • Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.
  • The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good

Franklin P Jones 1887-1929

  • Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake when you make it again
  • Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.

Ben Jonson 1573-1637

  • He that was only taught by himself had a fool for his master

James Joyce 1882–1941

  • A man's errors are his portals of discovery



Lord Kelvin 1824-1907

  • X-Rays are a hoax

Martin Luther King, Junior 1929-1968

  • In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends
  • He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it
  • Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase
  • Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity
  • If we assume that mankind has a right to survive, then we must find an alternative to was and destruction. In our day of space vehicles and guided ballistic missiles, the choice is wither nonviolence or nonexistence

Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936

  • Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves
  • Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves
    'It's pretty, but is it Art?'
  • Ye thought? Ye are not paid to think

David Korten 1937

  • It is interesting to note that the 200 richest people have more assets than the 2 billion poorest

Brad Kozak

  • Getting a date with a girl is a lot like getting a loan from a bank -- to get one, you must first prove that you don't need one

Stanley Kubrick 1928-1999

  • The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes
  • The destruction of this planet would have no significance on a cosmic scale



Andrew Lang 1844-1912

  • He used statistics the way a drunkard uses lampposts - for support, not illumination

Fran Lebowitz 1950

  • Life it something to do when you can't get to sleep
  • Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying
  • ... those who use the word "lifestyle" are rarely in possession of either
  • In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy
  • The opposite of talking isn't listening. The opposite of talking is waiting
  • Think before you speak. Read before you think
  • If you are of the opinion that the contemplation of suicide is sufficient evidence of a poetic nature, do not forget that actions speak louder than words
  • I prefer dead writers because you don't run into them at parties
  • Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage in your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you
  • If your sexual fantasies were truly of interest to others, they would no longer be fantasies
  • Success didn't spoil me, I've always been insufferable

Lenin [Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov] 1870-1924

  • While the State exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no State

Joseph E. Levine (American Film Producer) 1905-1987

  • You can fool all of the people all of the time, if the advertising is right, and the budget is big enough

George Christoph Lichtenberg 1742-1799

  • Sometimes men come by the name of genius in the same way that certain insects come by the name of centipede - not because they have a hundred feet, but because most people can't count above fourteen
  • Some people read because they are too lazy to think
  • Most subjects at universities are taught for no other purpose than that they may be re-taught when the students become teachers
  • I am always grieved when a man of real talent dies. The world needs such men more than Heaven does
  • To read means to borrow; to create out of one's readings is paying off one's debts
  • I forget the greater part of what I read, but all the same it nourishes my mind

Gerald F. Lieberman 1923-1986

  • If she looks young - she's old. If she looks old - she's young. If she looks back......follow her

Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865

  • Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt
  • Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves
  • America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves
  • My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure
  • If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax

Leonard Louis Levinson

  • I wish I had know you when you were alive

Livy 59BC - 17AD

  • Men are seldom blessed with good fortune and good sense at the same time

David Lodge 1935

  • Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round

Konrad Lorenz 1903-1989

  • Truth in science can be defined as the working hypothesis best suited to open the way to the next better one



Rose Macaulay 1889-1958

  • It was a book to kill time for those who like it better dead

Captain Fredrick Marryart 1792-1848

  • White lies are but the ushers to black ones

George Raymond Richard Martin 1948-

  • A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one

Groucho Marx 1890-1977

  • Those are my principles. If you don't like them ............. I have others
  • From the moment I picked your book up until I put it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it
  • I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book
  • I have nothing but confidence in you, and very little of that
  • I've been looking for a girl like you - not you, but a girl like you
  • Wives are people who feel they don't dance enough
  • I was married by a judge. I should have asked for the jury
  • There is one way to find out if a man is honest; ask him! If he says yes you know he's crooked

Abraham Maslow 1908-1970

  • When the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem begins to look like a nail

Brander Matthews 1852-1929

  • A highbrow is a person educated beyond his intelligence
  • A gentleman need not know Latin, but he should at least have forgotten it

