23 votes

What are some of your favorite one sentence quotes?

Here's one of my favorites:

Forests precede civilizations and deserts follow them.

  • François-René de Chateaubriand

32 comments

  1. nacho
    Link

    Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    • Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author and poet

    If you have a friend you trust, visit him often, because shrubs and tall grass grow on the road unwalked.

    • Attributed to the Norse god Odin in his proverbs and councils in Håvamål

    Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
    Edmund Burke, politician

    Out of all the unimportant things, football is the most important

    • Pope John Paul II

    If you take an average person's grand illusion [underpinning their life] away, you also take their happiness

    • Henrik Ibsen, playwright

    The more I practice, the luckier I get.

    • Arnold Palmer, golfer

    It is not true that the world is too tired and exhausted to produce anything worth praising.

    14 votes
  2. [2]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    Jerome Lawrence & Robert E Lee ('Auntie Mame', the stageplay) Star Trek: The Next Generation Star Trek: The Next Generation Isaac Asimov ('Foundation') US President General Dwight D. Eisenhower,...

    Life is a banquet, and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death! Live!

    Jerome Lawrence & Robert E Lee ('Auntie Mame', the stageplay)


    The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth.

    Star Trek: The Next Generation


    If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are.

    Star Trek: The Next Generation


    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

    Isaac Asimov ('Foundation')


    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    US President General Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953.


    Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.

    Albert Einstein


    12 votes
    1. Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      -- The First Duty Season 5 Episode 19 This is probably one of the episodes that impacted me the most as a teenager/young adult. Instilling the concept that speaking truth, especially when the...

      The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth.

      -- The First Duty Season 5 Episode 19

      This is probably one of the episodes that impacted me the most as a teenager/young adult. Instilling the concept that speaking truth, especially when the personal consequences might be high, is a moral and noble thing to do. While my views have gotten more nuanced as I've gotten older, that's still one that sits at my core.

      4 votes
  3. [3]
    JRandomHacker
    Link
    I'll throw in Dalinar Kholin (or Brandon Sanderson), Oathbringer

    I'll throw in

    Sometimes a hypocrite is nothing more than a man in the process of changing.

    • Dalinar Kholin (or Brandon Sanderson), Oathbringer
    12 votes
    1. Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      Huge fan of that series. Got myself the Mistborn leatherbounds for Christmas, and have the Knights Radiant symbol stuck on my car.

      Huge fan of that series. Got myself the Mistborn leatherbounds for Christmas, and have the Knights Radiant symbol stuck on my car.

      5 votes
    2. Eylrid
      Link Parent
      Related: Penn Jillette Alice / Lewis Carroll

      Related:

      If you say one thing and do another you double your chances of me agreeing with you.

      • Penn Jillette

      I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.

      • Alice / Lewis Carroll
      4 votes
  4. Omnicrola
    Link
    Had a roommate for a while in my 20s and we kept a large piece of paper taped to a door and would write funny/profound things we heard or said on it. I've forgotten most of it (and a lot of it is...

    Had a roommate for a while in my 20s and we kept a large piece of paper taped to a door and would write funny/profound things we heard or said on it. I've forgotten most of it (and a lot of it is probably inane in retrospect), but one has always stuck with me as life has changed and kept moving:

    Home is the place you wish you where when you are everywhere else.

    8 votes
  5. [3]
    Gyrfalcon
    Link
    I keep notes on my phone of good quotes, and while most of what I have saved is on the longer side, here are some shorter ones, not necessarily all 1 sentence though: Aristotle Commander Shepard...

    I keep notes on my phone of good quotes, and while most of what I have saved is on the longer side, here are some shorter ones, not necessarily all 1 sentence though:

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it

    • Aristotle

    No matter how strong you are, allies make you stronger

    • Commander Shepard (Mass Effect)

    If you don't share what you have, you will live a very lonely life

    • I don't have an attribution, possibly a reddit or Tildes comment

    Start small, and when it gets difficult, make it smaller until you can start

    • 99% sure this is from a reddit comment

    The truth about a city's aspirations isn't found in its vision. It's found in its budget.

    • Brent Toderian

    It was the day I understood: War is atrocity committed in the name of survival. It is a lesson I wish I had never learned.

