Quotes by Terry Pratchett (Page 2 of 4)
And what are you doing on it, I would like to know? Running away from home, yesno? If you were a boy I'd say are you going to seek your fortune? Can't girls seek their fortune? I think they're supposed to seek a boy with a fortune.
The purpose of this lectchoor is to let you know where we are. We are in the deep cack. It couldn't be worse if it was raining arseholes. Any questions?
I can't stand any music that requires its singers to be so dumb they wear their baseball caps backwards.
Just to keep bad dreams at bay, she took a swig out of a bottle that smelled of apples and happy brain-death.
Bandits and governments 'ave so much in common that they might be interchangeable anywhere in the world.
They can ta'k our lives but they can never ta'k our freedom!' Now there's a battle cry not designed by a clear thinker.
Fascism may be good at making the trains run on time, but you wouldn't like some of the destinations.
It looked the sort of book described in library catalogues as 'slightly foxed,' although it would be more honest to admit that it looked as though it had beed badgered, wolved and possibly beared as well.
Granny Weatherwax, who had walked nightly without fear in the bandit-haunted forests of the mountains all her life in the certain knowledge that the darkness held nothing more terrible than she was.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man I put away childish things because. wow, then I could afford much *better* childish things!
Soon to come in licorice, orange, cinnamon, and banana, but not strawberry, because I hate strawberries.
The food was good solid stuff for a cold morning, all calories and fat and protein and maybe a vitamin crying softly because it was all alone.
People don't like to say Horror so they say Dark Fantasy because that's Horror wearing a collar and tie.
I ain't against gods and goddesses, in their place. But they've got to be the ones we make ourselves. Then we can take 'em to bits for the parts when we don't need 'em anymore, see?
Vimes was already lost. Oh, there was the sun, but that was just a direction. He could feel it on the side of his face.
And the camel rocked from side to side. There was no real way of judging distance, except by haemorrhoids.
Silk stockings. With garters. Well, they were out. There were a lot of things he'd do for Sybil, but if garters figured anywhere in the relationship they weren't going to be on him.
Vimes awoke with a noseful of camel. There are far worse awakenings, but not as many as you might think.
The Great God Om waxed wroth, or at least made a spirited attempt. There is a limit to the amount of wroth that can be waxed one inch from the ground, and he was right up against it.
An education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
It was funny how people were people everywhere you went, even if the people concerned weren't the people the people who made up the phrase people are people everywhere had traditionally thought of as people.
There was a steady drizzle when they left for the tower. Moist drove the cart, with the others sitting on the load behind him and bickering over trigonometry. Moist tried not to listen; he got lost when maths started to get silly.
There was something pleasant about an empty classroom. Of course, as any teacher would point out, one nice thing was that there were no children in it.
What a place! What a situation! What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.
On nights such as this, witches are abroad. Well, not actually abroad. They don't like the food and you can't trust the water and the shamans always hog the deckchairs.
There was a sigh from Death. Space he thought. That was the trouble. It was never like this on worlds with everlastingly cloudy skies. But once humans saw all that space, their brains expanded to try and fill it up.
Then Tak looked upon the stone and it was trying to come alive, and Tak smiled, and wrote All things strive.
And for the service the stone had given, he fashioned it into the first Troll, and delighted in the life that came unbidden.
Tiffany found her mind filling up with an invisible gray mist, and in that thought there was nothing but grief. She could feel herself trying to push back time, but even the best witchcraft could not do that.
Esk, of course, had not been trained, and it is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done.
No-one likes being told it's their lucky day. That sort of thing does not bode well. When someone tells you it's your lucky day, something bad is about to happen.
Captain Vimes believed in logic, in much the same way as a man in a desert believed in ice -- i.e., it was something he really needed, but this just wasn't the world for it.
She knew a cutting, incisive, withering and above all a self-evident answer existed. It was just that, to her extreme annoyance, she couldn't quite bring it to mind.
It was a Guild of Assassins, after all. Black was what you wore. The night was black and so were you. And black had such style, and an Assassin without style, everyone agreed, was just a highly paid arrogant thug.
You couldn't be a real copper in Ankh-Morpork and stay sane. You had to care. Anda caring in Ankh-Morpork was like opening a tin of meat in the middle of a piranha school.
And at the end of all stories Azrael, who knew the secret, thought: I REMEMBER WHEN ALL THIS WILL BE AGAIN.