William Somerset Maugham 1874-1965

  • Only a mediocre man is always at his best

George McGovern 1922

  • I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in

Golda Meir 1898-1978

  • Don't be humble, you're not that great

Henry Louis Mencken 1880-1956

  • Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been
  • A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers
  • A poet more than thirty years old is simply an overgrown child
  • All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it
  • An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup
  • For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong
  • The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom
  • The only cure for contempt is counter-contempt
  • A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory
  • There are people who read too much: the bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing
  • I never lecture, not because I am shy or a bad speaker, but simply because I detest the sort of people who go to lectures and don't want to meet them
  • It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favour of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office
  • A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier
  • Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it
  • If you don't read the newspapers, you are uninformed; if you read the newspapers, you are mis-informed
  • Don't overestimate the decency of the human race
  • Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect
  • It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry
  • Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbours were dead and in Hell
  • For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing
  • A man always remembers his first love with special tenderness, but after that he begins to bunch them
  • Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop
  • Adultery is the application of democracy to love
  • On one issue, at least, men and women agree; they both distrust women
  • Masculinity and stupidity are often indistinguishable
  • Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier
  • All government, of course, is against liberty
  • Most people want security in this world, not liberty
  • The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule
  • The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary
  • Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses
  • Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard
  • Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods
  • I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone
  • Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them
  • The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression
  • Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under
  • Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it

Michelangelo 1474-1564

  • If people knew how hard I have to work to gain my mastery it wouldn't seem wonderful at all
  • Genius is eternal patience

George Mikes 1912-1987

  • Continental people have sex life; the English have hot-water bottles

AA Milne 1882-1956

  • Winnie-the-Pooh:
    For I am a bear of very little brain, and big words bother me
    My spelling is wobbly. It is good spelling but it wobbles

Olin Miller

  • A man who will not lie to a woman has very little consideration for her feelings

Wilson Mizner 1876-1933

  • When you take stuff from one writer, it's plagiarism; but when you take it from many writers, it's research

Moliere [J.B.Poquelin] 1622-1673

  • I assure you that a learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant fool
  • It is a public scandal that offends; to sin in secret is no sin at all
  • Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money
  • All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing

Marylin Monroe [Norma Jeane Mortenson] 1926-1962

  • If you’re gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty
  • We should all start to live before we get too old
  • I've often stood silent at a party for hours listening to my movie idols turn into dull and little people

Michel de Montaigne 1533-1592

  • He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak
  • Ambition is not a vice of little people I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly
  • An untempted woman cannot boast of her chastity
  • My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened
  • We only labour to stuff the memory, and leave the conscience and the understanding unfurnished and void

Baron de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis) 1689-1755

  • I can assure you that no kingdom has ever had as many civil wars as the kingdom of Christ
  • A man should be mourned at his birth, not at his death
  • Religious wars are not caused by the fact that there is more than one religion, but by the spirit of intolerance...the spread of which can only be regarded as the total eclipse of human reason
  • The less men think, the more they talk

J.M. Morton

  • Monogamy: An obsolete word meaning a fidelity complex

Farley Mowat 1921

  • Truth I have no trouble with, it's the facts I get all screwed up

Daniel Patrick Moynihan 1927-2003

  • Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts

Maureen Murphy 1952-2008

  • The reason there are so few female politicians is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces

Edward R. Murrow 1908-1965

  • We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home
  • No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices
  • A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves
  • Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions
  • People say conversation is a lost art; how often I have wished it were



Vladimir Nabokov 1899-1977

  • I confess, I do not believe in time

Ogden Nash 1902-1971

  • Candy, Is dandy, But liquor, Is quicker
  • You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely

John von Neumann 1903-1957

  • There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about
  • It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in 5 years
    (said in 1949)

Isaac Newton 1642-1727

  • If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants
  • We build too many walls and not enough bridges
  • If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 1844-1900

  • In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule
  • Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual
  • A bad conscience is easier to cope with than a bad reputation
  • You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist
  • Faith: not wanting to know what the truth is
  • There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe
  • They muddy the water, to make it seem deep
  • Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen
  • It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book
  • There is an old illusion. It is called good and evil
  • Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man
  • A politician divides mankind into two classes: tools and enemies
  • Most people are far too much occupied with themselves to be malicious
  • Success has always been a great liar
  • Many a man fails as an original thinker simply because his memory is too good
  • Some men are born posthumously



Robert Orben 1927

  • Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian

Austin O'Malley 1858-1932

  • An Englishman thinks seated; a Frenchman, standing; an American, pacing; an Irishman, afterwards
  • The statesman shears the sheep; the politician skins them

P.J. O'Rourke 1947

  • There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women.
    Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible
  • How often does a house need to be cleaned, anyway? As a general rule, once every girlfriend. After that she can get to know the real you
  • Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys
  • There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences
  • It's easy to understand why the cat has eclipsed the dog as modern America's favorite pet. People like pets to possess the same qualities they do. Cats are irresponsible and recognize no authority, yet are completely dependent on others for their material needs. Cats cannot be made to do anything useful. Cats are mean for the fun of it
  • You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going

