01 March 2013

Quotes

Another round-up of quotes recently encountered.

If you know someone who's depressed please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn't a straightforward response to a bad situation, depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness they're going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It's hard to be a friend to someone who's depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do.
[Stephen Fry]

If you must chose between two evils pick the one you've never tried before.
[Walt Whitman]

All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.
[Sean O’Casey]

Roman law explicitly set out the who, where and why of cursing. One expert calculated that the Romans had eight hundred 'dirty' words. Egyptian lawyers of the same period would seal documents with a hieroglyph which translates as: 'As for him who shall disregard it, may he be fucked by a donkey.' The actual hieroglyph? Two big penises, both erect.
[Peter Silverton, Filthy English: The How, Why, When and What of Everyday Swearing]

Everyone without exception believes that their own native customs are by far the best … there is plenty of evidence that this is the universal human attitude.
[Herodotus, ca. 440BC, quoted in Peter Silverton, Filthy English: The How, Why, When and What of Everyday Swearing]

No one has ever spelled out how the mere hearing of a word could corrupt one's morals.
[Steven Pinker, 2002, also quoted in Peter Silverton, Filthy English: The How, Why, When and What of Everyday Swearing]

Obscenity lies not in words or things, but in attitudes that people have about words and things.
[Philologist Allen Walker Read, 1935, and another quoted in Peter Silverton, Filthy English: The How, Why, When and What of Everyday Swearing]

The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.
[John Stuart Mill]

The poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he.
[Colonel Rainsborough]

Don't ever do the best you can do. It's better to be mediocre.
[Terry Allen]
This is certainly true: doing it properly and right first time doesn't get rewards except more work. It's the mediocre and even the incompetent who get the rewards because they have the time to shout about how good they are.

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