Sayings & Quotations

These are some sayings that I like.

Categories:


Advice

Always try to do things in chronological order; it's less confusing that way.
-- Anonymous

Stop repeat offenders.  Don't re-elect them!
-- Anonymous

Keep true to the dreams of thy youth.
-- Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

Women are like tricks by slight of hand,
Which, to admire, we should not understand.
-- William Congreve (1670-1729)

The man who makes no mistakes, does not usually make anything.
-- Edward John Phelps (1822-1900) {another source attributes this to Theodore Roosevelt}

Take only what you need, and leave the land as you found it.
-- Unknown native North American to The White Man

A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a unicorn.
-- Anonymous

Tell me and I'll forget.  Show me, and I may not remember.  Involve me, and I'll understand.
-- Native American Proverb

It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
-- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Do or do not; there is no try.
-- Yoda (Star Wars)

He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.
-- Chinese Proverb

Always do right.  This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
-- Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835-1910)

Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own.
You may both be wrong.
-- Anonymous

What is the use of straining after an amiable view of things, when a cynical view is most likely to be the true one?
-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Money won't buy you happiness, but it will let you look for it in fancier places.
-- Isaiah Edwards, character on "Little House on the Prairie"

Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)

If we are ever in doubt about what to do, it is a good rule to ask ourselves what we shall wish on the morrow that we had done.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)

When we have done our best, we should wait the result in peace.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  Then quit.  There's no point in being a damn fool about it.
-- W.C. Fields

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.  With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.  He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"


Canadian

Uniformity is neither desirable nor possible in a country the size of Canada.  We should not even be able to agree upon the kind of Canadian to choose as a model, let alone persuade most people to emulate it.  There are few policies potentially more disastrous for Canada than to tell all Canadians that they must be alike.  There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian.  What could be more absurd than the concept of an "all-Canadian" boy or girl?  A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.  A society which eulogizes the average citizen is one which breeds mediocrity.  What the world should be seeking, and what in Canada we must continue to cherish, are not concepts of uniformity but human values: compassion, love, and understanding.
-- Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Remarks at the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress, October 9, 1971.


Human Nature

Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity.
-- Nick Diamos

I am free of all prejudice.  I hate everyone equally.
-- W.C. Fields

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

What on earth would a man do with himself if something did not stand in his way?
-- H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

If at first you succeed, try to hide your astonishment.
-- Harry F. Banks (1896-1915)

The most difficult secret for a man to keep is his own opinion of himself.
-- Marcel Pagnol

What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you.
-- Seneca (4 BC/AD. 1-65)

No humiliation is complete without witnesses.
-- Anonymous

A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
-- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand.
-- Plato (c. 429-347 BC)

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Egotism is the anaesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.
-- Anonymous

It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
-- F.P. Jones

To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.
-- Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

The stars have not dealt me the worst they could do:
My pleasures are plenty, my troubles are two.
But oh, my two troubles they reave me of rest,
The brains in my head and the heart in my breast.
-- A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise.
-- Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

The past is rarely remembered in its full entirety.
-- Bruce A. Johnson

Imagination is a poor substitute for experience.
-- Havelock Ellis

Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.
-- Anonymous (Finagle's Fourth Law)

In designing any type of construction, no overall dimension can be totalled correctly after 4:40 pm on Friday.
-- Anonymous (Law of the lost inch)

Wisdom has taught us to be calm and meek,
To take one blow, and turn the other cheek;
It is not written what a man shall do
If the rude caitiff smite the other too!
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

The human fascination with "fun" has led to many tragedies in your short but violent history.  One wonders how your race has survived having so much "fun".
-- Tuvok (a Vulcan), in the Star Trek universe.