George Orwell [Eric Blair] 1903-1950

  • At 50, every one has the face he deserves
  • Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket
  • The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being, but to remind him that he is already degraded
  • Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs on one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them
  • During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
  • Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations
  • Big Brother is watching you
  • As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisment for Socialism is its adherents
  • Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind
  • Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac
  • All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting
  • As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me
  • It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning
  • The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them
  • The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun
  • There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them

Ovid 43BC - 17AD

  • If you want to be loved, be loveable



Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

  • Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone

Louis Pasteur 1822-1895

  • Chance favours prepared minds

Dorothy Parker 1893-1967

  • Say When
    After this Drink
  • You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think
  • That woman can speak eighteen languages, and she can't say 'No' in any of them
  • Take me or leave me. Or as most people do - both
  • If all the girls attending the Yale Prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be at all surprised
  • Brevity is the soul of lingerie
  • Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it, and it darts away
  • Scratch an actor and find an actress.
  • The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity
  • If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me...
  • I'd like to have money. And I'd like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that's too adorable, I'd rather have money
  • I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - if I can remember any of the damn things

Northcote Parkinson 1909-1993

  • The man who is denied the opportunity of taking decisions of importance begins to regard as important the decisions he is allowed to take

Casare Pavese 1908-1950

  • Lessons are not given, they are taken

Emo Philips 1956

  • ...and always remember the last words of my grandfather, who said 'A truck!'..
  • I feel great and I kiss even better

Sylvia Plath 1932-1963

  • Kiss me and you will see how important I am

Plato 428-348 BC

  • Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something
  • There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot
  • There are three classes of men - lovers of wisdom, lovers of honour, lovers of gain
  • Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty
  • It is only the dead who have seen the end of war
  • Attention to health is life's greatest hindrance
  • He was a wise man who invented God
  • Love is a serious mental disease
  • At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet
  • The passionate are like men standing on their heads; they see all things the wrong way

John J. Plomp

  • You know that children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers

Henri Poincaire 1854-1912

  • Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science

Alexander Pope 1688-1744

  • Pride, the never failing vice of fools
  • To err is human, to forgive, divine
  • For fools rush in where angels fear to tread
  • A little learning is a dangerous thing

Karl Popper 1902-1994

  • Science may be described as the art of systematic over-simplification

Anthony Powell 1905-2000

  • Parents - especially step-parents - are sometimes a bit of a disappointment to their children. They don't fulfil the promise of their early years

Terry Pratchett 1948

  • Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree
  • Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on
  • SUSAN: And then Jack chopped down what was the world's last beanstalk, adding murder and ecological terrorism to the theft, enticement and trespass charges already mentioned and all the giant's children didn't have a daddy any more. But he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks inconvenient questions
  • DEATH: Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom
  • The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it
  • 'I meant,' said Ipslore bitterly, 'what is there in this world that truly makes living worth while?' Death thought about it 'Cats,' he said eventually, 'Cats are Nice'
  • In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this
  • In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded
  • Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don't find out til too late that he's been playing with two queens all along

Michael Pritchard

  • You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing
  • No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather





Ayn Rand 1905-1982

  • Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death
  • Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver
  • So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money?
  • The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me
  • There can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions to an individual, but permitted to a mob
  • The idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of _some_ individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others
  • The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap
  • There is a level of cowardice lower than that of the conformist: the fashionable non-conformist
  • Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lot of an empty mind
  • Do not ever say that the desire to 'do good' by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives
  • Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)
  • The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws
  • We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force
  • A government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims

John Ray 1627-1705

  • Learning makes the wise wiser and the fool more foolish

Ernest Renan 1823-1892

  • The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life
  • As a rule, all heroism is due to a lack of reflection, and thus it is necessary to maintain a mass of imbeciles. If they once understand themselves the ruling men will be lost

Will Rogers 1879-1935

  • There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get off the thing he was educated in
  • Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects
  • There is only one thing that can kill the movies; and that is education
  • Don't believe anything you read and only half of what you see
  • If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?
  • Make crime pay. Become a Lawyer
  • People talk peace. But men give their life's work to war. It wont stop til there is as much brains and scientific study put to aid peace as there is to promote war
  • Take diplomacy out of a war and the thing would fall flat in a week
  • Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it
  • No nation ever had two better friends that we have. You know who they are? The Atlantic and Pacific oceans
  • We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others
  • I dont care how little your country is, you got a right to run it like you want to. When the big nations quit meddling then the world will have peace

Elihu Root 1845-1937

  • Men do not fail; they give up trying

Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962

  • I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall
  • Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people
  • Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent
  • Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product
  • Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water
  • Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart
  • Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one
  • It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself
  • Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn't have the power to say yes
  • Understanding is a two-way street
  • It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness
  • When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die

Jules Renard 1864-1910

  • Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties

Helen Rowland 1875-1950

  • When you see what some girls marry, you realise how much they must hate to work for a living
  • One man's folly is another man's wife

Bertrand Russell 1872-1970

  • One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important
  • Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so
  • Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know
  • Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education

Dora Russell (Countess Russel) 1894-1986

  • Marriage, laws, the police, armies and navies are the mark of human incompetence

Ernest. Rutherford 1871-1937

  • All science is either physics or stamp collecting
  • The only possible conclusion the social sciences can draw is: some do, some don't
  • We don't have the money so we will have to think



Saki (Hector Hugo Munro) 1870-1933

  • A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation
  • Children with Hyacinth's temperament don't know better as they grow older; they merely know more

Carl Sagan 1934-1996

  • All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value
  • But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown

George Santayana 1863-1952

  • Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim
  • Nothing is really so poor and melancholy as art that is interested in itself and not in its subject
  • There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval
  • Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit
  • History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there
  • Oxford, the paradise of dead philosophies
  • To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say

Jean-Paul Sartre 1905-1980

  • When the rich wage war it's the poor who die
  • Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you

Seneca 3BC-65AD

  • It is not goodness to be better than the very worst
  • There is no genius free from some tincture of madness
  • Since learned men have appeared, good men have become rare

Charles Prestwich Scott 1846-1932

  • Television? The word is half Greek, half Latin. No good can come of it

Dr. Seuss 1904-1991

  • Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple
  • Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened
  • You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams

William Shakespeare 1564-1616

  • The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers
    Henry VI (Part 2)
  • Ambition should be made of sterner stuff
    Julius Caesar

George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950

  • The reasonable man adapts himself to the world;
    The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man
  • A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education
  • Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten
  • He who can does. He who can't, teaches
  • A learned man is an idler who kills time by study
  • England and America are two countries divided by a common language
  • Do not do unto others as you would they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same
  • Youth is a wonderful thing; what a crime to waste it on children
  • Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it
  • Martyrdom is the only way a person can become famous without ability
  • When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty
  • Home is the girl's prison and the woman's workhouse
  • Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself
  • People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances that they want, and if they can't find them, make them
  • If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance
  • Old men are dangerous it doesn't matter to them what is going to happen to the world
  • Alcohol is a very necessary article. It makes life bearable to millions of people who could not endure their existence if they were quite sober. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning
  • We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it
  • The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity
  • Beware of the man who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself
  • A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul
  • MENDOZA: I am a brigand: I live by robbing the rich
    TANNER: I am a gentleman: I live by robbing the poor

Wilfred Sheed 1930

  • The American male doesn't mature until he has exhausted all other possibilities

Burton Silver

  • Bogor:
    Some stars are much brighter than others
    Bright stars are like important people. They stand out amongst the many unimportant dim ones
    But dim stars aren't really dim, they just seem to be because they're far away
    I'm like that. Not really dim, just far away

Edith Sitwell 1887-1964

  • A great many people now reading and writing would be better employed keeping rabbits
  • I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it
  • Poetry is the deification of reality
  • Good taste is the worst vice ever invented
  • Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd

Samuel Smiles 1812-1904

  • The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once

FE Smith (Earl of Birkenhead) 1872-1930

  • JUDGE: I have read your case, Mr Smith, and I am no wiser now than I was when I started
    SMITH: Possibly not, My Lord, but much better informed
  • JUDGE: Are you trying to show contempt for this court, Mr Smith?
    SMITH: No, My Lord. I am attempting to conceal it
  • JUDGE WILLIS: You are an extremely offensive young man
    SMITH: As a matter of fact, we both are, and the only difference between us is that I am trying to be, and you can't help it

Socrates 469-399 BC

  • I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world
  • Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers
  • When the debate is over, slander becomes the tool of the loser
  • Watch your thoughts for they become words
    Watch your words for they become actions
    Watch your actions for they become character
    Watch your character for it becomes your destiny

Susan Sontag 1933-2004

  • Books are funny little portable pieces of thought
  • The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the white race and it alone --- its ideologies and inventions --- which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself
  • Authoritarian political ideologies have a vested interest in promoting fear, a sense of the imminence of takeover by aliens and real diseases are useful material
  • So successful has been the camera's role in beautifying the world that photographs, rather than the world, have become the standard of the beautiful
  • Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs
  • In the final analysis, style is art. And art is nothing more or less than various modes of stylized, dehumanized representation
  • I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them
  • Sanity is a cozy lie

