Quotes:Reference desk

From Quotes
Living, just by itself—what a dirge that is! Life is a classroom and Boredom's the usher, there all the time to spy on you; whatever happens, you've got to look as if you were awfully busy all the time doing something that's terribly exciting—or he'll come along and nibble your brain.
Louis-Ferdinand Celine
(Redirected from WQ:RD)
Jump to: navigation, search
 Stop! Note: This is not a help page for problems with Wikiquote.

See the Village pump for Wikiquote-specific questions. Before posting a question here, you may also want to see if one of these pages can better answer your question:

Wikiquote discussion pages (edit) see also: requests
Village pump
comment | history | archive

General policy discussions and proposals, requests for permissions and major announcements.

Reference desk
comment | history | archive

Questions and discussions about specific quotes.

All Quotes: namespace discussions 1 2 3 4 5 - All discussion pages 1 2 3 4 5

The Wikiquote Reference desk serves the same function as a library reference desk. Do you have a specific question about quotations that you want answered by volunteers at Wikiquote? Ask below!

Ask a new question by clicking here AFTER reading the section below

How to ask a question

  • Please give questions a meaningful title so you'll be more likely to get a meaningful answer.
  • Be specific and clarify your question, describing specifically what you'd like answered.
  • Please sign your question by typing --~~~~ (that's two hyphens and four tildes) at the end. This will stamp the date and time and your user ID on your posting. (You can also sign --anon.)
  • Please do not list your e-mail address, as questions aren't normally answered by e-mail. Also, be aware that the content on Wikiquote is extensively copied to many websites, and so making your e-mail address public here may make it very public throughout the Internet.
  • Please check back for updates occasionally. A complete answer may be developed over a period of days.
  • To continue a question, edit your question section (by clicking the [edit] link on right side of its header line). Please do not start multiple sections about the same topic.
  • Please remember that readers of all ages visit this page.
  • Please avoid using all capital letters; not only do they make a question harder to read, but they are often interpreted as impolite or shouting.
  • Questions will be answered by humans, not by a computer. This page is not a search engine.

How to answer a question

  • Please be thorough, providing as much of the answer as you are able.
  • Be concise, not terse. Please write in a clear and easily understood manner. Keep your answer within the scope of the question as stated.
  • Link to articles on Wikiquote or Wikipedia which may have further information relevant to the question.
  • The Reference desk is not a soapbox. If you wish to argue a particular viewpoint, please do so on an appropriate talk page.


quote containing stupidity and ignorance

I seem to recall a quote to the effect that "you can reason with ignorance, but not argue with stupidity" what is exact quote and author? -- 12:10, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I googled stupidity+quote+"reason with ignorance" and found this: "One can reason with ignorance, But it is futile to argue with stupidity." It is used as a signature on forums, but there is no attribution listed. 09:59, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
And a second thought took me back to google. Found it. This page attributes the quote to Ed Fitch. 10:12, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Paraphrase: "Forgiveness is sincerely letting go of the wish that the past were different."

I've probably butchered this -- I'm not even sure that the first word is "forgiveness". It may be "healing" or something along those lines. I'm sure about "wish" and the last part might be something about "change/changing the past." At the time I heard it, attributed to someone widely recognized and from the last century or so, it seemed terribly powerful, but unfortunately I didn't record it. I'd very much appreciate the actual wording and attribution, if this rings any bells for anyone. Sorry this is so vague, but searches here and by search engine of many variants have produced nothing even close. Thanks! --anon

The closest I can find is "Forgiveness has taken place when past actions no longer hold a present bearing." by Rev John Kapteyn. I'll keep looking and if I find a better match will contact you via your webpage. 10:35, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Russell Baker Article

Please can you help me find an article written by Russell Baker dealing with ther futility of our daily routines?

He wrote an article many, many years ago, about working man who lives in a box, rides to work in a box, and gets into a box to reach his office. Additonally, he wrote about when we are home we are "leaf farmers" among other things.

Thank you.

Faith St. Claire 18:52, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
I am familiar with Russell Baker the journalist, but not Russell Baker the speculative fiction author (despite my life-long SF enthusiasm). I am wondering if they are the same person or two different people, which significantly impacts any attempt to research this question. w:Russell Baker includes no hint either of the journalist's fiction or of the need for a separate article on a different person. Anyone have any ideas about this? ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:36, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Who said"marvelous darling, simply marvelous"?

Who said " marvelous darling, simply marvelous"? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:56, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I haven't read Gone with the Wind but I believe Clark Gable utters that somewhere in the film version.

Billy Crystal on SNL? 15:32, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
According to this page, that is a line from Breakfast at Tiffany's. 10:46, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Mystery Quote

Hey, can anyone help me. I know there is a quote that is something like "Younger siblings try to change the world, the elder siblings run it." or maybe "Younger children try to change the world, the elder children run it." but can't find anything like it... Does anyone know the actual quote, and who said it?

Many thanks,

-- 22:18, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Be Present

Who is attributed with stating the proverb "Be Present?"

...merely abandoned

Who said "a work of art is never completed, merely abandoned"?

I've seeen attributions for everyone from Jean Cocteau to G.B. Shaw to Somerset Maugham to Robert Benchley -- the lattermost being a longtime favorite of mine; but while he may have observed it, I know he never would have bothered to comment on it.

"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had
no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up
because by that time I was too famous."
                              - Robert Benchley
Similar statements are ascribed to all sorts of people including Goethe, Flaubert and Da Vinci. But is most often given to Paul Valery although he seems to expressed the same idea at different times and never at all pithily. Here is a quote from Reading Paul Valery: Universe in Mind
How can he recognise that his work is finished?
That's a decision he has to take…In fact, the completion of a work is only ever an abandonment, a halt that can always be regarded as fortuitous in an evolution that might have been continued. MeltBanana 15:24, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

missing link

i have a question about a link. I copied the following link a few days ago, and now its disappeared. I'd like to know if its going to be accessable again, because there were lot of beatiful quotes, and it would be so hard to find them another way. Thank you for your answer! Sincerely Sandor the link was: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/LOVE_QUOTES

"We have two ears and one mouth, so that we can listen twice as much as we speak"

I think i've heard this quote attributed to Epictetus but i am looking to find which of his works the quote comes from.......any ideas???? thanks

Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.

—Epictetus, in The Golden Sayings of Epictetus, trans. by Hastings Crossley. Vol. II, Part 2. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14; Bartleby.com, 2001. http://www.bartleby.com/2/2/. 17:33, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place

I know its George Bernard Shaw, but does anyone know which of his plays/ discourses its from ??? Thanks

Are you sure it is G. B. Shaw? I could not find anything similar in his works or a source cited anywhere. The earliest use of the quote I found was from 1951. Shaw is famous for having anything slightly cynical, without a definite source, ascribed to him. MeltBanana 15:45, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Original quotes of Edward T. Hall's Silent Language based on the french ones I have


I have some french quotes from Edward T. Hall's Silent Language (translated in french as Le Langage silencieux), I've posted them on the french wikiquote page and I'd like to find the original quotes. I also need the pages, chapter title translations, book ISBN, editor, collection (as much book informations as possible). If you own this book please leave a message whether you speak french or not.


