Intro

This is my collection of signature quotes, updated January 8, 2012. They change as often as I change my mind; I find new ones all the time, especially from the mailing list "A Word A Day" (I recommend it for that).

For those who don't know the term, a signature quote is a quote that can fit on one or two lines, so you can add it to the end of an email.

I don't recommend browsing the whole thing at once; sensory overload can steal the enjoyment of such things.

Galina Miklosic has translated these into belorussian at this site

Proverbs from all over

If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.
You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.
Yiddish proverb
Change is inevitable; progress is optional.
Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone, and more fragile than a rose.
Turkish proverb
If triangles had a God, he'd have 3 sides.
Yiddish Proverb
Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition.
The man who claims to be the boss in his own home will lie about other things as well.
Amish saying
Getting old is wonderful, when you consider the alternative.
Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.
Zen proverb
Stupid questions are better than stupid mistakes.
Japanese proverb
Even a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then.
Southern Proverb
The meek shall inherit the earth. The rest of us will go to the stars.
Non-reciprocal principle: If you add a cup of wine to a barrel of sewage, you get a barrel of sewage. If you add a cup of sewage to a barrel of wine, you get a barrel of sewage.
Do not attribute any action to malice that can be explained by stupidity.
To talk goodness is not good. Only to do it is.
Chinese Proverb
Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet.
African Proverb

Zen, Taoist and Philosophical quotes

The deer hunter does not notice the mountains.
Zen proverb
The superior person uses his mind like a mirror: it accepts all, it reflects all. It recieves, but it does not keep.
Chuang Tzu
We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.
Alan Watts
The Web site you seek
cannot be located.
But endless others exist.

The Tao that is seen
is not the true Tao, until
you bring fresh toner.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire;
the network is down.

Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!
Jane Austen
If you can get nothing better out of the world, get a good dinner out of it, at least.
Herman Melville (in Moby Dick)
If you must argue, remember that it is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.
William Gibbs McAdoo
Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's.
Billy Wilder
In the world, there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong, nothing can surpass it.
Lao Tzu
Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.
Erica Jong
All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.
Kahlil Gibran
Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.
Heraclitus
The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust
Not one shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.
I don't mind going nowhere, as long as it's an interesting path.
If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Blessed is he who expects nothing; for he shall not be disappointed.
Jonathan Swift
Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.
Chuang-Tzu
Silence is one of the most effective forms of communication.
The nice thing about having nothing is that you don't have to worry about losing it.
A man said to the Universe, "Sir, I exist!".
"However," replied the Universe,
"The fact has not aroused in me
a sense of obligation".
Steven Crane

I'll tell you the meaning of life, but first you have to promise not to laugh...
"Frank & Earnest"
This above all: to your own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Shakespeare

