Let Inga Tell You: Inga’s all-time favorite quotes


Over the years, I’ve been collecting favorite quotes — way too many to list here. But this week I’d like to share a few, some of which seem truly prescient for their time — especially the first three:

“In America, anybody can be president. That’s one of the risks you take.” — Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955) (Climate change?)

“We are entitled to our opinions. We are not entitled to our facts.” — Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003), and others

Other favorite bits of wisdom:

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas Edison

“Most editors are failed writers. So are most writers.” — T.S. Eliot

“My body isn’t me. I just live here.” (Magnet on Inga’s refrigerator)

“Things always get worse before they get a lot worse” — Lily Tomlin

“The road of indecision of is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t decide.” — (Unknown)

“Not having to worry about your hair anymore may be the secret upside of death.” — Nora Ephron

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” — Hanlon’s Razor

“God gave men both a penis and a brain, but only enough blood supply to run one at a time.” — Late actor Robin Williams , commenting on the Clinton/Lewinsky affair

“She buffers herself against parental input.” — Neighbors, referring to their teenage daughter

“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” — Journalist A.J. Liebling

A scientist friend who was invited to present at a professional meeting in Jakarta observed to the organizer that the schedule, as set, was not being even remotely followed. The reply: “You should think of the schedule more as a first draft,” he opined, “of a play that will be given improvisationally.”

“A closed mouth gathers no feet.” — Inga’s personal motto, poorly followed.

“What you accept, you teach.” — Inga’s parents’ motto, well followed.

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” — George Bernard Shaw

“I’ve had a wonderful time, but this wasn’t it.” — Groucho Marx (1895-1977)

“A lot of people ask me if I were shipwrecked, and could only have one book, what would it be? I always say ‘How to Build a Boat.’ ” — Actor Steven Wright

“I have never killed anyone, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.” — Clarence Darrow (1857-1938)

“After a failure, there’s always someone who wished there was an opportunity they’d missed.” — Lily Tomlin

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson (1874-1956), Chairman of IBM, 1943

“I am not young enough to know everything.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.” — Vince Lombardi

“There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” — Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964)

“Life begins not at conception, but when the child begins sleeping through the night.” (Inga, and the sentiment of most new parents.)

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” — Milton Berle

“The wages of sin are death, but after taxes are taken out, it’s just kind of a tired feeling.” — Paula Poundstone

“Nothing is wrong with California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn’t cure.” — Mystery writer Ross MacDonald (1915-1983)

“The chief cause of problems is solutions.” — Journalist Eric Sevareid (1912-1992)

“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” — Mario Andretti

“Happiness is good health and a bad memory.” — Ingrid Bergman (1917-1982)

— Inga’s lighthearted looks at life appear regularly in La Jolla Light. Reach her at