MyXiLo 08:57, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't have the book; but by using Google Book Search in combination with regular Google I've been able to find the first two quotes and a sentence each from the third and fourth. Google Book Search only shows the book in "snippet" form, so that the quotes can only be "teased" out piecemeal. By feeding the results back into Google Book Search and regular Google, however, here are the results:

1) French: "Le temps parle. Il parle plus simplement que les mots. Le message qu'il porte se transmet à haute voix et clairement. Parce qu'il est utilisé moins consciemment, il ne risque pas d'être dénaturé comme l'est le langage parlé. Il peut clamer la vérité quand les mots mentent."

Original: "Time talks. It speaks more plainly than words. The message it conveys comes through loud and clear. Because it is manipulated less consciously, it is subject to less distortion than the spoken language. It can shout the truth where words lie. [1]

2) French: "La meilleure raison de se soumettre à des cultures étrangères, c'est qu'elles engendrent un sens aigu de la vitalité et de l'attention consciente – un attachement à la vie qui ne peut se manifester qu'au contact de la différence et du contraste."

Original: "The best reason for exposing oneself to foreign ways is to generate a sense of vitality and awareness - an interest in life which can come only when one lives through the shock of contrast and difference." [2]

3) French: "Le fait que chez l'animal, le comportement soit conditionné par le sexe, a conduit à des erreurs quant à la place du sexe chez l'homme. Il est faux de penser que le comportement de l'homme est lié à la physiologie."

The first sentence from the original is: "The fact that behavior in animals is predominantly sex-linked has led to certain misconceptions concerning the role of sex in man." [3]

4) French: "[La plupart des gens] ont du mal à croire qu'un comportement qu'ils ont toujours associé à la « nature humaine » ne soit absolument pas naturel, mais acquis et faisant partie d'une catégorie particulièrement complexe. L'une des raisons possibles de cette réticence est qu'il jette un doute sur nos croyances les mieux enracinées."

The last sentence in the original is: "Possibly one of the many reasons why the culture concept has been resisted is that it throws doubt on many established beliefs." [4][5]

That's as much as Google would yield for these quotes. Amazon.com has the book but does not allow a search of the contents. - InvisibleSun 10:18, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

As a supplement to InvisibleSun's answers:

3) The second sentence in the original is, "It is a great mistake to assume that the behavior which is observed in man is linked to physiology." [6]

4) The first sentence in the original is, "[...almost everyone] has difficulty believing that behavior they have always associated with 'human nature' is not human nature at all but learned behavior of a particularly complex variety." [7][8]

As you'll see from Google Book the publisher (éditeur) of Silent Language is Doubleday. The book has no editor (rédacteur). Antiquary 19:30, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Question on attribution: Did Erich Fromm really say this?

I've seen this quote attributed to Erich Fromm, but it doesn't sound like him. Can anyone source this quote, or identify it as a misattribution? Here is the statement: "Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be . . . Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar,

and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before." -- 02:57, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
You can find those lines, slightly re-arranged, in the show The Phantom of the Opera. They're from the song "The Music of the Night", music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, words by Charles Hart and/or Richard Stilgoe. [9] Goodness knows why anyone thought they were by Erich Fromm. Antiquary 19:32, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

"Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they can't get it wrong."

I'm trying to find the origin of this quote: "Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they can't get it wrong."

Thanks for any help you can give me. --PhotoBizLady 11:56, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Apparently GMC used it in a commercial, but online sources trace it back to an NFL announcer[10], announcer heard in football clips[11], NFL voice guy[12]. You might want to contact the NFL and see if they can tell you exactly who said it. 04:56, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Can anybody help with these ambiguous sources?

I want to add them to the site, but I don't know where. These quotes appear on many sites, but without any information.

Norman Brenner

  • The intermediate stage between socialism and capitalism is alcoholism.
    • - Norman Brenner

But who is he? The only known person with this name, that I managed to find, was a regular extra in Seinfeld. Is this him? But why would anyone quote this pretty unknown extra?

I found several people by that name - an author, a mathematician/scientist, a gravel pit operator, but the most famous would have to be the Seinfeld extra. Maybe he was given a funny line in a Seinfeld episode and it got added to online quote lists? 05:27, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Pentagon official

  • If we let people see that kind of thing, there would never again be any war.
    • - Pentagon official explaining why the U.S. military censored graphic footage from the Gulf War

Can anyone confirm this and give an accurate source?

The closest I could find is this page that lists the quote as having been included in "Military Blunders article by Geoffrey Regan in Night and Day (Mail on Sunday supplement)23rd January 2000." Geoffrey Regan is a military historian and author. It is possible that he didn't provide any more specific attribution than "Pentagon official." in his article. 05:13, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Can anybody give sources for these quotes?

Once I have sources, I'd put the following quotes in the appropriate places in this site.

Fear leads to hate

  • You fear what you don't understand, and you hate...what you fear.
    • - Unknown
Not sure about that exact quote, but it reminds me of the lyrics in a couple of songs: 1) "Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand" from the song Witch Hunt, by Rush and 2) Waste by KMFDM. 05:50, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

3 Wolves, 1 sheep, and Democracy

  • Democracy(n): 3 wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    • - Unknown
Benjamin Franklin. 07:40, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Peace and War, Screwing and Virginity

  • Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
    • - Unknown

It might be Lenny Bruce. 00:37, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

This is the earliest published reference I've found so far for this quote:
  • Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity — But it's great!
    • Attributed as graffiti at "Subway men's room, Astor Place stop"
    • Herlihy, James Leo (1971). The Season of the Witch, p. 154, Simon and Schuster.
(Herlihy is probably best known for his earlier novel Midnight Cowboy, the controversial film of which won an Academy Award. Without checking a copy of Season, I can't tell if this quote is supposed to be an actual observation of Herlihy's, or part of his fiction.) This quote appears one year later with "screwing" substituted as a graffiti sample quoted in (1972) The Bowker Annual of Library and Book Trade Information, p. 69 (of 600), R. R. Bowker Company. ISBN 0835205207.
I've seen no authoritative reference yet to credit Bruce with it. Many unsourced quotes are attributed to someone merely because they sound like something that person would have said. I'd expect such a memorable line from such a famous comedian and social critic to be well-documented. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 02:21, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

A Smoking Section vs. A Peeing Section

  • Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a pool.
    • - Unknown
George Carlin. 07:41, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Sex and Hacking

  • Sex is like hacking. You get in, you get out, and you hope you didn't leave something behind that can be traced back to you.
    • - Unknown

Sex and Cards

  • Sex is like a game of cards. If you don't have a good partner, you better have a good hand.
    • - Unknown

The Lion And The Flies

  • Even the lion has to defend himself against flies.
    • - Unknown
The only attribution I could find was "German proverb." 07:45, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Windows Bit(e)s

  • Windows 9x(n): A 32 bit upgrade to 16 bit extensions for an 8 bit operating system designed to run on a 4 bit processor by a 2 bit company that doesn't like 1 bit of competition.
    • - Unknown
      • this 1997 mailing list posting appears to be the first public mention of this quote, but poster Art Bahrs claims that he got it from a friend. It may have been circulating prior to 1997, since Windows 95 (the first edition of "32 bit extensions") was released in 1995.

