The Jacana Curmudgeon


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Quotations E






The main purpose of the stock market is to make fools of as many men as possible.

- Bernard Baruch.


An economic forecaster is like a cross-eyed javelin thrower: they don't win many accuracy contests, but they keep the crowd's attention.


Economists are still trying to figure out why the girls with the least principle draw the most interest.


If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.




A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.

- Theodore Roosevelt.


No man who worships education has got the best out of education....Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete.

- G.K. Chesterton.


The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.

- Sydney J. Harris.


Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.

- Albert Einstein.


It'll be a great day when education gets all the money it wants and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy bombers.

- Author unknown, quoted in You Said a Mouthful.


If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

- Attributed to both Andy McIntyre and Derek Bok.


Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.

- Edward Everett.


The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.

- Robert Maynard Hutchins.


Rarely is the question asked: is our children learning?

- George W. Bush.


Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.

- Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist.


I read Shakespeare and the Bible, and I can shoot dice. That's what I call a liberal education.

- Tallulah Bankhead.


Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper.

- Robert Frost.


The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
- Alvin Toffler.


There is nothing so stupid as the educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in.

- Will Rogers.


Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.

- William Butler Yeats.


I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.

- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.


I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

- Mark Twain.


I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.

- Yogi Berra.


The regular course was Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with; and then the different branches of Arithmetic - Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.

- Lewis Carroll.


Harvard University, according to the directory of the American Society of Colleges and Universities, is a "type of weevil."

- Dave Barry.


All the learnin' my father paid for was a bit o' birch at one end and an alphabet at the other.

- George Eliot.


I had just received my degree in Calcium Anthropology... the study of milkmen.

- Steven Wright.


You can get all A's and still flunk life.

- Walker Percy.


There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence.

- Jeremy S. Anderson.


I won't say ours was a tough school, but we had our own coroner. We used to write essays like: What I'm going to be if I grow up.

- Lenny Bruce.


I'm returning this note to you, instead of your paper, because it (your paper) presently occupies the bottom of my bird cage.

- English Professor, Providence College.


Of course there's a lot of knowledge in universities: the freshmen bring a little in; the seniors don't take much away, so knowledge sort of accumulates...


Examinations - Nature's laxative.


I is a college student.




The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

- Attributed to both Vidal Sassoon and Donald Kendall.


Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.

- Sam Ewing.


Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still.

- Chinese Proverb.


If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.

- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


God gave us two ends - one to sit on and one to think with. Success depends on which one you use. Head you win, tail you lose.


The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.


Why be difficult? Put in a little more effort and be impossible.




Be Thankful Only One Of Them Can Win.

- Bumper sticker, Nixon/Kennedy presidential election, 1960.


If Voting Changed Anything They’d Make It Illegal.

- Badge, London.




We have met the enemy, and he is us.

- Eddie Cantor.


Enemies are to me the sauce piquante to my dish of life.

- Elsa Maxwell.


A man can't be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

- Oscar Wilde.


We should forgive one’s enemies, but not before they are hanged..

- Heinrich Heine.


The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy.

- Friedrich Nietzsche.


Pay attention to your enemies for they are the first to discover your mistakes.

- Antisthenes.


Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.


Love your enemy - it’ll drive him nuts.


Love thine enemies….it really pisses them off.




Abroad is unutterably bloody and foreigners are fiends.

- Nancy Mitford.


Englishmen will never be slaves: they are free to do whatever the Government and public opinion allow them to do.

- George Bernard Shaw.


When I warned them [the French Government] that Britain would fight on alone whatever they did, their Generals told their PM and his divided Cabinet: ‘In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken.’ Some chicken! Some neck!

- Winston Churchill.


Curse the blasted jelly-boned swines, the slimy bell-wriggling invertebrates, the miserable sodding rotters, the flaming sods, the snivelling, dribbling, dithering, palsied pulseless lot that make up England today. They’ve got white of egg in their veins, and their spunk is that watery it’s a marvel they can breed . . . Why, why, why was I born an Englishman!

- D.H. Lawrence.


When it’s three o’clock in New York, it’s still 1938 in London.

- Bette Midler.


London: The monstrous tuberosity of civilized life, the capital of England.

