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Did they really mean that???

(117 entries, updated July, 2020)

This is a collection of things that, given another chance, the speaker might not have said, or at least might have said differently. We are all, of course, prone to blurting out things without thinking at least once in a while.

It also includes numerous examples of things that, well, lose something in the translation. With increasing globalization, local peoples around the world try earnestly to make their services or venues accessible to all. (The exception perhaps is the U.S., where we are too arrogant to bother translating much of anything).

Politicl talking heads are perhaps among the most prone to misspeaking, and, as with the most recent U.S. president, mistweeting.

And then, of course, are the things attributable to the dreaded autocorrect and predictive typing on mobile devices.

So please find below a treasury of ignorance, malapropism, misunderstanding and mistake. And before you lambast me that so-and-so-never said that, yes they did. I checked, or in several cases, I was around to hear it myself.

(Please note that Yogi Berra's entries are actually intentional - a matter of personal style.)


    - A -
  1. So long as any amount shall remain unpaid under this note, the Borrower covenants and promises to that Bank that the borrower will not permit or suffer to exist any of the following conditions: death of the borrower.
      -- American Security Bank loan agreement

  2. We're not afraid of challenges. It's like we always say: if you want to go out in the rain, be prepared to get burned.
      -- Anonymous Brazillian Soccer Player

  3. Is this chicken or is this fish? I know it’s tuna but it says ‘Chicken of the Sea’.
      -- Anonymous

  4. How to store your baby walker: First, remove baby.
      -- Anonymous Manufacturer

  5. Traffic is very heavy at the moment, so if you are thinking of leaving now, you'd better set off a few minutes earlier.
      -- Anonymous Traffic Report

  6. This is no longer a slum neighborhood. I haven't heard of a Cubs fan being shot in a long time.
      -- Anonymous Wrigley Field Neighbor, Chicago, IL

  7. We are unable to announce the weather. We depend on weather reports from the airport, which is closed, due to weather. Whether we will be able to give you a weather report tomorrow will depend on the weather.
      -- Arab News report

    - B -
  8. Caution: Cape does not enable user to fly.
      -- Batman Costume warning label

  9. Sure the body count in this movie bothers me, but what are you gonna do? It's what everybody likes. At least its not an awful body count--it's a fun body count.
      -- Bonnie Bedelia, actress, regarding the movie Die Harder

  10. Well, I used to look like this when I was young and now I still do.
      -- Yogi Berra, baseball catcher, manager

  11. Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.
      -- Yogi Berra, baseball catcher, manager

  12. The other teams could make trouble for us if they win.
      -- Yogi Berra, baseball catcher, manager

  13. It was pretty good. Even the music was nice.
      -- Yogi Berra, after attending an opera

  14. Congratulstions on breaking my record. I always thought the record would stand until it was broken.
      -- Yogi Berra, to Johnny Bench

  15. What good is the moon if you can't buy or sell it?
      -- Ivan Boesky, inside stock trader

  16. I think "immoral" is probably the wrong word to use...I prefer the word "unethical."
      -- Ivan Boesky, inside stock trader

  17. The Minutemen are not tall in terms of height.
      -- Dan Bonner, CBS sportscaster, during a UMass basketball game

  18. The private enterprise system indicates that some people have higher incomes than others.
      -- Gerry Brown, California governor

  19. Our strength is that we don't have any weaknesses. Our weakness is that we don't have any real strengths.
      -- Frank Broyles, college football coach

  20. All I was doing was appealing for an endorsement, not suggesting you endorse it.
      -- George Bush, US President

  21. It's no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or another.
      -- George Bush, US President

  22. I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions --but I don't always agree with them.
      -- George Bush, US President

    - C -
  23. Any time Detroit scores more than 100 points and holds the other team below 100 points they almost always win.
      -- Doug Collins, basketball commentator

  24. I wanted all my ducks in a row so if we did get into a posture we could pretty much slam-dunk this thing and put it to bed.
      -- Lee Cooke, mayor of Austin, TX, abusing cliches

  25. To forcibly remove a politician from office, one has to meet a much higher standard of dishonesty.
      -- Michael Cooney, Santa Barbara attorney

    - D -
  26. We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement.
      -- Richard J. Daley, Chicago Mayor

  27. Not only is he ambidextrous, but he can throw with either hand.
      -- Duffy Daugherty , football coach and sports analyst`

  28. Ordinary rape and murder just doesn't make it anymore. It's much better to have ultra-violence, chainsaw massacres, X-rated Draculas, and continents sinking into the sea with the entire population lost, at the very least.
      -- Jon Davidson, advertising executive at New World Pictures, on what makes a good movie

  29. Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances.
      -- Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina

  30. I find it interesting how we get carried away by the dogma a-la-mode.
      -- Lincoln Diaz-Ballart, US representative from Florida

  31. We all get heavier as we get older because there's a lot more information in our heads.
      -- Vlade Divac, NBA basketball player

  32. Life is very important to Americans.
      -- Bob Dole, U.S. Senator from Kansas

    - E -
  33. To move cabin, push button of the wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press the number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by natural order. Button retaining pressed position shows received command
      -- Elevator Instructions, Madrid, Spain