The Power of Love

  • To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.
    • - Unknown

who said this quote

i have searched but cant find the lady who made this quote i heard.who know who said 'its just so different when it comes from your own '

Quote about sewing a seed and reeping a habit, sewing a ... and reeping a ... and so on


Can anyone tell me where I can find a quote about sewing a seed and reeping a plant and so forth. I read this last time on wikipedia quotes and am unable to find it now.

Are you thinking of this poem:
The seed ye sow, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps;
The robes ye weave, another wears;
The arms ye forge, another bears.
That's 'Song to the Men of England' by Percy Shelley (1819). Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 22:37, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Or perhaps you mean:
3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.</poem>
Ecclesiastes III KJV
For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.
Hosea 8:7 KJV
Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
Anonymous, quoted in Life and Labor by Samuel Smiles (1887)
MeltBanana 14:32, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

How Can Background and Context for a Quotation be Found?

I'm new to Wikiquote. I find quotations that I'd like to use but I first want to know what they author's context or point was. Milton wrote, "they also serve who only stand and wait." He was, I believe, referring to his undiminished faith even though he was blind (?). The quotation itself sounds like praise of a reserve military unit at the ready.

Is there a way to get background for quotations? Thank you!

Brooks C. Sackett --Brooks1539 20:34, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
We generally frown on adding context to quotes from written works unless it is absolutely essential to understanding the quote. Context lines tend to become mini-essays which violate the "no original research" policy of Wikipedia which Wikiquote also informally follows. I confess I've never known the context of this quote myself, and have heard it used in a number of ways I'm sure John Milton had not intended. (My favorite one is from P. D. Q. Bach's "Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice: An Opera in One Unnatural Act" which requires too much context itself to quote here. See P. D. Q. Bach Lyrics, which unfortunately does not include the relevant song, for some samples of Peter Schickele's hilarious abuse of famous words and phrases.)
Anyway, to answer your question, besides the obvious — reading the original work, which is variously titled "On His Blindness" or "When I Consider How My Light Is Spent" — one can check professionally published quotation works (which have editorial boards that give them the freedom to do some contextual description), or look for an annotated compilation of works including this Milton sonnet. (Shawcross's The Complete Poetry of John Milton (ISBN 0385023510) is one listed on Amazon that seems recommended. The reviews also allude to definititve "Fowler" and "Carey" publications.) Another route is a critical study of Milton, perhaps like The Cambridge Companion to Milton (ISBN 0521655439), which would probably provide some detailed context to a work as famous as this sonnet. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:57, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Who said: What man can percieve, man can achieve.

Quotation on oil and food

Who said that "modern agriculture is the process of converting oil into food" –— 20:39, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

The correct quote appears to be "modern agriculture is the use of land to convert petroleum into food" and the original author appears to be Prof. Albert A. Bartlett. He uses it in this article which was originally published in the American Journal of Physics in September 1978. However, note that he has put it in quotes, suggesting someone else may have inspired him. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 20:51, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Aldo Leopold

Missing from his quotes is one I read on a Nature conservancy T-shirt portraying a Bison:

"The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the pieces." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Katpages (talkcontribs) 13:39, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for calling this omission to our attention. I've added the quote with some secondary citations (including a misattribution to another person) because the current article on Aldo Leopold doesn't provide specific source information (i.e., page numbers or even just chapters) for its quotes. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:03, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Source of quote "if not appalled, then not paying attention"

There are various variations on this quote, sometimes seen on bumper stickers:

"if you are not completely appalled then you haven't been paying attention."

Who said it originally, what was the original form? 16:10, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Did Voltaire say 'there is nothing a man loves more than his liberty'. If so, where?

I have searched sites with his quotations to find the original French, but am unable to find any quote resembling it. Perhaps it wasn't Voltaire?

"C'est pire qu'un crime, c'est une faute."

Or, in English, "It was worse than a crime it was a mistake." Who really said this (about the death of the Duc d'Enghien)? (Or perhaps the question should be who said it first?) I have seen this most frequently credited to Talleyrand, but other credible candidates include: w:Joseph Fouché and Antoine Boulay. Relevant discussions are here and here. ObiterDicta 16:01, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

"It always begins with detentions", Where is this from?

I heard this quote , or close to it ,recently but cannot remember where .

I think it was from the point of view of a holocaust survivor , but in a modern setting .

I am almost sure it was in a film rather than T.V .

If anyone could help , it would be greatly appreciated.__Daebh 13:10, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Coincidence? I think not!

What's the origin of the common phrase "Coincidence? I think not!" I seem to recall a comedy sketch using the line repeatedly, emphasizing each word ("I! Think! Not!"), but I don't know if that's where it came from first. 19:54, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Who said "any bus will do"

I believe Lewis Mumford has a quote something like" If you do not know where you are going, any bus will do." I also have heard this as 'any map will do.' Any help?

It sounds a bit like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. That would be a Lewis Carroll creation!

Alice: Oh, no, no. I was just wondering if you could help me find my way. Cheshire Cat: Well that depends on where you want to get to. Alice: Oh, it really doesn't matter, as long as... Cheshire Cat: Then it really doesn't matter which way you go.

Socrates Vs. Solomon 44, 49, and Gross 2.

The following are three exerpts from the wikipedia article titled Socrates:

  1. Socrates stressed that "virtue was the most valuable of all possessions; the ideal life was spent in search of the Good. Truth lies beneath the shadows of existence, and that it is the job of the philosopher to show the rest how little they really know." (Solomon 44)
  1. It was not only Athenian democracy: Socrates objected to any form of government that did not conform to his ideal of a perfect republic led by philosophers (Solomon 49), and Athenian government was far from that.
  1. Socrates believed that the best way for people to live was to focus on self-development rather than the pursuit of material wealth. (Gross 2).
  1. My question is, "What exactly are Solomon 44, Solomon 49, and Gross 2? I searched the web for an exceedingly long period of time for Solomon 44 and 49 and could find no such titled documents and certainly nothing related to Socrates. Are the first two exerpts somehow in reference to the Solomon of the Bible, and if so, how? I know Solomon did author three of the books of the Bible, but none of them were titled Solomon, so I do not see how this could possibly be a biblical reference. I also checked all of the names of the writings by Plato, and none of them were titled Solomon 44, Solomon 49, or Gross 2. So where were these quotes taken from exactly??
                                                                 --anon.—This unsigned comment is by Kevin22590 (talkcontribs) .--
I added the author and wikified some words just for convenience. -Aphaia 06:39, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Most likely there are books by Mr. Solomon and Mr. Gross on Plato that are inadequately referenced.--Cato 08:40, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
    • I suggest you try this book: Solomon, Robert C. Introducing Philosophy: A Text with Integrated Readings. 8th ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2005, pages 44 and 49. --Belliger 17:38, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

When hard to please people smile...

I used to carry a card with the quote, "When hard to please people smile, it's an idiots delight!" because it seemed particularly appropriate to my life. Now I'm wondering where I got the quote from. Your help will be appreciated!

