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Irony

  • A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor — for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself.

  • Pleasure in irony, either in your own life or in what you read, is an ego trip. 'I know what others do not.'

  • Humor brings insight and tolerance. Irony brings a deeper and less friendly understanding.

  • It would appear, from the best examples, that the proper way of beginning a preface to one's work is with a humble apology for having written at all.

  • ... irony is an indispensable ingredient of the critical vision; it is the safest antidote to sentimental decay.

  • A tragic irony of life is that we so often achieve success or financial independence after the chief reason for which we sought it has passed away.

  • It is when people are told their own thoughts that they think they are being insulted.

    • Isak Dinesen,
    • "The Immortal Story," in Ladies' Home Journal ()
  • If you want something, it will elude you. If you do not want something, you will get ten of it in the mail.

  • I like a view but I like to sit with my back turned to it.

    • Alice B. Toklas,
    • in Elizabeth Sprigge, Gertrude Stein: Her Life and Work ()
  • As Gertrude always used to say as soon as you have disturbed someone you can find the missing object yourself.

    • Alice B. Toklas,
    • 1953, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas ()
  • Louis [Leakey] was anxious to initiate a scientific study of these chimpanzees. It would be difficult, he emphasized, for nothing was known; there were no guidelines for such a field study; and the habitat was remote and rugged. Dangerous wild animals would be living there, and chimpanzees themselves were considered at least four times stronger than humans. I remember wondering what kind of scientist he would find for such a herculean task.

    • Jane Goodall,
    • in Jane Goodall with Phillip Berman, Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey ()
  • You have no idea how much it costs to make a person look this cheap.

  • 'One can never be too rich or too thin' is an aphorism attributed to the Duchess of Windsor. Being both rich and thin is a difficult enterprise, indeed almost unprecedented as an ideal. Into the paradoxical gap between the capacity to spend money and the need to eat less steps a brilliant solution: 'light' food. In buying 'light' food we can pay more for what costs less to produce in the first place ...

  • No good deed goes unpunished ...

  • That's the trouble with honorable mentions: they let everyone know you applied and didn't win.

  • What would we do without irony? Check out your own daily reliance on it, the foul-weather friend who's there for you when nothing else is.

  • ... irony is bitter truth / wrapped up in a little joke.

  • When I was young I had no means or time, and now I have the means and time, I have no youth.