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An elephant: a mouse built to government specifications.
An exception TESTS a rule; it NEVER proves it.
–Edmund C. Berkeley
An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.
–Gerald Weinberg
An expert is someone who can take something you already knew and make it sound confusing.
An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.
An old car that served you so well will continue to serve you until you have just put four new tires under it and then it will fall apart.
–Erma Bombeck
An optimist is a person who goes to the window every morning and says, “Good morning God!” The pessimist goes to the window every morning and says, “Good god, morning.”
An optimist proclaims that this is the best of all possible worlds, and a pessimist fears that this is true.
And he gave it as his opinion. that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot if ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
—Jonathon Swift
Andrew’s Canoeing Postulate: No matter which direction you start, it’s always against the wind coming back.
Energy-State: Any state of condition of the Universe or any portion of it which requires the expenditure of human effort or ingenuity to bring it into line with human desires, needs, or pleasures.
–Dr. John Gall
Anthony’s Law of Force: Don’t force it. Get a larger hammer.
Anthony’s Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will role into the least accessible corner of the workshop. Corollary: On the way to the corner, any dropped tool will first always strike your toes.
Any bus that can be the wrong bus will be the wrong bus. All others are out of service or full.
—John Corcoran
Any discovery is more likely to be exploited by the wicked than applied by the virtuous.
—Marion J. Levy Jr.
Any given program will expand to fill all available memory.
Any inanimate object, regardless of its composition or configuration, may be expected to perform at any time in a totally unexpected manner for reasons that are either totally obscure or completely mysterious.
—Dr. Fyodor Flap
Any jackass can, kick down a bar but it takes a good carpenter to build one.
–Sam Rayburn
Any large system is going to be operating most of the time in failure mode.
–Dr. John Gall
Any man can prove he has good judgment by saying you have.
Any man that can write, may answer a letter.
–Shakespeare
Any man who hates dogs and loves whiskey can’t be all bad.
–W.C. Fields
Any mind that is capable of real sorrow is capable of good.
Anyone can be great with money. With money, greatness is not a talent but an obligation. The trick is to be great without money. –Italo Bombolini
Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent.
–Lazarus Long
Any race that doesn’t use all its potential will always stop short of its possibilities.
— Jose Torres
Any stone in your boot always migrates against the pressure gradient to exactly the point of most pressure.
–Milt Barber
Any theory that can be made to fit any facts by means of appropriate additional assumptions.
–Robert E. Schenk
Any time you wish to demonstrate something, the number of faults is proportional to the number of viewers.
Any vacuum cleaner would sooner take the nap off a rug than remove white threads from a dark rug.
Anybody can win, unless there happens to be a second entry.
–George Ade
Anybody has a right to evade taxes if he can get away with it. No citizen has a moral obligation to assist in maintaining the government.
Anybody that wants the presidency so much that he’ll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office.
–David Broder
Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.
–Robert Benchley
Anyone who has begun to think places some portion of the world in jeopardy.
Anyone who uses the phrase “easy as taking candy from a baby” has never tried taking candy from a baby.
—Robin Hood
Anything free is worth what you paid for it.
Anything hit with a big enough hammer will fall apart.
–Robert A. Jackson
Anything you can do I can do better; anything I can do you can do better; anything I can do I can do better: anything IBM does is going to cost more money.
Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.
–Colton
Are you a man or a mouse? Come on, squeak up!
Army Law: If it moves, salute it; if it doesn’t move, pick it up; and if you· can’t pick it up, paint it.
As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign has ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident. As a man may be eating all day, and for want of digestion is never nourished, so these endless readers may cram themselves in vain with intellectual food.
–Dr. I. Watts
As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.
–Edward Gibson
As the dimensions of the tree are not always regulated by the size of the seed, so the consequences of things are not always proportionate to the apparent magnitude of those events that have produced them. –Colton
Ask five economists and you’ll get five different explanations (six if one went to Harvard).
–Edgar R. Fiedler
At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his thumb with a hammer. –Marshall Lumsden
At some point, every faculty would certainly lynch its dean–if it could only agree on a date.
At some time in the life cycle of virtually every organization, its ability to succeed in spite of itself runs out. –Richard H. Brian
Atoms are made up of electrons and protons (protons are also nothing). Fifty billion electrons placed side by side in a straight line would stretch across the period at the end of this sentence. Protons are heavier but take up less space. Such an idea is incapable of being absorbed by the human mind
—John Lardner & Thomas Sugrue
Attention to detail is the watchword for gleaning information from an unsuspecting witness.
–Inspector Clouseau
Auditors always reject a newsman’s expense account with a bottom line divided by a 5 or 10.
Auditors are the people who go in after the war is lost and bayonet the wounded.
Authority intoxicates, and makes mere sots of magistrates. The fumes of it invade the brain, and make men giddy, proud and vain; by this the fool commands the wise.
The noble with the base complies. The sot assumes the role of wit, and cowards make the base submit. –Butler
Avoid making irrevocable decisions while tired or hungry (nota bene: Circumstances can force your hand. So think ahead!). –Lazarus Long
Avoid strong drink. It makes you shoot at IRS agents–and miss
—Lazarus Long
BREAKTHROUGH: We finally figured out a way to sell it.
Bad law is more likely to be supplemented than be repealed.
—Dalin B. Oaks
Banish Evil from the world? Nonsense! Encourage it, foster it, sponsor it. The world owes Evil a debt beyond imagination. Think! Without greed, ambition falters. Without vanity, art becomes idle musing.; Without cruelty, benevolence lapses into passivity. Where would be the savior of superior understanding? –Magnus Rudolf
Bare feet magnetize sharp metal objects so they always point upward from the floor–especially in the dark.
-Al Ross
Barr’s Hypothesis: Familiarity breeds content.
Bartz’s Law of Hokey Horsepuckery: The more ridiculous a belief system, the higher the probability of its success.
–Wayne R. Bartz
Be a defensive driver. Buy a Tiger M31.
Be alert! America needs more lerts.
Be careful who you step on on the way up; you never know who you’ll pass on the way down.
Be like a duck–keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil under the water.
Be sure to save your money, you never know when it might be worth something again.
Be tolerant of those who disagree with you–after all, they have a right to their ridiculous opinions.
Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.
Beauty without virtue is like a flower without perfume.
Beck’s postulate: Murphy was an optimist.
Bedfellows make strange politicians.
Behind every argument is someone’s ignorance.
Behind every great man is a great woman. Behind every great woman is a great behind.
–Anonymous male chauvinist
Being generous is inborn; being altruistic is a learned perversity. No resemblance…
–Lazarus Long
Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think its important
—Eugene McCarthy
Better be alone than in bad company.
Better bend than break.
Better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a lamb.
Better to use medicines at the outset than at the last moment.
Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before
—Mae West
Beware of people who fall at your feet. They may. be reaching for the corner of the rug.
Bicycle Law: All bicycles weigh 50 pounds: a 30-pound bicycle needs a 20-pound lock and chain. A 40-pound bicycle needs a 10-pound lock and chain. A 50-pound bicycle needs no lock and chain.
Big people are those who make us feel bigger when we are with them.
Biochemistry expands so as to fill the space and time available for its completion
and publication. –R.T. Hersh
Bismarck’s Law: The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they’ll sleep at night.
Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt.
Blessed is he who expects no gratitude, for he shall not be disappointed
—W.C. Bennett
Boren’s Law of Bureaucracy: When in doubt. mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in
charge, ponder. –James H. Boren
Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.
–Franklin P. Jones
Broken Mirror Law: Everyone breaks more than the seven year bad luck allotment to cover rotten luck throughout an entire lifetime. –Rozanne Weissman
Build a system that even a fool could use, and only a fool will want to use it.
Burn’s Hog Weighing Method: Get a perfectly symmetrical plank and balance it across a sawhorse. Put the hog on one end of the plank. Pile rocks on the other end until the plank is again perfectly balanced. Carefully guess the weight of the rocks.
—Robert Burns
By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to man—man himself. So he must supply his own indispensable competition. He has no enemy to help him.
–Lazarus Long
By the time a person gets to greener pastures, he can’t climb the fence.
Cameras are so simple to operate now that taking pictures is much easier than getting friends to look at them. –Hugh Allen
Campus sidewalks never exist as the straightest line between two points
—M.M. Johnson,
Capital Punishment: the income tax.
Capitalism can ‘exist in one of only two states: welfare or warfare
—Bill Gray
Celibacy is not hereditary. –Guy Godin
Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they’re going to catch you in next.
–Franklin P. Jones
Circular Definition: see Circular Definition.
Clearly stated instructions will consistently produce multiple interpretations.
Cole’s Law: Thinly sliced cabbage.
Colson’s Law: If you’ve got them; by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.
Committee–A group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.” –Fred Allen
Committee–A group of men who keep minutes and waste hours
—Milton Berle
Committee–A group of the unfit appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary.
–Stewart Harral
Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.
Compared with everything else in data processing, paper is cheap; use it. But the value of a report decreases as the number of its pages increases.
Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable
—Tom Gibb
Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost. ‘
Conscious is when you are aware of something and conscience is when you wish you weren’t.

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