Learn 284 words in a month #11 – Philosophy on wheels

Each country has its philosophers, writers or ordinary people with plenty of good old common sense.

Do you have some favourite quotation by someone famous, a friend, or a member of your family?

I like to take a quotation in the language I´m learning, and try to memorise it. In 2010 I used to cycle 20 km each day and take with me a transparent zip-up case attached to the handle bars containing the quotation printed in a large font. Here in Germany there are some wonderful cycle paths which makes it safe to do that sort of thing when you are cycling between villages. I wouldn´t try it if I was cycling through Bombay or London.

Now for some quotations to suit today´s words :

“Perhaps I can best describe my experience of doing mathematics in terms of a journey through a dark unexplored mansion. You enter the first room of the mansion and it’s completely dark. You stumble around bumping into the furniture, but gradually you learn where each piece of furniture is. Finally, after six months or so, you find the light switch, you turn it on, and suddenly it’s all illuminated. You can see exactly where you were. Then you move into the next room and spend another six months in the dark. So each of these breakthroughs, while sometimes they’re momentary, sometimes over a period of a day or two, they are the culmination of—and couldn’t exist without—the many months of stumbling around in the dark that proceed them. “

Andrew Wiles Quoted in interview for PBS TV program Nova. Web site – todayinsci.com
Note – I think it is the same with language learning: moments of triumph and joy, with periods in between where it feels as if you are not making enough progress.


 “A candidate once called his opponent  ´a willful, obstinate, unsavory, obnoxious, pusillanimous, pestilential, pernicious, and perversable liar´without pausing for breath, and even his enemies removed their hats. “

p. 17, in “White Folkways,” quoted on poemhunter.com
Note – in England we would write wilful, unsavoury and perverse. I have never heard of a word “perversable” but I don´t want to ruin such a whole-hearted insult !


 “What the vast majority of American children needs is to stop being pampered, stop being indulged, stop being chauffeured, stop being catered to. In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”

Ann Landers, quoted on thinkexist.com


“The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size. “

Oliver Wendell Holmes, quoted on brainyquote.com


“Fame hit me like a ton of bricks. ”

Eminem, quoted on brainyquote.com


 “Whenyou feel neglected, think of the female salmon, who lays 3,000,000 eggs but no one remembers her on Mother’s Day”

Sam Ewing, quoted on thinkexist.com


 “Social networking sites like Myspace, Friendster, and Facebook have literally exploded in popularity in just a few short years.”

Mike Fitzpatrick, quoted on finestquotes.com
Note: the words matrix and web are of similar importance.


 “If you ask yourself limiting questions, you’ll get limited results. If you ask yourself mind-opening, forwarding questions, you’ll gain a lot more out of them”

Quoted in the article 101-questions-to-ask-yourself on personalexcellence.co


 “The opponents and I are really one. My strength and skills only half of the equation. The other half is theirs. An opponent is someone whose strength joined to yours creates a certain result.”

Sadaharu Oh, quoted on quotations.net


“The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit”

Somerset Maugham, quoted on thinkexist.com

Did you find a quotation you liked, or do you have a different one to share?


About Fun with languages

Blogging about learning languages, making it fun Hobbies: paragliding, cycling, reading, BBC radio 4.
This entry was posted in Just for fun, Learning Vocabulary and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Learn 284 words in a month #11 – Philosophy on wheels

  1. jennifer says:

    I know a famous quotation in china about opponents:If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can win numerous battles without jeopardy.So if I want to take Tofel exam,I need to be familiar with tofel words ,reading and so on,then I can pass it 🙂

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