Sophocles 495-406 BC

  • A lie never lives to be old
  • It is terrible to speak well and be wrong
  • There's nothing more demoralizing than money
  • Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law
  • Heaven never helps the men who will not act
  • Chance never helps those who do not help themselves
  • Look and you will find it - what is unsought will go undetected

Herbert Spencer 1820-1903

  • Time: That which man is always trying to kill, but which ends in killing him

Duncan Spaeth 1868-1954

  • I know why the sun never sets on the British Empire, God would never trust an Englishman in the dark

Alfred Spender 1862-1942

  • The misfortune of the 'artistic temperament' is that so many people have the temperament and so few the art

Charles Haddon Spurgeon 1834-1892

  • You cannot slander human nature; it is worse than words can paint it

Charles P Steinmetz 1865-1923

  • No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions

Henri Stendhal 1783-1842

  • One can acquire everything in solitude - except character
  • If you don't love me, it does not matter, anyway I can love for both of us
  • The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same
  • Life is too short, and the time we waste in yawning never can be regained
  • The first qualification for a historian is to have no ability to invent

Robert Louis Stevenson 1850-1894

  • Everyone lives by selling something
  • Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life
    The cruellest lies are often told in silence

Wallace Stevens 1879-1955

  • A poet looks at the world as a man looks at a woman
  • Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking
  • Beneath every 'no' lays a passion for 'yes' that had never been broken

Adlai Stevenson 1900-1965

  • Flattery is all right if you don't inhale
  • My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular

Tom Stoppard 1937

  • I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity
  • Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork and picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art

Harriet Beecher Stowe 1811-1896

  • The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone

Lytton Strachey 1880-1932

  • The history of the Victorian Age will never be written: we know too much about it. Ignorance is the first requisite of the historian - ignorance, which simplifies and clarifies, which selects and omits, with a placid perfection unattainable by the highest art

Anne Swetchine 1782-1857

  • We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse

Publilius Syrus (BC 42)

  • No one ever lost his honour, except he who had it not

Thomas Szasz 1920

  • When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him
    The Second Sin, 1973, p58

Albert von Szent-Györgyi 1893-1986

  • Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought
  • A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind



Cornelius Tacitus 56-117

  • The more corrupt the state, the more laws
  • A desire to resist oppression is implanted in the nature of man
  • Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; many, amid great affluence, are utterly miserable
  • If you want to rule the whole World, does it follow that everyone else welcomes enslavement? To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name, 'freedom'. They make a wilderness and call it peace
  • When monarchs through their bloodthirsty commanders lay waste a country, they dignify their atrocity by calling it 'Making Peace'
  • No hatred is so bitter as that of near relations
  • It is a weakness of your human nature to hate those whom you have wronged
  • Rumour does not always err; it sometimes even elects a man
  • Valour is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards
  • Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so
  • The desire for fame is the last infirmity cast off even by the wise

Edward Teller 1908-2003

  • A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent, unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty, until found effective

Archbishop William Temple 1881-1944

  • It is a mistake to suppose that God is only, or even chiefly, concerned with religion
  • Christianity is the most materialistic of all great religions

Sir William Temple 1628-1699

  • The only way for a rich man to be healthy is by exercise and abstinence, to live as if he were poor

Dylan Thomas 1914-1953

  • Someone's boring me. I think it's me
  • The function of posterity is to look after itself

Gwyn Thomas 1913-1981

  • There are still parts of Wales where the only concession to gaiety is a striped shroud

John Tillotson 1630-1694

  • Zeal is fit for wise men, but flourishes chiefly among fools

GM Trevelyan 1876-1962

  • It [education] has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading, an easy prey to sensations and cheap appeals
  • Socrates gave no diplomas or degrees, and would have subjected any disciple who demanded one to a disconcerting catechism on the nature of true knowledge

Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] 1835-1910

  • When I was young, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not
  • Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter
  • There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist
  • The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why
  • A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes
  • Always tell the truth. That way, you don't have to remember what you said
  • An experienced, industrious, ambitious, and often quite picturesque liar
  • It is better to deserve honours and not have them than to have them and not deserve them
  • To be good is noble, but to teach others to be good is nobler - and less trouble
  • The man who does not read good books is at no advantage over the man that can't read them
  • Everything has its limit - iron ore cannot be educated into gold
  • I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell - you see, I have friends in both places
  • All right, then, I'll go to hell
  • Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in
  • Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to
  • Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself
  • Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect
  • Always do right: this will gratify some people and astonish the rest
  • It was a schoolboy who said 'Faith is believing what you know ain't so'
  • Man: A creature made at the end of a week's work when God was tired
  • Optimist: Day-dreamer more elegantly spelled
  • I admire him [Cecil Rhodes], I frankly confess it; and when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake
  • What ought to be done to the man who invented the celebrating of anniversaries? Mere killing would be too light
  • Never learn to do anything: if you don't learn, you'll always find someone else to do it for you
  • When angry, count four; when very angry, swear
  • While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats
  • Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today
  • Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first
  • The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right
  • Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does all the work
  • To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence
  • All generalizations are false, including this one
  • History doesn't repeat itself - at best it sometimes rhymes
  • When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained
  • I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse
  • I deal with temptation by yielding to it
  • Chastity - you can carry it too far
  • Familiarity breeds contempt - and children
  • Good breading consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person
  • Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society
  • It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence to never practice either of them