Happy to be the idiot! Derick

Laugh with me, or at me, just laugh!

Source please

The 1955 movie "The Man Who Never Was" begins and ends with what seems like a quote:

Last night I dreamed a deadly dream: Beyond the Isle of Skye, I saw a dead man win a fight, And I think that man was I.

Thank you, Shir-El too 23:06, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

That's stanza 19, more or less, of "The Battle of Otterburn" (or "Otterbourne"), an old Scottish ballad about the eponymous 1388 England/Scotland border battle:
But I have dreamed a dreary dream,
Beyond the Isle of Skye;
I saw a dead man win a fight,
And I think that man was I.
The "speaker" is James Douglas, 2nd Earl of Douglas, who was killed in the battle. I'm not sure if there is a documented author for the work itself. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:04, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. It is very appropriate: in the movie the Royal Navy 'borrows' the body of a dead Scot to pull off a coupè against German intelligence, saving an estimated 30,000 lives in the invasion of Sicily. It is based on a true story. Thank you again, Shir-El too 01:58, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

What poem includes: "if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my body take."

That is body, not soul.

I'm still hoping someone will recognize this.

I read this poem in a high school English text, while in school in southern California during the early 1960's. It was in Riverside, CA, in Ramona High School, in the '63-'64 school year. The poem told of a situation in the family life of a young person, where a grandmother lived with the nuclear family, but because she had lost her mental faculties, she was taken care of in an upstairs room. The young person was upset by this situation.

Though I may be paraphrasing them, the poem included the following phrases:

"When I was a child, we kept my grandmother's body in a room upstairs," "it ate and drank (or slept)," and "gazed out the window..."

I think the author of the poem was an American woman, but I might be wrong about this. I think the line, "Now I lay me down to sleep" was also present, just before the last line, "if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my body take."

Obviously, the poem I am looking for used the popular children's prayer, which someone has inserted below, as a point of departure, but the theme of the poem concerned the senile dementia of the grandmother. I would very much like to know the author and title of this poem, and be able to access a copy of it. 21:31, 19 September 2007 (UTC)revised 20:20, 11 October 2007 (UTC) 18:35, 25 October 2007 (UTC) revised November 14, 2007 Janice Vian, 17:45, 5 December 2007 (UTC) 16:30, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Now I lay me down to sleep,
                    I pray the Lord my soul to keep ;
                    If I should die before I wake,
                    I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Isaiah Thomas, ed. (1818). The Only Sure Guide to the English Tongue, or, Perry's New Pronouncing Spelling Book. Revised, corrected, and conformed to his late synonymous, etymological and pronouncing English dictionary, published in England under his own immediate inspection. To which is added a collection of moral lessons and fables, for the instruction of youth.…, Thomas's Improved edition, J. H. A. Frost.
121a0012 01:48, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Reference for: "A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself"

Thanks --Neworison 20:33, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Who or what started the headache line

Who coined the phrase: "Not tonight, I have a headache"?

I doubt you'll find a clear attribution because it's such a generalised statement but I've always supposed it's a homage to the phrase attributed to Napoleon: "Not tonight, Joséphine". This quote dates back to the early 20th century, being the title of a song of 1911. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 22:48, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

turning of a computer

If we want to turn off the computer and using the XP version of windows,order the computer to turn off and it shows the message that shows it turrned off the computer,certainly in this time it should cancel the electric,but it could'nt do this(canceling the electric),the problem is from where?which system has a problem?

I'm sorry, this is a board for questions about quotations, not for computer help. You might want to try Wikipedia's reference desks. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 16:09, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Fact or Fiction - Interesting statements nonetheless

These statements are making the circuit and I am interested to know if there is anyone who can authenticate them.

  • When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of 'empire building' by George Bush.

He answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return." It became very quiet in the room. --MEM56 04:47, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

    • These quotes are more the territory of the urban legend researcher. As it happens, snopes.com has looked into this one and gives it the thumbs up: Colin Powell. It happened on 26 January 2003 when the then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, asked him about the USA relying on 'hard power' and not on building trust throughout the world. The Archbishop did not actually mention 'empire building'. The full transcript of the question and answer are here. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 08:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?" A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?" Once again, dead silence. --MEM56 04:47, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
    • This one doesn't appear to be on snopes yet. The US Aircraft Carrier Abraham Lincoln was despatched to help tsunami survivors in January 2005, so it's plausible. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 08:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
  • A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.' He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?' Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied 'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.

You could have heard a pin drop! --MEM56 04:47, 23 October 2007 (UTC) (UTC)

    • Again, not on snopes. Typically no information is given to help researchers trace the quote. I'm suspicious of this one because it seems to be a simple development of the line "if it wasn't for us, you'd all be speaking German" which is by now a cliché. Still, it could be true, or a slight distortion of a real event. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 08:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

from WWII documentary

This fragment is the opening theme for each episode of the Time Incorporated 1951 documentary series (reissued Musicbank) Crusade in the Pacific:

.....is eternal vigilance/ so forward men of courage in the freedom fight/ let justice reign... [and freedom's song ?]/ fill every heart with joy.

My husband, who fought in that war, would very much like to know what the words are, what they are from and, if possible, hear a recording of the full song/hymn whatever. Thank you in advance, --Shir-El too 11:21, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

missing lyric

in the song lyrics for go forth and die (album version) the sixth line is missing. in the song there is a line sung between "studied teachers words" and "earned a peice of paper". just thought someone should know of this discrepancy.

Albert Einstein

I read recently that Einstein, in replying to a set of scientists who had disputed his theory or position on an issue in physics, said something like 'One counter example is worth a thousand letters' - in short, that the proper way to deal with a hypothesis is to test it, not simply deny it. I have searched Wikiquotes, and the usual reference books without success. Can anyone provide a source?

First your money, then your clothes

What is the rest of this statement: "That's the way it goes, first your money, then your clothes."

I have a friend who's a working girl and she says it all the time. Seriously.

I have also seen the phrase used several times in reference to Las Vegas, which makes sense as in losing all one's money and one's shirt as well.

As a riff on loving and losing, "First Your Money, Then Your Clothes" is a country/rock song by Jude Cole. Here are a portion of the lyrics:

Oh no, love ain't cheap/There's a toll booth up on Lover's Leap/Sweet romance take a chance/Come and dance with me

I'm ridin' out on a southbound train/Just a Romeo in the pouring rain/But hey baby, that's the way it goes/First your money, then your clothes

Link to Jude Cole mp3

It is also the name of a biography by Raina Barrett titled, First Your Money Then Your Clothes: My Life and OH! CALCUTTA! (which has nothing to do with the scandalous musical of the same name; as Barrett writes, "I do not know the relationship between the famed nude show "Oh! Calcutta!!" and the real Calcutta; probably both reveal bare truths about mankind that we do not see otherwise.").

