This is a collection of quotes that is still growing. If you have any comments on
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This page was filled on May 1, 2002

"Just the omission of Jane Austen's books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it." - Mark Twain

"Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, prepare to die." - Klingon proverb

"Mathematics is the science of what is clear by itself." - Carl Jacobi

"He is such an honest man, you could shoot craps with him over the phone." - Earl Wilson

"Some of us learn from other peoples mistakes. The rest of us are the other people." - Anonymous

"My grandfather used to make home movies and edit out the joy." - Richard Lewis

"The true opposite of love is not hate but indifference." - Joseph Fletcher

"I got in a fight one time with a really big guy and he said 'I'm going to mop the floor with your face.' I said, 'You'll be sorry.' He said, 'Oh yeah? Why?' and I said, 'Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well.'" - Emo Phillips

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." - Mignon McLaughlin

"Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch." - Robert Orben

"Let's get one thing straight. The police are not here to create disorder. They are here to preserve disorder." - Chicago Mayor Richard Daley

"The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see." - Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

"He's very clever, but sometimes his brains go to his head." - Margot Asquith

"How wonderful it is to say the right thing at the right time... A good man thinks before he speaks; the evil man pour out his evil words without a thought." - Proverbs 15:23,28

"When something is 'new and improved', which is it? If it's new, then there has never been anything before it. If it's an improvement, then there must have been something before it." - George Carlin

"Maturity begins when we're content to feel we're right about something without feeling the necessity to prove someone else wrong." - Sydney J. Harris

"Save the world from unfulfilled potential." - Anonymous

"It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating." - Oscar Wilde

"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference." - Elie Wiesel

"I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in." - Virginia Woolf

"In some cases, non-violence requires more militancy than violence." - Cesar Chavez

"The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world." - Max Born

"Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world." - Jane Addams

"Compassion for the suffering of others is not weakness. Acting from compassion when those around you do not takes more courage and strength of character than going along with everyone else's cruelty." - Norman Phelps

"The more you see what other people do, the more you learn about yourself." - Isaac Bashevis Singer

"Helen: We're not laughing at you, we're laughing with you.
Joy: But I'm not laughing." - Happiness

"In some circumstances, the refusal to be defeated is a refusal to be educated." - Margaret Halsey

"If you love something, set it on fire. If it still comes back to you, then it really loves you, and deserves whatever it gets." - Arthur Levesque, (stolen from Ruminations)

"[O]nce grant the ethics of the vivisectionists and you not only sanction the experiment on the human subject, but make it the first duty of the vivisector. If a guinea pig may be sacrificed for the sake of the very little that can be learnt from it, shall not a man be sacrificed for the sake of the great deal that can be learnt from him?" - George Bernard Shaw, The Doctor's Dilemma

"It does not do to leave a Dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him." - J.R.R. Tolkien

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray'. We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." - Desmond Tutu

"Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave, when they think that their children are naive." - Ogden Nash

"You know, you guys are amazing. You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth!" - Three Days of the Condor

"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore." - Mark Twain

"I should probably take these clams out of my pocket." - Sadie K.

"Joel Cairo: You always have a very smooth explanation.
Sam Spade: What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?" - The Maltese Falcon

"If your mother says she loves you, get a second opinion." - Primal Fear

"History is full of people who out of fear, or ignorance, or lust for power have destroyed knowledge of immeasurable value which truly belongs to us all. We must not let it happen again." - Carl Sagan, Cosmos

"All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy." - Spike Milligan

"The people who say you are not facing reality actually mean that you are not facing their idea of reality. Reality is above all else a variable. With a firm enough commitment, you can sometimes create a reality which did not exist before." - Margaret Halsey

"May your teeth get angry and chew off your head." - Yiddish curse

"There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it." - William James

"The world, we are told, was made especially for man, a presumption not supported by all the facts." - John Muir

"Friends with benefits? More than friends? Don't sample the goodies unless you're willing to risk addiction and withdrawal." - Ann Landers

"Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are like us.' Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are not like us.' Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction." - Professor Charles R. Magel

"There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts." - Voltaire

"Am I motivated by what I really want out of life or am I mass-motivated?" - Earl Nightingale

"Gates's net wealth is greater than the combined net worth of the poorest 40% of Americans (112,000,000 people)." - Ralph Nader

"When my mother makes out her income tax return every year, under occupation she writes in, "Eroding my daughter's self-esteem." - Robin Roberts

"Frank Drebin: When I see five weirdos stabbing a guy in broad daylight, I shoot the bastards. That's my policy.
Mayor: That was a Shakespeare In The Park production, you moron! You killed five actors! Good ones!" - Naked Gun

"The discipline of emptying your mind is as important as the discipline of filling it." - De La Vega

"People who talk a lot about their victimization make me uncomfortable. It's as if they use their suffering as weapons or badges of some kind." - Joy Kogawa, Obasan

"No matter how many times you take that career-determination test, it still comes out saying 'kangaroo.'" - My (Cancer's) horoscope in The Onion on 3/6/02

"Myth is someone else's religion." - Caroline Llewellyn, The Lady of the Labyrinth

"A child born to a Black mother in a state like Mississippi... has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It's not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for." - Thurgood Marshall