    • Javik (Mass Effect 3)

    The world should have protected you, and instead you have been asked to protect it. What an honor. What an injustice.

    • Melora (Not Another D&D Podcast)

    Those with the power to save a life have a duty to try

    • The Lovely Ladybug (The Lovely Ladybug comic)

    But I realize that peace and harmony won't happen overnight... It will take all of us supporting one another to fight the forces of hate that seek to throw our lives into chaos.

    • Zhu Li Moon (Avatar: Legend of Korra comics)

    Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war

    • MLK

    It's just a bad day, not a bad life

    • "When You Grow Up, Your Heart Dies" by Gunship (song)

    We are all time travelers, journeying together into the future. Let us work together to make that future a place we want to visit.

    • Stephen Hawking

    You can eat an elephant if you do it one bite at a time.

    • another reddit comment I think
    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      The elephant one is actually from Desmond Tutu

      The elephant one is actually from Desmond Tutu

      There is only one way to eat an elephant, a bite at a time.

      4 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I'm not sure about that attribution. I've been hearing (and saying) this line for a long time. I looked for an actual instance of Desmond Tutu saying this, and the only one I could find is an...

        I'm not sure about that attribution. I've been hearing (and saying) this line for a long time.

        I looked for an actual instance of Desmond Tutu saying this, and the only one I could find is an interview that Tutu did in a documentary made in 2010.

        I know I was repeating this quote long before 2010. And it was old when I learned it.

        So I looked further. And I found this article, listing multiple times this saying has been repeated, back at least as far as 1921.

        Other sources say the origin of this proverb is unknown. I think it's by that great writer, A. Nonymous.

        6 votes
  6. bkimmel
    Link
    You can measure the size of a person by the size of the things that bother them. Money is to life like gas is to a cat; you need it to get around but a good road trip is not made by visiting gas...

    You can measure the size of a person by the size of the things that bother them.

    Money is to life like gas is to a cat; you need it to get around but a good road trip is not made by visiting gas stations.

    5 votes
  7. [2]
    rosco
    Link
    I think the Uncharted Series digs up some pretty great ones. T.E. Lawrence Francis Drake

    I think the Uncharted Series digs up some pretty great ones.

    The dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible

    • T.E. Lawrence

    There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory

    • Francis Drake
    5 votes
    1. Micycle_the_Bichael
      Link Parent
      Hell yeah! The Uncharted Series has a bunch of really good quotes. I had a running list of them at one point for potential tattoo ideas but I can't seem to find it now. Great game series.

      Hell yeah! The Uncharted Series has a bunch of really good quotes. I had a running list of them at one point for potential tattoo ideas but I can't seem to find it now. Great game series.

  8. [2]
    zptc
    Link
    PG Wodehouse

    I woke up with that feeling you get sometimes that you're going to die in about five minutes.

    • PG Wodehouse
    5 votes
    1. TheRtRevKaiser
      Link Parent
      Wodehouse is an absolute goldmine of good one-liners.

      Wodehouse is an absolute goldmine of good one-liners.

  9. [4]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    (edited )
    Link
    I’ve never been able to find the OP but for a long time I had this quote on my mirror and it was almost my first tattoo: Edit: decided to add Mark Z Danielewski Mark Z Danielewski Mark Z...

    I’ve never been able to find the OP but for a long time I had this quote on my mirror and it was almost my first tattoo:

    I have fallen apart many times, but what does that say about me besides I live through war.

    Edit: decided to add

    Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of ‘not knowing’

    • Mark Z Danielewski

    It may be the wrong decision, but fuck it, it’s mine.

    • Mark Z Danielewski

    Little solace comes
    to those who grieve
    when thoughts keep drifting
    as walls keep shifting
    and this great blue world of ours
    seems a house of leaves
    moments before the wind.

    • Mark Z Danielewski

    Scars are the paler pain of survival received unwillingly and displayed in the language of injury.

    • Mark Z Danielewski

    Losing the possibility of something is the exact same thing as losing hope and without hope nothing can survive.

