My New Misquoted Twitter Account

quotation marksI don’t mean that I have been misquoting my new Twitter account. What I mean is that my new Twitter account is about misquotes – real quotes twisted into something slightly different.

I’ve been enjoying being silly while I write on my second blog, A Listophile’s Haven, which if you haven’t visited yet feel free to go visit it and tell me how funny I’m not. But I have been planning for about as long to start a second Twitter account, also for the sake of some silliness, and now it’s finally here and I have it up and running.

So if you want to see me ruin a bunch of famous quotes (of course you do), check it out by clicking here, or if you’re a Twitter user you can find me at @Misquotationed – feel free to follow me too, and of course send requests for quotes for me to ruin if you like.

Many of the quotes I’ll be misquoting are about things I’m interesting in, such as books, music, coffee and so on. A lot of the quotes will be authors and comedians but also some actors, philosophers and other people will be thrown in for good measure. The point is, there might be some interest in it for you if you already follow my blog, so give it a go!

And if you haven’t added me on my normal Twitter account feel free to do that too, by finding me at @abritishperson or by using the Twitter widget on the side of this page! I normally follow back and I only tweet about rubbish some of the time.


Day 17 – Favourite quote from your favorite book (30 Day Book Challenge #2)

Okay, my fourth one of these for today but now I’m back up to date again, phew!

So, this is a bit silly because the favourite book post is Day 30 and so I’d be revealing it in advance and…well I guess it hasn’t changed since two years ago so long time readers will already know my answer and newer readers could, if they felt so inclined, go back and find out. So I won’t state the book this quote (well, passage really) is from, although it is really really obvious even if you haven’t read it. I just love this for so many reasons, and I hope you can see why.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he would have to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.
“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.

This is, I might add, is the first mention of the concept of a Catch-22 in the book which gave birth to the concept and name itself. So it’s also quite an important quote in terms of popular culture references – a lot of people refer to Catch-22s in every day life often without knowing where the term comes from, and you’ve just read the very moment in literature in which it came into existence. I also love it because it captures the feel of the book so well – absolute lunacy, basically.

What’s your favourite quote or passage from a book? I’d love to hear different favourite quotes people have!

For the love of reading – my quote revealed (at long last).

A week ago I posted a little quotes game on here (where I post the sixth sentence of the sixtieth page of the book closest to me), and asked my awesome readers to do the same. It was great fun, and a lot of people joined in, guessing not only my quote but each other’s too, which was what I had hoped would occur!

Anyway, I did say I would reveal my quote in a week’s time (I wanted to give people a little while to see if they could think of it). For those who can’t remember, the quote was as follows:

“It is a triumph of self-control to see a man whipped until the muscles of his back show white and glistening through the cuts and to give no sign of pity or anger or interest.”

There were some great guesses on it, including Game of Thrones, and The Da Vinci Code, but my quote was from John Steinbeck’s masterpiece, East of Eden.

Thank you so much everyone who participated – it was a lot of fun (and thank you again Susan and Jenny for passing it on initially)! Stay tuned…I intend to write a second blog post later today if I have time, but first I have some more birthday celebrating to do!

Hope you’re all having a great weekend! 🙂

For the love of reading – a bit of a fun exercise

This blog post is actually a bit of a game, which I am hoping will turn into something quite fun. The idea comes from two other blogs, from Susan’s blog at mywithershins and before that from Jenny’s blog at J. Keller Ford, and is basically a bit of fun to honour the love of reading, something that I suspect a fair majority of my followers and readers share.

All you have to do is the following:

  • Grab the book closest to you. Closest as in physically, not emotionally or intellectually. So not your favourite, or the funniest or most clever, just whatever book it happens to be (there’s no judgement on whatever it happens to be, I promise).
  • Open it up to page 60.
  • Find the sixth sentence on that page.
  • Post this sentence in the comments section below this post. For a bit of fun, don’t divulge what book this sentence is from, but rather let’s see if anybody else can guess what book the quote comes from. On this note, feel free to comment on each others comments if you think you know!

If you want to keep this going by putting it up on your own blog, feel free to do so, but make sure you link back to Susan and Jenny for both starting this and spreading it in the first place.

