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Author Topic: Quotes
Meredith
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Sometimes, I collect quotes. You never know what's going to spark an idea--or at least get a laugh.

Any of you that have e-mailed me lately know that my current signature includes this quote from Sydney Smith

quote:
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little.

My favorite that I ran across this week is from George Bernard Shaw.

quote:
When two people are under the influence of the most violent, the most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition until death do them part.

A little cynical, perhaps. But then again, there might be an idea in there.

Does anyone else have a favorite quote?


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Zero
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Everyone has the ability to brighten up a room. Some by entering, others by leaving it.

(Can't remember whose it is, but it isn't mine.)

[This message has been edited by Zero (edited March 18, 2009).]


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extrinsic
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I've twisted one so far out of its orginal sources that I'll claim it as mine.

No one's insane: Everyone's insane. The only one I'm uncertain of is me.


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KayTi
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I love one that someone I know uses in a sig, but not sure who and not sure of the exact wording but it's something like:

Stories are important not because they tell us that dragons could exist, but that they can be beaten.


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extrinsic
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Another one I partially claim as my own;

"Cogito, ergo sum. I think, therefore I am." Reality is all that which once I stop thinking about it continues to exist.


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snapper
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Here is one from the Great Prince Phillip, dear hubby of Elizabeth. He made this statement to a driving instructor from Scotland.

quote:
How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to take the test?

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Meredith
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quote:
I've twisted one so far out of its orginal sources that I'll claim it as mine.
No one's insane: Everyone's insane. The only one I'm uncertain of is me.

LOL. My father quoted something like that as

quote:
All the world is mad save me and thee. And sometimes I wonder about thee.

And, since we've entered the world of my father's sayings. Here's one for the fantasy writers among us.

quote:
Yesterday upon the stair,
I met a little man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
My God, I wish he'd go away!

[This message has been edited by Meredith (edited March 19, 2009).]


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AmieeRock
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This is one of my favorites. It's something I think of when I'm deciding what to read or what to write.

"I often hear people say that they read to escape reality, but I believe that what they’re really doing is reading to find reason for hope, to find strength. While a bad book leaves readers with a sense of hopelessness and despair, a good novel, through stories of values realized, of wrongs righted, can bring to readers a connection to the wonder of life. A good novel shows how life can and ought to be lived. It not only entertains but energizes and uplifts readers."
— Terry Goodkind


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Meredith
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Another one of Dad's that seems particularly appropriate in these economic times.

quote:
The pendulum swings both ways.

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Andromoidus
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this was on the dedication to One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest:

to my loving doctor,
who taught me that dragons dont exist,
and then led me to their cave.


not sure thats the right wording, but its pretty close.


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JohnMac
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"Remember: No matter where you go, there you are."

Dr Buckaroo Banzai.


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Bent Tree
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quote:
“Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors and miss.”

From the 'Notebook of Lazarus Long' by: Robert Heinlein

This by the way is plumb full of great quotes.


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Bent Tree
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quote:
That I did not fail was due in part to patience....

-Jane Goodall-


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Troy
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quote:
Reality is all that which once I stop thinking about it continues to exist.

extrinsic, that's Philip K. Dick.

[This message has been edited by Troy (edited March 22, 2009).]


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BenM
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I'm somewhat a fan of GK Chesterton quotes.

quote:
Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it.

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extrinsic
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Troy, Philip K. Dick's says "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Edited to add: Whoops, forgot to include a source; "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later." (1978) A nonfiction op-ed commentary. http://deoxy.org/pkd_how2build.htm

[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited March 22, 2009).]


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Troy
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Yeah.....? I mean, I realized yours was a paraphrase, but I thought it was just that you had forgotten where it came from. It didn't occur to me that you were stealing it. Changing out a word or two and claiming a brilliant quote as your own without substantively changing the meaning, and without having arrived to the concept independently of the original source ... Well, it just doesn't work. That's PKD's concept, thought, and quote.

