The Quote File

This is a collection of quotes I came across that I thought were profound, funny, thought-provoking, amusing, or otherwise worth saving. If you are the author of one of these quotes and would like me to change how your name appears or how the quote is formatted, let me know. If you find any misspelled words, broken links, or other errors, let me know .

Let the madness begin.

"Because of random drift, a population under selection does not ascend an adaptive peak smoothly. Instead, it takes an erratic course in the field of gene frequencies, like an oxygen-starved mountain climber."
-- Anthony J. F. Griffiths et al, An Introduction to Genetic Analysis (Sixth Edition)

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my works. I want to achieve it by not dying."
-- Woody Allen

"When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport: when a tiger wants to murder him, he calls it ferocity."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"We're naked in your mother's bed and it doesn't bother you at all?"
"No, should it?"
"Either you're much more well-adjusted or much sicker than I thought."
-- Halrloprillalar, "Tierce de Picardie"

The rain, it raineth all around
On both the just and unjust fella.
But more, it seemeth, on the just,
For the unjust hath the just's umbrella.
-- Anonymous

"Life goes on, even if two-headed and glowing faintly in the dark."
-- Ursula K. Le Guin

"The best index to a person's character is how he treats people who can't do him any good, and how he treats people who can't fight back."
-- Abigail Van Buren

"Sometimes you just need to look reality in the eye, and deny it."
-- Garrison Keillor

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it."
-- Stephen Leacock

"I don't long for a gender-free society, but I would dearly love one that wasn't gender-*stupid*."
-- Elise Matthesen (in alt.polyamory)

"Your fingernails are a joke, you've got no fangs, you can't see at night, your pink hides are ridiculous, your reflexes are nil, and you don't even have tails! Of course people aren't content! ... Now if tigers weren't content, that would be something to wonder about."
-- Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"

"Dressed in hunting shirts and armed with muskets with long, grooved barrels, they [early American revolutionaries] preferred to ambush their opponents or engage them in hand-to-hand combat rather than fight in traditional formations. They also tended to kill unnecessarily and to torture prisoners."
-- George Brown Tindall & David Emory Shi, America (Brief Fourth Edition)

"If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten."
-- George Carlin

"A cynic is a person searching for an honest man, with a stolen lantern."
-- Edgar A. Shoaff

"And, for the record, I hatehatehate tests like these with false dichotomies. I want to be fair *and* correct. I want consensus that my way is best."
-- Hal O'Brien (in alt.polyamory)

"It wasn't, he swore, that he picked up so many women.... It was just that he never put any down."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, Mirror Dance

"Eating at White Castle is just like drinking -- you pile into a car, drive a distance, indulge too much, and get sick. Then the next morning in the can you swear to yourself you'll never do that again, and then you're off to fucking White Castle a few days later. Men are stupid and weak, and White Castle knows this."
-- Evan Dorkin

"When we reflect on this struggle, we may console ourselves with the full belief, that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply."
-- Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species (first edition)

"I don't assume that just because you see most of your colours in one area of your life, they're any less vivid or diverse than my colours are. I can look to the sea for blue, the grass for green, the Sahara for yellow and the evening sky for red, but you can catch a scarab beetle in the right light, and see all the colours together in that one insect."
-- David Matthewman (in alt.polyamory)

"Old age brings pleasant memories, sometimes of things that really happened."
-- Don Kirkman

"If one can, in a given moment when one is having a sandwich, be perfectly happy and content in the sandwich nature of one's sandwich, without feeling a desire for a five-course meal with a fine wine, then saying that the sandwich is 'less valuable' than the five-course meal with a fine wine seems strange to me. There's nothing inherently less valuable about being a sandwich; there is merit in sandwichness. A five-course meal with a fine wine makes a /lousy/ sandwich."
-- Heather Anne Nicoll (in alt.polyamory)

"Now what I contend is that my body is my own, at least I have always so regarded it. If I do harm through my experimenting with it, it is I who suffers, not the state."
--Mark Twain

"It's the best way to bring 'em down."
-- Female wrestler CHYNA on her propensity for kicking male opponents in the crotch, quoted in The Washington Post, quoted in Reuters' Notable Quotes

"Eat 'em as babies, before they oxidize."
-- Arthur Meyer, my organic chemistry professor, speaking of goats

