Let Inga Tell You: These are some great sayings — and you can quote me

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Over the years, I’ve been collecting favorite quotes — way too many to list here. I first published the list in March 2018 and got such a huge response to it that I wanted to run an updated version while I am on vacation this week.

As before, some of these quotes seem truly prescient for their time — especially the first four:

• “In America, anybody can be president. That’s one of the risks you take.” — politician Adlai Stevenson (1900-65)

• “The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.” — first line of the book “The Go-Between” by L.P. Hartley (1953)

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

• “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” — Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) and others

• “In our judicial system, you are assumed guilty until proven rich or lucky.” — comedian John Oliver

• “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” — author William Faulkner (1897-1962)

• “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

• “Most editors are failed writers. So are most writers.” — poet T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

• “The older you get, the better you get. Unless you’re a banana.” — actress Betty White (1922-2021)

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

• “The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t decide.” — unknown

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

• “My body isn’t me. I just live here.” — magnet on Inga’s refrigerator

• “A drug is any substance that, when injected in a rat, gives rise to a scientific paper.” — drug and addiction scientist Darryl Inaba, 1984

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

• “We never wanted to divorce at the same time.” — friends of Inga’s when asked the secret of their 50-year marriage

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

• “Not having to worry about your hair anymore may be the secret upside of death.” — writer Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

• “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” — journalist A.J. Liebling (1904-63)

• 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 of a play that will be given improvisationally.”

• “The only way to be reliably sure the hero gets the girl at the end of the story is to be both the hero and the girl.” — “Becoming Duchess Goldblatt, A Memoir”

• “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.” — playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

• “May you step on Legos in the middle of the night.” — curse

• “I’ve had a wonderful time, but this wasn’t it.” — comedian 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.’” — writer Stephen Wright

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

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

• “All swash and no buckle.” — variation on “all hat and no cattle”

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

• “We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.” — football coach Vince Lombardi (1913-70)

• “There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” — author Flannery O’Connor (1925-64)

• “My brain seems to be working for a different organization now.” — friend referring to menopause

• “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” — comedian Milton Berle (1908-2002)

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

• “Nothing is wrong with California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn’t cure.” — mystery writer Ross MacDonald (1915-83)

• “The chief cause of problems is solutions.” — journalist Eric Sevareid (1912-92)

• “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde

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

• “Happiness is good health and a bad memory.” — actress Ingrid Bergman (1917-82)

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