- WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony.
WIST currently holds 19,638 quotations by 3,058 authors. Please feel free to browse and borrow.
Author CloudAristotle • Asimov, Isaac • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterfield (Lord) • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Cicero, Marcus Tullius • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Homer • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • Jefferson, Thomas • Johnson, Samuel • Kennedy, John F. • King, Martin Luther • La Rochefoucauld, Francois • Lewis, C.S. • Lincoln, Abraham • Martial • Mencken, H.L. • Orwell, George • Pratchett, Terry • Roosevelt, Eleanor • Roosevelt, Theodore • Russell, Bertrand • Shakespeare, William • Shaw, George Bernard • Sophocles • Tolkien, J.R.R. • Twain, Mark • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
Most Quoted Authors
Topic Cloudaction age America author beauty belief change character courage death democracy education ego error evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history human nature humanity integrity liberty life love morality perspective politics power progress reality religion science society success truth virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (10,022)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (6,678)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (6,260)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (5,641)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,970)
- “Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981) (4,826)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,636)
- Letter to Clara Rilke (1 Jan 1907) (4,631)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (4,253)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (4,151)
- Dead Poets Society (1989) on
- Walden, ch. 1 “Economy” (1854) on
- (Attributed) on
- Twelfth Night, Act 2, Sc. 5, l. 147ff [Malvolio] (1601) on
- “Caesar,” Lives [tr. Dryden (1693)] on
- Shakespeare Up-to-Date on
- First Principles, Pt. I “The Unknowable,” ch. 1 “Religion and Science”” (1862) on
- Hamlet, Act 2, sc. 2, l. 366ff [Rosencrantz] (c. 1600) on
- Letter to the Danbury Baptists (1 Jan 1802) on
- Letter to the Synod of the Reformed Church of North America (12 Jun 1832) on
Quotations about proportionality
Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.
“Neither does this please me, nothing in excess;” for we ought to hate in excess those that are bad to excess.
[οὐδὲ τὸ μηδὲν ἄγαν· δεῖ γὰρ τούς γε κακοὺς ἄγαν μισεῖν.]
Rhetoric [Ῥητορική; Ars Rhetorica], Book 2, ch. 21, sec. 14 (2.21.14) / 1395a.33 (350 BC) [Source (1847)]
On developing one's own maxims and proverbs, and how to present them. (Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:
Nor again [does this please me], that we ought to carry nothing to excess; since 'tis our duty to hate the wicked at least to the very extreme.
[tr. Buckley (1850)]
No do I like the saying, Do nothing excessively. Bad men should be hated excessively.
[tr. Jebb (1873)]
Nor do I approve of the saying "nothing in excess": we are bound to hate bad men excessively.
[tr. Rhys Roberts (1924)]
Nor do I approve the maxim "Nothing in excess," for one cannot hate the wicked too much."
[tr. Freese (1926)]
Neither is "nothing in excess" [satisfying to me]. For one must tate to excess at least those who are evil.
[tr. Bartlett (2019)]
[I do not] commend the saying “nothing in excess” because one must hate evil men to the extreme.
[tr. @sentantiq (2019)]
Added on 7-Jun-22 | Last updated 13-Jun-22
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The politics of the university are so intense because the stakes are so low.
Sayre’s Third Law
One of several formulations of the same sentiment, which has also been attributed to Richard Neustadt, Jesse Unruh, Henry Kissinger ("University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small"), Charles Philip Issawi ("In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake. That is why academic politics are so bitter"), Lawrence Peter, C.P. Snow, and others, with antecedents by Samuel Johnson and Woodrow Wilson. Most of the attributions come in the early-mid 1970s, though Herbert Kaufman, a colleague, claimed Sayres had used the phrase for decades.
See also Quote Investigator, Quote Verifier, and Wikipedia for more discussion.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 24-Mar-19
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