quotable quotes!



Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003)


The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples' money.

Margaret Thatcher

Italian Politics

Things are never so bad that they couldn’t be worse.

Financial Crashes

Stability breeds instability

Hyman Minsky  (1919- 1996)


Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

Napoleon Boneparte


Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Albert von Szent-Gyorgy (1893 - 1986), Hungarian born American biochemist (Nobel prize 1937)

Appraisal and assessment

  1. You do not make a pig fatter by weighing it.

  2. Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted


Washington DC

   Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

Thomas Jones (1892 - 1969)

    If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.

Harry S Truman

    If you can't convince them, confuse them.

Harry S Truman

    I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.

Harry S Truman

It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.

Mark Twain

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

Oscar Wilde

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

Winston Churchill


Grant  me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,

the good  fortune to run into the ones I do,

and the eyesight to tell the  difference.


A wealthy man is one who earns $100 a year more than his wife’s sister’s husband.


Ambulances in the NHS

Britain is the only place in the world that I can get a pizza to my door quicker than an ambulance.

An interested observer of matters medical

Three sides

There are three sides to every story - yours, mine, and the truth.

Robert Evans, actor and producer.

I started out with nothing, and I have still got most of it left.

       Grouch Marx


If you live long enough, the venerability factor creeps in; you get accused of things you never did and praised for virtues you never had.

IF Stone, American writer (1907 - 89)

If we knew what it was we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it?


If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Marcus Aurelius Antonius (AD 121-180)

Old Age
Old Age isn't a battle; old age is a massacre.

Philip Roth, Everyman.

Clever is the man who believes half of what he hears. Brilliant is the man who chooses the right half to believe....

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken him completely by surprise.

Sports medicine expert and author, PZ Pearce.

Perfection is unattainable - problem-free research is fraudulent.

Prof David Stone, Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology, University of Glasgow.

No health foods
Old people shouldn't eat health foods. They need all the preservatives they can get.

Robert Orben

Anyone can be angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way - this is not easy.

Aristotle, Nicomachean ethics


  1. Behind every successful man is an astonished woman

  2. A man owes his success to his first wife and his second wife to his success

A selection of political insults from 'Scorn with extra bile' by Matthew Parris.

The full text of Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech. (click on quotation)

The poetry of Donald Rumsfeld (click on Rumsfeld)

The three stages of a man's life

He believes in Santa Claus
He doesn't believe in Santa Claus
He IS Santa Claus

People would rather be deceived than have the truth cause them anxiety.

Caleb Carr, derived from the Latin, "mundus vult decipi" which means "the world wishes to be deceived"
[Has this accidently crossed my desk during the second Gulf War?]

Paper thin
The division between art and deviousness and crime is sometimes as thin as a cigarette paper.

Robertson Davies (1913-95), What's bred in the bone.

Age and wisdom
The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.

Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956), American editor and critic.

Learning from each other
The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool

George Santayana (1863-1952), Spanish born American educator, philosopher, and poet, in Dialogues in Limbo, 1925

Unreasonableness pays off
The reasonable man adapts himself to suit the world,
while the unreasonable man seeks to adjust the world to suit him.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

George Bernard Shaw, in Man and superman

Theory and practice
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice; in practice there is.

Kevin Barraclough quotes Yogi Bear

Being an Australian in Europe I am the frequent recipient of pieces pointing out the superiority of Aussie Culture. A selection can be viewed on the "Culture" page.

Commit adultery only with those who have as much to lose as you do.

Advice to John Major!

Lace my boots?… He’s not good enough to lace my drinks

George Best on Paul Gascoigne

Four things a woman wants from a man:

1.It is important to find a man who works around the house, cooks and cleans, and helps care for the kids & and who makes money.

2.It is important to find a man who loves to spend money on you and show you a good time

3.It is important to find a man who is good in bed and loves to have sex with you

4.It is important that these three men never meet.

War hath no fury like a non-combatant.

CE Montaigne

The world's trouble
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt.

Bertrand Russell (1872 -1970)

Never apologise (Coincidentally quoted in the BMJ in the week Roy Keane refused to apologise to Mick McCarthy.....)
It is a good rule in life never to apologise. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.

PG Wodehouse 1881 – 1975

The only exercise I take is walking behind the coffins of friends who took exercise.

Peter O’Toole

The Perils of Publishing
When you publish something, it is very much as if you pulled your pants down in public. If what you have written is good, nobody can hurt you; if what you have written is bad, nobody can help you.

Edna St Vincent Millay, American poet (1892-1950)

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

Woody Allen

Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five.

W Somerset Maughan


"Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses".

H.L.Mencken American editor, author, and critic, 1880-1951

"If you're in a bad situation, don't worry, it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry, it'll change."

John A Simone Sr

Things I have learnt from my children

A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell and leave you looking forward to the trip.

"If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

Eubie Blake, Jazz musician (1883-1983)


"Writing is like prostitution, first you do it for the love of it, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for the money."


Letter to Bill Gates from a Japanese windows user!

"Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously."

GK Chesterton

"In one pocket keep a message reminding you that you are dust and ashes. In the other pocket keep a message telling you that the world was created just for you."

Advice from an American Comedian

"There are no shortcuts to anywhere that's worth going to."

Beverly Sills, Opera Star

"It has been my experience that people who have no vices have very few virtues."

Abraham Lincoln

"Not all chemicals are bad. Without hydrogen or oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer."

Dave Berry

"You've reached middle age when all you exercise is caution."


"Those who think they know everything are very annoying to those of us who do."

Terry Marchal

"You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes. After that, you better know something."

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sipping Vodka

"Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons."

Woody Allen

"A banker: the person who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it rains."

Mark Twain

"There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there."

Indira Ghandi

"There are two kinds of people, those who divide people into two kinds, and those who don't."


"A stumble may prevent a fall."

English proverb

"All of us could take a lesson from the weather, it pays no attention to criticism."

North DeKalb Kiwanis Club Beacon

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."

Stephen Leacock

"If you want truly to understand something, try to change it."

Kurt Lewin

Necessity is the mother of taking chances

Mark Twain

Praise does wonders for the sense of hearing

Bits and Pieces

"Facts are stubborn things."

Aain Rene Lesage

"Those who agree with us may not be right, but we admire their astuteness."

Cullen Hightower

"A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it."

Alistair Cooke

"If at first you do succeed - try to hide your astonishment."

Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Recipes for happiness

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy

Benjamin Franklin

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.

George Burns


Copyright on the net

The piracy of intellectual property should be regarded as a form of promotion not theft,

The Economist

Hypothesis and Fact

The great tragedy of Science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact

Thomas Henry Huxley, Collected Essays (1893-4), "Biogenesis and Abiogenesis".

Understanding of the world

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

Albert Einstein

Wise Advice

Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.

Edward Stanley, 1826-93, at an address at Liverpool College, 20 December 1873

A Texan prayer

Lord, help me in my constant search for truth but spare me the company of people who have found it.



If one puts ones hand on a hotplate for a minute, it seems like an hour; if a pretty girl sits on your knee for an hour, it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.

Albert Einstein

Survival of the Fittest

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one most adaptable to change.

Charles Darwin



Nothing to do with Thoracic Surgery; extensively and unashamably plagiarised from the BMJ "Endpieces" and other sources…


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