My quote is this:

“It is a triumph of self-control to see a man whipped until the muscles of his back show white and glistening through the cuts and to give no sign of pity or anger or interest.”

This book was the closest to me simply because it was sitting on the edge of the shelf in front of other books. I will give you all a clue – it is quite a well known book, by a very well known author. I will post the answer to this in exactly a week’s time, as an update to this post – so check back on this actual post next weekend to find out how close you were, and who, if anyone, was on the right track.

Now readers, it’s your turn! Remember, just write the quote in the comments below, and don’t include the book it’s from. And feel free to guess other people’s quotes.

Have fun!

The Wit and Wisdom of P. G. Wodehouse

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog in which I discussed a few different books of quotations, including those famous and those relatively unknown, many funny and some wise. Since then, I have bought another book of quotations, one which focuses on just one amazing author, P. G. Wodehouse. The book is called The Wit and Wisdom of P. G. Wodehouse, and is compiled and edited by Tony Ring.

I wanted to write a blog about this specific book for a number of reasons. Wodehouse was an amazing author, and a much loved humorist  during his long and illustrious career as a writer, during which he wrote nearly a hundred books. His books were quintessentially British, often making fun of the English aristocracy, but his writing was of such a nature as to be enjoyable by all kinds of readers. Evelyn Waugh believed that Wodehouse produced “three wholly original similes on each page,” which, if this is an exaggeration, is only a very slight one at that. Wodehouse’s ability to manipulate and play with words is unique, masterful and utterly joyful, and has inspired many writers over the last century.

This anthology includes some of the best quotes by Wodehouse from all his various novels and characters, and is compiled so that each left page contains witticisms, while the right hand pages have words of wisdom. For fans of Wodehouse, it is fun to indulge in some of these classic moments, while for newcomers it may provide a nice entrance into the world of this man’s magnificent mind.

Here are some of my favourites from this book:


“Warm though the morning was, he shivered, as only a confirmed bachelor gazing into the naked face of matrimony can shiver.”

“He was in the acute stage of that malady which, for want of a better name, scientists call the heeby-jeebies.”

“‘…I assure you, on the word of an English gentleman, that this lady is a complete stranger to me.’ ‘Stranger?’ ‘A complete and total stranger.’ ‘Oh?’ said the bloke. ‘Then what’s she doing sitting in your lap?'”

“A melancholy-looking man, he had the appearance of one who has searched for the leak in life’s gas-pipe with a lighted candle.”

“It was one of those still evenings you get in the summer, when you can hear a snail clear its throat a mile away.”


“It was my Uncle George who discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of modern medical thought.”

“It is a good rule in life never to apologise. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.”

“I was one of those men my mother always warned me against.”

“I attribute my whole success in life to a rigid observance of the fundamental rule – Never have yoursself tattooed with any woman’s name, not even her initials.”

“The advice I give to every young man starting to seek out a life partner is to find a girl whom he can tickle.”

“That’s the way to get on in the world – by grabbing your opportunities. Why, what’s Big Ben but a wrist-watch that saw its chance and made good.”

If you’ve never read any Wodehouse, I urge you to do so. I would perhaps suggest starting with one of the Jeeves and Wooster novels, of which there are plenty (there are also four seasons of a television show based on Jeeves and Wooster, which starred Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie – I always read these novels in their voices as a result).

Happy reading!

Everybody loves quotes – a look at a bad, a good, and an amazing book of quotes

The title of this post may not be entirely accurate – I have come across the occasional person who doesn’t like quotes, but for the most part I think the statement holds true. As a result, there have been many books full of quotes published over the years, all with varying levels of quality. Many of these books tend to contain the same tired old quotes, while only a few are more comprehensive, and try that bit harder to impress the reader.

I plan on looking at three books of quotes – the first one is overwhelmingly mediocre, the second one is quite decent and comprehensive, and the third one is just amazing. In all three cases I’ll explain my thoughts as I go.