"I have always imagined that paradise would be a kind of library." - Jorge Luis Borges

"Good morning Pooh Bear. If it is a good morning. Which I doubt." - Eeyore (A.A. Milne)

"I zipped up my mouth with my tongue but forgot that my eyes were undone." - Headless Chickens

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

"'Why is everyone here so happy except me?'
'Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere' said the master.
'Why don't I see goodness and beauty everywhere?'
'Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.'" - Anthony DeMello

"I have a lot of Irish friends and they're all nuts. So at least if you're an eighth Irish then you're half sane." - Q32 bus driver to me on Saturday night

"Next week I'm going to get an MRI to find out if I have claustrophobia." - Steven Wright

"The government is unresponsive to the needs of the little man. Under 5'7", it is impossible to get your congressman on the phone." - Woody Allen

"I'm a hopeless romantic trapped in a cynic's body." - Ariel Bierbaum

"'Maybe,' I said feebly, 'he's trying to be conciliatory and see the point of view of the other side. Or maybe he believes the welfare of the whole is more important than the welfare of the part and the fears of the collective can only be calmed by the sacrifice of a minority. Isn't that the way it's always been?'
'Some people,' Aunt Emily answered sharply, 'are so busy seeing all sides of every issue that they neutralize concern and prevent necessary action. There's no strength in seeing all sides unless you can act where real measurable injustice exists. A lot of academic talk just immobilizes the oppressed and maintains oppressors in their position of power.'" - Joy Kogawa, Obasan

"You have to remember to change your maggots regularly." - Sadie K.

"America is a country where they have freedom of speech but everyone says the same thing." - Alexis Tocqueville

"In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from." - Peter Ustinov

"He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it." - Douglas Adams

"Among the varieties of American innocence that were lost on September 11, perhaps the most intriguing was the mass discovery of what it feels like to be hated. 'How can they hate us,' people asked, 'just because we're Americans, when they don't even know us?' Well, I thought, welcome to my world. People hate homosexuals all the time, across great distances, from places where they feel threatened by us even though most of us would never contemplate living there." - Michael Schwartz, The Gay & Lesbian Review

"Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don't know what your rights are, or who the person is you're talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door." - Jack Handey

"Maybe we become New Yorkers the day we realize that New York will go on without us." - Colson Whitehead, New York Times Magazine

"It is nearly 50 years since I was assured by a conclave of doctors that if I did not eat meat I should die of starvation." - George Bernard Shaw

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Gandhi

"In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults." - Thomas Szasz

"The opportunity to do mischief is found a hundred times a day." - Voltaire

"A good way to keep a mob of peasants from killing your monster is when they break into your castle, make them be real quiet, then open a door and there's the monster, sound asleep." - Jack Handey

"A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends." - Baltasar Gracian

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." - Blaise Pascal

"I think that on balance the moral influence of religion has been awful. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil, that takes religion." - Prof. Steven Weinberg

"There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have." - Don Herold

"An idea isn't responsible for the people who believe in it." - Andrew Jackson

"There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham." - Anna Sewell

"We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends." - Sir Francis Bacon

"I really do think we are watching two old, stubborn men who have had a lifetime hatred of each other being played out on a scene where hundreds of people are endangered and people are dying... They need to forget their personal animosity and think about the national interests of their people." - Madeleine Albright (on Arafat and Sharon)

"Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity." - Eric Hoffer

"Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs." - P.J. O'Rourke

"Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so." - Lord Chesterfield

"I like to see you move with the rhythm; I Like to see when you're dancin' from within." - Bob Marley

"North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms has signed a deal with Random House to write his memoirs. Scholars will no doubt benefit from the reflections of a man who was wrong on every major issue for 40 years. Helms' aides say the proceeds from the book will be donated to the non-profit Jesse Helms Center where they apparently have more experience burning than publishing them."- Paul Begala, Crossfire

"Bank failures are caused by depositors who don't deposit enough money to cover losses due to mismanagement." - Dan Quayle

"Charming villains have always had a decided social advantage over well-meaning people who chew with their mouths open." - Miss Manners (Judith Martin)

Graffiti on a wall:
"My mother made me a lesbian."
Added below, in a different hand:
"If I buy the wool, will she make one for me?"

"The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynn Lavner

"Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow." - Steven Wright

"They have to convert our agenda into something aggressive. Two guys wanting to be happy together are invading their marriages. Helping a kid who's getting beaten up at school is promoting homosexuality. If you gave me a million dollars, I wouldn't know how to promote homosexuality. Do I hire Don King?" - U.S. Rep. Barney Frank

"The craving to change the world is perhaps a reflection of the craving to change ourselves." - Eric Hoffer

"The man who never makes a mistake always takes orders from one who does." - Daisy Bates

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." - Albert Einstein

"Do your bit to save humanity from lapsing back into barbarity by reading all the novels you can." - Richard Hughes

"You're waiting for someone to put you together. You're waiting for someone to push you away. There's always another wound to discover. There's always something more you wish he'd say. He's everything you want, he's everything you need, he's everything inside of you that you wish you could be. He says all the right things at exactly the right time, but he means nothing to you and you don't know why." - Vertical Horizon

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Signature quotes
Alphabetical index of quotes