Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category

Fun Fact Friday, Number Six Seven!

March 16, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “quotations.”  Do you know who originally said “Anyone who hates children and dogs can’t be all bad?”

Contrary to popular belief, it was NOT W.C. Fields, but rather, the teacher, scholar and humorist, Leo Roston, who delivered this line at a tribute dinner to honor W.C. Fields.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.


The Brain . . . !

March 8, 2018

. . . is definitely the most important organ in the body. It controls and coordinates everything.   But let’s take a look at some unconventional (and more humorous) definitions of the “brain,” shall we?

“Something that starts working the moment you’re born and doesn’t stop until you stand up to speak in public.”  (George Jessel)

“An apparatus with which we think we think.”  (Ambrose Bierce)

“An organ the starts working the moment you wake up, and doesn’t stop until you get to the office.”  (Robert Frost)

“An appendage of the genital glands.”  (Alexander King)

Source: The Cynics Dictionary, by Aubrey Dillon-Malone, p. 31-32.

“You May Fire When You Are Ready, Gridley . . . !”

March 3, 2018
GeoDeweyThese are the words spoken by Commodore George Dewey on May 1st of 1898, in the Battle of Manila Bay (in the Philippines) during the Spanish-American War to Captain Charles Vernon Gridley.  But were you aware that it wasn’t until March 3, 1899, that George Dewey became the very first person in the United States to hold the distinguishing rank of “Admiral of the Navy.”
“You may fire when you are ready, Gridley.”  ―George Dewey
Source/Notes:  To Charles Vernon Gridley – the captain of his ship – on 1 May 1898 – As quoted in: Washington Post, 3 October 1899.
Photo source:  By Admiral George Dewey, scanned from photogravure from 1899 book in Infrogmation own collection, and uploaded by Infrogmation to en:Wikipedia on 13 November 2002. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

The Art of Advertising!

February 8, 2018

I am certainly no expert when it comes to such things as advertising, but in today’s day and age with the amount of information available coupled with the speed with which it can be shared, the importance of good advertising cannot be over-emphasized.  However, on a lighter note, here are some noteworthy quotations on the topic of advertising (courtesy of The Cynic’s Dictionary, by Aubrey Dillon-Malone).  Enjoy!

Advertising is . . . .

“Legalized lying.”  (H.G. Wells)

“The greatest art form of the 20th century.”  (Marshall McLuhan)

“The most truthful part of a newspaper.”  (Thomas Jefferson)

“The cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if they’re worthless.”  (Sinclair Lewis)

“The rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.”  (George Orwell)

“The most fun you can have with your clothes on.”  (Jerry Della Femina)

The art of making whole lies out of half-truths.”  (Edgar A. Shoaff)


Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone, p. 7.

Coffee . . . !

January 7, 2018

Happy Sunday!  I have not always been a coffee drinker.  However, when I was required to work the midnight shift (over the course of several years) I developed a liking for this caffeinated beverage out of necessity.  It was a way to get the needed caffeine without getting all of the sugar that came along with the highly caffeinated sodas (I certainly wasn’t going to drink a diet soda).  And during the winter, when it is cold anyway, coffee just seems to be the natural choice.  Here are some of my favorite quotations about coffee.  Enjoy!

“Coffee . . . the favorite drink of the civilized world.”  (Thomas Jefferson)

“I love going to coffee shops and just sitting and listening.”  (Julia Roberts)

“My problem is I’m an addictive personality.  I can’t just have one coffee .  I can’t eat one piece of chocolate.”  (Guy Pearce) — Amen, I say!

“Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.”  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh)

Inadvertent Oxymoronica!

December 23, 2017

Inadvertent oxymoronica (defined as two contradictory words used together in one phrase) are those types of observations that happen totally by accident.  Prominent public figures are often the greatest source of these inadvertent quotable faux pas.  Let’s take a look at a few, shall we?

Marion Barry (former Mayor of Washington, DC)
“I am a great mayor; I am an upstanding Christian man; I am an intelligent man; I am a deeply educated man; I am a humble man.”

“There are two kinds of truth.  There are real truths and there are made-up truths.” (Following his drug arrest.)

“Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.”

John Bowman (District of Columbia City Councilman)
“If crime went down 100 percent, it would still be fifty times higher than it should be.”

