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Tuesday, 7 November, 2000, 13:07 GMT
What's your favourite quotation?
If you were to think of a quote from the last 60 years that really evoked a moment in history, what would it be?
Penguin's Modern Dictionary of Quotations has been published and the Spice Girls, former England Manager Glen Hoddle and comedian Eddie Izzard all make entries, alongside more lofty words from world leaders and the literati.
Some may say quotes from pop stars and comedians sit uneasily next to the likes of Winston Churchill, but the dictionary's editors say they were looking for words that really illustrate the time.
What makes a good quote? Which pearls of wisdom have stuck in your mind? Send us your favourite quotations.
This Talking Point is now closed. A selection of your e-mails is published below.
"The greatest truths are the simplest, and so are the greatest men" - Joseph Howe.
"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens"
- Jimi Hendrix
"Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they loved her" - G. K. Chesterton, 1908.
"Please ensure that you remove clothing before ironing" - instruction on iron packaging.
Guy Davis, England
"New Labour, New Danger" - Conservative poster campaign at the last UK elections. I hate to admit it but they were completely correct.
Water finds its own level.
"Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer!"
We're all in the gutter but some of us see stars - Oscar Wilde.
My favourite comes from an advertisement for a dictionary: "Alphabetized for easy reference". One for the Batman file.
Olawole Akinsanmi, Nigeria
"Pope John Paul II's rejection of barrier contraception has led to the greatest holocaust in the history of mankind" - Anon.
I spent a third of my fortune on women, a third on wine and song and the other third I just frittered away - Anon.
"Democracy is the worst form of government, apart from the alternative"
- Winston Churchill
The idle Drone, that labours not at all,
Suckes up the sweete of honny from the Bee:
Who worketh most, to their share least doth fall;
With due desert, reward will neuer be.
History admires the wise, but it elevates the brave
Fishbone album title, I think.
Or: How do you make God laugh? Tell him about your plans for the future.
John Cleese, in an interview.
Oliver A. Baroni, UK/CH
The reason why birds can fly is because they have perfect faith. To have perfect faith is to have wings.
Another producer commented, "Son, you ain't going nowhere. Go back to drivin' a truck". The recipient of this comment was Elvis Presley.
Finally, how about a review of a wannabe performer, "Can't sing. Can't act. Can dance a little". The performer - Fred Astaire.
we are just grains of sand living in the desert of time
"There are three kinds of people in this world. Those who can count and those who can't" - Warren Buffet.
"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys" - P. J. O'Rourke
Be nice to people on your way up. You'll probably meet them on your way down. - unknown.
Life is a tale told by an idiot - Shakespeare.
"There are only two things you can be certain about in life. Death and taxes" - anon.
"I can resist everything except temptation" - Oscar Wilde.
"Always borrow money from a pessimist, because they never expect to get it back!"
- Batman Costume warning label
Jon Hannaford, UK
"You know how it is, you put things off for a day and next thing you know it's a hundred years later" - Peter Davidson as Doctor Who.
Murphy's Law - amended.
If you drop a piece of toast and jam on the floor it always lands jam side down ... except when attempting to prove Murphy's Law. Anon.
"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity." Ralph Waldo Emerson.
'There is nothing to fear but fear itself.'
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
The words of our elders are words of wisdom, the wise man hears and gets wiser. - Yoruba proverb
Red Sky in the Morning - Shepherds Warning.
Never eat yellow snow.
"Never drink because another man is thirsty."
(My grandfather's advice as I went off to university.)
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
"Sir, If I was your wife, I would poison your brandy."
'To err is human, but it takes a computer to really foul things up'!
"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you
" - Anon
"All you need is love." - John Lennon
"90% of statistics are made up on the spot" - Guinness
It is not age or even death one fears as much as loneliness and lack of affection. - Audrey Hepbern
If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. (Steven Wright)
Unknown actor: "Why do people take an instant dislike to me?" Spike Milligan: "It saves time."
"Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it" - can't remember who.
"The only death you die is the death you die every day by not living."