Funny Quotes

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Mark Twain
In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.
Edward P. Tryon
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.
Salvador Dali
Warning: dates on calendar are closer than they appear.
Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.
Mahatma Ghandi
Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he's a mile away and barefoot.
Resistentialism: (N) the perceived tendency of inanimate objects to be obstinate. E.g. the toaster that won't pop up, the spring clip that keeps jumping out on the floor.
from "The Spizzerinctum Archive"
It's better to give than to receive. Especially advice.
Mark Twain
Contrary to popular opinion, the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'fact'.
This space intentionally left blank.
We can seldom get our children to do what we tell them, but they almost never fail to imitate us.
Colin Powell
There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.
Arthur C. Clarke
If I were punished for every pun I shed, there would not be left a puny shed of my punnish head.
Samuel Johnson
The box said "Requires Windows 95, NT, or better", so I installed Linux.
Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as Gods. Cats have never forgotten this.
Worry is like a rocking chair - it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.
Dorothy Galyean
I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
Anatole France
Welcome to Hell. Here's your copy of Windows.
It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.
Samuel Johnson
A town that cannot support a lawyer can always support two.
Lyndon Johnson
Nine in the second place means: The yellow bird approaches the malt shop. Misfortune.
I think it would be a good idea.
Mahatma Ghandi, when asked by a reporter for his opinion of western civilization
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.
At Group L, Stoffel oversees six first-rate programmers, a managerial challenge roughly comparable to herding cats.
Washington Post Magazine,6/9/85
Nails are better wood fasteners than screws, if both are applied using a hammer.
Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down.
Oscar Wilde
I was delighted to be able to answer promptly. "I don't know", I said.
Mark Twain
Carpe Datum
3rd law of thermodynamics: things go worse under pressure.
Things should be made as simple as possible, and not simpler.
Albert Einstein
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it.
Clarence Darrow
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain
Live as you will wish to have lived when you are dying.
Christian F. Gellert
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Mahatma Ghandi
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Mohandas K Ghandi
Contrary to popular belief, Barnum's great discovery was not how easy it was to deceive the public, but rather, how much the public enjoyed being deceived.
Daniel J. Boorstin
Since when do you have to agree with people to defend them from injustice?
Lillian Hellman
Computers are about making life easier in much the same way that the Republican party is about fiscal responsibility and a culture of life.
mister_borogove
The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.
Abraham Lincoln
Beware of 'the real world'. A speaker's appeal to it is alway an invitation not to challenge his tacit assumptions.
Edsger Dijkstra
If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe.
Abraham Lincoln
Failure is not an option. It is a privilege reserved only for those who try.
Indifference is evil's bodyguard. Without it, evil would have to do a much better job of hiding.
Isn't sanity just a one-trick pony anyway? I mean, all you get is that one trick, rational thinking, but when you're good and crazy, well, the sky's the limit!
"The Tick (comic book)"
Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away.
-Arthur Helps (1813-1875)
Computers are useless. They only give answers.
Pablo Picasso
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw
Always do right; this will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Mark Twain
He who allows oppression, shares the crime.
-Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin
It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confident knowledge that they will help us.
Epicurus
Don't surrender your loneliness So quickly. Let it cut more deeply. Let it ferment and season you As few human Or even divine ingredients can.
Hafez (1315-1390)
The woods would be very silent if only the birds with the sweetest songs were heard.

Supreme Irony

An unhurried sense of time is, in itself, a form of wealth.
(Seen in a self-service gas pump display)
... because computers are happiest when we avoid describing them in anthropomorphic terms.
(from the preface of an O'Rielly book)
"Men", said the Devil, 
"Are kind to their brothers."
"They don't want to mend
their own ways, but each other's."
Piet Hein

Eschew obfuscation.
Heisenberg may have slept here.
Do not be fanatical in your dedication to reason.
Anne Rice, "Pandora"
Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.
Mark Twain
If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?
Rumi
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, and professionals built the Titanic.

My Own Sayings

If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.
Humans are the only creatures that appreciate irony...
Sure, dreams can come true. Just ask ask any kid that recently wet the bed.
Knowledge is often mistaken for intelligence. This is like mistaking a cup of milk for a cow.
If you wish to convince people of something, it is more useful to be entertaining than to be right.
Greatness is difficult to appreciate from close up. The great mountain on the horizon is only the ground when you are standing on it.
Surely thou jivest...
A major source of conflict in the world is the common misconception that words can be true or false.
Actually, there is such a thing as a free lunch; it's just that few of us are rich enough to get to see it.
There are a lot of judgemental people in the world, and I think all those people are worthless dirtballs.
The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it is.
To affirm that every person has inherent worth and dignity is an understatement as great as saying that Bill Gates has some money.
There is much that cannot be understood by the poor soul that thinks words are the same as thoughts.
If you never fail, you're not trying hard enough.
**> Never let a computer see you hurry. <**
Much trouble in the world has been caused by the belief that words are the same as thoughts. In fact, the one who hears them supplies their only truth or falsity.
A sure way to drain life of its savor is to keep a death-grip on it.
The only thing with no end is the present.