Weekends are for catching up with the life you missed during the week.
-- Anonymous

The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
-- Allan K. Chalmers

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly.  I said I don't know.
-- Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835-1910)

Celibacy is not hereditary.
-- First Law of Socio-Genetics

He who hesitates is not only lost but several miles from the next exit.
-- Anonymous

Of all the words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these... it might have been.
-- John Greenleaf Whittier

Truth, ever lovely, since the world began.
The foe of tyrants, and the friend of man.
-- Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)

A clear conscience is often the sign of a bad memory.
-- Anonymous

For some, every morning is the dawn of a new error...
-- Anonymous

It's hard to be nostalgic when you can't remember anything.
-- Anonymous

No one, not even lovers, are truly psychic, and everyone flounders around each other, misunderstanding, misinterpreting, sending out confusing signals.
-- Storm Constantine, from "Hermatech"

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.
-- Anonymous

A person is never happy except at the price of some ignorance.
-- Anatole France

On an occaision of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind.  It becomes a pleasure.
-- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895

What would men be without women? Scarce, sir ........ mighty scarce.
-- Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835-1910)

Why is it that you physicists always require so much expensive equipment?  Now the Department of Mathematics requires nothing but money for paper, pencils, and erasers...and the Department of Philosophy is better still.  It doesn't even ask for erasers.
-- Isaac Asimov (1920-92)

I used to be indecisive.  Now I'm not sure.
-- Anonymous

Oh beautiful, for smoggy skies,
  insecticided grain.
For strip-mined mountains majesty,
  above the asphalt plain.
America, America,
  man sheds his waste on thee.
And hides the pines with billboard signs,
  from sea to oily sea.
-- George Carlin's (May 12, 1937 - June 22, 2008), 1972 tribute to Industry.

A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-- Anonymous (Attributed to many people. Thus I attribute it to "Anonymous".)

It is an unfortunate reality that we humans like it when others admit their faults, but don't admire them for it.
-- Bruce A. Johnson


Intelligence (or lack thereof)

When a finger points at the moon, the imbecile looks at the finger.
-- Anonymous

Knowledge is proud that he has learn'd so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
-- William Cowper

The reason so many people get lost in thought is because it is unfamiliar territory to them.
-- Anonymous

One man that has a mind and knows it, can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.
-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

See the happy moron,
   He doesn't give a damn.
I wish I were a moron.
   My God! Perhaps I am.
-- Anonymous

Only two things are infinite -- the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe.
-- Albert Einstein

Any fool can know.  The point is to understand.
-- Albert Einstein

Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand.
-- Cardinal de Retz

If there's one thing that committees prove, it's that stupidity is contagious.
-- Bruce A. Johnson

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
-- Douglas Adams

The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his own way.
-- Josh Billings

A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him.
-- Nicholas Boileau

Get the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything.
-- Frank Dane

'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
-- Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835-1910)

Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas.
-- Keppel Enderbery, Former Australian cabinet minister

Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider than that!
-- George Carlin (May 12, 1937 - June 22, 2008)

Everybody is ignorant -- only on different subjects.
-- Will Rogers

A wise system of education will at last teach us how little man yet knows, how much he has still to learn.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)

The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)

Beauty without intelligence is like a masterpiece painted on a napkin.
-- Anonymous

In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.
-- Donny Miller

Safety rules to protect the individual should be eliminated. Those who expose themselves or their family members to life threatening danger should be allowed to, so can we eliminate the stupid and their progeny from our gene pool.

There are better things in life than alcohol, but alcohol makes up for not having them.
--Terry Pratchett


Life

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
-- Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Parentage is a very important profession; but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of children.
-- George Bernard Shaw

The mintage of wisdom is to know that rest is rust and that the real life is love, laughter, and work.
-- Elbert Hubbard

Losing is like fertilizer: it stinks for a while, then you get used to it.
-- Tony (Hibbing, Minnesota, USA)

Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.
-- Anonymous

Wanna know what makes me smile?
Theoretically, facial muscles.


Love

No person, symbol, or thing can represent love, they can only remind us of it.
-- Bruce A. Johnson

It doesn't take a genius to know that love is impossible to understand.
-- From "Doogie Howser, M.D." (T.V. show)

It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return, but what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel.
-- Anonymous

If the heart of a man is deprest with cares,
The mist is dispell'd when a woman appears.
-- John Gay (1685-1732)

Love's but a frailty of the mind
When 'tis not with ambition join'd.
-- William Congreve (1670-1729)

A crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.
-- Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

She is nor fair to outward view
    As many maidens be;
Her loveliness I never knew
    Until she smiled on me.
Oh! then I saw her eye was bright,
A well of love, a spring of light.
-- Hartley Coleridge