You can't take an existing quote, purposefully alter it, and then say you came up with it.


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extrinsic
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Actually, I coined my definition of reality the same year Dick published his, but independently of his. Yes, I remember. It was during a happy-hour philosophy discussion in a barroom. I remember the persons present and their names. I remember who the bartender was and her name, who also participated in the discussion. I remember the purpose of the discussion. A graduate philosophy student was doing field research for a term paper that required public interviews. The rubric he presented was to define reality in a way that encompassed all possibilities and didn't use a negating adverb like not. He liked mine because it was personal in a Cartesian existentialist way.

I didn't paraphrase Dick's definition, it is my own. He was at the time a continent away from me, though, according to Dick, he did coin his definition five years ealier. It would be a decade before I encountered Dick's definition.

[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited March 22, 2009).]


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Troy
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Why didn't you say so?
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extrinsic
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I partially did. Descarte's widely-known famous quote and translation isn't mine. It does relate to my definition of reality, though. When I stop thinking about myself and think about others, which does occur from time to time, I continue to exist. Therefore: I too am real.

[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited March 22, 2009).]


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Troy
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But when you post that on a board of mostly science fiction writers, you have to know that a good percentage of them have probably read that (very famous) article by Philip K. Dick -- and (since you have also read it) you also have to know that they will recognize the quote as PKD's -- whether you arrived at it independently or not. And therefore some explanation is probably in order, just as a matter of simple pragmatism, when you post your version of the quote.

Just sayin'.


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extrinsic
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I have to do no such thing, not in my reality.

Here's another personal quote, this one inspired by a biblical source. I've been kicking it around for months and finally got it right earlier today. Tragically, its timing is unfortunately coincidental. However, it's intended for a military story I'm working on that's going along quite well in rewrites. Just sharing.

He who would bend a lion on his rear better have a sharp pair of gelding shears.

[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited March 23, 2009).]


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Troy
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I don't buy it.
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Andromoidus
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Robin Williams once said:

Golf is a sport where a white guy can dress up like a black pimp and get away with it.


lol.
sadly, hes right.


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Zero
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Maybe I'm not crazy, maybe I'm going sane in a crazy world!
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Andromoidus
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I love that quote, man!

sorry, forgot about the quote.

someone (cant remember who), found on his deathbed reading a bible:

Im looking for loopholes.

also,

I once chased a girl for two years before I realized that we had a lot alike, we were both crazy about girls.

[This message has been edited by Andromoidus (edited March 23, 2009).]


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CABaize
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I've always been partial to:

"Seek not, my soul, the life of the immortals; but enjoy to the full the resources that are within thy reach." -Pindar

Of course, something more appropriate to the venue might be:

"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterward." -Robert Heinlein

I love quotes. I have a million of them hiding in almost as many files on my computers... somewhere.


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InarticulateBabbler
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"Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy. " - George Carlin

"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little." - George Carlin

"I have a suggestion that I think would help fight serious crime. Signs. There are lots of signs for minor infractions: No Smoking, Stay Off the Grass, Keep Out, and they seem to work fairly well. I think we should also have signs for major crimes: Murder Strictly Prohibited, NO Raping People, Thank You for Not Kidnapping Anyone. It's certainly worth a try. " -George Carlin

"If God had intended us not to masturbate, He would have made our arms shorter." - George Carlin

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.'" - George Carlin

"Reading computer manuals without the hardware is as frustrating as reading sex manuals without the software." - Arthur C. Clarke

"I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters." - Frank Lloyd Wright

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde

"He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death." - H. H. Munro

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Alva Edison

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die." - Mel Brooks

"I would have made a good Pope." - Richard M. Nixon

"We started out a Rock and Roll Band f***ing around with drugs and ended up a Drug Band f***ing around with Rock and Roll." - Ozzy Ozbourne

"My favorite thing outside of a dog is a book. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

"Either my watch has stopped, or this man's dead!" - Groucho Marx

"From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." - General George Patton

"Few things are harder to put up with than a good example." - Mark Twain

"Happiness is good health and a bad memory." - Ingrid Bergman

And, the coup de gras:

"Attention to health is life's greatest hindrance." - Plato

"Plato was a bore." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal." - Leo Tolstoy

"I'm not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy." - Ernest Hemingway

"Hemingway was a jerk." - Harold Robbins

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited March 27, 2009).]


