to quote or not to quote… for me that’s never a question

Xander Harris quote from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

Xander Harris quote from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

I am obsessed with quotes. I am. I waste hours searching for the perfect quote to put in a photo book, on a birthday card or in a review. Quotes speak to me.

So today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. (I am, of course, hoping that you will then post your favorites and that I will discover still more cool quotes.)

I am exceedingly fond of the words of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965). That man had better quips than almost anyone in 20th century politics. Here are some of his better bon mots:

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”

“A modest man, who has much to be modest about.” (On Clement Atlee)

“Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.”

I love to travel and, when back at home, almost always make a photo book documenting my wanderings. I like to put a quote about travel on the back of each book. Here are a few I’ve used recently:

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine.

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” Martin Buber.

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” Helaire Belloc

My husband and I occasionally, just for the romance of it, send each other cards. I often use the words of others to express my feelings for him. I’ve sent him all of these quotes at one time or another:

“[Marriage] …the deep, deep peace of the double-bed after the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue.” Mrs. Patrick Campbell

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Mignon McLaughlin

“Grow old with me!  The best is yet to be.” Robert Browning

“A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea.” Honore de Balzac

“Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing.” Goethe

There are quotes that I love simply for the wisdom, the rightness, of their words.

“Not on one strand are all life’s jewels strung.” William Morris

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.” Emily Dickinson

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” Wayne Gretzky

“Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.” André Gide

And then there are, possibly nearest and dearest to my heart, Buffy quotes.

Cordelia Chase: “Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it.”

Buffy: “I told one lie, I had one drink.” Giles: “Yes, and you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake. The words “let that be a lesson” are a tad redundant at this juncture.”

Angelus: “Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping…waiting…and though unwanted…unbidden…it will stir…open its jaws, and howl. It speaks to us…guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love…the clarity of hatred…and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we’d truly be dead.”

Oz: “Nobody deserves a mime, Buffy.”

Buffy: “Dawn, the hardest thing in this world… is to live in it.”

Willow: “Carpe diem. You told me that once.”
Buffy: “Fish of the day?”

Dabney AAR

6 thoughts on “to quote or not to quote… for me that’s never a question

  1. Tee

    My Dad loved quotes and so do I. You mentioned Winston Churchill and he is one of my favorites to quote. Eleanor Roosevelt and Anne Morrow Lindbergh are other favorites. But the world is full of quotes and some great ones can come from people you would never think to quote.

    As far as favorites themselves, there are so many, I wouldn’t even know how to begin to list them. I use them as I need them and they just pop into my head or I go to a source. How about these to start?

    “A lie is a lie no matter if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth no matter whether anyone believes it.” —Bishop Fulton J Sheen

    “If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve your problem, then what is the use of worrying?” —Shantideva

    “Truth is incontrovertible—ignorance may deride it, panic may resent it, malice may distort it, but there it is.” —Winston Churchill

    “Prayer is not to change things for you; prayer is to change you for things.” —Unknown

    The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes. —Winston Churchill

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  2. xina

    My mother loved quotes too, and poetry. She was always an avid reader and sometimes a writer, but when she got very old and not able to understand or remember what she read in novels, she read poetry and quotes quite a bit. I can’t remember specifically her favorites, although the Robert Browning quote that Dabney has in her post, was one of her favorites. Some of mine…

    “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” -Robert Frost

    “And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of seperation.” -Kahlil Gibran

    “Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.”-Kahlil Gibran

    “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.”-Benjamin Franklin

    “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”- Leo Tolstoy (opening sentence to Anna Karenina)

    “To err is human; to forgive, divine.”-Alexander Pope

    “We must learn together as brothers or perish together as fools.”-Martin Luther King

    “I have never been hurt by anything I didn’t say.”-Calvin Coolidge

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  3. Missie

    It’s so nice to know hubby and I aren’t alone in our love of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. :-)

    Another favorite of mine to quote is Mark Twain. A few of my favorites of his:

    “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” (“What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us”)

    “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.” (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar)

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

    “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

    “Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.” ~~ “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar”

    “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” ~~ Mark Twain

    “Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.” – Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar

    “…the common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn’t indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn’t detect.” ~~Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

    “The xmas holidays have this high value: that they remind Forgetters of the Forgotten, & repair damaged relationships.”~~letter to Carlotte Welles, 30 Dec 1907

    “I do not like work even when someone else does it.”

    Some other favorite quotes:

    “Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”~~G. Randolf

    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”~~Albert Einstein

    “If the Aborigine drafted an I.Q. test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it.” ~~ Stanley Garn

    “Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?” ~~ Winnie the Pooh

    “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ~~Anonymous

    “If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted?”~~George Carlin

    “Every generation needs a new revolution.”~~Thomas Jefferson

    “Man’s mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.”~~Oliver Wendell Holmes

    “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. ” ~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  4. nicole

    I love so many of these quotes and have read a few new ones as well….. here are a couple of favorites of mine:

    “Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.”
    ~ Billy Wilder

    “You can’t solve problems by the same means the problems were created”
    – Albert Einstein

    “An eye for an eye…and the whole world goes blind”
    – Gandhi

    I could do a whole page from Steel Magnolias, but will just list one (the one my sister and i say to each other all the time):

    “You are evil, and you must be destroyed. ”

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  5. Suellen Mahlum

    Aw, this was quite a good post. In concept I have to spot in writing related to this moreover – spending time and actual effort to make a outstanding article… but what / issues I say… I procrastinate alot and no indicates often get something carried out.

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