Who said 'Women: you can't live with them…

'Women: you can't live with them…and you can't live without them'--Fireflite 01:31, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, I've said it a few times. Ah, but the first published instance? I found a version in a novel nearly a century old:
  • "… You can't live without a woman, and you can't live with one, if you argues," said the old man.
    • Ernest George Henham (1914). Wintering Hay, page 149 (of 510), Mitchell Kennerley (publisher).
A 1919 work attributes this to the French:
  • Of some of his colleagues one might repeat the French wit's dictum on women: one can't live with them and can't live without them.
    • E. T. Raymond (1919). Uncensored Celebrities, page 25 (of 244), Great Britain: H. Holt and Company.
I'll see if I can dig up an earlier version en français. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 02:53, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Just after I wrote the above, it occurred to me that the French version I know:
Les femmes — on ne peut pas vivre avec elle, on ne peut pas vivre sans elle.
… isn't nearly as concise or witty as the English ("with/without"). This implies the French attribution is only a hypothesis, or that my rusty French isn't up to the task (not at all unlikely). I did find one modern work that included this phrase in a comparison with psychology:
  • On finit toujours par trouver la présence, parfois troublante, parfois tolérée, de la psychologie. On pourrait dire comme dans les tragédies d'amour: on ne peut pas vivre avec elle, on ne peut pas vivre sans elle.
    • English: One always ends up finding the presence, sometimes troubling, sometimes tolerated, of psychology. One could say as in the romantic tragedies: can't live with it, can't live without it.
    • Serge Moscovici; Fabrice Buschini, Nikos Kalampalikis (2001). Penser la vie, le social, la nature: mélanges en l'honneur de Serge Moscovici, page 290 (of 604), Editions MSH. ISBN 2735109062.
Since the author is a French psychologist, I imagine the work is not translated into French but in its original language, and that if there were a more idiomatic version, he would have used it. This makes me suspect that the French origin is a red herring, although the lack of any but a single modern French citation may be more indicative of the modest size of Google Book Search's French collection. That doesn't mean the original is necessarily English (although the "with/without" is a modest boost to this idea). It also may predate 1914, and I just couldn't find an earlier version with GBS. But it's a start. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 03:41, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Gibbon quote

I have a German version and a not-wordly version in the EB of an Edward Gibbon quote [13]. I can't find the original quote - thanks for all help! --Histo 21:05, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

For the record here, the quote as cited on de:WQ (with a little en:WQ formatting) is:
  • Man traue keinem erhabenen Motiv für eine Handlung, wenn sich auch ein niedriges finden lässt.
    • Edward Gibbon, englischer Historiker (1737-1794) gefunden in: Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau, Nr. 711, September 2007, Seite 465
This translates (I hope) roughly to:
  • One cannot trust an honorable motive for an action if a base one can be found.
    • Edward Gibbon, English historian, found in: [Natural Science Roundtable], no. 711, September 2007, page? 465
      • NOTE: I found a Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau in the Library of Congress, but it is numbered differently. Its September 2007 issue is "Jahrg. 60, Nr. 9" (which I believe is "Volume 60, No. 9" in our nomenclature).
Substitute high, lofty, grand, elevated, sublime, upright, exalted, or other synonyms for honorable alone (not to mention selfish, vain, etc. for base), and it's clear why this is hard to Google. The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica citation alluded to is from the article on "Prostitution":
  • Gibbon, who never gave credit for a good motive when a base one could be found, attributes Justinian's action solely to his desire to marry Theodora, whose life had been notorious; and no doubt she influenced him in the matter, but it is permissible to assume a good motive.
(Classic Encyclopedia's copy of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica offers nothing illuminating in its entry on "Edward Gibbon".) Frankly, this sounds like it was never actually a Gibbon quote, but rather a misattribution to Gibbon of EB 1911's description of him. But we can certainly try to dig up earlier instances of the possible English translations. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:47, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Who said this, "I make the humdrum the sum of life as I begun. Each day, a ray of light, to later reflect, I reconnect with the universe."

I need help fast!!!

Witness in a police procedural

This one has been bothering me for some time. The work is a television police procedural set in the UK (perhaps Morse?), and a potential witness is being interviewed. He describes himself thus:

Never been rich, never been poor, never voted Tory, never been a football hooligan. There you have it, sir, the story of my life.

It's not known to Google or Google Books. Anyone have a lead? 121a0012 12:58, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

That's a tough one. I couldn't find any likely hits even with partial groupings and variations. Nor could I find a Google-indexed transcription or screenplay (usually the best way to find TV dialog) with even a hint of this quote. (Google's becoming less and less useful for searches for quotes like these, apparently because of the tens of millions of bloggers who write copiously about their favorite subject — themselves. I wish someone would create a engine that allowed searches to ignore all blogs and discussion forums; the remaining information would be so much more valuable.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:03, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Source of the quote: "When in Rome..."

We've all (I assume) heard of the quote, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." or something to that effect (I'm not quite sure if this is the exact wording of the quote). My question is does anyone know definitively the source of this quote?

Much appreciated...I'm not very good at search engine syntax, so please bear with me; I anticipate that a lot of responses might be prefaced with comments that I should have used a search engine instead.

Many thanks,

--Bregi 11:46, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

This quote has been traced to Saint Ambrose. In Jeremy Taylor's Ductor Dubitantium, or the Rule of Conscience (1660), Ambrose is quoted as having advised Saint Augustine of Hippo in the following words:

Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more;
Si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi.

("When you are at Rome, live in the Roman style; when you are elsewhere, live as they live elsewhere.")

Augustine himself twice quoted Ambrose as having said "When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the church where you are." (Epistles to Januarius, epistle 2, section 18 and Epistles to Casualanus, epistle 36, section 32). The quotes are from Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 15th edition. - InvisibleSun 12:16, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

These rocks are prehistoric

I am looking for a movie from the fifties or sixties where a geologist upon landing on a distant planet says "these rocks are prehistoric". In the next scene, the identification of the rocks as prehistoric is confirmed when a dinosaur appears.

Lewis Carroll

Please, help I am trying to find which of Lewis Carrolls works contant the phrase "In Winter when the fields are white, I sing this song for your delight". Thanks tracimarlowe@nyc.rr.com

In winter, when the fields are white,
I sing this song for your delight.

—This is said by Humpty Dumpty in chapter VI of Through the Looking Glass. - InvisibleSun 23:41, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

13th century man and phrase

Who was the 13th century music man behind a phrase that means a deal is a deal and nonpayment could result in severe penalties? I need tha man's name and the phrase please. Thank you.-- The quote you want is probably something like "He who pays the piper, calls the tune," or "Who calls the tune must pay the piper." Hope this helps, 16:38, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Temple of Stone and Ice

I heard a song a long time ago, and I have been searching for it ever since. All I seem to be able to remember is one of the lines, most likely in the chorus being something about "...temple of stone and ice". I think more accurately the line was "in the temple of stone and ice". But that's all I have. Does anyone know what that may be from? Any help on figuring out what that is actually from or finding the song would be most appreciated.