"If God wanted us to be brave, why did he give us legs?"
-- Marvin Kitma

"I am a pleasant, dry, firm cube. HAHAHAHAH!"
-- Stef Maruch (in alt.polyamory)

"How do you get so much noise out of a dead goat?!"
-- Andrés Pérez-Bergquist

"Consider two pairs of embracing centipedes."
-- Robert F. Weaver, Molecular Biology

"Cruelly torturing poor innocent idioms is a hobby (some say a bad habit) of mine, and having English is a second language gives me the perfect cover to sneak up on them quietly until I can pounce. :)"
--Liana (in alt.polyamory)

"This has a lot to do with the fact that perverts usually have better negotiating skills."
--Wolfie, "Wolfie's Story"

"While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles, I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he were sure of it. If at the end your cheerfulness is not justified, at any rate you will have been cheerful."
-- H.G. Wells

"You can't win the game with government cheese."
-- James Ernest

"Dude. Like, the ineffable one-ness of your cosmic totality consciousness has perhaps maybe (be in a mellow place as you hear my words), like, blinded you to the unfolding, universal reality and spirit-awareness, dude, that you are maybe, like, full of shit? Dude."
-- RJ (in alt.polyamory)

"Do monomaniacal paranoid schizophrenic agnostic dyslexic insomniacs lie awake at night wondering if they might *be* the dog that's out to get them?"
-- Anonymous (collected from Ben Okopnik in alt.polyamory)

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house."
-- George Carlin

"The problem, I think, is that your hovercraft is full of eels."
-- Doug Wickstrom quoting Monty Python (in alt.polyamory)

"Oh devil! truth is better than much profit. I have searched over the grounds of my belief, and if wife and child and name and fame were all to be lost to me one after the other as the penalty, still I will not lie."
-- T. H. Huxley

"The really interesting thing is that the fez has managed to remain a symbol of something only the previous generation would wear for decades, meaning that either the lure of the fez becomes irresistible once you hit forty, or Shriners are immortal. Neither option is comforting."
-- L. Fitzgerald Sjöberg, Brunching Shuttlecocks

"I'm in favor of personal growth as long as it doesn't include malignant tumors."
-- George Carlin

":) i am primal. i am animal. i am songbird! hear me *eep!*"
-- songbird (in alt.polyamory)

"Dreams of summer, and perfect crystal moments... shining and clear and sometimes sharp."
-- Elynne (in alt.polyamory)

"A true friend stabs you in the front."
-- Oscar Wilde

"A screaming comes across the sky. It's a V-2 rocket carrying twelve thousand pounds of symbolism, and it's coming down on your poor, deluded, postmodern head."
-- Book-A-Minute's summary of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow

"I duct-taped you to a tree and beat you senseless with a Prada backpack full of acorns. Sure, it turned you on, but can you really characterize it as snuggly and cute?"
-- Jeffrey W. McKeough

"Jane Goodall taught me how to do the chimpanzee pant-hoot at UCLA. I have put that knowledge to good use in driving off bears from our campsites. Confidence is all; the bears know."
"One of these days some bear with a chimp fetish is going to surprise you."
"Now, THAT's something I'd pay eight bucks to see in a theater!"
-- Jimbat, Jack Twilley, and Michael Rosen (all in alt.polyamory)

"But she's a lot younger than we were at that age!"
-- Dad, as reported by Mom

"Keep your stinking capitalism out of my gift economy, and stop insisting that I'm for sale."
-- Heather Anne Nicoll (in alt.polyamory)

"As IRS regulations are subject to interpretation, taxpayers may wish to consult a tax professional."
-- University of Texas at Austin, Summary of Tuition and Fee Expenses

"A witty saying proves nothing."
-- Voltaire

"If they were laws of nature, you wouldn't need to create a legal system to support them: gravity and thermodynamics work without any help from the government."
-- Vicki Rosenzweig (in alt.polyamory)

"Go not to the biologists for counsel, for they will speak only of mice and squirrels."
-- umar (in alt.polyamory)

"Telemarketers are whetstones for the honing of icy politeness."
-- Rose (in alt.polyamory)

"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."
-- James Nicoll

"Why, if H.P. Lovecraft were alive today and saw this fantastic stuffed Cthulhu doll, I bet he would scream until his coffin ran out of air."
-- Daryn Guarino describing an item for auction on eBay

