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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

No poet or novelist wishes he was the only one who ever lived, but most of
them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe
their wish has been granted.
                -- W.H. Auden, "The Dyer's Hand"
Who is W.O. Baker, and why is he saying those terrible things about me?
Once upon a time there was a DOS user who saw Unix, and saw that it was
good. After typing cp on his DOS machine at home, he downloaded GNU's
unix tools ported to DOS and installed them. He rm'd, cp'd, and mv'd
happily for many days, and upon finding elvis, he vi'd and was happy. After
a long day at work (on a Unix box) he came home, started editing a file,
and couldn't figure out why he couldn't suspend vi (w/ ctrl-z) to do
a compile.
(By ewt@tipper.oit.unc.edu (Erik Troan)
APL is a mistake, carried through to perfection.  It is the language of the
future for the programming techniques of the past: it creates a new generation
of coding bums.
                -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5
COBOL is for morons.
                -- E.W. Dijkstra
Ever wondered about the origins of the term "bugs" as applied to computer
technology?  U.S. Navy Capt. Grace Murray Hopper has firsthand explanation.
The 74-year-old captain, who is still on active duty, was a pioneer in
computer technology during World War II.  At the C.W. Post Center of Long
Island University, Hopper told a group of Long Island public school adminis-
trators that the first computer "bug" was a real bug--a moth.  At Harvard
one August night in 1945, Hopper and her associates were working on the
"granddaddy" of modern computers, the Mark I.  "Things were going badly;
there was something wrong in one of the circuits of the long glass-enclosed
computer," she said.  "Finally, someone located the trouble spot and, using
ordinary tweezers, removed the problem, a two-inch moth.  From then on, when
anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it."  Hopper
said that when the veracity of her story was questioned recently, "I referred
them to my 1945 log book, now in the collection of the Naval Surface Weapons
Center, and they found the remains of that moth taped to the page in
question."
                [actually, the term "bug" had even earlier usage in
                regard to problems with radio hardware.  Ed.]
FORTRAN, "the infantile disorder", by now nearly 20 years old, is hopelessly
inadequate for whatever computer application you have in mind today: it is
too clumsy, too risky, and too expensive to use.
                -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5
It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students
that have had prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are
mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.
                -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5
Many companies that have made themselves dependent on [the equipment of a
certain major manufacturer] (and in doing so have sold their soul to the
devil) will collapse under the sheer weight of the unmastered complexity of
their data processing systems.
                -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5
Per buck you get more computing action with the small computer.
                -- R.W. Hamming
PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the
solution set.
                -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5
Rattling around the back of my head is a disturbing image of something I
saw at the airport ... Now I'm remembering, those giant piles of computer
magazines right next to "People" and "Time" in the airport store.  Does
it bother anyone else that half the world is being told all of our hard-won
secrets of computer technology?  Remember how all the lawyers cried foul
when "How to Avoid Probate" was published?  Are they taking no-fault
insurance lying down?  No way!  But at the current rate it won't be long
before there are stacks of the "Transactions on Information Theory" at the
A&P checkout counters.  Who's going to be impressed with us electrical
engineers then?  Are we, as the saying goes, giving away the store?
                -- Robert W. Lucky, IEEE President
The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of
whether submarines can swim.
                -- Edsger W. Dijkstra
The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be
regarded as a criminal offence.
                -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5
[We] use bad software and bad machines for the wrong things.
                -- R.W. Hamming
Aim for the moon.  If you miss, you may hit a star.
                -- W. Clement Stone
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
                -- W.E. Hickson
It is bad luck to be superstitious.
                -- Andrew W. Mathis
You k'n hide de fier, but w'at you gwine do wid de smoke?
                -- Joel Chandler Harris, proverbs of Uncle Remus
It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon
insufficient evidence.
- W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876
"It is the creationists who blasphemously are claiming that God is cheating
us in a stupid way."
-- J. W. Nienhuys
"If you can't debate me, then there is no way in hell you'll out-insult me."
-- Scott Legrand (Scott.Legrand@hogbbs.Fidonet.Org)