It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.
-- Anonymous

Love is the light and sunshine of life. We are so constituted that we cannot fully enjoy ourselves, or anything else, unless someone we love enjoys it with us. Even if we are alone, we store up our enjoyment in hope of sharing it hereafter with those we love.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)


Oddball

We are unable to announce the weather.  We depend on weather reports from the airport, which is closed, due to weather.  Whether we will be able to give you a weather report tomorrow will depend on the weather.
-- Arab News report

I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always agree with them.
-- George Bush, US President

The difference between a violin and a viola is that a viola burns longer.
-- Victor Borge

The most important leg of a three legged stool is the one that's missing.
-- Lyall's Fundamental Observation

And now the sequence of events in no particular order.
-- Dan Rather, television news anchor

All my life, I always wanted to be somebody.  Now I see that I should have been more specific.
-- Jane Wagner

It's just mind over matter.  When you're out of your mind, many things don't matter.

If I wanted to kill myself, I'd climb up your ego and jump down to your IQ level.


Pessimism

I was going to buy a copy of "The Power of Positive Thinking", but then I thought "What good would that do?"
-- Anonymous

The reward of energy, enterprise and thrift -- is taxes.
-- William Feather

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
-- James Branch Cabell (1879-1959), from "The Silver Stallion"

You know that light at the end of the tunnel?  Well, it's a train.
-- Anonymous

Good health is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
-- Anonymous

Twixt the optimist and pessimist
The difference is droll:
The optimist sees the doughnut
But the pessimist sees the hole.
-- McLandburgh Wilson, Optimist and Pessimist


Reality & The Universe

We will first understand
How simple the universe is
When we realize
How strange it is.
-- Anonymous

In an expanding universe, order is not really order, but merely the difference between the actual entropy exhibited and the maximum entropy possible.
-- Kim Stanley Robinson, from "Blue Mars"

The future is something you're stuck facing every day the universe doesn't end.
-- Anonymous

I don't think, therefore I am not.
-- Anonymous

I think, therefore I am . . . ?
Awake? Not drunk?
Oh, I give up! What's the answer?
-- Bruce A. Johnson

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second.  When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour.  That's relativity.
-- Albert Einstein

The universe is not hostile, nor is it friendly. It is simply indifferent.
-- John Haynes Holmes

I know the answer!  The answer lies within the heart of all mankind!  The answer is twelve?  I think I'm in the wrong building.
-- Charles Schulz

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny..."
--Isaac Asimov

Arthur C. Clarke's Three Laws:

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right.  When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Religion & Atheism

An atheist is a man with no invisible means of support.
-- John Buchan

The scientist alters his perception to conform to the facts;
The religious man tries to change the facts to conform to his beliefs.
-- Anonymous

If lightning is the anger of the gods, the gods are concerned mostly with trees.
-- Lao Tse

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, from "The Dawn" (1881)

A preacher's wife was proofreading her husband's Sunday sermon and wrote next to one paragraph: "Weak point-- shout loud".
-- Anonymous

Any belief worth having must survive doubt.
-- Anonymous

Traveller: God has been mighty good to your fields, Mr. Farmer.
Farmer: You should have seen how he treated them when I wasn't around.
-- Anonymous

Surgeon General's Warning: Quitting Religion Now Greatly Increases the Chances of World Peace.

Archeologists near Mount Sinai have discovered what is believed to be a missing page from the Bible and is believed to read "To my darling Candy.  All characters portrayed within this book are fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental".
-- Anonymous

Organized religion is a sham and crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.
-- Jesse Ventura, Governor of Minnesota, and ex-pro-wrestler

A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
-- Carl Sagan

The surest way to get a man to kill others, is to tell him he will go to heaven if he does so.
-- Anonymous

A society without religion is like a crazed psychopath without a loaded gun.
-- Anonymous

"The world holds two classes of men -- intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."
-- Abu'l-Ala-Al-Ma'arri (973-1057; Syrian poet)

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
-- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation.  It is the opium of the people.
-- Carl Marx: Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, 1843

Our duty is to believe that for which we have sufficient evidence, and to suspend our judgment when we have not.
-- Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (April 30, 1834 - May 28, 1913)

Say what you will about atheism, but at least it does not justify violence.
-- Bruce A. Johnson

 

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