  34. We apologize for the error in last week's paper in which we stated that Mr Arnold Dogbody was a defective in the police force. We meant, of course, that Mr Dogbody is a detective in the police farce.
      -- Correction Notice in the Ely Standard, a British newspaper

    - F -
  35. If lincoln were alive today, he'd be turning over in his grave.
      -- Gerald R. Ford, US President

  36. Things are more like today than they have ever been before.
      -- Gerald R. Ford, US President

  37. I watch a lot of baseball on the radio.
      -- Gerald R. Ford, US President

  38. If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record.
      -- Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman

    - G -
  39. It was not my class of people. There was not a producer, a press agent, a director, an actor.
      -- Zsa Zsa Gabor, on the jury used in her assault trial

  40. The only reason we're 7-0 is because we've won all seven of our games.
      -- David Garcia, baseball team manager

  41. If it weren't for electricity, we'd all be watching television by candlelight.
      -- George Gobel

  42. Go see it and see for yourself why you shouldn't go see it.
      -- Samuel Goldwyn

  43. Keep a stiff upper chin.
      -- Samuel Goldwyn

  44. This book has too much plot and not enough story.
      -- Samuel Goldwyn

  45. You've got to take the sour with the bitter.
      -- Samuel Goldwyn

  46. We're overpaying him but he's worth it..
      -- Samuel Goldwyn

  47. Don't pay any attention to the critics--don't even ignore them.
      -- Samuel Goldwyn

  48. I don't think anyone should write his autobiography until after he's dead.
      -- Samuel Goldwyn

  49. If you don't dissagree with me, how will I know I'm right?
      -- Samuel Goldwyn

  50. A bachelor's life is no life for a single man.
      -- Samuel Goldwyn

  51. Why only twelve?
      -- Samuel Goldwyn, while filming The Last Supper, (attributed)

  52. Here lies Jan Smith, wife of Thomas Smith, marble Cutter. This monument was erected by her husband as a tribute to her memory and a specimen of his work. Monuments of this same style are two hundred and fifty dollars.
      -- Gravestone Inscription

  53. Please deposit your valuables in the management.
      -- Guangdong Victory Hotel instruction Card, Guangdong, China

  54. Sometimes they write what I say and not what I mean.
      -- Pedro Guerrero, baseball player, on reporters

    - H -
  55. Teeth extracted by the latest methodists.
      -- Hong Kong dental advertisement

    - I -
  56. We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?
      -- Lee Iacocca

  57. Secretaries for openings in college administrative areas. Good typing, word processing helpful. Able to interfere with faculty, staff, and students.
      -- Irondequoit, NY want-ad

  58. Passive activity income does not include the following: Income for an activity that is not a passive activity.
      -- IRS form 8583, Passive Activity Loss Limitation

  59. You will find it a distinct help if you know and look as if you know what you are doing.
      -- IRS Training Manual for tax auditors

  60. Please provide the date of your death.
      -- from an IRS letter

    - J -
  61. If people get a kick out of running down pedestrians, you have to let them do it.
      -- Paul Jacobs, marketing director for a video game company

  62. Cheered by their words with an altogether more positive attitude to boxing...I found myself recalling the words of Marlin Brando in On the Waterfront, "I could have been a bartender."
      -- Look Japan magazine article

  63. Four people were killed, one seriously, and eight more received slight injuries.
      -- Japan Times article

    - K -
  64. All of the Mets' road wins against Los Angeles this year have been at Dodger Stadium.
      -- Ralph Kiner, NY Sportscaster

  65. Most of my cliches aren't original.
      -- Chuck Knox, NFL football coach

    - L -
  66. He was probably our greatest living painter -- until he died.
      -- LBC British Television News

  67. I want to thank each and every one of you for having extinguished yourselves this session.
      -- Gib Lewis, Texas Speaker of the House

  68. And now, will y'all stand and be recognized?
      -- Gib Lewis, Texas Speaker of the House, to a group of people in wheelchairs on Disability Day

  69. This is unparalyzed in the state's history.
      -- Gib Lewis, Texas Speaker of the House

    - M -
  70. There is one thing I would break up over, and that is if she caught me with another woman. I won’t stand for that.
      -- Steve Martin, American actor and commedian

  71. Mattie's Restaurant and Yogurt Palace, "An alternative to Good Eating"
      -- Restaurant Business Card from Decatur, Texas

  72. The people don't take baths and they don't speak English. No golf courses, no room service. Who needs it?
      -- Jim McMahon, NFL football quarterback, on Europe

  73. People say I'm extravagant because I want to be surrounded by beauty. But tell me, who wants to be surrounded by garbage?
      -- Imelda Marcos , one-time Phillippine first lady, and owner of 3,000 pairs of shoes

  74. If ever there was a case of clearer evidence than this of persons acting in concert together, this case is that case!
      -- Sir R. Megarry

  75. Can't act. Can't sing. Balding. Can dance a little.
      -- MGM summary of a screen test by some guy named Fred Astaire