"Immunology is an invention of the devil, who is making it up as he goes along because he's not too clear about this stuff either."
-- Janice H. Tanne

"Personifiers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but Mr. Dignity."
-- Bernadette Bosky

"What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"
-- Henry David Thoreau

Cats who try to manipulate their owners:
"You know, when you leave in the morning, we think you're hunting. If you don't return at the usual time, we assume you've been eaten by a larger animal. Remember that when you're tempted to stop off after work for dinner and a movie."
"We get anxious and our fur falls out."
-- Nicole Hollander, "Sylvia"

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Which is just one more reason why the Internet is the ultimate research tool. Unless it's for class, then the internet is a harsh wasteland that refuses to help you."
-- Jessica Lynn Jones

"When trying to find the Arch of Septimius Severus at Lepcis Magna, the Internet suddenly becomes a barren wasteland, the buffet of delights dissolves into a handful of crumbs at the hands of the starving researcher."
-- Jessica Lynn Jones

"Elbow sex! Elbow sex! Put your goddess to the test!"
-- Rose (in alt.polyamory)

"Parodying japanimation is like starving Soviet peasants, in Leningrad, in 1942. It doesn't take a lot of effort because 90% of the work is already done for you and lots of people end up dead."
-- Benjamin William Allard

"Don't pour the oil directly into my navel, pour it on my sternum and let it run down into my navel, you ignorant peasant."
-- Garrison Keillor

"Remember - I am *worse and more dangerous* than someone who is Not A Lawyer."
-- Joe Woodhouse

"Commitment is not a barrier to freedom. Commitment is the *exercise* of freedom, the act of making a choice or decision and meaning it. The one without the other is meaningless."
-- Michael Rosen

"Max, you're ranting like a supervillain. What you're doing must be wrong."
-- Tailsteak, "One Over Zero"

"If I had a quarter for every time somebody told me I was a pessimist, I'd be crushed under their cold, hard weight."
-- Anonymous, collected from Peter Eng

"Hell, we live in fucking America!"
-- Laura Elizabeth Cullen

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
-- Phillip K. Dick

"Once we agree on the obvious, all the complicated shit falls into place."
-- RJ's grandmother

"A mobius strip is where you take off all your clothes and end up fully dressed."
-- Nigel Campbell

"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being."
-- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"But surely "Argh" is the sound of a sort of strangulated scream.
"Aargh" is the sound of a stabbing, or a falling off a cliff.
"Arr" is, I think, the noise you're looking for. It's the noise pirates make when they don't have anything better to do. "Arr, Jim Lad" = Pirate noise. "Aargh, Jim Lad" = sound of pirate falling off a cliff."
-- Neil Gaiman

"Seek ye the Elephant In The Living Room? Aaarrrrr. A terrible beastie be she, full of ambiguity and unspoken assumptions. Arrr arrrr. A gold double loon to the swab who spots the Elephant."
-- J. Jasper

"There's nothing like trying to spoonfeed Tortellini Carbonara to a blindfolded naked giggling woman."
-- Chris Bridges, Hoot Island

"I thought, My God, there's this moose, eight feet in the air up on the roof. That's got to be a first."
-- Mike Mosesian

"And I like the timing of events. Just as it seems we're about to hit an unpleasant rape scene, we get a warm, satisfying throat-slitting instead. I approve whole-heartedly."
-- Andrés Pérez-Bergquist, discussing Cordelia's Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold

"I am not a poo-poo puppy. I am a mighty wolf, even though I am reduced to hanging around this whelp's chair waiting for a piece of macaroni to be flung down like some Olympian boon. I am so a wolf. I am."
-- James Lileks, speaking for his dog, Jasper

"It is best not to drink when you want to conquer the known world. Best just to conquer it."
-- Jimbat

"Women always excel men in that sort of wisdom which comes from experience. To be a woman is in itself a terrible experience."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Syllogisms la mode -- If you are against labor racketeers, then you are against the working man. If you are against demagogues, then you are against democracy. If you are against Christianity, then you are against God. If you are against trying a can of Old Dr. Quack's Cancer Salve, then you are in favor of letting Uncle Julius die."
-- H. L. Mencken

"A free citizen in a free state, it seems to me, has an inalienable right to play with whomsoever he will, so long as he does not disturb the general peace. If any other citizen, offended by the spectacle, makes a pother, then that other citizen, and not the man exercising his inalienable right, should be put down by the police."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Puritanism -- The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."
-- H. L. Mencken

"How happy would you be if, after taking wedding vows, your beloved passionately kissed someone other than you on the lips? I daresay you wouldn't like it much. If you would, then you are not being an imitator of God in His jealousy for what is His own, and should repent."
-- Fortifying the Family

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."
-- Seneca the Younger (4? B.C. - 65 A.D.)

