A Collection of Some of my Favourite Quotes

June 24, 2011

I like quotes. I collect them. If I come across a turn of phrase that catches my fancy, I jot it down. I’ve already put up a couple of my favourites on this site, but it’s been far too long since I’ve put up a new post in that category. I’ll do my best not to repeat past entries.

The following are in no particular order or theme. Some are funny, others bleak. Many are profound, and several are absurd. Where necessary, I have given some context, but hopefully most of them can stand on their own merits. Some make me think, others just make me smile. I enjoy all of them, and I hope you do too.

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson, Isaac Asimov’s Nightfall was inspired by this quote

“He didn’t say that. He was reading what was given to him in a speech.”

–Rich Darmen on President George W. Bush’s promise to save the wetlands

“If you cannot convince them, confuse them.”

–President Harry S. Truman

“I was under medication when I made the decision not to burn the tapes.”

–President Richard M. Nixon

“Even paranoid people have enemies.”

–Henry Kissinger

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Notable Quotes: On Censorship and Persecution

August 31, 2010

You'll never know what this button said, and the world is sadder for that.It occurs to me that I haven’t done a Notable Quotes entry in a long while, despite the fact that my first attempt at the category has proven to be one of the most visited posts of my blog (thanks in no small part, I’m sure, to a three-month window where the accompanying image made the Google Images front page whenever someone searched for ‘books’).

I like to collect quotes, both from famous personages and from my own acquaintances. For this entry I’ve decided to highlight a few well-formed words on censorship and persecution. Powerful things have been said about these issues, and I enjoy a turn of phrase that forces me to think about what I’ve just read or heard. As the Notable Quotes category is still an underdeveloped one I’m going to tinker with the format a little and put in an explanatory sentence or two about why I appreciate each one. A couple will be repeated from my earlier entries. Forgive me.

“They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Niemöller wrote this about the apathy of German intellectuals towards the rise of National Socialism. It’s not an exact quote because he said a number of different versions of it after his release from a death camp at the end of the Second World War. Still, the idea of standing idly by while something terrible happens just because it hasn’t happened to you yet is one that humbles me. I get a chill knowing I would have acted exactly as he acted, and I would have suffered for it just as he did. I wonder if I would have had the strength after my ordeal to admit I was wrong? I doubt it, but I appreciate the fact that I’m not likely to ever have that part of my character so tested.

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Notable Quotes: Alex Trebek!

November 29, 2009

Alex Trebek is one of those guys who you just know is cool in real life. I honestly think Alex Trebek isn’t playing a ‘game show host’ on Jeopardy. That’s just how he is. He doesn’t fake smile. Sometimes he’s patient with people who deserve some impatience –which a game show host has to do- but other than that, I think we’re seeing how Mr. Trebek really is. The following list of quotes only reinforces my opinion.

Most of these I found this on the internet a few years back and thought it was worth keeping. I’ve gone searching for their origin, and it seems to be from the March 2003 issue of Esquire. There’s a lot of quips and off the cuff stuff, but there’s also some real wisdom and depth. Also, I find casual swearing from a G-rated television personality very humanizing. Anyway, I think it’s a great collection of quotes, and I’m happy to have this forum to share it with you.
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Notable Quotes: On reading, writing, editing, and the publishing industry

October 27, 2009

booksThis is the first of another new category: Notable Quotes. Sometimes a turn of phrase really catches my fancy, and if I like it enough I write it down. Here’s a list of quotes I’ve found over the years that deal with reading, writing, editing, and the publishing industry.

“A classic is a book everyone wants to have read but no one wants to read.”

–Mark Twain

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