- Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes time and annoys
- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
- What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what
we know for sure that just ain't so.
- There is something worse than ignorance, and that's knowing
what ain't so.
- All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then
success is sure.
- America is built on a tilt and everything loose slides to
- Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world
owes you nothing. It was here first.
- Every generalization is false, including this one.
- Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a
- France is miserable because it is filled with Frenchmen, and
Frenchmen are miserable because they live in France.
- I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying
that I approved of it.
- I have found solace in profanity unexcelled even by prayer.
- I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most
of them never happened.
- I take my only exercise acting as a at the funerals of my
friends who exercise regularly
- It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have
them and not to deserve them.
- It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of
the fight in the dog.
- It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more
wonderful to miss it.
- I've never killed a man, but I've read many an obituary with a
great deal of satisfaction.
- 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.
- Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind
- Love your enemy, it'll scare the hell out of him.
- The man who does not read good books has no advantage
over the man who can't read them.
- Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after
- Only presidents, editors and people with tapeworms have the
right to use the editorial "we".
- Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart
people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.
- Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very";
your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it
- I admire the serene assurance of those who have religious
faith. It is wonderful to observe the calm confidence of a
Christian with four aces.
- The catfish is a plenty good enough fish for anyone.
- The first of April is the day we remember what we are the
other 364 days of the year.
- There ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people
or hate them than to travel with them.
- There are no dialogues, only intersecting monologues.
- There is nothing lower than the human race except the French.
- Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is
the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.
- They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!
- The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the
lightning ain't distributed right.
- When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I
could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to
be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had
learned in seven years.
- Alternate version: When I was sixteen, my father was the
most ignorant man in the world. By the time I reached 21, I was
surprised at how much he had learned in five years.
- If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do
read the newspaper, you are misinformed. (Sometimes quoted as
- You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of
- Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million
years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it
was done for. I suppose it is, I dunno. If the Eiffel Tower were
now representing the world's age, the skin of paint on the
pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent man's share of that
age; and anybody would perceive that the skin was what the tower
was built for. I reckon they would, I dunno.
- quoted by Stephen Jay Gould in Time's Arrow, Time's
- When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and
life stands explained.
- In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are
in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without
- I do not fear death. I had been dead for
billions and billions of years before I was born, and
had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.