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Meredith
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New today:

quote:
Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.

Doug Larson

quote:
The reason worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.

Robert Frost

quote:
Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.

Arthur Miller

quote:
Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better.

John Updike

quote:
Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: You find the present tense, but the past perfect.

Owens Pomeroy

All thanks to THE WEEK


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InarticulateBabbler
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"If there is one sound the follows the march of humanity, it is the scream." David Gemmell

"Some people have a gift for stupidity, an almost mystic ability to withstand any form of logic." David Gemmell

"The louder they protested their innocence, the quicker we counted the silver." David Gemmell

The Code:
Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal.
These things are for lesser men.
Protect the weak against the evil strong.
And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the pursuit of evil.
Never back away from an enemy. Either fight or surrender.
It is not enough to say I will not be evil. Evil must be fought wherever it is found.- David Gemmell

Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason! - Anonymous

"I'm a 4-wheel-drive pickup type of guy. So is my wife."
- Mike Greenwell, Baseball player

"Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment and be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes." - Alexander Dumas, in The Count of Monte Cristo.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke.

"There are ony two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein.

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - TS Eliot.

"The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead." - Albert Einstein

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." -Albert Einstein

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein

"You have one advantage over me.....you can kiss my ass." - Anonymous

"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked in to jet engines" - Stephen Wright

"Flatley my dear, I dont riverdance" - Alan Partridge.

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - Robert A. Heinlein

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and have people assume you are an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt" - Abraham Lincoln

"Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be Happy" -Ben Franklin

"Kids, fiction is the truth inside the lie, and the truth of this fiction is simple enough: the magic exists." - Stephen King

"It takes a big chicken to pull a plough." - Anonymous

"I've spent all my money on booze, gambling and women - and the rest I wasted." - Unsure

Bye damned school! Bye my prisonhole!" - Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.

"There are three things, young gentleman, which you are to constantly bear in mind. First, you must implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own respecting their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and, thirdly, you must hate a Frenchman as you do the devil." - Horatio Nelson

“They say that policemen think that everyone is a criminal... I wonder if doctors think that everyone is just a bag of skin and bones waiting to burst apart all over them.” - Conn Iggulden


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extrinsic
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Always look Greek gift horses in the mouth.
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Andromoidus
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heres one from a courtroom: see if you can follow the question.

this was found at www.rinkworks.com/sid/courtroom.shtml

lots of funny stuff there.

Lawyer: "When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?"

Other Lawyer: "Objection. That question should be taken out and shot."


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extrinsic
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I've just finished copyediting a 100-page transcript with a dozen lawyers involved where the only speaker who's not talking in a circular maze of parentheticals and appositives and dependent clauses and adverbial clauses, and not a dangling modifier in the lot, is the judge, at least until he tenders his ruling on the motions. Yet copyediting is a vocation I've pursued that doesn't give me nightmares.
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tnwilz
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The problem with the publishing industry today is that too many people with half a mind to write a book, do.
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aspirit
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Writers are people who need more heroes than they see and more trust than they feel.

Now for a quote:
"Genius without education is like silver in the mine." Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanac


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Natej11
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Quote
"I often hear people say that they read to escape reality, but I believe that what they’re really doing is reading to find reason for hope, to find strength. While a bad book leaves readers with a sense of hopelessness and despair, a good novel, through stories of values realized, of wrongs righted, can bring to readers a connection to the wonder of life. A good novel shows how life can and ought to be lived. It not only entertains but energizes and uplifts readers."
— Terry Goodkind
/Quote

I find this quote very ironic coming from Terry Goodkind, considering his last few books in the series. That said, Naked Empire was one of the most stirring books I ever read.