Signed, Aaron Ni. ( orinanime@msn.com ) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 02:58, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I couldn't readily find anything with these words, but I found the following possibilities:
  • Scent of Sound (an electronica band), "Temple of Ice", Polar Lights (2002)
  • Jedi Mind Tricks, "Temples of Ice", Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell (2006)
  • Venom, "Temples of Ice", Temples of Ice (1991)
  • The Victors, "Temple of Stone", Days to Come (unknown year) [14]
There is a song called "In the House of Stone and Light", written and sung by Martin Page, that was very popular back in 1994-5. Knowing the tendency for time to muddle recollection, it occurred to me that this might be what you're thinking of. You might check All Music Guide's sample (click any of the tiny speaker icons next to the credits on AMG's page for this song's awards) to hear if this is what you're after. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:53, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Laser science question

I have query in laser Sc. can a laser beam make any damage or changes in ozone layer. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sam baner (talkcontribs) 12:08, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

You would probably be more successful in asking this question at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:25, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Tip O'Neill quote

I am looking for a quote from past speaker of the house, tip o'neil. This quote concerns taking credit for an idea - taking credit is not so important as having the task accomplished. How important is taking credit if an idea is advanced, a goal reached.

linda.bigelow@juno.com —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:07, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Ronald Reagan famously had a sign on his desk saying, "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit", (see here for a picture of it). That line, or something like it, goes back to the 19th century, and has been attributed, whether rightly or not, to Benjamin Jowett. But I've never seen Tip O'Neill credited with it, and anyway it may not be what you're looking for. Antiquary 21:56, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
  • The recently published _Yale Book of Quotations_ (Yale University Press) attempts to trace all famous quotations to their earliest findable source. In compiling the book, the earliest I found for the "no limit" quote was the following:

"There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it." -- Charles Edward Montague, _Disenchantment_ ch. 15 (1922) Fred R. Shapiro, Editor, _Yale Book of Quotations_

Who said "Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!"

and when? Thank you, Shir-El too 16:24, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

It was said by a US naval officer at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, to encourage sailors passing ammunition by hand. So much is agreed, but there are different opinions about who the chaplain was. The New York Times, November 1, 1942, names him as Howell Forgy, a chaplain, but Bartlett's Familiar Quotations prefers the claim of Capt. William H. Maguire, and other names have been mentioned. At all events Frank Loesser wrote a song by that name in 1942. The Wikipedia page on the song comes down strongly in favour of Howell Forgy, I see. Antiquary 20:05, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

fools rush in where angels fear to tread

My question is simple: does anyone know who said this? I think it's from an english poet, but I can't find it. Does someone know?

Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism line 625.--Cato 13:29, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

be a part of the solution not the problem

--DMD 15:16, 2 March 2008 (UTC)Who said, "be a part of the solution, not the problem"? DMD

The civil rights activist Eldridge Cleaver said "You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem", in a speech at the San Francisco Barristers' Club in September 1968. Earlier, the Guthrian (Guthrie Center, Iowa) worded it the other way round: "Every person is either part of the problem, or part of the solution" (January 24, 1961). Both of those citations I took from The Yale Book of Quotations. The earliest instance I can find of any similar words comes from On Being Fit to Live With: Sermons on Post-War Christianity (1946) by Harry Emerson Fosdick, in which one sermon is called "Are We Part of the Problem or of the Answer?". Any advance on 1946, anyone? --Antiquary 19:53, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

the art of the possible

I'm searching for the original source of this phrase: "the art of the possible". I've used it for years, but don't know if it came from a title or a literary text - any ideas? --Tlgerling 16:37, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Prince Otto von Bismarck said "Politics is the art of the possible" – or rather "Die Politik ist die Lehre vom Möglichen." – in conversation with one Meyer von Waldeck on August 11, 1867 (Source: Heinz Amelung (ed.) Bismarck-Worte (1918) p. 1). I've always understood that to be the origin of the phrase, but I'm open to contradiction. -- Antiquary 19:41, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you! I appreciate one of life's small mysteries being cleaned up.--Tlgerling 01:25, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Looking for quote from Arthur Hailey's "Wheels," 1978 TV mini series...

Actor Rock Hudson, playing character Adam Trenton, is asked to be logical and replies something like: "There's nothing logical about a 115-pound blond spending $2 in gas to drive a two-ton automobile 15 (?) miles to save 5 cents on a can of peas..." or something along those lines. Would appreciate the exact quote or suggestions where to ask. Thank you, --Shir-El too 18:06, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

quote about keeping a good address

I am trying to recollect a quote that concerns advice on living. The context is, that to live well, be smart, be stylish...whatever, one should do something or other and "keep a good, or impeccable address". I seem to remember the quote comes from a playwright or raconteur of some kind. I am interested in learning the quote and the source. Thank you --Brichmond 15:04, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Who is quoted as saying

Who said, "April cried and stepped aside?"

I believe that is from the song June Is Bustin' Out All Over, from the musical Carousel and written by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The full quote would be the following:
March went out like a lion
Awakin' up the water in the bay;
Then April cried and stepped aside,
And along came pretty little May.
~ UDScott 20:19, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Who said that

A network is only as relaibel as the people who maintain it.

"If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life."

-Oscar Wilde 

Would you kindly explain the true meaning of the above "love quote"? I find that it is rather ambiguous. The words are lovely! Many Thanks.

Who Said This

Dear Wikiquote,

Can you tell me whom said "The show must go on" for the first time?

Thank you.

Hammad Anees

  • This is a proverb, so it will not be possible to determine the true first use. The earliest known usage (1879) was discovered by the recently published Yale Book of Quotations, where it appears on page 270.

Fred R. Shapiro, Editor, The Yale Book of Quotations

    • I agree that it's a proverb, but its use can be traced earlier than 1879. In 1862 the magazine London Society (p. 521) had this: "But it was not to be; so the show – we will not say sham – must go on. It does go on right merrily till the piece is played out...". --Antiquary 19:34, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

profile of larry berman who wrote lydon johnson's war

larry berman profile

year 553ad

Subject: Justinian rejection of `personal soul and references to as passed by the 5th Ecunemical council 553. Influences on Modern history (western world)

More wonderful things in the world than in philosophy

There's one quote I love, but I can't remember who said it or really the exact phrasing. It was said by (I think) some scientist to a theologian (or philosopher or something), about the natural world:

There are more wonderful things in this world than are contained in your philosophy

Or something. Maybe change a few words around. I searched around on the net for it but I couldn't find anything. Can someone enlighten me? 11:59, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

  • I believe you're thinking of Hamlet, Act I, sc. v (Hamlet speaking):
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
--Antiquary 12:33, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Ahh, Hamlet, obviously! Silly me, "when in doubt, go with Shakespeare". Thanks! 14:13, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Quote from Charles Spurgeon

I'm looking for clarity on a quote by Charles Spurgeon. There's one sentence that (to me) doesn't make since and I was wondering if you could tell me if these are the origial words:

"If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled >>>in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for." - Charles Spurgeon

From this point on >>> is what I'm not sure about. Thank you -- 20:27, 22 April 2008 (UTC) Abbey Cypert

  • I've checked your text against the 1864 edition of Charles Spurgeon's Sermons, and it seems to be perfectly correct. The overall meaning of the passage is "Sinners will be damned, so let us dissuade them from sin if we can; if they go to hell it should not be for lack of any efforts on our part". Perhaps you're puzzled by the phrase "in the teeth of"? It means "despite" or "in spite of". --Antiquary 18:36, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

If two people completely agree on everything, one person isn't thinking

Can someone tell me who said this? Is there a search engine on this sight that can help me find this?


