Sayings

“Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise.
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a
paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same
reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary
lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”

–William Strunk, Jr.

“Dream what you want. Go where you want to go . Be what you want to be , because you have just one life . Have enough happiness to make your life sweet, difficulties to make it strong, sadness to make it human, and a lot of hope to make it happy.” Clarisse Lispector

“Always be a poet, even in prose.” ~ Charles Baudelaire

“You are not alone as long as you like the person you are alone with”.~ Wayne Dyer

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

“I love talking about nothing, its the only thing I know anything about.” Oscar Wilde

“It is a cliche that most cliches are true, but then like most cliches, that cliche is untrue” ~ Steven Fry

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” ~ Herman Melville

“True friends stab you in the front.”~ Oscar Wilde

“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“A joke is a very serious thing” ~Winston Churchill

“I would talk in iambic pentameter if it were easier.” Howard Nemorov

“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” ~ William Wallace

Edward R Murrow: We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always, that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear of one another, we will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. If we dig deep into our history and our doctrine, we will remember we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who dared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular…We can deny our heritage and our history but we cannot escape responsibility for the result…We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

Edward R. Murrow: We hardly need to be reminded that we are living in an age of confusion — a lot of us have traded in our beliefs for bitterness and cynicism or for a heavy package of despair, or even a quivering portion of hysteria. Opinions can be picked up cheap in the market place while such commodities as courage and fortitude and faith are in alarmingly short supply.

Edward R. Murrow: The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.

Stephen Fry: If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t there more happy people in the world?

Yet the biggest challenge in writing, the only one that really matters, is the one that EE Cummings articulated in 1958: “To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” If you can achieve that, then the other stuff may follow. If it doesn’t, it hardly matters.

Søren Kierkegaard: To be a teacher does not mean simply to affirm that such a thing is so, or to deliver a lecture, etc. No, to be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner. Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner, put yourself in his place so that you may understand what he understands and the way he understands it.

Søren Kierkegaard: The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted.

Søren Kierkegaard: Become perfectly silent — then shall the rest be added unto you.

Søren Kierkegaard: Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Søren Kierkegaard: The tyrant dies and his rule is over; the martyr dies and his rule begins.

Søren Kierkegaard: When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the world — no matter how imperfect — becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love

Søren Kierkegaard: People think the world needs a republic, and they think it needs a new social order, and a new religion, but it never occurs to anyone that what the world really needs, confused as it is by much learning, is a new Socrates.

Voltaire: What we find in books is like the fire in our hearths. We fetch it from our neighbours, we kindle it at home, we communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.

Voltaire: It is better to risk sparing a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.

Voltaire: Opinions have caused more ills than the plague or earthquakes on this little globe of ours.

Voltaire: There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.

Voltaire: Let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and is a living lesson.

Blaise Pascal: People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.

Blaise Pascal: Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in just the way in which our visual field has no limits.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: One might say: Genius is talent exercised with courage.

G.K. Chesterton: Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.

G.K. Chesterton: There is a certain poetic value, and that a genuine one, in this sense of having missed the full meaning of things. There is beauty, not only in wisdom, but in this dazed and dramatic ignorance.

G.K. Chesterton: The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.

G.K. Chesterton: To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

G.K. Chesterton: There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect. Men do not quarrel about the meaning of sunsets; they never dispute that the hawthorn says the best and wittiest thing about the spring.

G.K. Chesterton: There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.

G.K. Chesterton: A man cannot be wise enough to be a great artist without being wise enough to wish to be a philosopher.

G.K. Chesterton: The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.

Muhammad Ali: We have one life; it soon will be past; what we do for God is all that will last.

Muhammad Ali: God will not place a burden on a man’s shoulders knowing that he cannot carry it.

Albert Einstein: Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Albert Einstein: A person who is religiously enlightened appears to me to be one who has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings, and aspirations to which he clings because of their superpersonal value…a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance and loftiness of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation. They exist with the same necessity and matter-of-factness as he himself.

Albert Einstein: Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.

Alfred Lord Tennyson: Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.

Malcolm X: Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.

John Keats: I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of imagination — what the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth — whether it existed before or not.

John Keats: Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know

William Butler Yeats: I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

William Butler Yeats: Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Winston Churchill: I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Chaos and Theory to the firm ground of Reason and Fact.

Winston Churchill: Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.

Winston Churchill: I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.’ We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: it is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory. Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

Winston Churchill: Hitler is a monster of wickedness, insatiable in his lust for blood and plunder. Not content with having all Europe under his heel or else terrorized into various forms of abject submission, he must now carry his work of butchery and desolation among the vast multitudes of Russia and of Asia. The terrible military machine which we and the rest of the civilized world so foolishly, so supinely, so insensately allowed the Nazi gangsters to build up year by year from almost nothing-this machine cannot stand idle, lest it rust or fall to pieces. It must be in continual motion, grinding up human lives and trampling down the homes and the rights of hundreds of millions of men. Moreover, it must be fed not only with flesh but with oil. So now this bloodthirsty guttersnipe must launch his mechanized armies upon new fields of slaughter, pillage and devastation … The Nazi regime is indistinguishable from the worst features of Communism. It is devoid of all theme and principle except appetite and racial domination. It excels in all forms of human wickedness, in the efficiency of its cruelty and ferocious aggression … We have but one aim and one irrevocable purpose. We are resolved to destroy Hitler and every vestige of the Nazi regime. From this nothing will turn us – nothing. We will never parley. We will never negotiate with Hitler or any of his gang. We shall fight him by land. We shall fight him by sea. We shall fight him in the air, until with God’s help we have rid the earth of his shadow and liberate its people from his yoke. Any man or state who fights Nazidom will have our aid. Any man or state who marches with Hitler is our foe.

Winston Churchill: We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.

Winston Churchill: Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us now. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”

Winston Churchill: The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day; but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power.

Winston Churchill: We ask no favours of the enemy. We seek from them no compunction. On the contrary, if tonight our people were asked to cast their vote whether a convention should be entered into to stop the bombing of cities, the overwhelming majority would cry, “No, we will mete out to them the measure, and more than the measure, that they have meted out to us.” The people with one voice would say: “You have committed every crime under the sun. Where you have been the least resisted there you have been the most brutal. It was you who began the indiscriminate bombing. We will have no truce or parley with you, or the grisly gang who work your wicked will. You do your worst – and we will do our best.” Perhaps it may be our turn soon; perhaps it may be our turn now. We live in a terrible epoch of the human story, but we believe there is a broad and sure justice running through its theme. It is time that the enemy should be made to suffer in their own homelands something of the torment they have let loose upon their neighbours and upon the world. We believe it to be in our power to keep this process going, on a steadily rising tide, month after month, year after year, until they are either extirpated by us or, better still, torn to pieces by their own people.

Winston Churchill: Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Winston Churchill: We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.

Winston Churchill: The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

Winston Churchill: In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Good Will.

Horatio Nelson: England expects that every man will do his duty.

Samuel Goldwyn: The harder I work, the luckier I get.

Epictetus: Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.

Oscar Wilde: Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.

Oscar Wilde: Simple pleasures are always the last refuge of the complex.

“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” Democritus

“Beauty is the first present nature gives to women and the first it takes away.” Fay Weldon

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One Response to Sayings

  1. Bob Hale says:

    Of course everything after the comma in that advice is, stricly speaking, unnecessary -possibly everything after the first full stop. Then again Strunk and White are well known for violating almost all of their own rules.

    Bob – who is gone but not forgotten. 🙂

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