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Thread: Famous Quotations (in English)

  1. #1
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    Famous Quotations (in English)

    I stumbled upon a couple of dictionaries of famous quotations. Most of them are too huge or too weird. And I wonder are they realy so famous? Do real people quote them? Are they at least able to recognize these quotations coming across them?

    I'd like to post some of these quotations here and to get your opinion.
    Here is the first, an easy one (I think):
    "This is the greatest week in the history of the world since the Creation".

    Hmm... Do you hear it often? Do you know who said it? Or when?

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    I've never heard it before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    I've never heard it before.
    That's what I was afraid of.
    OK, here is a prompting. It was said by American president (I took it cause the quotations of the american presidents are the shortest. May be they have nothing to say. )

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    Unfortunately I'm not an expert in what American presidents have to say. The only such quote I can recall is George Bush's legendary "Those who enter the country illegally violate the law."

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    Well, if it's a dictionary, then it's probably rather large and comprehensive. And if it's large and comprehensive, then it's bound to hold a lot of lesser known quotations -- no one would care if it was just the top ten quotations, that everybody ALREADY knew. There are lots of words in my (standard English -- not the quotation now) dictionary I don't know -- it doesn't mean they don't belong there.

    Besides, from a commercial aspect, you're missing a big plus to such books: you can include whatever quotes you want, and you can do so for free. You don't have to pay authors, royalties, etc. -- basically just the printing costs.
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    Give us some Oscar Wilde quotes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Give us some Oscar Wilde quotes.
    "A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    If somebody is interested in collecting famous quotes, here's one:

    "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

    From a famous speech made by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons of the British Parliament on August 20, 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain.

    P.S. You can read more here
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    Re: Famous Quotations (in English)

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    "This is the greatest week in the history of the world since the Creation".
    OK, since noody listens ro am. presidents...
    Here is the answer: that's a quotation from Nixon's speech, welcoming the return of the first men to land on the moon (1969).

    Are quotations important for native English speakers? I think about 30% of russians speech consists of quotations (from movies, popular books and jokes, proverbs variations etc.). That cultural layer is very important for understanding the true meaning of what's said. Is it similiar in English?

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    30%? Don't be silly. Show me the evidence! Show me the evidence!
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    Nowadays, you can hear some quotations here and there, but they are mostly from recent commersials or movies...

    A few: "Wassssuuuup", "you lookin' at me?", "my precious..."

    I rarely hear people using real quotations from real people
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    30%? Don't be silly. Show me the evidence! Show me the evidence!
    25%? 20%? 15%? I don't want to argue. But the large part of our speech consists of quotations. Most of them have nothing to do with the real context, and mostly connected with emotions the original quotations evoked. Such pharses as "Что за гадость ваша заливная рыба!" can't be understood by a foreigner if he doesn't know when and where it was originaly used. Gosh, even I can't explaine why it's used in some situatians, though I can for certain feel when I can use it and when I can't.

    So I repeat my question: "Is it so in English?" Do there exist books or movies that are known by heart by the majority of population and quoted often (like "12 стульев" in Russian, for example)?

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    Yeah, I daresay there is no such language with 30% of the speech being quotes.


    Also, I vaguely remember some story about some sage who heard somebody admiring the art of quoting. And the sage said that those who constantly quote others are idiots because they don't have their own thoughts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadim84
    Yeah, I daresay there is no such language with 30% of the speech being quotes.


    Also, I vaguely remember some story about some sage who heard somebody admiring the art of quoting. And the sage said that those who constantly quote others are idiots because they don't have their own thoughts
    If you keep using quotes, everything you say can end up sounding clich
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    [quote=TATY]
    Quote Originally Posted by Vadim84
    Yeah, I daresay there is no such language with 30% of the speech being quotes.


    Also, I vaguely remember some story about some sage who heard somebody admiring the art of quoting. And the sage said that those who constantly quote others are idiots because they don't have their own thoughts
    If you keep using quotes, everything you say can end up sounding clich
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.

    It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

    All 3 From Mark Twain, the first 2 are relavent to the argument, the last is me being anal and correcting Brmly or smth.

    Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.' Poe

    Sorry gang, just having fun with my otherwise USELESS Literature Degree
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    Next time someone disses your shoes, tell them you don't care, because "after all, how often do you look at a man's shoes?"

    Anyone know where that's from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by capecoddah
    Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.
    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics...

    © Mark Twain as well...
    Of all the things I've lost I miss MY MIND the most...

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    Quote Originally Posted by capecoddah
    Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. ...
    "I've made up my mind so don't bother me with the facts." (не помню откуда)
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  20. #20
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    "82.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot" -Vic Reeves

    (I couldn't remember the exact number he used, so I just made one up, which kind of makes his point).

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