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Mirth pleaseth some, to others ’tis offence,
Some commend plain conceit, some profound sense;
Some wish a witty Jest, some dislike that,
And most would have themselves they know not what.
Then he that would please all, and himself too,
Takes more in hand than he is like to do.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard (1733)
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Added on 18-Jul-23 | Last updated 18-Jul-23
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Very nice sort of place, Oxford, I should think, for people that like that sort of place.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
Man and Superman, Act 2 [Straker] (1903)
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See Lincoln.
 
Added on 20-May-22 | Last updated 13-Jun-22
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Added on 21-Sep-21 | Last updated 21-Sep-21
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You’re mad, bonkers, off your head … but I’ll tell you a secret … all of the best people are.

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) English writer and mathematician [pseud. of Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson]
(Spurious)

This is attributed on many pages as a quote from Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. No such quote exists in the book, and the word "bonkers" does not appear until the 1940s. This appears to be a paraphrase of lines from the 2010 Tim Burton adaptation of Carroll's work (screenplay by Linda Woolverton):

HATTER: Have I gone mad?
ALICE: [checking his temperature] I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.
 
Added on 3-Aug-20 | Last updated 3-Aug-20
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You like potato and I like po-tah-to,
You like tomato and I like to-mah-to;
Potato, po-tah-to, tomato, to-mah-to —
Let’s call the whole thing off!

Ira Gershwin (1896-1983) American lyricist [b. Israel Gershowitz]
“Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” Shall We Dance (1937)
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Added on 21-Apr-20 | Last updated 21-Apr-20
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Agreement in likes and dislikes — this, and this only, is what constitutes true friendship.

[Nam idem velle atque idem nolle, ea demum firma amicitia est.]

Catiline (108-62 BC) Roman politician [Lucius Sergius Catilina]
Quoted in Sallust, Catiline’s War [Bellum Catilinae], 20.4 (42 BC) [tr. Rolf]

Alt. trans.: "For to like the same things and to dislike the same things, only this is a strong friendship."
 
Added on 29-May-14 | Last updated 29-May-14
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In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.

[En littérature comme en amour, on est surpris par les choix des autres.]

Maurois - In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others - wist.info quote

André Maurois (1885-1967) French author [b. Émile Salomon Wilhelm Herzog]
The Art of Living [Un Art de Vivre], ch. 6 “The Art of Working” (1939) [tr. Whitall (1940)]
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(Source (French)). Sometimes cited to the New York Times, but only because it was reprinted there in the article “Reading Matter: Some Bookish Quotes” (14 Apr 1963).
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 12-May-22
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He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion. The rational position for him would be suspension of judgment, and unless he contents himself with that, he is either led by authority, or adopts, like the generality of the world, the side to which he feels most inclination.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) English philosopher and economist
On Liberty, ch. 2 “Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion” (1859)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 19-Oct-23
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For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless, in short, are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections color and infect the understanding.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Novum Organum, Book 1, Aphorism 49 (1620)

Alt. trans.: "Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true." [Quod enim mavult homo verum esse, id potius credit.] See Demosthenes.
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-May-16
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Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence.

John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
“Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials” (4 Dec 1770)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 29-Mar-17
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People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
(Attributed)

One of the earliest references to something like this was in an 1863 newspaper ad for Lincoln’s favorite humorist, Artemus Ward, that included this faux testimonial (possibly written by Ward): “I have never heard any of your lectures, but from what I can learn I should say that for people who like the kind of lectures you deliver, they are just the kind of lectures such people like. Yours respectfully, O. Abe.”

Quoted in G.W.E. Russell, Collections and Recollections, ch. 30 (1898), regarding “an unreadably sentimental book.”

According to Anthony Gross, Lincoln’s Own Stories (1902), Lincoln’s was speaking to Robert Dale Owen, who had insisted on reading to Lincoln a long manuscript on spiritualism. "Well, for those who like that sort of thing, I should think it is just about the sort of thing they would like."

In Emanual Hertz, ed., "Father Abraham," Lincoln Talks: A Biography in Anecdote (1939), the response was to a young poet asking him about his newly published poems.

More discussion of this quotation: Ralph Keyes, The Quote Verifier.
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 11-May-22
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My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) English novelist and playwright [William Somerset Maugham]
(Attributed)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Apr-21
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