George H. W. Bush (former President of the United States)
“I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them.”

“People say I’m indecisive, but I don’t know about that.”

George W. Bush (former President of the United States)
“I think anybody who doesn’t think I’m smart enough to handle the job is underestimating.”

“For a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times.”

“Presidents, whether things are good or bad, get the blame.  I understand that.”

“there’s no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead.”

“One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected.”

Gerald Ford (former President of the United States)
“If Lincoln were alive today, he’d roll over in his grave.”

Lyndon Johnson (former President of the United States)
“For the first time in history, profits are higher than ever before.”

Richard Nixon (former President of the United States)
We should respect Mexico’s right to chart its own independent course, provided the course is not antagonistic to our interests.”

Dan Quayle (former Vice-President of the United States)
“I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy.  But that could change.”

Ronald Reagan (former President of the United States)
“If you could add together the power of prayer of the people just in this room, what would be its megatonnage?”

Josesph McCarthy (former United States Senator)
“That’s the most unheard-of thing I ever heard of.”

Jesse Helms (former United States Senator)
“Democracy used to be a good thing, but it has now got into the wrong hands.”

Barbara Boxer (former United States Senator)
“Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’  But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.”

Source: oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe

Journalistic License!

November 8, 2017

Journalists have certainly been taking a beating lately over their style and method of reporting (fake news, biased/slanted, sensationalism, etc.).  So, I thought I would consult my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary, by Aubrey Dillon-Malone, to see how others have classified this profession.  Enjoy!

“A profession whose business is to explain to others what it personally does not understand.”  (Lord Northcliffe)

“Organized gossip.”  (Edward Eggleston)

“Survival of the vulgarist.”  (Oscar Wilde)

“A walk of life that consists of saying ‘Lord Jones is dead’ to people who didn’t know he was alive.”  (G.K. Chesterton)

“The ability to meet the challenge of filling space.”  (Rebecca West)

“The only thinkable alternative to working.”  (Jeffrey Barnard)

“The last refuge of the literary mediocre.”  (Brendan Behan)

“A man who lies in the sun all day, then goes home to his typewriter to lie some more.”  (Frank Sinatra)

Let’s Travel!

October 7, 2017

I ran across a couple of travel-related quotations the other day and decided that they were worth sharing.  I’ve always been a fan of travel (and try to do so at every available opportunity), so for me this is second nature, but for most of the U.S. population, vacation seems to be a dirty word as we slave away at our jobs without taking the necessary steps to take care of ourselves.

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.’  (Unknown)

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Here are some interesting articles on the state of our vacations:

Yikes!  Don’t you think it is time for a vacation?  Plan one just for the health of it!  You won’t regret it.

We Are All Endowed . . . !

September 7, 2017

According to Stephen Covey . . .

“Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

Let’s look at these individually, shall we?

  • Self-awareness represents our capacity for introspection and our ability to recognize our unique personality and character (individuality from everyone else).
  • Conscience represents our ability to differentiate right from wrong; an awareness of the morality of our behaviors.
  • Independent will represents our capacity to act; to act based upon some guiding principle as opposed to reacting to emotion or circumstances.
  • Creative imagination represents the ability to form mental images or concepts of things not physically present to your senses.

Let’s use these endowments to choose, respond, and change in a productive manner.

Historical Fiction at Its Best!

August 23, 2017

The time has come for me to once again re-read the The Far Pavilions (which I do every three-to-four years for pure entertainment).  An epic novel of British-Indian history that was originally published in 1978 by M. M. Kaye (Mary Margaret).  I cannot explain exactly why I find this read so enthralling except for the possible reason that I’m a hopeless romantic deep down inside and enjoy the total “escapism” by reliving the story over and over.  It is by no means a quick read, either.  At just under 1,000 pages, this tome is a major undertaking, but is worth every treasured moment as I’m transported to nineteenth-century India for many evenings of adventure and romance.

In the opinion of Nancy Banks-Smith (critic for The Guardian), this book is “One of those big, fat paperbacks, intended to while away a monsoon or two, which, if thrown with a good overarm action, will bring a water buffalo to its knees.” (on 4 January 1984)

Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, category: Books, entry #2, p. 41.