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This page is for posting quotations pertaining to the collection and use of quotations.


  • Quotation. All I can know is my own time. ** Eduardo Paz-Martinez, The Rain In Spain, (2003)
  • Quotation. The act of repeating erroneously the words of another. The words erroneously repeated.
  • Life itself is a quotation, quotation is not life
    • Jorge Luis Borges, quoted in Cool Memories (1987) by Jean Baudrillard, (trans. 1990) Ch. 5
  • Quotations can be valuable, like raisins in the rice pudding, for adding iron as well as eye appeal.
  • The great writers of aphorisms read as if they had all known each other very well.
    • Elias Canetti, The Human Province
  • Beware of thinkers whose minds function only when they are fueled by a quotation.
  • Exclusively of the abstract science, the largest and worthiest portion of our knowledge consists of aphorisms: and the greatest and best of men is but an aphorism."
    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Aids to Reflection (1825)
  • The wisdom of the wise and the experience of the ages are perpetuated by quotations.
  • Immortality. I notice that as soon as writers broach this question they begin to quote. I hate quotation. Tell me what you know.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals (May 1849)
    • Emerson is referring to the act of quotation in regard to the subject of "immortality", and the unreliability of second hand testimony or worse upon profound subjects; ironically, it is often taken out of proper context, and has even begun appearing on the internet as "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know" or sometimes just "I hate quotations."
  • Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it. Many will read the book before one thinks of quoting a passage. As soon as he has done this, that line will be quoted east and west.
  • By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote.
  • A great man quotes bravely, and will not draw on his invention when his memory serves him with a word just as good.
  • Some men's words I remember so well that I must often use them to express my thought. Yes, because I perceive that we have heard the same truth, but they have heard it better.
  • An apt quotation is like a lamp which flings its light over the whole sentence.
  • Anyone can tell the truth, but only very few of us can make epigrams.
  • I do not speak the minds of others except to speak my own mind better.
    • Michel de Montaigne, "Of the Education of Children" (1575)
    • Variant: I quote others only the better to express myself.
  • I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if i can remember any of the damn things.
  • A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
  • I shall never be ashamed to quote a bad author if what he says is good.
  • The best ideas are common property.
  • It's better to be quotable than to be honest.
  • It needs no dictionary of quotations to remind me that the eyes are the windows of the soul.
  • At all events, the next best thing to being witty one's self, is to be able to quote another's wit.
    • Christopher N. Bovee, Thoughts, Feelings, and Fancies (1857)
  • I always have a quotation for everything—it saves original thinking.
  • Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.
  • Those quotations were really quite obscure. Anyone can see that he is a very well-read man.
    • Barbara Pym, Crampton Hodnet
  • The next best thing to being clever is being able to quote someone who is.
    • Mary Pettibone Poole, A Glass Eye at a Keyhole (1938)
  • Why are not more gems from our early prose writers scattered over the country by the periodicals?…But Great old books of the great old authors are not in everybody's reach; and though it is better to know them thoroughly than to know them only here and there, yet it is a good work to give a little to those who have neither time nor means to get more. Let every book-worm, when in any fragrant, scarce old tome, he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it the widest circulation that newspapers and magazines, penny and halfpenny, can afford.
  • When a thing has been said and well said, have no scruple; take it and copy it. Give references ? Why should you ? Either your readers know where you have taken the passage and the precaution is needless, or they do not know and you humiliate them.
    • Anatole France, quoted in Anatole France Himself - A Boswellian Record by Jean Jacques Brousson
  • She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit…
  • But quotations and aphorisms are generally just verbal Christmas presents; enticingly done up in pretty paper and ribbons, but once you get them open they generally turn out to be just socks.
  • There is nothing so ridiculous but some philosopher has said it.

On Misquotation

The Rules of Misquotation:

  • Axiom 1. Any quotation that can be altered will be.
    • Corollary 1A: Vivid words hook misquotes in the mind.
    • Corollary 1B: Numbers are hard to keep straight.
    • Corollary 1C: Small changes can have a big impact (or: what a difference an a makes).
    • Corollary 1D: If noted figures don't say what needs to be said, we'll say it for them.
    • Corollary 1E: Journalists are a less than dependable source of accurate quotes.
    • Corollary 1F: Famous dead people make excellent commentators on current events.
  • Axiom 2. Famous quotes need famous mouths.
    • Corollary 2A: Well-known messengers get credit for clever comments they report from less celebrated mouths.
    • Corollary 2B: Particularly quotable figures receive more than their share of quotable quotes.
    • Corollary 2C: Comments made about someone might as well have been said by that person.
    • Corollary 2D: Who you think said something may depend on where you live.
    • Corollary 2E: Vintage quotes are considered to be in the public domain.
    • Corollary 2F: In a pinch, any orphan quote can be called a Chinese proverb.
      • Ralph Keyes, "Nice Guys Finish Seventh": False Phrases, Spurious Sayings, and Familiar Misquotations (1992)


  • Books of quotations are an elemental model of how culture is perpetuated, the wisdom of the trite passed on to posterity, to be added to, edited, and modified by subsequent generations.
  • You could compile the worst book in the world entirely out of selected quotations from the greatest writers in the world.
  • I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.
  • Stronger than an army is a quotation whose time has come.
  • Wisdom is meaningless until your own experience has given it meaning ... and there is wisdom in the selection of wisdom.
  • And yes the reason I love quotes— it gets us back to the way life used to be and should be ... and we must be reminded as life is becoming very stressful, very busy, families are no longer what they used to be and I love to be reminded to slow down and smell the roses. Think about where you are going and what you are doing. They truly give life perspective.
  • Quotations help us remember the simple yet profound truths that give life perspective and meaning. When it comes to life's most important lessons, we can all use gentle reminders.
  • What's the use of a good quotation if you can't change it?
  • Quotation is the highest compliment you can pay to an author.
  • A quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself.
  • Misquotations are the only quotations that are never misquoted.
  • A witty quotation only makes the obvious less so, but it can also make the painfully obvious less painfully so.
  • If a man throws peaches at another man...he wants to fight!
  • Hush, little bright line, don't you cry,
    You'll be a clieché by and by.
  • Nobody quotes me, so why should I quote someone else?
  • No comment, but don't quote me.
  • One good quote is worth a book.
  • You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.
  • Quoting is the thinking of fools.
  • Quoting is the thinking of Atheist.
  • Quoting is useless if you know Islam.
  • If you know me, quote me; if you don't, quote me anyway.

External links

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Look up quotation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary