Favourite aphorisms.

Rob

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They're more witty one-line quotations than aphorisms. They're all alcohol related as well. lol.

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

I gave up drinking, smoking and sex; it was the worst fifteen minutes of my life.

Once ... in the wilds of Afghanistan, I lost my corkscrew, and we were forced to live on nothing but food and water for days.

Rob
 

ThomThomsk

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It is easier to say sorry than to ask permission

Thomsk (who has found that things get done a lot faster if you adopt this approach)
 

markc

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My favorites come from Terry Pratchett, and he has lots of them:

I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.

My experience in Amsterdam is that cyclists ride where the hell they like and aim in a state of rage at all pedestrians while ringing their bell loudly, the concept of avoiding people being foreign to them. My dream holiday would be a) a ticket to Amsterdam b) immunity from prosecution and c) a baseball bat

However, you do need rules. Driving on the left (or the right or, in parts of Europe, on the left and the right as the mood takes you) is a rule which works, since following it means you're more likely to reach your intended rather than your final destination.

Every procedure for getting a cat to take a pill works fine -- once. Like the Borg, they learn...

Personally, I think the best motto for an educational establishment is: 'Or Would You Rather Be a Mule?'

A true beanie should have a propellor on the top.

This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.

I mean, I wouldn't pay more than a couple of quid to see me, and I'm me.

I think that sick people in Ankh-Morpork generally go to a vet. It's generally a better bet. There's more pressure on a vet to get it right. People say "it was god's will" when granny dies, but they get angry when they lose a cow.

Never trust any complicated cocktail that remainds perfectly clear until the last ingredient goes in, and then immediately clouds.

I didn't go to university. Didn't even finish A-levels. But I have sympathy for those who did.

I believe it is impossible to leave Reading heading west.

'Educational' refers to the process, not the object. Although, come to think of it, some of my teachers could easily have been replaced by a cheeseburger.

I once absend-mindedly ordered Three Mile Island dressing in a restaurant and, with great presence of mind, they brought Thousand Island Dressing and a bottle of chili sauce.

Bognor has always meant to me the quintessential English seaside experience (before all this global warming stuff): driving in the rain to get there, walking around in the rain looking for something to do when you're there, and driving home in the rain again...

Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil...prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon...

You can't make people happy by law. If you said to a bunch of average people two hundred years ago "Would you be happy in a world where medical care is widely available, houses are clean, the world's music and sights and foods can be brought into your home at small cost, travelling even 100 miles is easy, childbirth is generally not fatal to mother or child, you don't have to die of dental abcesses and you don't have to do what the squire tells you" they'd think you were talking about the New Jerusalem and say 'yes'.

Mind you, the Elizabethans had so many words for the female genitals that it is quite hard to speak a sentence of modern English without inadvertently mentioning at least three of them.

I reckon that Stonehege was build by the contemporary equivalent of Microsoft, whereas Avebury was definitely an Apple circle.

'They can ta'k our live but they can never ta'k our freedom!' Now there's a battle cry not designed by a clear thinker...

Eight years involved with the nuclear industry have taught me that when nothing can possible go wrong and every avenue has been covered, then is the time to buy a house on the next continent.

Not only did I wipe Lemmings from my hard disc, I overwrote it so's I couldn't get it back.

People whose concept of ancient history is the first series of Star Trek may be treated with patience, because it's usually not their fault they were reduced to getting their education from school.

British TV Is The Best In The World is on a par with the statement about how British Justice Is The Envy Of The World ("Hey, Miguel, how come we can't convict innocent people so quickly and expensively?")

I found while driving in Wyoming that wearing a stetson and driving a beat-up pickup meant you could go as fast as you like, while the police picked up Californian winnebagos that went one mph over 55. After all, they wanted to bring money into the state, not merely circulate it.

I always call it 'Tour Flu', because two or three weeks in hot bookshops with hundreds of people usually produces an ailment of some kind. Going on tour is like a box of rare diseases -- you never know what you're going to get.
One of the highlights of the first Good Omens tour was Neil and I walking through New York singing Shoehorn with Teeth. Well, we'd had a good breakfast. And you don't get mugged, either.

Experience has taught me that you feel better on a flight if you avoid chicken fat in plastic sauce.

I don't sign parts of the body, even if they're still attached.

It's not Brits who think American readers are a bunch of whinging morons with the geo-social understanding of a wire coathanger, it's American editors.

I don't think I've ever been critical of the money Douglas Adams makes, especially since, as has been tactfully pointed out, I myself have had to change banks having filled the first one up.

Too many people want to have written.
 

markc

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And from his books:

Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.

For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?"

"But ye gotta know where ye're just gonna rush in. Ye cannae just rush in anywhere. It looks bad, havin' to rush oout again straight awa'."

The only things known to go faster than ordinary light is monarchy, according to the philosopher Ly Tin Weedle. He reasoned like this: you can't have more than one king, and tradition demands that there is no gap between kings, so when a king dies the succession must therefore pass to the heir instantaneously. Presumably, he said, there must be some elementary particles -- kingons, or possibly queons -- that do this job, but of course succession sometimes fails if, in mid-flight, they strike an anti-particle, or republicon. His ambitious plans to use his discovery to send messages, involving the careful torturing of a small king in order to modulate the signal, were never fully expanded because, at that point, the bar closed.

In fact, no gods anywhere play chess. They prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight to Oblivion; a key to the understanding of all religion is that a god's idea of amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.

