humor / quotes

Humorous and Inspiration Quotes–Part II

funny quotesHere’s the second half of this post (click for Part I).  Keep these in a file on your desktop. Visit when you’re stuck. You’ll find inspiration for a character, motivations, or just a clever turn-of-phrase (which you can’t copy, but can be prodded with). Enjoy!

“Vote early and vote often.”

- Al Capone (1899-1947)


“If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”

- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)


“Few things are harder to put up with than a good example.”

- Mark Twain (1835-1910)


“Hell is other people.”

- Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)


“I am become death, shatterer of worlds.”

- Robert J. Oppenheimer (1904-1967) (citing from the Bhagavad Gita, after witnessing the world’s first nuclear explosion)


“Happiness is good health and a bad memory.”

- Ingrid Bergman (1917-1982)


“Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.”

- Thomas Jones


“You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.”

- Al Capone (1899-1947)


“The gods too are fond of a joke.”

- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)


“Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.”

- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


“The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting.”

- Gloria Leonard


“It is time I stepped aside for a less experienced and less able man.”

- Professor Scott Elledge on his retirement from Cornell


“Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.”

- Robert Orben


“The cynics are right nine times out of ten.”

- Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)


“There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.”

- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)



“Attention to health is life’s greatest hindrance.”

- Plato (427-347 B.C.)

“Plato was a bore.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal.”

- Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

“I’m not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy.”

- Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

“Hemingway was a jerk.”

- Harold Robbins


“Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things.”

- Epictetus (55-135 A.D.)


“What about things like bullets?”

- Herb Kimmel, Behavioralist, Professor of Psychology, upon hearing the above quote (1981)


“How can I lose to such an idiot?”

- A shout from chessmaster Aaron Nimzovich (1886-1935)


“Not only is there no God, but try finding a plumber on Sunday.”

- Woody Allen (1935-)


“I don’t feel good.”

- The last words of Luther Burbank (1849-1926)


“Nothing is wrong with California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn’t cure.”

- Ross MacDonald (1915-1983)


“Men have become the tools of their tools.”

- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

- Mark Twain (1835-1910)


“It is now possible for a flight attendant to get a pilot pregnant.”

- Richard J. Ferris, president of United Airlines


“I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.”

- Gore Vidal


“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying.”

- Woody Allen (1935-)


“Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all the other alternatives.”

- Abba Eban (1915-2002)


“To sit alone with my conscience will be judgment enough for me.”

- Charles William Stubbs


“Sanity is a madness put to good uses.”

- George Santayana (1863-1952)


“Imitation is the sincerest form of television.”

- Fred Allen (1894-1956)


“Always do right- this will gratify some and astonish the rest.”

- Mark Twain (1835-1910)


“In America, anybody can be president. That’s one of the risks you take.”

- Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)



“Copy from one, it’s plagiarism; copy from two, it’s research.”

- Wilson Mizner (1876-1933)


“Why don’t you write books people can read?”

- Nora Joyce to her husband James (1882-1941)


“Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.”

- T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)


“Criticism is prejudice made plausible.”

- Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)


“It is better to be quotable than to be honest.”

- Tom Stoppard


“Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting.”

- Karl Wallenda


“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”

- Sun Tzu


“A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.”

- Lao-Tzu (570?-490? BC)


” The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

- Alan Kay


“Never mistake motion for action.”

- Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)


“Hell is paved with good Samaritans.”

- William M. Holden


“The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.”

- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


“Silence is argument carried out by other means.”

- Ernesto”Che”Guevara (1928-1967)


“Well done is better than well said.”

- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)


“The average person thinks he isn’t.”

- Father Larry Lorenzoni


“Heav’n hath no rage like love to hatred turn’d, Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.”

- William Congreve (1670-1729)


“A husband is what is left of the lover after the nerve has been extracted.”

- Helen Rowland (1876-1950)


“Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century.”

- Perelman


“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”

- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


“There is a country in Europe where multiple-choice tests are illegal.”

- Sigfried Hulzer



“Ask her to wait a moment – I am almost done.”

- Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855), while working, when informed that his wife is dying


“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)


“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

- Thomas Watson (1874-1956), Chairman of IBM, 1943


“I think it would be a good idea.”

- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), when asked what he thought of Western civilization


“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)


“I’m not a member of any organized political party, I’m a Democrat!”

- Will Rogers (1879-1935)


“If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” “

- Will Rogers (1879-1935)


“The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.”

- Von Clausewitz (1780-1831)


“Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions – it only guarantees equality of opportunity.”

- Irving Kristol



“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977


“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”

- Bill Gates (1955-), in 1981


“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.”

- A Yale University management professor in response to student Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)


“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”

- H. M. Warner (1881-1958), founder of Warner Brothers, in 1927


“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962


“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”

- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899


“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”

- Mark Twain (1835-1910)


“A pint of sweat, saves a gallon of blood.”

- General George S. Patton (1885-1945)


“After I’m dead I’d rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.”

- Cato the Elder (234-149 BC, AKA Marcus Porcius Cato)


“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”

- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)


“Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.”

- last words of Pancho Villa (1877-1923)


“The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

- Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935)


“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”

- Tom Clancy


“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

- Mark Twain (1835-1910)


“It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”

- Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), “The Prince”



“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.”

- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)


“The President has kept all of the promises he intended to keep.”

- Clinton aide George Stephanopolous speaking on Larry King Live


“We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.”

- Jason Kidd, upon his drafting to the Dallas Mavericks


“Half this game is ninety percent mental.”

- Yogi Berra


“There is only one nature – the division into science and engineering is a human imposition, not a natural one. Indeed, the division is a human failure; it reflects our limited capacity to comprehend the whole.”

- Bill Wulf


“There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”

- Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964)


“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”

- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)


“I criticize by creation – not by finding fault.”

- Cicero (106-43 B.C.)


“Love is friendship set on fire.”

- Jeremy Taylor


“God gave men both a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.”

- Robin Williams, commenting on the Clinton/Lewinsky affair


“My occupation now, I suppose, is jail inmate.”

- Unibomber Theodore Kaczynski, when asked in court what his current profession was


“Woman was God’s second mistake.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)


“This isn’t right, this isn’t even wrong.”

- Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958), upon reading a young physicist’s paper


“For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.”

- Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)


“Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.”

- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)


“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

- Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)


“Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies.”

- Voltaire (1694-1778) on his deathbed in response to a priest asking that he renounce Satan.


“Fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run.”

- Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)


“He would make a lovely corpse.”

- Charles Dickens (1812-1870)


“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.”

- Irvin S. Cobb


“I worship the quicksand he walks in.”

- Art Buchwald


“Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.”

- Mark Twain (1835-1910)



“A poem is never finished, only abandoned.”

- Paul Valery (1871-1945)


“We are not retreating – we are advancing in another Direction.”

- General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964)


“If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use? Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?”

- Seymour Cray (1925-1996), father of supercomputing


“#3 pencils and quadrille pads.”

- Seymoure Cray (1925-1996) when asked what CAD tools he used to design the Cray I supercomputer; he also recommended using the back side of the pages so that the lines were not so dominant.


“I just bought a Mac to help me design the next Cray.”

- Seymoure Cray (1925-1996) when was informed that Apple Inc. had recently bought a Cray supercomputer to help them design the next Mac.


“Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis.”

- Pierre Laplace (1749-1827), to Napoleon on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God.


“I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don’t need.”

- Francois-Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), when asked how he managed to make his remarkable statues


“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.”

- Mark Twain (1835-1910)


“The truth is more important than the facts.”

- Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)


“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”

- Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)


“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)


“There are only 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 (1879-1955)


I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by
Author: Douglas Adams


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to TeachHUB and Today’s Author. In her free time, she is  editor of a K-6 technology curriculumK-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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10 thoughts on “Humorous and Inspiration Quotes–Part II

  1. Love these. I also collect worthy adages but you are far ahead of me. BTW, I used to save your articles in a folder shared with other pithy writers. But now you have your own folder on my computer.

  2. These are great. “Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things.” is one of my favourites!

    I remember seeing Oppenheimer say those words – what a broken man he was :(

  3. Pingback: 4 Tips for Writing Humor | WordDreams...

  4. Pingback: 4 Tips for Writing Humor « Jacqui Murray

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