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.
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
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.
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.
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).]
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).]
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.
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).]
"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).]
"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
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."
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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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."
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."
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:
quote:You've got to get the fundamentals down, because otherwise the fancy stuff is not going to work.
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.
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.
quote:Complaining doesn't work as a strategy.
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.
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.