Understanding Quotations

A child is a person who can’t understand why someone would give away a perfectly good cat.
– Author Unknown –

Anyone who eats three meals a day should understand why cookbooks outsell sex books three to one.
– L.M. Boyd –

As I grow older and wiser, I’ve begun to understand how little I understand.
-Author Unknown –

Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.
– Grossman’s Law –

I did not fully understand the dread term ‘terminal illness’ until I saw Heathrow Airport for myself.
– Dennis Potter –

I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you.
– Author Unknown –

I don’t understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it.
– Author Unknown –

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
– Robert McCloskey –

I’m trying very hard to understand this generation. They have adjusted the timetable for childbearing so that menopause and teaching a sixteen-year-old how to drive a car will occur in the same week.
– Erma Bombeck –

I stopped understanding math when the alphabet decided to get involved.
– Author Unknown –

It isn’t easy being the parent of a six year old today. However, it’s a small price to pay to have someone around the house who understands computers.
– S.D. Sisseton –

I understand the concept of COOKING and CLEANING – just not as it applies to me.
– Author Unknown –

Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book –

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
– Hal Borland –

People have been cooking and eating for thousands of years, so if you are the very first to have thought of adding lime juice to scalloped potatoes try to understand there must be a reason for this.
– Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader –

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
― Francis Bacon, The Essays –

Sometimes it’s not enough to know what things mean, sometimes you have to know what things don’t mean.
― Bob Dylan –

Sometimes the mind, for reasons we don’t understand, goes to the store for a quart of milk.
– Joel, Northern Exposure –

What part of s = sqrt{frac{1}{N-1} sum_{i=1}^N (x_i – overline{x})^2} don’t you understand?
– Author Unknown –

16 thoughts on “Understanding Quotations

  1. Oh my Gosh, Margy, today’s post Made my Day! I can always count on your posts to make me think and laugh. Thanks so much!

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    1. Agreed: so many gems. I laughed. I snickered. I’m still thinking about some.

      I once read that Einstein explained relativity to a layperson like this: when you sit in a boring class, an hour seems like a day. But when you sit next to a pretty girl, an hour seems like a minute. That’s relativity. I guess he understood it 😀

      Thank you for the spectacular list!

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    2. I know I sometimes don’t listen closely enough. That is what I like about emails. I can read them again to make sure I’ve understood the message and framed the reply less ‘passionately’. Of course, the same thing can happen with verbal communication but it takes more skill when it is a topic that the two parties disagree about!

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  2. The Robert McCloskey quote is perfect. I majored in Communications in grad school and that is the best summation of what I learned in the program. It is timeless wisdom. Thanks for sharing it here.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I didn’t go to grad school, but my life major is not knowing what I’m going to say until I open my mouth – which usually means that what I said is not what I would have said if I had thought a bit more about it…

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  3. I have written down the Einstein quotation about explaining an idea simply and I intend to tell all my students what the man said! This was a wonderful post! Thank you.

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