Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The New Standards

It is well-known that Pretty Lady requires a high standard of courtesy in her home at all times. However, if you must insult her, or one another, let the bar of wit, elegance and creativity be at least as high as these.

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

-- Winston Churchill

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."

-- Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."

-- Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

-- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"

-- Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."

-- Moses Hadas

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."

-- Abraham Lincoln

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."

-- Groucho Marx

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."

-- Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."

-- Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one."

-- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."

-- Winston Churchill, in response

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."

-- Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."

-- John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."

-- Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."

-- Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."

-- Paul Keating

"He had delusions of adequacy."

-- Walter Kerr

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."

-- Jack E. Leonard

"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt."

-- Robert Redford

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."

-- Thomas Brackett Reed

"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them."

-- James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."

-- Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."

-- Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"

-- Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."

-- Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

-- Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."

-- Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music."

-- Billy Wilder


Anonymous said...

One of my favorites is attributed to Dorothy Parker, who arrived at a door at the same time as Clare Boothe Luce, who promptly stepped aside saying "Age before beauty," whereupon Ms. Parker swept through the open door and trilled in retort, "...And pearls before swine."


Pretty Lady said...

God bless Dorothy Parker. Sometimes, when reading her, I feel that I was Dorothy Parker, once, or that I went through a Dorothy Parker phase (not reading her, being her) in my early twenties, or, at the very least, There But For The Grace Of God Go I.

Anonymous said...

Hah....hilarious. Long live wit...
and not next door to me. But is this all cleansing fast induced or have you noved into gear on a different plane.
Hope it's fun

Anonymous said...

Dorothy Parker was most certainly Not a Lady in an era of Ladies, but she at the same time pulled off the image of a Lady. A puzzle, that one, and one I adore diving into.