R. Emmett Tyell

  • Women's liberationists spread the work that...the only peaceful family is one in which either the wife is enslaved or the husband in androgynous The Liberal Crack-Up, 1984, p127

Kenneth Tynan 1927-1980

  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car

Lao Tzu 600 BC

  • Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses
  • To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders
  • To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect
  • To see things in the seed, that is genius
  • Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good
  • When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves.'
  • He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty
  • Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge
  • The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
  • If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading



Sir Peter Ustinov 1921-2004

  • Contrary to general belief, I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who got there first
  • People who reach the top of the tree are only those who haven't got the qualifications to detain them at the bottom
  • Unfortunately, the balance of nature decrees that a super-abundance of dreams is paid for by a growing potential for nightmares
  • Men think about women. Women think about what men think about them



Paul Valéry 1871-1945

  • God made everything out of nothing. But the nothingness shows through
  • Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content
  • God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly
  • Science means simply the aggregate of all the recipes that are always successful. All the rest is literature
  • Politics is the art of preventing people from sticking their noses in things that are properly their business
  • Young people do not learn only in school. Their surroundings and the times in which they live have as much, if not more, influence on them than teachers

Gore Vidal 1925

  • [of Ronald Reagan] A triumph of the embalmer's art

Voltaire [François-Marie Arouet] 1694-1778

  • The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease
  • In this country we find it pays to shoot an admiral from time to time to encourage the others
  • All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets
  • [Men] use thought only to justify their wrong-doings, and words only to conceal their thoughts
  • Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities
  • Chance is a word void of sense, nothing can exist without a cause
  • Prejudices are what fools use for reason
  • History is nothing but a pack of tricks that we play upon the dead
  • No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible
  • Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers
  • It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong
  • Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do
  • I hate women because they always know where things are
  • It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere
  • I disapprove of what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it
  • If God made us in his image, we have certainly returned the compliment
  • Theological religion is the source of all imaginable follies and disturbances; it is the parent of fanaticism and civil discord; it is the enemy of mankind
  • Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men
  • Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody religion that has ever infected the world
  • The Holy Roman Empire is neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire
  • God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh
  • Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies
    on his deathbed in response to a priest asking that he renounce Satan



Simone Weil 1909-1943

  • As soon as men know that they can kill without fear of punishment or blame, they kill; or at least they encourage killers with approving smiles
  • What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war. Petrol is more likely than wheat to be a cause of international conflict

H.G. Wells 1866-1946

  • Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo

Mae West 1893-1980

  • Keep a diary and one day it'll keep you
  • He who hesitates is last
  • When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before
  • I speak two languages, Body and English
  • Kiss and make up--but too much makeup has ruined many a kiss
  • Look your best--who said love is blind?
  • A woman in love can't be reasonable--or she probably wouldn't be in love
  • Don't cry for a man who's left you, the next one may fall for your smile
  • Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly
  • An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away
  • Sex is an emotion in motion

Edwin Whipple 1819-1886

  • Genius may be almost defined as the faculty of acquiring poverty

Randy Whipple

  • The older I get, the better I was

EB White 1899-1985

  • Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time
  • The time not to become a father is eighteen years before a war
  • To perceive Christmas through its wrapping becomes more difficult with every year
  • One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy

Oscar Wilde 1854-1900

  • The truth is rarely pure, and never simple
  • Everything in moderation. Including moderation
  • In married life three is company and two is none
  • The husbands of very beautiful women belong to the criminal classes
  • Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same
  • One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry
  • Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship
  • No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating
  • A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction
  • Women are made to be loved, not understood
  • Intuition is the strange instinct that tells a woman she is right, whether she is or not
  • A kiss may ruin a human life
  • The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read
  • All art is quite useless
  • It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art
  • Art never expresses anything but itself
  • Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months
  • Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes
  • There is no sin except stupidity
  • Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught
  • I am not young enough to know everything
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go
  • A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies
  • True friends stab you in the front
  • Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do
  • Alas, I am dying beyond my means
  • When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know it is
  • It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating
  • Work is the curse of the drinking classes
  • I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about
  • I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself
  • Only the shallow know themselves
  • The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius
  • Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes
  • I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability
  • Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is
  • You will care much less about what people think about you when you realize how seldom they do
  • America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between
  • Now we sit through Shakespeare in order to recognize the quotations
  • As yet, Bernard Shaw hasn't become prominent enough to have any enemies, but none of his friends like him

