A quote is a sentence or a speech rewritten or spoken by someone who is not the original speaker or author. In a formal setting it is always important to indicate who the original speaker or author is. However, although only the previously mentioned is official, it is not the only definition of a quote.
Quotes are also something that holds a certain power in the lives of many people. Anyone who has ever sat through an inspirational speech, attended a radical sales pitch, endured a school assembly or read a self help book will know that quotes add a sense of tangibility and reference to a statement. No one really knows why this is. Perhaps its got something to do with the idea of learning from another’s experiences. Finding guidance and wisdom in the words of someone who you look up to.
But what makes a quote quotable? There is an abundance of quotes out there. I personally have read many quotes, although I doubt that the amount of quotes I’ve read in my short life-time are even a drop in the bucket. In the research phase of this article I pretty much doubled the amount of quotes I have read in my life time. Each quote I examined, I tried to look at each from many different angles trying to spot the slightest clue of what it is that makes it quotable.
Having read and examined all of these quotes, I now believe that the quotable factor of a quote can be divided into two categories; quotes which hold relevance in real life and quotes which draw their relevance from the person who said or wrote the quote originally.
Quotes which hold relevance are quotes which hold truth about a broad aspect of life.
For example: “Chin up princess, or the crown slips” or “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” These quotes are only relevant because they have been proven by the majority of people.
Quotes which draw their relevance from the person who said or wrote it first are quotes which are based on a singular wisdom that comes from the experience of a person who is reputable.
For example: “Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish based on it’s ability to climb a tree it will spend its whole life thinking that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein.
Let’s face it, Albert Einstein is one of the leading experts on the term ‘genius’. His quote is relevant because it addresses a topic which he is known to be an expert in.
Personally this is the type of quote I enjoy the most. This is also the type of quote that this article is about. A collection of quotes from some very quotable people, and why these people are quotable.
Number one on the list is Quentin Crisp. I choose to place Quentin Crisp first because he is someone who’s fame is directly acclaimed to his words.
Quentin Crisp was born in 1908 as Dennis Charles Pratt. He grew up in a conventional suburban environment and often found himself the object of relentless teasing because of his unconventional behavior and opinions. Even as a youth he enjoyed wearing make-up and painting his nails.
As a young man Quentin Crisp caused some upset in conventional England because of his open homosexuality and regardless attitude of any sort of conventionality.
Quentin Crisp is the author of world wide best seller, The Naked Civil Servant. His book made him an international celebrity. In 1981, Quentin Crisp moved to New York, USA. He toured globally performing his one-man show, An Evening with Quentin Crisp, to anticipating audiences.
Throughout his life, Quentin Crisp wrote a number of books on his life and his opinion on style, fashion and the movies. He also appeared in a number of movies and did numerous TV and radio interviews.
Quentin Crisp preferred the simplicity of things. He spent a lot of time demonstrating and explaining how many of the troubles in life could be simplified into mere trivialities. I chose some of the quotes which best depict Quentin Crisp’s love of simplicity.
“Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It’s cheaper”
– Quentin Crisp.
“If at first you don’t succeed, failure might be your style.”
“There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.”
“I like living in one room and have never known what people do with the room they are not in.”
“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything outside you want, but whether there is anything inside that you have not yet unpacked.”
Steve Jobs, to me, is a true representation of success. I plan on writing something on success soon with Steve Jobs as one of the main case studies. But for now… Steve Jobs was born on 24 February 1955 in San Francisco, California. He was adopted by a
middle-class family. Jobs grew up in a neighborhood, as he describes it, that pushed his interest into the world of computers and technology. He experimented with different pursuits before realizing his true talent. He then co-founded AppleComputers with computer hardware genius, Steve Wozniak. Apple Computers was founded in 1976 and began to build its success, as well as taking its place as a leader in the computing industry.
In 1985, following a dispute with the CEO of the time, Steve Jobs left Apple Computers. He returned a decade later and reinvented Apple.
Today, Apple Computers is the world leader in personal computers. Apple products are sold and bought internationally, and the companies success continues to grow.
Steve Jobs considers the success of Apple to not only be the financial success, but its all-round success, from taking a great idea, all the craftsmanship that comes after, to finally producing a great product.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
“Some people are not use to being in an environment where quality is expected.”
“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t loose faith.”
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were my last day, do I want to do that which I am about to do today?’ And if the answer had been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
“Older people sit down and ask, ‘what is it?’ But the boy sits down and asks, ‘what can I do with it?”
Albert Einstein was one of the world leaders in academics and education. He was born in Germany on 14 March 1879. After school, he trained to be a teacher in physics and mathematics in Zurich. He gained his diploma in 1901, and shortly after, his doctor’s degree in 1905.
Einstein has been described as always having a clear view of problems of physics and being determined to find solutions to these problems. He developed the general theory of relativity, which is still considered one of the two corner stones of science today. During his scientific career he contributed massively to the understanding we have on science today. His work included, but was not limited to; protons and energy quanta, unified field theory, modern quantum theory, physical cosmology and equations of motion.
In 1922, Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”
“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
“The only source of knowledge is experience.”
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Oprah Winfrey is an example of someone who has the determination and persistence to make all of he dreams come true despite coming from humble beginnings.
She was born on 29 January 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi. At the time a very rural town. Today she ia most well known for hosting her own international talk show. The show aired from 1986 to 2011. During this time, Oprah used her influence, people relationship skills and her talk show platform to raise awareness on some of the world’s most dire issues, an to change the lives of hundreds of people from all around the world by making their dreams come true. One of the reasons behind her show’s great success is that she kept it free of tabloid topics, as she vowed to do in 1994.
Oprah also launched a magazine, O Magazine. The magazine stays true to the core values of her talk show, first and foremost, her vow not to publish tabloid topics. She also opened a school for girls in Africa after becoming aware of the need for education in the rural areas of Africa.
Oprah Winfrey has been an example and role model for woman from all across the world for many years, however her relentless pursuit for the truth, and her undying dedication to humanity made her an idol for people of all ages, gender and background.
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or no.”
“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of a service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
“If friends disappoint you over and over, that’s in large part your own fault. Once someone has shown a tendency to be self-centered, you need to recognize that and take care of yourself; people aren’t going to change simply because you want them to.”
“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
A name known as a pioneer for both woman and in the literary world. Toni Morrison was born on 18 February 1931 in Lorain, Ohio into a lower class family. Her father had to work several jobs in order to support the family.
After excelling in high school, Toni went to Harvard and furthered her love for literacy, majoring in English. After graduating Harvard in 1953, she went on to gain her master’s degree at Cornell University.
She then returned to Harvard in in 1957 to teach English.
Her first book, The Bluest Eye was published in 1970. It received a few positive reviews but did not sell well. In 1973 she published her second book, Sula, which received a nomination for the American Book Award.
Toni Morrison was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Prize in literature.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”
“Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget you name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.”
“At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.”
“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.”