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see: "TROUBLE"
see: "UNHAPPINESS" for related links

They shall be as thorns in your sides.
"The Book of Judges" 2:3

The rain, it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just's umbrella.
--Lord Bowen (1835—1894)
English judge.
In Walter Sichel _Sands of Time_ [1923].

What we're saying today is that you're either part
of the solution or you're part of the problem.
--[Leroy] Eldridge Cleaver (1935—1998)
American black militant.
Speech in San Francisco, California [1968].


I think of a family who started a farm on rocky soil
in Kentucky: a dim, shiftless, rolling stone of a husband
married to an illegitimate girl from the Virginia mountains.
He tried five or six farms and kept moving on, a man
afflicted, we'd say today, with a character neurosis who
thought that by picking a new place, like a movie actress
who keeps picking a new husband, he would somehow
change the plot. He didn't, of course.

They plodded into Indiana and did a little better. In time,
they had a barn and a few animals, a little corral, a rail
fence, and they planted corn and flax and beans. But then
the neighbors went down with "the milk sickness," picked
up from cows that chewed on snakeroot. Our farmer's wife
died. So the vagabond father and his dour son moved on
to a new state and new ground. the son passing from an
almost animal boyhood into a bleak manhood. Yet, out
of that frail women and her listless husband and the
poorest ground, there came something strange and wholly
admirable: the slow-moving son who seized the Republic
and held it through its first cataclysm—Abraham Lincoln.

--Alistair Cooke [Alfred Cooke] (1908—2004)
British-born American broadcaster and journalist.
_America_ [1973]


But Jesus, when you don't have any money, the
problem is food. When you have money, it's sex.
When you have both, it's health, you worry about
getting ruptured or something. If everything is
simply jake then you're frightened of death.
--J. P. Donleavy (b. 1926)
American dramatist and novelist.
_The Ginger Man_, ch. 5 [1955]

Don't tell your problems to people: eighty percent
don't care; and the other twenty percent are glad
you have them.
--attributed to Lou Holtz (b. 1937)
American football coach.

Another nice mess you've gotten me into.
--Stan Laurel (1890—1965)
American film comedian, born in Britain.
"Another Fine Mess" [1930 film] and many
other Laurel & Hardy films; spoken by Oliver Hardy.

If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem,
but a fact, not to be solved, but to be coped with over
--Shimon Peres (b. 1923)
Israeli statesman.
In _The Wall Street Journal_ [7 February 2001].

Some problems are so complex that you have to
be highly intelligent and well-informed just to
be undecided about them.
--Laurence J. Peter (1919—1990)
Canadian teacher and author.
Entry for September 24 in _Peter's Almanac_ [1982], as quoted in
Suzy Platt _Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations_ [1989].

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem
is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems
is a problem.
--attributed to Theodore Isaac Rubin (b. 1923)
American psychiatrist and author.

Everybody in the world ought to be sorry for everybody
else. We all have our little private hell.
--Bettina von Hutten [nιe Riddle] (1874—1957)
American novelist.
_The Halo_ [1907]


quagmire [KWAG-myr; KWOG-], noun:
1. Soft, wet, miry land that shakes or yields under the feet.
2. A difficult or precarious position or situation; a predicament.



see: "DELAY"
see: "NEGLECT"
see: "REST"
see: "WAITING"
see: "FAILURE" for other related links

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing
noise they make as they go by.
--Douglas Adams (1952—2001)
British comic radio dramatist and author.
Quoted in "Guardian" (London) [3 June 2000].

By the streets of 'by and by,' one arrives at the house of never.
--Miguel de Cervantes (1547—1616)
Spanish novelist.
_Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote_ [pub. by D. Appleton, NY, 1867]

It is an undoubted truth, that the less one has to
do the less time one finds to do it in. One yawns,
one procrastinates; one can do it when one will,
and, therefore, one seldom does it all; whereas
those who have a great deal of business, must
(to use a vulgar expression) buckle to it; and
then they always find time enough to do it in.
--Lord Chesterfield [Philip Dormer Stanhope] (1694—1773)
British writer and politician.
Letter to his Son [30 September 1757].