Thornton Wilder 1897-1975

  • Hindsight is always twenty twenty

H.H. Williams 1941

  • Furious activity is no substitute for understanding
  • Reason is emotion for the sexless

Robin Williams 1952

  • Politics: 'Poli' a Latin word meaning 'many'; and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'
  • Ah, yes, divorce ... from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet

Woodrow Wilson 1856-1924

  • As compared with the college politician, the real article seems like an amateur
  • I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow
  • Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it
  • No nation is fit to sit in judgement upon any other nation

Walter Winchell 1897-1972

  • [on Hollywood] A place where they shoot too many pictures and not enough actors

Lizz Winstead 1961

  • I think, therefore I'm single

John Wooden 1910-

  • Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do
  • Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability
  • Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are
  • Ability is a poor man's wealth
  • If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes
  • Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out
  • You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one
  • The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones
  • A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment

Virginia Woolf 1882-1941

  • [of James Joyce's Ulysses] The work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples

Thomas Cardinal Wolsey 1471-1530

  • Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out





Edward Young 1683-1765

  • Some, for renown, on scraps of learning dote, And think they grow immortal as they quote
  • Be wise with speed; A fool at forty is a fool indeed
  • Be wise today: 'this madness to defer
  • Learning makes a man fit company for himself

Henry Youngman 1906-1998

  • Humor is the shortest distance between two people





Scott Adams 1957

  • If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it's done

Jeremy S. Anderson

  • There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: L.S.D. and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence

Isaac Asimov 1920-1992

  • I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them

Dick Brandon

  • Documentation is like sex: when it is good, it is very, very good; and when it is bad, it is better than nothing

Joseph Campbell 1904-1987

  • Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy

Seymour Cray 1925-1996

  • If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use? Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?
  • Memory is like an orgasm. It's a lot better if you don't have to fake it (on virtual memory)

E.W. Dijkstra 1930-2002

  • Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes
  • Testing can show the presence of errors, but not their absence

Rear Admiral Dr Grace Hopper 1906-1992

  • It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission

Linus Torvalds 1969

  • Software is like sex: it's better when it's free
  • Only wimps use tape backup: _real_ men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it


  • Programming today is a race between software engineers stirring to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning

Bill Gates 1955

  • I see little commercial potential for the Internet for at least ten years
    (said in 1994)

Peter Norton 1943

  • Computer viruses are an urban myth
    (said in 1988)

C.A.R. Hoare 1934

  • I don't know what the language of the year 2000 will look like, but I know it will be called Fortran
    (said in 1982)

Ken Olsen, president (chairman and founder of DEC) 1926

  • There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home
    (said in 1977)

John von Neumann 1903-1957

  • It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in 5 years
    (said in 1949)

Maurice Wilkes 1913

  • As soon as we started programming, we found to our surprise that it wasn't as easy to get programs right as we had thought. Debugging had to be discovered. I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent finding mistakes in my own programs
    (said in 1948)

Thomas Watson (chairman of IBM) 1874-1956

  • I think there is a world market for maybe five computers
    (said in 1943)



Belgian Proverb

  • Experience is a comb that nature gives us when we are bald

Chinese Proverb

  • Learning is weightless... Treasure you always carry easily
  • Teachers open the door ... You enter by yourself
  • Falling hurts least those who fly low
  • Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up
  • Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand
  • He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever

Danish Proverb

  • He who is afraid of asking is ashamed of learning

French Proverbs

  • Marriages are made in heaven and are consummated on earth
  • Love makes the time pass. Time makes love pass

Greek proverb quote

  • A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in

Spanish Proverb

  • Love: What the fool does in the end, the wise man does in the beginning
  • A wise man changes his mind, a fool never

Swedish Proverb

  • Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours

Ukrainian Proverb

  • Love tells us many things that are not so




  • Darling only one more installment and Baby will be ours

Parkinson's Finding on Journals

  • The progress of science varies inversely with the number of journals published

Miss Piggy

  • Never eat more than you can lift

Unknown English Professor

  • I am not sure what this is, but an 'F' would only dignify it

English Professor, Ohio University

  • I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top

Kevin Carson and Nick Johnson

  • The Carson/Johnson Law of Human Behaviour: 80% of all questions that begin with the word 'why' can be answered with the simple sentence '[because] people are stupid.'