- Thomas Carlyle.


An Englishman, even when he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.

- George Mikes.


Mad dogs and Englishmen

Go out in the midday sun,

The Japanese don’t care to,

The Chinese wouldn’t dare to,

Hindoos and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one.

But Englishmen detest a siesta.

- Noël Coward, ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’.


A man in a queue is as much the image of a true Briton as a man in a bull-ring is the image of a Spaniard.

- George Mikes.


We were not fairly beaten, my lord. No Englishman is ever fairly beaten.

- George Bernard Shaw.


So little, England. Little music. Little art. Timid. Tasteful. Nice.

- Alan Bennett.


Deploring change is the unchangeable habit of all Englishmen.

- Raymond Postgate.


The climate of England has been the world’s most powerful colonizing impulse.

- Russell Green.


Every Englishman is convinced of one thing, viz.: That to be an Englishman is to belong to the most exclusive club there is.

- Ogden Nash.


Englishmen think over a compliment for a week, so that by the time they pay it, it is addled, like a bad egg.

- W.J. Locke.


Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV.


England and America are two countries separated by the same language.


The natives start at Calais.


Yorkshireman: A Scotsman with the generosity removed.




It wasn't the Exxon Valdez captain's driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill. It was yours.

- Greenpeace advertisement, New York Times, 25 February 1990


Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find.

- Quoted in Time.


When a man throws an empty cigarette package from an automobile, he is liable to a fine of $50. When a man throws a billboard across a view, he is richly rewarded.

- Pat Brown.


I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defence of our resources is just as important as defence abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?

- Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985


We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

- Native American Proverb.


Take nothing but pictures.

Leave nothing but footprints.

Kill nothing but time.

- Motto of the Baltimore Grotto, a caving society.


Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

- Chief Seattle, 1855.


The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.

- Chief Luther Standing Bear


The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.

- Carl Sagan.


Man is a complex being: he makes deserts bloom - and lakes die.

- Gil Stern.


The American reading his Sunday paper in a state of lazy collapse is perhaps the most perfect symbol of the triumph of quantity over quality....Whole forests are being ground into pulp daily to minister to our triviality.

- Irving Babbitt.


We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.

- Albert Einstein.


Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.

- Anton Chekhov, Uncle Vanya, 1897.


The struggle to save the global environment is in one way much more difficult than the struggle to vanquish Hitler, for this time the war is with ourselves. We are the enemy, just as we have only ourselves as allies.

- Al Gore.


Arnold Schwarzenegger is blaming man for global warming. And today Al Gore agreed with him. That's so typical. Two cyborgs blaming the humans.

- Jay Leno.


The word "wilderness" occurs approximately three hundred times in the Bible, and all its meanings are derogatory.

- René Dubos, The Wooing of Earth.


Only when the last tree is cut; only when the last river is polluted; only when the last fish is caught; only then will they realise that you cannot eat money.

- Cree Indian proverb.


To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance.

- Buddha.


We must not be forced to explore the universe in search of a new home because we have made the Earth inhospitable, even uninhabitable. For if we do not solve the environmental and related social problems that beset us on Earth - pollution, toxic contamination, resource depletion, prejudice, poverty, hunger - those problems will surely accompany us to other worlds.

- Donald G. Kaufman and Cecilia M. Franz, Biosphere 2000 Protecting Our Global Environment


Is it fair to say that there'd be less litter in Britain if blind people were given pointed sticks?

- Adam Bloom


Save the's the only planet with chocolate.


Regular or extra crispy, how do you want the environment?




Beneath this mound Charles Crocker now reposes;

Step lightly, strangers - also hold your noses.

- Ambrose Bierce.


Here lies my wife: so let her lie!

Now she’s at rest, and so am I!

- John Dryden.


She sleeps alone at last.

- Robert Banchley - Suggested epitaph for an actress.


Here lies the body of Ezra Pound,

Lost at sea and never was found.

- Ezra Pound.


Here lies the body of Pavlov’s puppy,

Born stone deaf and got no suppy.

- Steve Fitzsimmons


Here lies the body of Lester Moore,

Three slugs from a forty-four,

No Les, no more.

- Boot Hill cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona.


Life is a jest, and all things show it.