"I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young, and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is none the less true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting."
-- Bertrand Russell

"Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separated."
-- Ulysses S. Grant

"I never worry that all hell will break loose. My concern is that only part of hell will break loose and be much harder to detect."
-- George Carlin

"The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, it is queerer than we can suppose."
-- J. B. S. Haldane

"The wedding porn genre applies the Madonna-Whore complex to men: If he's sultry and charismatic, he's dangerous, not a man you'd want to marry. But if he's soft and harmless and borderline-laughable? Yes! Tag that wildebeest and track him until he's lost his will to run, and his will to live, and is therefore ready to be propped up at assorted couples' brunches and holiday dinners, presented to the world as the slightly deadened but hopelessly devoted provider."
-- Heather Havrilesky

"In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them."
-- Johann von Neumann

"You may be sure, dear Crito, that inaccurate language is not only in itself a mistake: it implants evil in men's souls."
-- Plato

"Well, it makes perfect sense from where I'm sitting, but then again, I'm not wearing any pants."
-- Andrés Pérez-Bergquist

"I guess it thinks I can stand on my own two brain stems now."
-- Christopher Mecklenborg

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..."
-- Crazy Nigel

"Mr. Speaker, I said the honorable member was a liar it is true and I am sorry for it. The honorable member may place the punctuation where he pleases."
-- Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) British dramatist, on being asked to apologize for calling a fellow MP a liar.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.

"What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?"
-- Richard P. Feynman

"File that in your irony pipe and smoke it!"
-- Andrés Pérez-Bergquist

"You would not want to go into a pen with an amorous ostrich. Ostriches weigh a great deal and have very sharp claws. It would be very, very dangerous indeed."
-- Dr. Charles Paxton

"Although I've often thought that if I Were Queen Of The World I'd only have to pass one edict to put an end to most human mayhem: You kill it, you eat it."
-- Pat Kight

"why do you feel boring? you have a boyfriend, I have a half-sheet of paper."
-- Laura Cullen

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

"Every day, I expend a great deal of energy trying to conceal my ignorance, stupidity, and foolishness. I envy Bush his freedom."
-- Greg van Eekhout

"I mean, claims of omnipotence are all fine and dandy, but creating a universe seems a small thing next to creating an infinitely precise document in English."
-- Bearpaw, on why God didn't write the King James Version of the Bible

"I've been a mime, a telemarketer, a karaoke singer, and a department store Santa (not a clown, but similar on the scary-issues front for small kids).
I figure if I go into politics, I'll wrap up getting a circle in Hell named after me."
--RJ Johnson

"Someone asked me yesterday if Dracula met Saruman and there was a fight, who would win. I just looked at this man. What an idiotic thing to say. I mean, really, it was half-witted."
-- Christopher Lee

"He had trouble with deadlines in the same way that the planet Jupiter is bigger than a duck."
-- Neil Gaiman on Douglas Adams

"I provided the players with enough rope to hang themselves, and somehow they built flamethrowers out of it."
-- s/LaSH (from the forums)

"You don't go around stabbing turkeys without washing the implements."
-- Lawrence Mecklenborg Jr.

"The best lies are based on... something or other. Who cares!"
-- Andrés Pérez-Bergquist

"But dirty sweatsocks taste *nothing* like Pine Sol!"
-- Andrés Pérez-Bergquist

"Basic Flying Rules:
1. Try to stay in the middle of the air.
2. Do not go near the edges of it.
3. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there."

"So basically I have some kind of invisible micro-hunchback stalking me."
-- Cliff Biffle

"I am the moral equivalent of Grape-Nuts."
"Lots of fiber."
-- Andrés Pérez-Bergquist

"I wasn't lonely for you; I was lonely for ice cream."
-- Elise Matthesen, quoting Juan

"I am a more probing invader than a Mongolian gynecologist!"
-- Orlando Fiol

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