Here's one I see a lot on various forums.

"Never argue with an idiot. He'll bring you down to his level and beat you with experience."


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Rommel Fenrir Wolf II
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my own quote from the RCP3 Rap grupe we had in Afganistain

"I got 556 all up in my magizeen so push me over the edge and i put them in your head, i got off missian filfy smelling trying to put food in my MF empty belly and that Captian asking me were my eye pro at, took a sec then i replied 'Look B i almost died i dont cair what you were told about pride i will slap you in your eye so get of my back unless you want to hear my gun go CLACK... end with lots of bad words...."

and another of my own quotes that i told sgt-maj

"I do what i want when ever i want when ever i feel i need to do it at with any meens nessory and there aint $#!@ you or any one can do about that, and when i get out in (at the time 10 months and 15 days) i will be high as a kite and not cairing about anything that you have ever told me."

those are my 2 faverit personal quots.

RFW2nd


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InarticulateBabbler
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"There was a man who was driven completely insane trying to take a close-up photograph of the horizon" - Steven Wright

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Zero
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"My opinion had changed, but not the fact that I am right." ~(Can't remember)
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I'm not sure why there are two topics on quotes here in the Grist for the Mill area, but I wanted to add some quotes from Randy Pausch's THE LAST LECTURE that I think apply wonderfully well to writing:

page 36:

quote:
You've got to get the fundamentals down, because otherwise the fancy stuff is not going to work.

page 73-74:

quote:
The brick walls are there for a reason. They're not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

page 112:

quote:
It is an accepted cliche in education that the number one goal of teachers should be to help students learn how to learn.

I always saw the value in that, sure. But in my mind, a better number one goal was this: I wanted to help students learn how to judge themselves.


page 139:

quote:
Complaining doesn't work as a strategy.

page 148:

quote:
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

It's a great book. One of those books you want to buy copies of and give to all of your friends. Since I can't do that, I decided to share some of the great thoughts with you all.


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philocinemas
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I was recently emailed these quotes - great stuff:

A graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults." - Louis Nizer (1902 -1994)

"I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here."
- Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
- Winston Churchill

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about." - Winston Churchill

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
- Irvin S. Cobb

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?" - Ernest Hemingway

"He has sat on the fence so long that the iron has entered his soul." - David Lloyd George

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas

"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."
- Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating

"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know." - Abraham Lincoln

"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt." - Robert Redford

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge." - Thomas Brackett Reed

"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them." - James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
- Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
- Mae West

"She is a peacock in everything but beauty." - Oscar Wilde

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
- Oscar Wilde

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support, rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)


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DWD
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I've noticed a few Twain quotes in here. I understand he would sit for hours working on a pithy quote until it sounded just right. One of my favorites, though, is one he spent no time on. In a letter to William Dean Howells after he had finished A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, he wrote
quote:
Well, my book is written--let it go. But if it were only to write over again there wouldn't be so many things left out. They burn in me; and they keep multiplying; but now they can't ever be said. And besides, they would require a library--and a pen warmed up in hell.

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Pyre Dynasty
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"When you declare something to be completely foolproof, you have underestimated the ingenuity of complete fools."

---Douglas Adams


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Jeff M
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I read a lot of inspiration quotes, and while I appreciate the truth and cleverness behind them, they don't always inspire me.

However, a couple of quotes from a former US president have stuck with me and resonate with me:

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
"The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything"
-- both by Theodore Roosevelt


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Come to think of it, you might describe my approach to moderating as having been inspired by something else Theodore Roosevelt is supposed to have said.


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philocinemas
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Kathleen, you're leaving yourself wide open with that comment.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Actually, philocinemas, it was intended as an exercise for the reader, but I appreciate your concern.

Therefore, I'll share the quote I was thinking of and eliminate all other possibilities:

quote:
Speak softly and carry a big stick.

Of course, my big stick is my magical power as moderator, and I try to use that power for good.


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