  • General George S. Patton is widely credited with having said, "If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking", or words to that effect, but I haven't found any solid evidence that he actually did. Our search engine is a little below the top of every page, on the left-hand side, but I normally find it more sensible to use Google – like so. --Antiquary 21:38, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The following somewhat similar quote appears in The Yale Book of Quotations:

When two men in a business always agree, one of them is unnecessary. William Wrigley, Jr., Quoted in Reader's Digest, July 1940

Fred R. Shapiro Editor Yale Book of Quotations

proverb :if you save a life you are responsible for it?

Looking for proverb that says, "If you save man's life, then you are responsible for him for life" or words to that effect. I believe it is Chinese or Asian but may be wrong. --

Feels like a riff on the old "teaching a man to fish" stuff. Circeus 06:12, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Quote on changng one's opinion as new information comes to light

There is a succinct quote I am trying to track down that goes along the lines of "If I held an opinion that is disproved by further information, I change my opinion. What do you do ?" Can anyone provide the exact quote and who made it ? TIA John.

  • That's usually said to have been a remark of John Maynard Keynes's in reply to criticism of his monetary policy, but as with so many spoken-word quotations it's very difficult to come up with a really reliable source. The earliest one I can find is an article by the economist Paul Samuelson, "The Keynes Centenary", published in the June 25, 1983 number of The Economist:
Keynes provided his own impeccable defence of being protean. "When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?"
On the other hand here's Samuel Brittan in The Financial Times, May 8, 2003:
J. M. Keynes is often reported to have said, "When the facts change I change my mind". It is unlikely that he said anything so banal. He is more likely to have said, "When I change my mind I say so, what do you do?"
A pity he didn't give any evidence for that. --Antiquary 12:40, 11 May 2008 (UTC)


i have a pitcure from april 18 1925 it looks like a invation for a dinner it looks like an orignal an signed by a morgan stranimetz for a lieut. l white busbey.u.s.n i would like to know more about this picture thank you

political ideologies explained

I'm looking for a short 'filler' , possibly from the Readers Digest, which explained political ideologies by using the device of what each would do with your cows. Help! Anyone!

How about here? Clarityfiend 18:34, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Einstein on committing anything to memory

I have seen the quote (perhaps paraphrasing here), "I do not commit anything to memory that can be looked up in books." I have heard it attributed to Einstein but can't seem to find it. Anyone know if indeed this is an Einstein quote, and if so from where? Thanks! --Stevebatton 17:37, 14 May 2008 (UTC)


--Abhay 02:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC) would like to know the various symbols for the following : Good luck, Prosperity, Good Education, Happy Marriage and Good Health. ideally non religion specific symbols are preffered. thankyou - Anonymous

We try to answer questions about quotations here. You might be better off asking about symbols at Wikipedia's Reference Desk/Humanities. --Antiquary 20:18, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

A quote regarding the Blues

Who said something like, "Those English boys want to play the Blues in the worst way, and they do."

If that's not the correct quote please supply it for me.

Thank you

-- 18:21, 27 June 2008 (UTC)Purple Hayes

The blues singer and harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson II is reported to have told Robbie Robertson "Those cats in England want to play the blues so bad, and they play 'em so bad" (Source: Charles Shaar Murray Crosstown Traffic (St. Martin's Press, 1991) p. 81). Or there again it might have been "Those English boys...", or "They...", or "...and they play it so bad", or "...and they do play the blues so bad." As usual with a quotation from conversation the precise words depend on the quoter. --Antiquary 19:39, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Who said this quote?

A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse? --anon

The philosopher William Godwin included that proverb in the dialogue of his 1794 novel Caleb Williams, but I imagine he would only have used it if it was already in popular use. --Antiquary 19:14, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Kirk Douglas and Einstein

In which film does Kirk Douglas say; "Einstein couldn't kick a football across this dance floor, but he changed the shape of the universe?"

That's a Kirk Douglas line from the 1949 film A Letter to Three Wives. --Antiquary 19:17, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Oh, hello dere!

This was from an old animated cartoon; I think perhaps from Woody Woodpecker and Friends or possibly Tom and Jerry and Friends. I believe the creature that quoted this was a goat (and maybe had round glasses). He would keep popping up throughout the cartoon and say this.-- 16:46, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I forgot to ask who exactly said this and what is it from?

Thanks! -- 17:00, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I think it was the bear in "Chilly Willy".--Yehudi 07:01, 20 July 2008 (UTC)


Who said and how does it really go that "the something of invention is the the something of invention." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Psichi01 (talkcontribs) 01:21, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

If you're talking about the famous adage, "necessity is the mother of invention", here you are:
  • Then, I said, let us begin and create in idea a State; and yet the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.
I don't have a quick link to the original Greek. Hope this helps. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:54, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Turn of the lights they scatter

Is this from a song or what..... And when i turn off the lights they scatter and I'm like baby come back.

-- anon —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lpmmom1 (talkcontribs) 06:44, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

It's from the track "Koalas", on the comedy album Strategic Grill Locations by Mitch Hedberg. It goes like this:
My apartment is infested with koala bears. It's the cutest infestation ever – way better than cockroaches. When I turn on the light a bunch of koala bears scatters, and I dont want them to, you know. And I'm "Hey, hold on fellas, let me hold one of you and feed you a leaf."
--Antiquary 10:38, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Shirley Chisolm or Muhammad Ali?

Who said: Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. Some say Shirley Chisom or Muhammad Ali. Also attributed to Marian Edelman. Does anyone have a source for it? -- 22:47, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

  • I don't doubt that all three quoted it, but the thing to find out is always who said it first. The earliest source I can find is A Labrador Logbook (1938) by the medical missionary Sir Wilfred Grenfell: "The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth." --Antiquary 20:38, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

"That's my story, and I'm sticking to it"

Does anyone know who said "That's my story and I'm Sticking to it." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Katowell (talkcontribs) 04:04, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

You're not cleared for that, citizen

Heard this the other day and I don't know where it's from. "You're not cleared for that, citizen". It may be preceded by other words, I don't know. Does anyone know who this is from??? -- 14:57, 13 August 2008 (UTC) Anoma_Lee from Wikipedia

Sounds like the RPG Paranoia, but it in turn could have borrowed it from any dystopian novel or film. 18:56, 7 September 2008 (UTC)


 Can someone please help me understand what you believe to be the meaning of the follwing quote by Tom Stoppard:
 "We cross our bridges when we come to them, and burn them behind us with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke and a presumption that once our eyes watered".

--Aliron1314 14:39, 20 August 2008 (UTC)


08/21/08 14:25 CDT

I REALLY need some help with this...PLEASE! What does this quote (below) by Tom Stoppard mean??? "We cross our bridges when we come to them, and burn them behind us with nothing to show for our progress except the memory of the smell of smoke and a presumption that once our eyes watered".


Nothing matters except you believe it so

That's one of my favorite quotes but I can't remember where it came from. Nor do I know of ways of finding the reference except by searching for the quote here or on Google. - Sultec 08:21, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Who said that?