"An eternity with Beelzebub and all his hellish minions is nothing compared to five minutes with me and this pencil"
"These people are so mega-conglomerate, one small withdrawal and Switzerland goes Third World, darling." - Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders), Absolutely Fabulous.
Copulation equals Population equals Pollution. - Spike Milligan
Being humble is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. -Anonymous
It is unfortunate that the people who know best how to run the country are too busy cutting hair and driving cabs. - George Burns
Indestructible to the last and from the days before politics was plastic:
"A week is a long time in politics" President Truman
"It is with the best of intentions that the worst work is done." Oscar Wilde
"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."
If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion. - George Bernard Shaw
"One man's life touches so many others, when he's not there it leaves an awfully big hole."
P. Martin, USA
"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation..." Robert Kennedy
"If we don't succeed then we run the risk of failure" - Former Vice President of the US Dan Quayle
"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt
"Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy."
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will be fed for life." - Unknown.
"Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings...they
did it by killing all those who opposed them."
Michael Cronshaw, UK
There is a line in the Led Zeppelin song "Stairway to Heaven" that reads:
"There's a feeling I get when I look to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving".
The most poignant words I have ever seen sprayed on the Berlin Wall.
"It is indeed a strange illusion that beauty suggests goodness." - Tolstoy
Timothy Thomas, America
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a man and a dog." - Mark Twain
"Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought." - Henri Bergson.
"Tuck in your shirt, Franek, we're in Europe now." - my mother
It is better to be on the ground wishing you were flying, rather than up in the air wishing you were on the ground. - Aviation proverb.
My favourite words of the past sixty years are probably Kurt Cobain's lyrics in the song IN BLOOM - "Sell the kids for food. Weather changes moods."
Homer Simpson truly is the god of quotations. Who could forget:
Wise words from MegaDeth Frontman Dave Mustane a few years ago. "...Success is having what you want - Happiness is wanting what you have..." So much for all that loud music rotting your brain!?
There are so many. I think when Churchill was told "Sir, you're drunk" in the Commons and replied "Madam you're ugly, but I'll be sober in the morning" has to be one of the best. Even if he didn't really say it!
Chris Hoare, UK
I feel this is one quote that shouldn't be omitted from this debate:
This one is topical, considering previous talking points:
Jose Fernandez, Netherlands
"If you live by the sword you die by the sword", Nasty Nick. It has to be the classic quote of the year!
"Political correction is the language of cowardice."
"For NASA, space is still a high priority."
- Vice President Al Gore, 9/5/93
My favourite comes from Tom Peters: "Some people enjoy corporate life; then again some people enjoy nipple clamps"
Refering to the human race "We're just a virus with shoes" - Bill Hicks
Mick Wright, Thailand
I think ET had the best advice of all:
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." - The Who.
It has to be 'One small step for man; one vast leap for mankind'
"Ich bin ein Berliner."
"Houston, we have a problem"
Nick Hing, England
"It is a brave thing to have courage to be an individual; it is also, perhaps, a lonely thing. But it is better than not being an individual, which is to be nobody at all." - Eleanor Roosevelt
"Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
If there is beauty in the person, there is harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house, there is order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world".
"If you want to know God's opinion of money, look at who he gave it to" - Brendan Behan, I think.
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" - Albert Einstein.
"The party on the left is the party on the right ...
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" - We Won't
Get Fooled Again, Pete Townsend.
'90% of people...drink and gamble. I've done my best to give them decent liquor and square games'.
Al Capone, 1928
(note: booze was illegal in the US during the 1920's).
"I've got a great idea for a gameshow" - Roger Mellie.
In Adversity, you know your friends - Papa.
Patricia Seneviratne, USA
Failure to prepare is preparation for failure.
Robert E. Lee
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana - Groucho Marx.
"Nothing wrong with shooting as long as the right people get shot".
Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force, 1973
"The gates of paradise are at the feet of your mother".
A Muslim saying.
Ian Nicholson Howard, Japan
"Ah... God, my favourite fictional character" - Homer J. Simpson
"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines". Unknown.
"Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment." - Mahatma Gandhi
The Wisdom of Homer J Simpson:
Murphy's Law: "What can go wrong will go wrong" (Murphy was an optimist.)
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