I thought so once; but now I know it.

- John Gay, for his own tombstone.


Here lies a young author of no reputation,

Who lived by his pen, and thus died of starvation.

He forwards to Heaven a soul in dejection -

Enclosing a stamp for the usual rejection.

- Lambert Jeffries.


I Would Rather Be Living In Philadelphia.

- W.C. Fields, suggested epitaph for himself.


Excuse My Dust.

- Dorothy Parker, suggested epitaph for herself.


Beneath this slab

John Brown is stowed.

He watched the ads

And not the road.

- Ogden Nash.


Stranger approach this spot with gravity:

John Birningham is filling his last cavity.

- Anon (on dentist’s tomb)


God caught his eye.

- David McCord, on waiter’s gravestone.




Charlie was a Chemist,

but Charlie is no more.

What Charlie thought was H20

was H2SO4.


Here lies Walter Dudley
He found out too late,
Dobermans aren't cuddly.


Here lies Henry Blake
He stepped on the gas
Instead of the brake


Here lies the body of Edward Hyde
We laid him here because he died


Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, you soon will be.
Prepare yourself and follow me.
To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone:
To follow you I'll not consent,
Until I know which way you went.


The children of Israel wanted bread,
And the Lord sent them manna.
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.

Under the sod and under the trees,
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod.  
Pease shelled out and went to God


Here lies Johnny Yeast.
Pardon me
For not rising.


On the 22nd of June,
Jonathan Fiddle
Went out of tune.


Here lies the body of our Anna,
Done to death by a banana.
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low,
But the skin of the thing that made her go.


Here lies a man named Zeke.
Second fastest draw in Cripple Creek.


Here lies the body of Samuel Crane
Who ran a race with a passenger train
If only he'd thought to stop, look and listen
He'd be living now instead of missin'


Here I lie - Its no wonder I'm dead,
For the wheels of a semi rolled over my head.


Here lies the popular Kevin O'Toole
He thought it was cool to smoke at school.


Here lies Moonshiner Fred
Lit a cigar & now he's dead


Here lies Melba June Doak
Drowned when the outhouse planking broke


Here lies the remains of Margaret Bent
She kicked up her heels, and away she went.


Here lies good old Fred
A great big rock fell on his head


Here lies dear departed Dave,
He chased a bear into a cave


Here lies Mr. I. B. Crisp
Fixed the toaster with a knife
Got the shock of his short life!


Here lies ex-spy Nathan Wood
This time he's underground for good


Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
Quite well I bet
Since it's well fed
By your body down below


Here lies mangled Hiriam Brown
Peered up the shaft to see
If the elevator was coming down.
It was.


Here lies our dear Ol' Pop
Twasn't the fall that done him in
But rather the sudden stop!


Here lies Myra Mains
Gorgeous body but alas - no brains


Here lies dearly departed Blanche

She got run down by an avalanche


Here like beloved Uncle Jake
Rode downstairs on a roller skate


Here lies poor old Martin Hupp
Tried crossing the bridge when the bridge was up


Born of women
Killed by lead
He most likely had
Your wife in bed


Little Willy in the best of sashes
Played with fire and was burnt to ashes
Very soon the room got chilly
But nobody like to poke poor Willy.


I was Carolina born
And Carolina bred
And I here I lay - 
Carolina dead!


A victim of fast women and slow horses.


He was so brave
He was so cute
Until he forgot
His parachute


Here lies all the remains of Charlotte,
Born a virgin, but died a harlot.
For sixteen years she kept her virginity,
A marvellous thing for this vicinity.


Owen Moore has passed away,
Owin' More than he could pay.


Here's to Johnny quite a guy,
Very sad he had to die.
All was well could not be better,
Till he wrote my girl a letter.


Blown upward, out of sight,
He traced the leak by candle light.


Johann Bach.
Still decomposing,
After all these years.


Dapper Dan,
Was a lady's man,
And known for miles around .
But he slept with Pearl,
The Gambler's girl,
He now lies six feet under ground.



Do not stand at my grave and weep;

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn's rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there, I did not die.