    • Mark Z Danielewski

    I’ll give you three guesses as to who my favorite author is. These are all from one book of his, House of Leaves, which is my favorite book of all time and I would have a hard time thinking of books I would put in the same tier (if I'm doing a personal review, I'm sure others would disagree)

    5 votes
    1. suspended
      Link Parent
      This idea dawned on me as I was making my way through university. He nailed it.

      Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of ‘not knowing’

      This idea dawned on me as I was making my way through university. He nailed it.

      3 votes
  10. lou
    (edited )
    Link
    By a writer and good friend of mine. It's better in the original...

    I never fall in love. It's the women who benefit from the love I always have...

    • By a writer and good friend of mine. It's better in the original...
    4 votes
  11. 3_3_2_LA
    Link
    -- Robert Frost Well, it's technically two sentences but yeah :)

    "In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on"

    -- Robert Frost

    Well, it's technically two sentences but yeah :)

    4 votes
  12. suspended
    Link
    I wanted to add this one since I just heard it and wanted to have a record of it. Unknown origin

    I wanted to add this one since I just heard it and wanted to have a record of it.

    Broken crayons can still color.

    • Unknown origin
    4 votes
  13. [3]
    FishFingus
    Link
    'The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.'

    'The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.'

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      That's a good one. Do you know where it comes from?

      That's a good one. Do you know where it comes from?

      2 votes
  14. inwardpath
    Link
    — Thich Nhat Hanh

    "My actions are my only true belongings."

    — Thich Nhat Hanh

    4 votes
  15. HotPants
    Link
    If people weren’t so often wrong, we wouldn’t be so rich. Charlie Munger.

    If people weren’t so often wrong, we wouldn’t be so rich.

    • Charlie Munger.
    3 votes
  16. elcuello
    Link
    I just read Musicophilia and I'm in love with the language of Oliver Sacks:

    I just read Musicophilia and I'm in love with the language of Oliver Sacks:

    There is nothing alive which is not individual.

    Posture we may say is a reflection of gravity.

    One may have intended the replicability and uniformities of science but one encounter the vicissitudes of history or romance.

    He thought deeply on the nature of mercy wondering wether it could trancend without transgressing the fixed laws of fate.

    3 votes
  17. norney
    Link
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men; For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht Referring to Arturo Ui (representing...

    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men; For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.

    Bertolt Brecht
    Referring to Arturo Ui (representing Adolf Hitler), in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (1941)

    3 votes
  18. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    A quote I've seen recently: This is frequently attributed to Chateaubriand but that's probably incorrect. They searched with Google ngrams and apparently the first occurrence they found was in...

    A quote I've seen recently:

    Forest precede civilization; deserts follow.

    This is frequently attributed to Chateaubriand but that's probably incorrect. They searched with Google ngrams and apparently the first occurrence they found was in 1839, but the first time it was attributed to Chateaubriand was in 1896.

    2 votes
    1. suspended
      Link Parent
      I took a look at the link and I can't find anything compelling that would suggest Chateaubriand didn't make this statement. Conversely, I don't think the origin matters as much as the statement.

      I took a look at the link and I can't find anything compelling that would suggest Chateaubriand didn't make this statement. Conversely, I don't think the origin matters as much as the statement.

      1 vote
  19. Kuromantis
    Link
    - Someone on r/askmen talking about things to avoid in relationships. (IDK the source, but I first heard it here) - Edna Mode (actually, Louis Pasteur) - (Idk) - Ian Danskin, AKA Innuendo Studios...

    When you put someone on a pedestal, you force them to look down on you.

    - Someone on r/askmen talking about things to avoid in relationships. I will definitely actually follow this advice instead of saving it once and acting as if I never heard it.

    Good satire raises questions about reality.

    (IDK the source, but I first heard it here)

    Luck favors the prepared.

    - Edna Mode (actually, Louis Pasteur)

    The brain is the only part of the body that named itself.

    - (Idk)

    "[Even] Bigotry is intersectional."

    - Ian Danskin, AKA Innuendo Studios

    If our brains were simple enough for us to understand them, we'd be so simple that we couldn't.

    -Ian Stewart

    (This quote is about the human brain, but I wonder if this also applies to other human stuff like relationships, honestly.)

    1 vote