Defer not till to-morrow to be wise,
To-morrow's sun to thee may never rise.
--William Congreve (1670—1729)
English dramatist.
"Letter to Cobham"

If once a man indulges himself in Murder, very soon
he comes to think little of Robbing, and from Robbing
he comes next to Drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and
from that to Incivility and Procrastination.
--Thomas De Quincey (1785—1859)
English essayist and critic.
"On Murder, Considered as One of the Fine Arts" [1839]


Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
--Thomas Draxe (d. 1618)
English clergyman.
_Adages_ [1616]

& see:

Never do today what you can
Put off till tomorrow.
--William Brighty Rands (1823—1882)
[pseudonyms Henry Holbeach & Matthew Browne]
English poet and writer of children's literature.
_Lilliput Levee_ [1864]

& see:

Never put off until tomorrow what
you can do the day after tomorrow.
--attributed to Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835—1910)
American humorist, novelist, journalist, and river pilot.

& see:

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do
today, because if you enjoy doing it today, you
can do it again tomorrow.
--attributed to Groucho [Julius Henry] Marx (1895—1977)
American film comedian.

& finally:

Never put off till tomorrow what
you can avoid altogether.
--Preston's Axiom,
in John Peers, comp. _1,001 Logical Laws_, p. 64 [1979].


We are always getting ready to live, but never living.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
_Journals_ [13 April 1834]

Tomorrow, every Fault to be amended;
but that Tomorrow never comes.
--Benjamin Franklin (1706—1790)
American politician, inventor, and scientist.
_Poor Richard's Almanack_ [July 1756]

What may be done at any Time
will be done at no time.
--Thomas Fuller (1654—1734)
English writer and physician.
Comp., _Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs_ [1732]

'Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.'
Seize the day, put no trust in the future.
--Horace [Quintus Horatius Flaccus] (65—8 BC)
Roman poet.
_Odes_, bk. I, # 11, l. 7

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education
is the ability to make yourself do the thing you
have to do, when it ought to be done, whether
you like it or not.
--T.H. (Thomas Henry) Huxley (1825—1895)
English biologist; grandfather of Aldous Huxley..
"Technical Education", an Address to the Working Men's Club, London,
as quoted in _Select Works of Thomas H. Huxley_ [John Alden, N.Y., 1886].

Better late than never.
--John Lydgate _The Assembly of Gods_ (c. 1450)
(Authorship questionable.)

There are so many things that we wish we had done
yesterday, so few that we feel like doing today.
--Mignon McLaughlin (1913—1983)
American journalist and author.
Attributed in _Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time_ [1977].

I figured I'd better get it in before we waited
another ten years. Fifty-seven years would
be embarrassing.
--Robert Nuranen
(In January 2007, returning an overdue
library book after forty-seven years.)

To-morrow is the day when fools grow wise,
when idlers work, when had men reform!
--anon., in _The Young Apprentice; or, The Watch-Words of Old
London_ [Pub. Newsagents' Publishing Co., London, 1868].

The habit of always putting off an experience until you can
afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how
to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate,
but once you've made up your mind — jump in.
--Charles R. Swindoll (b. 1934)
American evangelical Christian pastor.
_Living on the Ragged Edge_, p. 110 [1985]

To be always intending to live a new life, but never to find time to
set about it; this is as if a man should put off eating, and drinking,
and sleeping, from one day and night to another, 'till he is starved
and destroyed.
--John Tillotson (1630—1694)
Archbishop of Canterbury [1691-94].
Attributed in _The Ladies' Companion; or, Peoples' Annual_ [August 1842].


I must have a prodigious quantity of mind;
it takes me as much as a week, sometimes,
to make it up.
--Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835—1910)
American humorist, novelist, journalist, and river pilot.
_The Innocents Abroad_ [1869]

Hartford June 14/76.

I am a long time answering your letter, my dear Miss Harriet,
but then you must remember that it is an equally long time
since I received it — so that makes us even, & nobody to
blame on either side.

Truly Yrs
S.L. Clemens. Mark Twain

(Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835—1910)
American humorist, novelist, journalist, and river pilot.)


In England we have come to rely upon a comfortable
time-lag of a century intervening between the
perception that something ought to be done and
a serious attempt to do it.
--H.G. Wells (1866—1946)
English novelist.
_The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind_ [1934]

Procrastination is the thief of time.
--Edward Young (1683—1765)
English poet.
_Night Thoughts_, "Night I", l. 393 [1742-45]


dilatory [DIL-uh-tor-ee], adjective:
1. Tending to put off what ought to be done at once; given to
2. Marked by procrastination or delay; intended to cause delay;
--said of actions or measures.



see: "CURSING"
see: "COMMUNICATION" for other related links

The day of the jewelled epigram is passed and,
whether one likes it or not, one is moving into
the stern puritanical era of the four-letter word.
--Noλl Annan (1916—2000)
English historian and writer.
In the House of Lords [1966]; quoted in
George Greenfield _Scribblers for Bread_ [1989].


Hear and understand: not what goes into the
mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of
the mouth, this defiles a man.
"Matthew" 15:10-11

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your
mouths, but only what is helpful for building others
up according to their needs, that it may benefit
those who listen.
"Ephesians" 4:29 NIV


Tonight thousands of people on this earth will
die of starvation. Most of you will not give a
shit. And most of you will be more upset with
the fact that I said, 'shit' than that thousands
of people will die tonight.
--attributed to Tony Campolo (b. 1935)
American pastor and author.


TRIVIA: "Catcher in the Rye" contained
237 "goddams," 58 "bastards," 31 "Chrissakes,"
and 1 "fart."


Swearing is [...] learning to the ignorant, eloquence
to the blockhead, vivacity to the stupid, and wit
to the coxcomb.
--Mary Collyer (c. 1716—1762)
English translator and novelist.
_Felicia to Charlotte_ [1744]

Language is the apparel in which your thoughts
parade before the public. Never clothe them in
vulgar or shoddy attire.
--George Crane
Quoted in Lloyd Cory _Quote Unquote_ [1977].


Profane language was being used once every six minutes on
network TV shows, every two minutes on premium cable shows,
and every three minutes in major motion pictures, according to
a study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs released in
March 2000. The study examined 284 TV series episodes, 50
TV movies, and 189 MTV music videos that aired during the
1998-99 season, as well as the 50 top-grossing feature films
released during 1998. Researchers identified 4,249 scenes
with profane or crude language, including 966 scenes with
"hard-core" profanity, such as the "f-word" and the "s-word,"
as the study delicately put it.
--Haynes Johnson (b. 1931)
American journalist; winner of the 1966 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.
_The Best of Times: America in the Clinton Years_, p. 207 [2001].


In my youth [...] there were certain words you
couldn't say in front of a girl; now you can say
them, but you can't say 'girl'.
--Tom Lehrer (b. 1928)
American songwriter and satirist.
Quoted in _Washington Post_ [3 January 1982].

Many women, particularly young women, have claimed the
right to use the most explicit sex terms, including extremely
vulgar ones, in public as well as private. But it is men, far
more than women, who have been liberated by this change.
For now that women use these terms, men no longer need
to watch their own language in the presence of women.
But is this a gain for women?
--Margaret Mead (1901—1978)
American anthropologist.
Attributed in "Reader's Digest" [1987].

Good authors, too, who once knew better words
Now use only four-letter words
Writing prose....
Anything goes.
--Cole Porter (1892—1964)
American songwriter.
"Anything Goes," [1934 song]


When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.
--Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835—1910)
American humorist, novelist, journalist, and river pilot.
_Pudd'nhead Wilson_ [1894]

In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances,
desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief
denied even to prayer.
--Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835—1910)
American humorist, novelist, journalist, and river pilot.
Quoted in Albert Bigelow Paine _Mark Twain: A Biography_ [3 vol., 1912].


The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing
and swearing is a vice so mean and low, that every
person of sense and character detests and despises
--George Washington (1732—1799)
American general and commander-in-chief of the
colonial armies in the American Revolution [1775-83]
and first president of the United States [1789-97].
Attributed in _The Christian's Companion to the Sick and
Afflicted_ [Stanford and Swords, New York, 2nd ed., 1855].


Against Army in 1946 Notre Dame's Bob Livingstone missed a
tackle, and his teammate Johnny Lujack screamed, 'Livingstone,
you son of a bitch!' Coach Frank Leahy said, 'Another sacrilege
like that, Jonathan Lujack, and you will be disassociated from
our fine Catholic university.' Then Livingstone missed another
tackle and Leahy addressed his bench: 'Lads, Jonathan Lujack
was right about Robert Livingstone.'
--In George F. Will _The Morning After_ [1986], "A Lovely Disregard of Logic"

The night I saw "Scarface", a couple brought their daughter,
who was not yet 15. She must have found interesting the
175 uses (the official count, I am told) of what the Will boys
decorously call "the f word." The ticket-taker, appalled by
the movie, anguished about whether to warn the parents,
and did not. Exposing a child to 170 minutes of torture,
gore and obscenity is child abuse as serious as an act of
physical violence.
--George F. Will (b. 1941)
American columnist.
_The Morning After_ [1986], "Movies as Child Abuse"


billingsgate [BIL-ingz-gayt; -git], noun:
Coarsely abusive, foul, or profane language.
Origin: 1645–55; orig. the kind of speech often
heard at Billingsgate, a London fish market.