Pet’s Epitaphs:


Rover - got run over


Spot - washed overboard from Grampa's yacht


Fluffy - went toes up & got real puffy


Champ - never made it back to camp


Duke - ate rat poison & started to puke


Fishy - under Dad's boot became rather squishy


Jet - done in by our vet


Lassie - rolled underneath the trash truck's chassis


Shep - off the balcony was a grave misstep


Rocket - shouldn't have licked the electrical socket


Gretchen - found out porcupines are not for fetchin'


Tweety the bird,
Was a great singer and flyer,
Until he took that nap in the dryer.


Here lies,
All cold and hard,
The last damn dog,
That pooped in my yard!




The claim to equality is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior.

- C.S. Lewis.


Equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact.

- Honoré de Balzac.


All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

- George Orwell.


Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.

- Yiddish Proverb.


All the people like us are We,

And everyone else is They.

- Rudyard Kipling, We and They.




First Spy: When you arrive you will meet a man in a black trench coat. He will ask you for the diamonds.

Second Spy: And I give him the diamonds?

First Spy: No. Don’t. He asks everyone for the diamonds. You will then meet a lovely redhead. Give her the diamonds.

Second Spy: Who is she?

First Spy: That will be me.

Second Spy: Oh, You’ll be in disguise.

First Spy: No, I’m in disguise now.

- Neil Simon.


The British Secret Service was staffed at one point almost entirely by alcoholic homosexuals working for the KGB.

- Clive James.


Variety is the life of spies.




Grub first, then ethics.

- Bertolt Brecht.




He found that a fork in his inexperienced hand was an instrument of chase rather than capture.

- H.G. Wells.


Etiquette is the noise you don’t make while having soup.




I do not see the EEC as a great love affair. It is more like nine middle-aged couples with failing marriages meeting at a Brussels hotel for a group grope.

- Kenneth Tynan.


It's like carrying frogs in a wheelbarrow.

- Lord Robertson (General Secretary of NATO), on the difficulties of getting consensus among all the member states.




Exercise! I never heard that he used any: he might, for aught I know, walk to the alehouse; but I believe he was always carried home again.

- Samuel Johnson.


I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

- Fred Allen.


I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.

- Neil Armstrong.


Paar: “What do you do for exercise?”

Oscar Levant: “I stumble and then I fall into a coma.”


Try this exercise, it’ll make you feel great:

From a seated position, get up and walk to the bar. Mix one jigger of dry vermouth with seven jiggers of gin. Pour over three-quarters of a cup of cracked ice and stir well. Strain and pour into a glass. Twist one lemon peel over the top. Sit down and drink. Repeat.

Build your stamina slowly and soon you’ll be able to do ten or twelve of these!

- P.J. O’Rourke.


If it weren't for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn't get any exercise at all.

- Joey Adams.


I take my only exercise acting as pallbearer at the funerals of my friends who exercise regularly.

- Mark Twain.


My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit.

- Phyllis Diller.


I am pushing sixty. That is enough exercise for me.

- Mark Twain.


George W. Bush says he spends sixty to ninety minutes a day working out. He says he works out because it clears his mind. Sometimes just a little too much.

- Jay Leno.


I used to watch golf on TV during the weekend, but my doctor told me I needed more exercise ... so now I watch tennis.


If I feel like exercise, I lie down until it passes.


I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor’s permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class,. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.


Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate.




Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.

- Don Wilder and Bill Rechin.


Never ruin an apology with an excuse.

- Kimberly Johnson.


Justifying a fault doubles it.

- French Proverb.




Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what man does with what happens to him.

- Aldous Huxley.


No physician is really good before he has killed one or two patients.

- Hindu Proverb.


Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.

- Pete Seeger.


You should make a point of trying every experience once, excepting incest and folk-dancing.
- Sir Arnold Bax.


Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

- Chinese Proverb.


The road to wisdom?

- Well, it's plain

and simple to express:


and err

and err again

but less

and less

and less.

- Piet Hein, The Road to Wisdom.


You have to open your mind to every new experience. This week I've been sneezing with my eyes open.

- Billy Connolly.


I learned more about economics from one South Dakota dust storm than I did in all my years in college.

- Hubert Humphrey, speech, 1960.


Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.


Experience is knowledge, Everything else is information.


Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.


Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.











This web page was last updated on: 24 March, 2011