Can you please tell me who said, in more or less those words: "Why ask questions whose answers you need not?" Thx -~PR 25/08/08 1:10AM GMT +4

  • Here are a few shots all around the target:
"Why ask questions of this sort, when they can do no good?" Robert Williams Buchanan Lady Kilpatrick (1895)
"Why ask a question whose answer you already know?" Arthur Somers Roche Marriage for Two (1929)
"Why ask a question when you know the answer?" Ivy Compton-Burnett Daughters and Sons (1937)
"Why ask the question when you know the answer?" Robert F. Kennedy The Enemy Within (1960)
"Why ask questions when you already know the answer?" Paul Auster Ghosts (1986).
"You never ask questions whose answers you don't need to know." Karl Ackerman Dear Will (2000).
But I'm afraid I can't find your precise words being used anywhere. --Antiquary 19:35, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I thought it was Graham Greene

Who said something like this? "It's easier to change the editor than change the title."

Yes, it was Graham Greene. Telling the journalist Israel Shenker why he had switched publisher, he said, "What irritated me was a telegram saying that the travelers [salesmen] didn't like the title of my book and would I change it to something else, and I came back saying it was easier to change the publisher than the title." Source: Israel Shenker writing in The New York Times, September 12, 1971. [15]
--Antiquary 13:40, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Milky Way galaxie

How to determine size of the Milky Way galaxie --anon

We try to answer questions about quotations here. Your question might find an answer at Wikipedia Reference desk/Science. --Antiquary 20:43, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Be kinder than necessary?

"Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle": who said it?

Apparently attributed to T.H. Thompson, John Watson and James M. Barrie. A source to nail down who really said (or wrote) it would be great. 18:48, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

The best I can do is to direct you to a discussion we had on this question here two or three years ago. The earliest solidly dateable usage cited there is from one George MacAdam, who in 1914 ascribed it to Ian Maclaren, a pseudonym of John Watson (1850-1907). You'll also find there that attributions to Plato and Philo can be ruled out. --Antiquary 21:29, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Should quotes by fictional characters be listed in the People category under the actor that played the character?

As an example, all of the quotes listed for Queen Latifa in the People category are for fictional characters she played. Shouldn't the People category be reserved for quotes actually original to a real person?

I agree with you. The ideal solution in this case would be for someone to set up pages for Last Holiday and Beauty Shop, and then move the quotes there. If you felt like doing that we'd be obliged. --Antiquary 21:35, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

André Gide

Andre Gide must have said something like: "the length of the unopened wings cannot be known" or "the length of the wings cannot be known until they are unfolded."Any one knows the exact quote? Thanks

Pearl Buck only the brave?

Did Pearl Buck write this?

Only the brave should teach. Only those who love the young should teach. Teaching is a vocation. It is as sacred as priesthood; as innate a desire, as inescapable as the genius which compels a great artist. If s/he has not the concern for humanity, the love of living creatures, the vision of the priest and the artist, s/he must not teach.

-- 10:48, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

A search on Google Books suggests that Pearl Buck said that while addressing the American Association of School Administrators in Atlantic City, but I'm afraid I haven't been able to find more details. --Antiquary 20:06, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

What is the exact English Translation Of Andre Gide's famous Quote?

Andre Gide must have said something like: "the length of the unfolded wings cannot be known" or "the length of the wings cannot be known until they are unfolded."Any one knows the exact quote? Thanks --S

Request: Attribution of quote about life

I would like to know who this is attributed to:

"Life is what happens when things don't go as planned."

20:52, 27 September 2008 (UTC) Thanks, I found it: Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. Allen Saunders, Quoted in Reader's Digest, Jan. 1957

God created alcohol to stop the irish ruling the world

Who said this? Is it an accurate quote? Donek 20:27, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

T. Jefferson Parker's 1997 novel Where Serpents Lie includes the line, "God created booze to keep us Irish from taking over the world", (p. 27 of the 1998 Hyperion reprint). I suppose that could be the origin, though to me it sounds more like it came originally from the anonymous T shirt/button/car sticker culture. --Antiquary 21:23, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

A monkey in its mother's eyes

" القرد فى عين امه غزال" literal translation: "A monkey is a monkey in its mother’s eyes." "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" The correct proverb should be: "A monkey in its mother's eyes is a Gazzelle"

The beholder is the monkey's mother who sees her child as a beautiful gazzelle.

I think you must be intending this as a correction of a proverb on our Egyptian proverbs page. I've substituted "gazelle" for "monkey" there, and also copied your comment onto the Talk:Egyptian proverbs page so that Egyptian-speakers will have a chance to judge whether you're right. I must say, your version does make more sense. --Antiquary 19:00, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Quote: "What's the deal, Harv?"

Where did the quote "What's the deal, Harv?" originate?

Thanks, Holly

Who said this?

"The soils of liberty must, from time to time, be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots."

  • In a letter to W. S. Smith dated November 13, 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." I imagine that's what you're thinking of. --Antiquary 18:30, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Fred Astare

What movie did he dance in and with whom to a song called "I remember When"?

Esther McCollum esther.mccollum@ge.com

I can't turn up any reference to a Fred Astaire song with that title. Are you sure you have the name right? You might try asking this question at Wikipedia: Reference Desk/Entertainment where the film buffs gather. --Antiquary 19:01, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Heroic Coding - A Project Manager's Nightmare

Hi Guys,

I have posted a quote up which I thought might already exist, but I couldn't find it here.

I would appreciate your guidance on whether it has been posted and who it should be attributed to, and apologise if it's out there somewhere already.

Kind Regards,

Peter Jones Harrow UK.

quote about source of income and honesty/objectivity in that area

I recall a quote about how you make your income and your honesty/objectivity within that area. Basically, the quote implied that a person can't consider a topic with honesty and objectivity if that person's income is derived from an area involving that topic. ... What is the exact quote and who said it? 20:40, 5 November 2008 (UTC) --anon

The quote is by Upton Sinclair. The Yale Book of Quotations, which includes virtually all famous quotations with precise, accurate sources, has it on page 712. Fred R. Shapiro, Editor, Yale Book of Quotations (Yale University Press)

To save you the trouble of finding a copy, the quotation is given there as "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it", but the only source cited is Evan Esar's Dictionary of Humorous Quotations. Our own page on Upton Sinclair locates the source as Sinclair's I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935). --Antiquary 13:15, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Splitting an apple in two - expression

Does anyone know the proper expression? It is supposed to mean agreeing to share equal portions. In other words, in negotiations you agree to "split the apple in two" ?? In French the expression is "Couper le poire en deux" --Megmmm 15:25, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

I've never heard of "splitting the apple in two" as an expression here in Britain. The nearest foodie equivalents I can think of for couper la poire en deux (la poire, incidentally: pears are feminine in French) are "sharing the cake" or "sharing the pie". --Antiquary 20:41, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

CBS:Criminal Minds-Paradise 10/22/08 [4.4]

Please, could someone provide me with the quote that ended the program. the gist or the essence of the quote was the ability to see the real character of the individual as opposed to the individuals public face. Thanks.--Wordmagic 11:12, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

It might be here... – RyanCross (talk) 11:13, 18 November 2008 (UTC)