Proverbs 12:1-2 (TEV)

  • Anyone who loves knowledge wants to be told when he is wrong. It is stupid to hate being corrected

Ecclesiastes 7:5 (TEV)

  • It is better to have wise people reprimand you than to have stupid people sing your praises

Ecclesiastes 10:15 (TEV)

  • Only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work

Calvin (Calvin & Hobbes)

  • Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us

Niven and Pournelle - The Mote in God's Eye

  • It's a nitwit idea. Nitwit ideas are for emergencies. The rest of the time you go by the Book, which is mostly a collection of nitwit ideas that worked

Ace and The Doctor - Remembrance of the Daleks

  • "Doctor, we did good, didn't we?"
    "Perhaps. Time will tell. Always does."

Wall Street Record

  • Psychologists say people with hobbies don't go crazy but this doesn't apply to people they live with

Dunno where these came from, please let me know if you do

Dunno / Anonymous

  • You're only young once. How long that lasts is the question
  • Women who can, do. Those who cannot, become feminists
  • A foolish man tells a woman to stop talking, but a wise man tells her that her mouth is extremely beautiful when her lips are closed
  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing only when it is mistaken for a lot of knowledge
  • According to a recent survey, men say the first thing they notice about a woman is their eyes, and women say the first thing they notice about men is they're a bunch of liars
  • Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part
  • Don't attribute to malice that which can be better explained by stupidity
  • Don't get married. Find a woman you hate and buy her a house
  • Don't judge a book by its movie
  • Don't vote--it only encourages them!
  • Do not speak unless you can improve the silence
  • Early to bed--makes you healthy, wealthy and boring
  • Economics is called the dismal science, but that's just because most economists are dismal scientists
  • Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists
  • Education is the process of casting false pearls before real swine
  • Every time you see a beautiful woman, just remember, somebody got tired of her
  • Everyone tries to define this thing called Character. It's not hard. Character is doing what's right when nobody's looking
  • Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored
  • Food has replaced sex in my life, now I can't even get into my own pants
  • For those of you who think life is a joke, just think of the punchline
  • Forgive your enemies but never forget their names
  • Freedom is doing what you like, happiness liking what you do
  • Friends are God's way of apologizing to us for our families
  • Friends: people who borrow my books and set wet glasses on them
  • Garbage In, Gospel Out
  • Get even...with the people that have helped you
  • God, grant me the Senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference
  • God made woman beautiful and foolish; beautiful, that man might love her; and foolish, that she might love him
  • He who is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else
  • Going to school does not make a person educated, any more than going to a garage makes a person a car
  • He who tries to forget a woman, never loved her
  • History doesn't repeat itself. Historians merely repeat each other
  • How did a fool and his money get together in the first place?
  • I knew they could pile it pretty high and pretty deep, but I never knew they could get it to talk
  • In your life, you meet people. Some you never think about again. Some, you wonder what happened to them. There are some that you wonder if they ever think about you. And then there are some you wish you never had to think about again. But you do
  • I understand with love comes pain, but why did I have to love so much?
  • Ignorance is innocence - stupidity comes with experience
  • If I never met you, I wouldn't like you. If I didn't like you, I wouldn't love you. If I didn't love you, I wouldn't miss you. But I did, I do, and I will
  • Intelligence is what makes you useful ... Wisdom is what makes you tolerable
  • It has never been so bad, that it couldn't be worse
  • It is by chance that we met, by choice that we became friends
  • It's better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right
  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away
  • Love is a thousand miles long ... but comes in six inch instalments
  • Men forget but never forgive. Women forgive but never forget
  • Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you I had no control over
  • One kiss breaches the distance between friendship and love
  • Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional
  • Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it
  • Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime
  • Sex is like air; it's not important unless you aren't getting any
  • Silence is not always golden; sometimes it is yellow
  • Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same
  • Smile: it's the second best thing you can do with your lips
  • Success is largely a matter of holding on after others have let go
  • Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart
  • The best way to succeed in this world is to act on the advice you give to others
  • The problem with political jokes is they get elected
  • There are three kinds of people - those who can count and those who can't
  • True friendship isn't about being there when it's convenient; it's about being there when it's not
  • We rate ability in men by what they finish, not by what they attempt
  • Wisdom is scar tissue in disguise
  • You don't love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her
  • You know that you are in love when the hardest thing to do is say good-bye!!