Quotations about   distraction

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ASA: Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal — you sockdologizing old man-trap.

Other Authors and Sources
Tom Taylor, Our American Cousin, Act 3, sc. 2 (1858)

The biggest laugh line in the play, so chosen by John Wilkes Booth to use as a cover for his shooting Abraham Lincoln on 14 Apr 1865.

Sockdologizing.
Added on 16-Aug-19 | Last updated 16-Aug-19
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It is the trifles of life that are its bores, after all. Most men can meet ruin calmly, for instance, or laugh when they lie in a ditch with their own knee-joint and their hunter’s spine broken over the double post and rails: it is the mud that has choked up your horn just when you wanted to rally the pack; it’s the whip who carries you off to a division just when you’ve sat down to your turbot; it’s the ten seconds by which you miss the train; it’s the dust that gets in your eyes as you go down to Epsom; it’s the pretty little rose note that went by accident to your house instead of your club, and raised a storm from madame; it’s the dog that always will run wild into the birds; it’s the cook who always will season the white soup wrong — it is these that are the bores of life, and that try the temper of your philosophy.

Ouida (1839-1908) English novelist [pseud. of Maria Louise Ramé]
Under Two Flags, ch. 1 (1867)
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Added on 3-Oct-17 | Last updated 3-Oct-17
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Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing.

Ralph Richardson (1902-1983) English actor
In The New York Herald Tribune (19 May 1946)
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Added on 13-Jun-17 | Last updated 13-Jun-17
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There are millions of ways to not be writing.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
“Rod Serling: The Facts of Life,” Interview with Linda Brevelle (4 Mar 1975)
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Added on 22-May-17 | Last updated 22-May-17
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One of the greatest advantages of the totalitarian elites of the twenties and thirties was to turn any statement of fact into a question of motive.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)
Added on 17-May-17 | Last updated 17-May-17
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We discovered at one point that the brick wall of the pillar would hold up a sock pretty well. This led to sorting socks by putting them on the wall, which in turn led to mosaics built entirely of socks. Mission drift is a hazard in all pursuits, including doing the laundry.

James Nicoll (b. 1961) Canadian reviewer, editor
“Another question about expectations,” rec.arts.sf.written, Usenet (22 May 2005)
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Added on 15-Feb-16 | Last updated 15-Feb-16
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Men love better books which please them than those which instruct. Since their ennui troubles them more than their ignorance, they prefer being amused to being informed.

Jean-Antoine Dubois (1765-1848) French Catholic missionary in India [Abbe J. A. Dubois]
(Attributed)
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Earliest found attribution in The New Era (Jan 1873).
Added on 12-Feb-16 | Last updated 12-Feb-16
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When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hopes hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go for a good spin down the road,
without thought of anything but the ride you are taking.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) British writer and physician
In The American Bee Keeper (May 1895)
Added on 19-Nov-15 | Last updated 19-Nov-15
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If I had a dollar for every time I got distracted, I wish I had some ice cream.

Sig Lines
Added on 14-Oct-15 | Last updated 14-Oct-15
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No man is lonely while eating spaghetti — it requires too much attention.

Christopher Morley (1890-1957) American journalist, novelist, essayist, poet
In Life (24 Oct 1969)
Added on 21-Nov-14 | Last updated 21-Nov-14
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Composition is, for the most part, an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution, and from which the attention is every moment starting to more delightful amusements.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Adventurer, #138 (2 Mar 1754)
Added on 9-May-14 | Last updated 9-May-14
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The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses!

[Nam qui dabat olim imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, panem et circenses.]

Juvenal (c.55-127) Roman satirist [Decimus Junius Juvinalis]
Satires, Satire 10, l. 78-79

Alt. trans.: "The people long for only two things: bread and circuses."
Added on 5-Nov-13 | Last updated 25-Apr-17
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Many irons on the Fire, some must cool.

Other Authors and Sources
Scottish Proverb
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In James Kelly, A Complete Collection of Scottish Proverbs, M.93 (1721)
Added on 18-Jan-12 | Last updated 3-Apr-14
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I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.

Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) Canadian-American novelist and poet
On the Road, Part 2, ch. 4 (1957)
Added on 1-Mar-11 | Last updated 4-May-15
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I could do great things, if I weren’t so busy doing little things.

Ashleigh Brilliant (b. 1933) Anglo-American writer, epigramist, cartoonist
Pot-Shots, #0828
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-May-15
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In the practice of art, as well as in morals, it is necessary to keep a watchful and jealous eye over ourselves; idleness, assuming the specious disguise of industry, will lull to sleep all suspicion of our want of an active exertion of strength. A provision of endless apparatus, a bustle of infinite enquiry and research, or even the mere mechanical labour of copying, may be employed, to evade and shuffle off real labour, — the real labour of thinking.

Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) British painter, critic
Speech to the Royal Academy, London (10 Dec 1784)
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Paraphrased over a long period of time (and still attributed to Reynolds) as: "There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking."

The lecture was later described as the Twelfth Discourse in a 1797 collection of Reynolds' works.

Often attributed to Thomas Edison. More information here.

Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 23-May-14
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