Caustic Quotes: An A-Z of quotes, insults and one-liners by Helen Ingram

At first glance, this book seems quite good. The back boasts that the book contains over 8000 quotes on 160 different subjects, all fully indexed, which certainly seems like a comprehensive quote book. But when you open it up, it quickly becomes apparent that some important aspects are missing. Firstly, none of the quotes are referenced to their original author – I know that sometimes it is hard to track down the author of a quote that has been passed down through the decades or centuries, but surely most of these quotes could be traced back to their authors? Secondly, the quotes themselves are pretty rubbish. They’re not of the quality one would expect, but rather the kind of quotes you see on bumper stickers, quotes that are supposed to be funny but just make you wrinkle your eyebrows while you wait for the laugh to kick in, only to find it never does. Unfunny and uninspiring – don’t go wasting your money on this one.

The Funniest Thing You Never Said: The Ultimate Collection of Humorous Quotations by Rosemarie Jarski

This book is a dramatic improvement, and was probably the best quotes book I owned for quite a long time. Again, it boasts about 6000 quotes, but this time the quotes are much funnier, and while many have been heard before, there are a few in there that surprised me, too. But perhaps more importantly, every quote in this book is properly referenced, and the contents are organised into topics while the index focuses on the authors, so you can look up your favourite authors, comedians, actors, and so on, and track all the quotes included by them (some of whom feature dozens of times in this book). This is definitely a good book for quotes, and perhaps sets a pretty solid standard on which to compare other quote books against.

QI Advanced Banter: The QI Book of Quotations by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson

Those of you who have seen the television show QI or read their other book The Book of General Ignorance (which you can read about in an earlier blog post here) will probably already know what to expect of this book. Rather than just collect any old quotes, the authors painstakingly spent years gathering their favourite quotes and pieces of witty banter, and then cut most of it out so that they were left with the absolute best witticisms for this book, many of which are not contained in other books. The quotes are hilarious, intelligent, thought provoking and at times inspiring, and the indexing in this book is the most detailed I’ve seen, with brief explanations of what each author of each quote does for a living, to help put some of them into context. The book also contains the usual prologues by Stephen Fry and Alan Davies, both known from the television show, as well as a preamble by the book’s authors. Quite simply, this is the only book of quotes you will ever need. If you like quotes, buy this book, as you will not be disappointed.

It is really only fitting then that I end this post with a quote, I suppose. For a bit of fun, I will write down the first quote I find when randomly opening up QI Advanced Banter. I promise I won’t cheat.

Ahhh, interesting. Here goes.

“Poets have hitherto been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” G. K. Chesterton

30 Day Book Challenge Day 17 – Favourite Quote From My Favourite Book

Ahh quotes, who doesn’t love them? Well, a few people actually, but that’s beside the point. I have often thought a sign of a good book is when it is quotable, when it has lines in it that you want to memorise so you can go and tell all your friends, regardless of whether or not your friends even care about it. In many cases, those quotes are unique to that writer and their style of writing, and can remain as powerful out of context as they are in context.

For this day’s challenge, I’m going to show a few of my favourite quotes from a number of my favourite books, because picking one is just plain impossible! So here goes:

Catch 22From Catch 22:

  • “He was going to live forever, or die in the attempt.”
  • “There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.”

Douglas AdamsFrom Various Douglas Adams books:

  • “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
  • “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
  • “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
  • “My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes.”

Louis de BernieresFrom Birds Without Wings:

  • “Man is a bird without wings and a bird is a man without sorrow.”

From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin:

  • “It was an idea so inconceivable he had never even conceived of conceiving it.”

Spike MilliganFrom various Spike Milligan books:

  • “All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.”
  • “And God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light, but the Electricity Board said He would have to wait until Thursday to be connected.”
  • “How long was I in the army? Five foot eleven.”
  • “I can speak Esperanto like a native.”

Stephen FryFrom various Stephen Fry books:

  • “Old Professors never die, they just lose their faculties.”
  • “You are who you are when nobody’s watching.”
  • “It is a cliché that most clichés are true, but then like most clichés, that cliché is untrue.”

I could go on for days, but I’ll stop there! What is surprising is that about half of these I knew off the top of my head without looking them up, so there you go.

Do you have any favourite quotes from books or authors you’d like to share?