Nature abhors dimensional abnormalities, and seals them neatly away so that they don't upset people. Nature, in fact, abhors a lot of things, including vacuums, ships called the "Marie Celeste", and the chuck keys for electric drills.

People who are rather more than six feet tall and nearly as broad across the shoulders often have uneventful journeys. People jump out at them from behind rocks then say things like, "Oh. Sorry. I thought you were someone else."

No enemies had ever taken Ankh-Morpock. Well technically they had, quite often; the city welcomed free-spending barbarian invaders, but somehow the puzzled raiders found, after a few days, that they didn't own their horses any more, and within a couple of months they were just another minority group with its own graffiti and food shops.

The gods of the Disc have never bothered much about judging the souls of the dead, and so people only go to hell if that's where they believe, in their deepest heart, that they deserve to go. Which they won't do if they don't know about it. This explains why it is so important to shoot missionaries on sight.

The important thing about adventures, thought Mr Bunnsy, was that they shouldn't be so long as to make you miss mealtimes.

There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!

A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.

One of the universal rules of happiness is: always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.

Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

Real children don't go hoppity-skip unless they are on drugs.

Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.

Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words.

We took pity on him because he'd lost both parents at an early age. I think that, on reflection, we should have wondered a bit more about that.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.

And, while it was regarded as pretty good evidence of criminality to be living in a slum, for some reason owning a whole street of them merely got you invited to the very best social occasions.

There were no public health laws in Ankh-Morpork. It would be like installing smoke detectors in Hell.

People who didn't need people needed people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn't need people.

Instead, people would take pains to tell her that beauty was only skin-deep, as if a man ever fell for an attractive pair of kidneys.

It is the fate of all banisters worth sliding down that there is something nasty waiting at the far end.

Just because it's not nice doesn't mean it's not miraculous.

Natural selection saw to it that professional heroes who at a crucial moment tended to ask themselves questions like "What is my purpose in life?" very quickly lacked both.

The question seldom addressed is where Medusa had snakes. Underarm hair is an even more embarassing problem when it keeps biting the top of the deodorant bottle.

People came to Ankh-Morpork to seek their fortune. Unfortunately, other people sought it too.

The river Ankh is probably the only river in the universe on which the investigators can chalk the outline of the corpse.

The Alchemist's Guild is opposite the Gambler's Guild. Usually. Sometimes it's above it, or below it, or falling in bits around it.

In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.

The shortest unit of time in the multiverse is the New York Second, defined as the period of time between the traffic lights turning green and the cab behind you honking.

In the Beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

Chain-mail isn't much defence against an arrow. It certainly isn't when the arrow is being aimed between your eyes.

It's not enough to be able to pick up a sword. You have to know which end to poke into the enemy.

Words are the litmus paper of the minds. If you find yourself in the power of someone who will use the word "commence" in cold blood, go somewhere else very quickly. But if they say "Enter", don't stop to pack.

Bishops move diagonally. That's why they often turn up where the kings don't expect them to be.

The trouble with being a god is that you've got no one to pray to.

There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.

The people who really run organizations are usually found several levels down, where it is still possible to get things done.

He says gods like to see an atheist around. Gives them something to aim at.

"You're not one of us."
"I don't think I'm one of them, either. I'm one of mine."

You can't find a hermit to teach you herming, because of course that rather spoils the whole thing.

Asking someone to repeat a phrase you'd not only heard very clearly but were also exceedingly angry about was around Defcon II in the lexicon of squabble.

Bad spelling can be lethal. For example, the greedy Seriph of Al-Yabi was cursed by a badly-educated deity and for some days everything he touched turned to Glod, which happened to be the name of a small dwarf from a mountain community hundreds of miles away who found himself magically dragged to the kingdom and relentlessly duplicated. Some two thousand Glods later the spell wore off. These days, the people of Al-Yabi are renowned for being remarkably short and bad-tempered.

"Baths is unhygienic," Granny declared. "You know I've never agreed with baths. Sittin' around in your own dirt like that."

People have believed for hundreds of years that newts in a well mean that the water's fresh and drinkable, and in all that time never asked themselves whether the newts got out to go to the lavatory.

It is traditional, when loading wire trolleys, to put the most fragile items at the bottom.

No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

People who used magic without knowing what they were doing usually came to a sticky end. All over the entire room, sometimes.

"Messin' around with girls in thrall to Creatures from the Void never works out, take my word for it."



With Neil Gaiman:

"You can't second-guess ineffability, I always say."

Voodoo is a very interesting religion for the whole family, even those members of it who are dead.

If you take the small view, the universe is just something small and round, like those water-filled balls which produce a miniature snowstorm when you shake them. Although, unless the ineffable plan is a lot more ineffable than it's given credit for, it does not have a large plastic snowman at the bottom.

It wasn't a dark and stormy night. It should have been, but there's the weather for you. For every mad scientist who's had a convenient thunderstorm just on the night his Great Work is complete and lying on the slab, there have been dozens who've sat around aimlessly under the peaceful stars while Igor clocks up the overtime.

Many phenomena - wars, plagues, sudden audits - have been advanced as evidence for the hidden hand of Satan in the affairs of Man, but whenever students of demonology get together the M25 London orbital motorway is generally agreed to be among the top contenders for exhibit A.


(Sorry this is so long. Can you tell I'm a fan?)
 

duncanp

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mark, we can blaitently tell, ive heard some of them before, but you have way tooo much spare time on your hands...
 

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