It's great to be color blind, and ethnic blind, and
religious blind — but blind is blind. It means you
can't see. I'd rather see and then judge, as
opposed to cutting off the cognitive process quite
so early. Why suppress what separates us from the
lower forms of life that can't think and replace it
with modes of non-reason, like political correctness,
term limits or "zero tolerance?"

Look at the World War II posters: we used to be able
to trust our citizens to be our eyes and ears. But
then again, we used to have common sense, and hold
it in some esteem. Political correctness is almost
always the opposite of common sense.

It's what has us pretending at the airport that Ray
Charles is just as likely to blow up the plane as
the guy with the bin Laden lunchbox. I'm not saying
turn in everyone with an accent and a bad attitude —
we'd have no cab drivers. And I'm not suggesting
that the government monitor our every move and habit.
That's already being done by the credit card industry.

I'm just saying that it takes neighbors looking out
for neighbors, and a postman passing along the fact
that at 180 Maplewood, the seven addressees all
named Mohammed are building "something" in their
living room.

If it turns out to be just a pole for strippers they
get back to the house (the 72 virgins is more likely),
then at least we know they're just perverts, and not

Like the lady said: it takes a village.

--Bill Maher (b. 1956)
American comedian and author.
_When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden_ [2002],
"Neighbors Looking Out For Neighbors"




see: "COMMUNICATION" for related links

The profound thinker always suspects that he is superficial.
--Benjamin Disraeli (1804—1881)
British Tory statesman, novelist, and Prime Minister [1868, 1874-80].
_Contarini Fleming_, pt. IV, ch. 5 [1832]


You must lie upon the daisies and discourse in
novel phrases of your complicated state of mind,
The meaning doesn't matter if it's only idle
chatter of a transcendental kind.
And everyone will say,
As you walk your mystic way,
"If this young man expresses himself
in terms too deep for *me*,
Why, what a very singularly deep young man
this deep young man must be!"

--W. S. Gilbert (1836—1911)
English writer of comic and satirical verse.
"The Aesthete", song from _Patience_ [1881]
(A caricature of Oscar Wilde.)


That must be wonderful; I have no idea of what it means.
--attributed to Jean Moliθre [Jean Baptiste Poquelin] (1622—1673)
French comic dramatist.

Those who know they are profound strive for clarity.
Those who would like to seem profound strive for
obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot
see to the bottom of something it must be profound.
It is timid and dislikes going into the water.
--Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844—1900)
German classical scholar, philosopher, and critic of culture.
_The Gay Science_ (Die frφhliche Wissenschaft) [1882]

Keating leaned back with a sense of warmth and well-being.
He liked this book. It had made the routine of his Sunday
morning breakfast a profound spiritual experience; he was
certain that it was profound, because he didn't understand
--Ayn Rand (1905—1982)
Russian-born American writer.
_The Fountainhead_, [1943], pt. 2, ch. 4 "Ellsworth M. Toohey"

[Georg Hegel] set out [his philosophy] with so much
obscurity that people thought it must be profound.
--Bertrand Russell (1872—1970)
British philosopher, mathematician, and Nobel laureate.
_Unpopular Essays_ [1950], "Philosophy and Politics"

You must not think me necessarily foolish because I
am facetious, nor will I consider you as necessarily
wise because you are grave.
--Sydney Smith (1771—1845)
English clergyman and essayist.
Letter to the Bishop of London, quoted
in "The Examiner" [6 September 1840].


recondite [REK-un-dyt], adjective:
1. Difficult to understand; abstruse.
2. Concerned with obscure subject matter.



see: "POLITICS" for related links

A Progressive is one who is in favor of more
taxes instead of less, more bureaus and
jobholders, more paternalism and meddling,
more regulation of private affairs and less
liberty. In general, he would be inclined to
regard the repeal of any tax as outrageous.
--H.L. (Henry Louis) Mencken (1880—1956)
American journalist and literary critic.
"Evening Sun" (Baltimore) [19 January 1926]

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