"You may be wrong here, little one."
-- R. W. F. Clark (RWC102@PSUVM)
"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and
the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it will
lose that, too."
-- W. Somerset Maugham
"One thing they don't tell you about doing experimental physics is that
sometimes you must work under adverse conditions... like a state of sheer
terror."
-- W. K. Hartmann
An efficient and a successful administration manifests itself equally in
small as in great matters.  
                -- W. Churchill
I never vote for anyone.  I always vote against.
                -- W.C. Fields
If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom;
and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it
will lose that, too.
                -- W. Somerset Maugham
In defeat, unbeatable; in victory, unbearable.
                -- W. Churchill, on General Montgomery
Political history is far too criminal a subject to be a fit thing to
teach children.
                -- W.H. Auden
Engram, n.:
        1. The physical manifestation of human memory -- "the engram."
2. A particular memory in physical form.  [Usage note:  this term is no longer
in common use.  Prior to Wilson and Magruder's historic discovery, the nature
of the engram was a topic of intense speculation among neuroscientists,
psychologists, and even computer scientists.  In 1994 Professors M. R. Wilson
and W. V. Magruder, both of Mount St. Coax University in Palo Alto, proved
conclusively that the mammalian brain is hardwired to interpret a set of
thirty seven genetically transmitted cooperating TECO macros.  Human memory
was shown to reside in 1 million Q-registers as Huffman coded uppercase-only
ASCII strings.  Interest in the engram has declined substantially since that
time.]
                -- New Century Unabridged English Dictionary,
                   3rd edition, 2007 A.D.
General notions are generally wrong.
                -- Lady M.W. Montagu
"Hey!  Who took the cork off my lunch??!"
                -- W. C. Fields
Once ... in the wilds of Afghanistan, I lost my corkscrew, and we were
forced to live on nothing but food and water for days.
                -- W. C. Fields, "My Little Chickadee"
Sleep -- the most beautiful experience in life -- except drink.
                -- W.C. Fields
The cost of living has just gone up another dollar a quart.
                -- W.C. Fields
The wise and intelligent are coming belatedly to realize that alcohol, and
not the dog, is man's best friend.  Rover is taking a beating -- and he should.
                -- W.C. Fields
         A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling
                          by Mark Twain

        For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped
to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer
be part of the alphabet.  The only kase in which "c" would be retained
would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later.  Year 2
might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the
same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with
"i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.
        Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear
with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12
or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants.
Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi
ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz
ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.
        Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud
hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.
On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia.
                -- W.C. Fields' epitaph
A sense of desolation and uncertainty, of futility, of the baselessness
of aspirations, of the vanity of endeavor, and a thirst for a life giving
water which seems suddenly to have failed, are the signs in conciousness
of this necessary reorganization of our lives.

It is difficult to believe that this state of mind can be produced by the
recognition of such facts as that unsupported stones always fall to the
ground.
                -- J.W.N. Sullivan
One thing they don't tell you about doing experimental physics is that
sometimes you must work under adverse conditions... like a state of sheer
terror.
                -- W.K. Hartmann
The best rebuttal to this kind of statistical argument came from the
redoubtable John W. Campbell:

        The laws of population growth tell us that approximately half the
        people who were ever born in the history of the world are now
        dead.  There is therefore a 0.5 probability that this message is
        being read by a corpse.
"The subspace _W inherits the other 8 properties of _V. And there aren't
even any property taxes."
                -- J. MacKay, Mathematics 134b
There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule.
                -- R. W. Gerard
You cannot have a science without measurement.
                -- R. W. Hamming
Most people eat as though they were fattening themselves for market.
                -- E.W. Howe
The most exquisite peak in culinary art is conquered when you do right by a
ham, for a ham, in the very nature of the process it has undergone since last
it walked on its own feet, combines in its flavor the tang of smoky autumnal
woods, the maternal softness of earthy fields delivered of their crop children,
the wineyness of a late sun, the intimate kiss of fertilizing rain, and the
bite of fire.  You must slice it thin, almost as thin as this page you hold
in your hands.  The making of a ham dinner, like the making of a gentleman,
starts a long, long time before the event.
                -- W.B. Courtney, "Reflections of Maryland Country Ham",
                   from "Congress Eate It Up"
A bunch of the boys were whooping it in the Malemute saloon;
The kid that handles the music box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.
                -- Robert W. Service
A is for awk, which runs like a snail, and
B is for biff, which reads all your mail.
C is for cc, as hackers recall, while
D is for dd, the command that does all.
E is for emacs, which rebinds your keys, and
F is for fsck, which rebuilds your trees.
G is for grep, a clever detective, while
H is for halt, which may seem defective.
I is for indent, which rarely amuses, and
J is for join, which nobody uses.
K is for kill, which makes you the boss, while
L is for lex, which is missing from DOS.
M is for more, from which less was begot, and
N is for nice, which it really is not.
O is for od, which prints out things nice, while
P is for passwd, which reads in strings twice.
Q is for quota, a Berkeley-type fable, and
R is for ranlib, for sorting ar table.
S is for spell, which attempts to belittle, while
T is for true, which does very little.
U is for uniq, which is used after sort, and
V is for vi, which is hard to abort.
W is for whoami, which tells you your name, while
X is, well, X, of dubious fame.
Y is for yes, which makes an impression, and
Z is for zcat, which handles compression.
                -- THE ABC'S OF UNIX
I have no doubt the Devil grins,
As seas of ink I spatter.
Ye gods, forgive my "literary" sins--
The other kind don't matter.
                -- Robert W. Service
Say!  You've struck a heap of trouble--
Bust in business, lost your wife;
No one cares a cent about you,
You don't care a cent for life;
Hard luck has of hope bereft you,
Health is failing, wish you'd die--
Why, you've still the sunshine left you
And the big blue sky.
                -- R.W. Service
The Junior God now heads the roll
In the list of heaven's peers;
He sits in the House of High Control,
And he regulates the spheres.
Yet does he wonder, do you suppose,
If, even in gods divine,
The best and wisest may not be those
Who have wallowed awhile with the swine?
                -- Robert W. Service
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
        By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
        That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
        But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
        I cremated Sam McGee.
                -- Robert W. Service
Volcanoes have a grandeur that is grim
And earthquakes only terrify the dolts,
And to him who's scientific
There is nothing that's terrific
In the pattern of a flight of thunderbolts!
                -- W.S. Gilbert, "The Mikado"
Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
                -- W. C. Fields
The best cure for insomnia is to get a  lot of sleep.
                -- W. C. Fields
There comes a time in the affairs of a man when he has to take the bull
by the tail and face the situation.
                -- W.C. Fields
  The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. -W.C. Fields
Jon Splatz's Movie Review: "Lord of the Pings"

I've never walked out on a movie before. When I pay $9.50 to see a movie
(plus $16.50 for snacks), I'm going to sit through every single minute no
matter how awful. The resolve to get my money's worth allowed me to watch
Jar Jar Binks without even flinching last year.

But I couldn't make it through "Lord of the Pings". This movie contains a
scene that is so appalling, so despicable, so vile, so terrible, so
crappy, and so gut-wrenching that I simply had to get up, run out of the
theater, and puke in the nearest restroom. It was just that bad.

The whole thing is completely ruined by a scene that takes place only 52
seconds into the flick. Brace yourself: big letters appear on screen that
say "An AOL/Time Warner Production".

...