  76. No one wants to say the sky is falling, but in this instance I am afraid the emperor has no clothes. Despite Herculean efforts by the Council and Council staff, we are still only dealing with the tip of the iceberg.
      -- Charles Millard, NYC councilman, in a press release

  77. All you have to do is go down to the bottom of your swimming pool and hold your breath.
      -- David Miller, US DOE spokesperson, on protecting yourself from nuclear radiation

  78. You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.
      -- sign in a Moscow Hotel

    - N -
  79. I was under medication when I made the decision to burn the tapes.
      -- Richard Nixon, US President

  80. I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that version.
      -- Colonel Oliver North, from his Iran-Contra testimony

  81. Ladies are requested not to have children at the bar.
      -- sign in a Norwegian cocktail lounge

    - O -
  82. We've been working on the basics because, basically, we've been having trouble with the basics.
      -- Bob Ojeda, baseball pitcher

  83. It is beyond my apprehension.
      -- Danny Ozark, baseball team manager, regarding his team's losing streak

    - P -
  84. We are sorry to announce that Mr Albert Brown has been quite unwell, owing to his recent death, and is taking a short holiday to recover.
      -- Parish Magazine

  85. I didn't know Onward Christian Soldiers was a Christian song.
      -- Aggie Pate, at a non-denominational mayor's breakfast, Fort Worth, Texas

  86. This planet is our home. If we destroy the planet, we've destroyed our home, so it is fundamentally important.
      -- H. Ross Perot

  87. These people haven't seen the last of my face. If I go down, I'm going down standing up.
      -- Chuck Person, NBA Basketball player

  88. Men, I want you just thinking of one word all season. One word and one word only: Super Bowl.
      -- Bill Peterson, football coach

    - Q -
  89. The Lybian army is capable of destroying America and breaking its nose.
      -- Muammar Qaddafi

  90. It isn’t pollution that is hurting the environment, it’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.
      -- Dan Quayle, US Vice President

  91. Space is almost infinite. As a matter of fact, we think it is infinite.
      -- Dan Quayle, US VP, head of the Space Council

  92. It's time for the human race to enter the solar system!
      -- Dan Quayle, US VP, head of the Space Council

  93. Hawaii is a unique state. It is a small state. It is a state that is by itself. It is a --it is different from the other 49 states. Well, all states are different, but it's got a particularly unique situation.
      -- Dan Quayle, US Vice President

    - R -
  94. And now the sequence of events in no particular order.
      -- Dan Rather, television news anchor

  95. Seafood brought in by customers will not be entertained.
      -- Restaurant sign in Langkawi, Malaysia

  96. At present there are such goings-on that everything is at a standstill.
      -- Sir Boyle Roche

  97. P.S. If you do not receive this, of course it must have been miscarried; therefore I beg you to write and let me know.
      -- Sir Boyle Roche

  98. I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love.
      -- Mitt Romney, Governor, US Senator and candidate for President

    - S -
  99. Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.
      -- Brooke Shields self-parody in an anti-smoking commercial

  100. Order you summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.
      -- Sign in a tailor's shop

  101. Is forbidden to steal towels, please. If you are not person to do such is please not to read notice.
      -- Sign in a Tokyo hotel

  102. I have nothing to say, and I'll only say it once.
      -- Floyd Smith, NHL Hockey coach

  103. Be sure and put some of those neutrons on it.
      -- Mike Smith, Baseball pitcher, ordering a salad at a restaurant

  104. It's got lots of installation.
      -- Mike Smith, Baseball pitcher, describing his new coat

  105. There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 15,000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years.
      -- article in Soviet Weekly

  106. You don't tell us how to stage the news, and we don't tell you how to report it.
      -- Larry Speakes, press secretary for President George Bush, addressing the media

  107. Was it you or your brother who was killed in the war?
      -- Reverand William Spooner, of Oxford, England (for whom the 'Spoonerism' is named)

  108. The team has come along slow but fast.
      -- Casey Stengel, baseball player, Mets manager

  109. There comes a time in every man's life and I've had many of them.
      -- Casey Stengel, baseball player, Mets manager

    - T -
  110. We are not without accomplishment. We have managed to distribute poverty equally.
      -- Nguyen Co Thatch, Vietnamese foreign minister

  111. The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.
      -- Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback and sports analyst

  112. Fiction writing is great. You can make up almost anything.
      -- Ivana Trump, upon finishing her first novel

    - U -
  113. Q: What should I do if I find a rock in a bag of potatoes?
    A: Simply return the rock to your grocer, who will give you the rock's weight in potatoes.
      -- from a USDA booklet, titled How to Buy Potatoes

    - V -
    - W -
  114. I've read about foreign policy and studied -- I know the number of continents.
      -- George Wallace, 1968 presidential campaign

  115. We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people.
      -- Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor

  116. Well, that was a cliff-dweller.
      -- Wes Westrum, baseball coach, about a close game

    - X -
    - Y -
  117. I'm the consul for information, but I don't have any information.
      -- Ofra Ben Yaacoe, Israeli Consul, Chicago

    - Z -
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