Because this film is brought to you by the letters A-O-L-T-W, I must give
it an F-minus even though I've only seen 53 seconds of it.
An elderly couple were flying to their Caribbean hideaway on a chartered plane
when a terrible storm forced them to land on an uninhabited island.  When
several days passed without rescue, the couple and their pilot sank into a
despondent silence. Finally, the woman asked her husband if he had made his
usual pledge to the United Way Campaign.
        "We're running out of food and water and you ask *that*?" her husband
barked.  "If you really need to know, I not only pledged a half million but
I've already paid them half of it."
        "You owe the U.W.C. a *quarter million*?" the woman exclaimed
euphorically.  "Don't worry, Harry, they'll find us!  They'll find us!"
Any man who hates dogs and babies can't be all bad.
                -- Leo Rosten, on W.C. Fields
Blessed is he who expects no gratitude, for he shall not be disappointed.
                -- W.C. Bennett
Blessed is he who has reached the point of no return and knows it,
for he shall enjoy living.
                -- W.C. Bennett
Excess on occasion is exhilarating.  It prevents moderation from
acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
                -- W. Somerset Maugham
I'll give you my opinion of the human race in a nutshell ... their heart's
in the right place, but their head is a thoroughly inefficient organ.
                -- W. Somerset Maugham, "The Summing Up"
It takes less time to do a thing right than it does to explain why you
did it wrong.
                -- H.W. Longfellow
Most people have a furious itch to talk about themselves and are restrained
only by the disinclination of others to listen.  Reserve is an artificial
quality that is developed in most of us as the result of innumerable rebuffs.
                -- W.S. Maugham
No man would listen to you talk if he didn't know it was his turn next.
                -- E.W. Howe
No one can have a higher opinion of him than I have, and I think he's a
dirty little beast.
                -- W.S. Gilbert
Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.
                -- W.C. Fields
Those who are mentally and emotionally healthy are those who have
learned when to say yes, when to say no and when to say whoopee.
                -- W.S. Krabill
You can't cheat an honest man.  Never give a sucker an even break or
smarten up a chump.
                -- W.C. Fields
You can't learn too soon that the most useful thing about a principle
is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency.
                -- W. Somerset Maugham, "The Circle"
You want to know why I kept getting promoted?  Because my mouth knows more
than my brain.
        -- W.G.
"Since when has a dictator ever been benign?  I hear all this
libertarian garbage being spouted from the "linux community",
and then have people apparently celebrate the existance of a
dictatorship..."

        - Michael W. Zappe
<Flood> netgod: I also have a "Evil Inside" T-shirt (w/ Intel logo).. on
        the back it states: "When the rapture comes, will you have root?"
<edLin> LWE?
<edLin> Linux W?? E??
<seeS> will eatyou
<JHM> World Expo?
<edLin> i see
A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
                -- Oscar Wilde, "The Portrait of Mr. W.H."
Dying is a very dull, dreary affair.  My advice to you is to have
nothing whatever to do with it.
                -- W. Somerset Maughm, his last words
Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better.
                -- Edgar W. Howe
Once upon a time there was a DOS user who saw Unix, and saw that it was
good.  After typing cp on his DOS machine at home, he downloaded GNU's
unix tools ported to DOS and installed them.  He rm'd, cp'd, and mv'd
happily for many days, and upon finding elvis, he vi'd and was happy.  After
a long day at work (on a Unix box) he came home, started editing a file,
and couldn't figure out why he couldn't suspend vi (w/ ctrl-z) to do
a compile.
        -- Erik Troan, ewt@tipper.oit.unc.edu
vi is [[13~^[[15~^[[15~^[[19~^[[18~^ a
muk[^[[29~^[[34~^[[26~^[[32~^ch better editor than this emacs. I know
I^[[14~'ll get flamed for this but the truth has to be
said. ^[[D^[[D^[[D^[[D ^[[D^[^[[D^[[D^[[B^
exit ^X^C quit :x :wq dang it :w:w:w :x ^C^C^Z^D
        -- Jesper Lauridsen <rorschak@daimi.aau.dk> from alt.religion.emacs
If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for.
                -- W.C. Fields
Then there was the ScoutMaster who got a fantastic deal on this case of
Tates brand compasses for his troup; only $1.25 each!  Only problem was,
when they got them out in the woods, the compasses were all stuck pointing
to the "W" on the dial.

Moral:
        He who has a Tates is lost!
There has been a little distress selling on the stock exchange.
                -- Thomas W. Lamont, October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday)
There's nothing worse for your business than extra Santa Clauses
smoking in the men's room.
                -- W. Bossert
We're living in a golden age.  All you need is gold.
                -- D.W. Robertson.
if (rsfp = mypopen("/bin/mail root","w")) {     /* heh, heh */
             -- Larry Wall in perl.c from the perl source code
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
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