In front of her the cat Greebo, glad to be home again, lay on his back with all four paws in the air, doing his celebrated something-found-in-the-gutter impersonation.
When they arrived they would briefly and passionately mate, for the first and only time, and from that fiery union new turtle would be born to carry a new pattern of worlds. This was known as the Big Bang hypothesis.
Nanny Ogg usually went to bed early. After all, she was an old lady. Sometimes she went to bed as early as 6 a.m.
A dollar for a human bought a loaf of bread that was eaten in a few bites. The same dollar for Wee Mad Arthur bought the same-sized loaf, but it was food for a week and could then be further hollowed out and used as a bedroom.
People who are rather more than six feet tall and nearly as broad across the shoulders often have uneventful journeys. People jump out at them from behind rocks then say things like, Oh. Sorry. I thought you were someone else.
It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever he said. Have you thought of going into teaching?
This time it had been magic. And it didn't stop being magic just because you found out how it was done.
Nature abhors a lot of things, including vacuums, ships called the Marie Celeste, and the chuck keys for electric drills.
And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.
What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.
His movements could be called cat-like, except that he did not stop to spray urine up against things.
The entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.
It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done.
Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show.
All dwarfs are by nature dutiful, serious, literate, obedient and thoughtful people whose only minor failing is a tendency, after one drink, to rush at enemies screaming Arrrrrrgh! and axing their legs off at the knee.
He'd heard that writers spent all day in their dressing gowns drinking champagne. This is, of course, absolutely true.
Vimes had believed all his life that the Watch were called coppers because they carried copper badges, but no, said Carrot, it comes from the old word cappere, to capture.
Creatures which, lacking mankind's superior brain power, did not concern themselves with finding someone to blame, and instead tried to find someone to eat.
Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.
Sister Mary was a nurse and nurses, whatever their creed, are primarily nurses, which had a lot to do with wearing your watch upside down, keeping calm in emergencies, and dying for a cup of tea.
I don't see why it matters what is written. Not when it's about people. It can always be crossed out.
The Kappamaki, a whaling research ship, was currently researching the question: How many whales can you catch in one week?
People couldn't become truly holy, he said, unless they also had the opportunity to be definitively wicked.
The girls were expected to grow up to be somebody's wife. They were also expected to read and write, those being considered soft indoor jobs that were too fiddly for the boys.
There was not a lot that could be done to make Morpork a worse place. A direct hit by a meteorite, for example, would count as gentrification.
Imagination is only intelligence having fun. A healthy mind knows how to switch between worlds, and which one you need to eat and sleep in.
Look, sir, I know Angua. She's not the useless type. She doesn't stand there and scream helplessly. She makes other people do that.
We are as gods to beasts of the field. We order the time of their birth and the time of their death. Between times, we have a duty.
Probably the last sound heard before the Universe folded up like a paper hat would be someone saying, What happens if I do this?
Of course, Ankh-Morpork's citizens had always claimed that the river water was incredibly pure. Any water that had passed through so many kidneys, they reasoned, had to be very pure indeed.
I stroll along, talk, I sign books, people buy me drinks, I forget where my hotel is, I get lost and fall into some local body of water... done it hundreds of times.
That's one form of magic, of course.
What, just knowing things?
Knowing things that other people don't know.
Knowledge is dangerous, which is why governments often clamp down on people who can think thoughts above a certain caliber.
Humans take. They plough with iron. They ravage the land.'
'Some do, I'll grant you that. Others put back more'n they take. They put back love. They've got soil in their bones.
On a million hillsides the girl ran, on a million bridges the girl chose, on a million paths the woman stood...
All different, all one.
All she could do for all of them was be herself, here and now, as hard as she could.
In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.
Verence would rather cut his own leg off than put a witch in prison, since it'd save trouble in the long run and probably be less painful.
There are times when the best writing you can do is to go for a walk or drive, a long drive is ideal.
Commander Vimes always says that when life hands you a mess of spaghetti, you just keep pulling until you find a meatball.
Nac Mac Feegle! The Wee Free Men! Nae king! Nae quin! Nae laird! Nae master! We willna' be fooled again!
I keep vaguely wondering what Macs are like, but the ones I've seen spend too much time being friendly.
But in his experience it was only a matter of time before the normal balance of the universe restored itself and started doing the usual terrible things to him.
When the humours were handed out, Ankh-Morpork got the one for joking and Quirm had to do make do with their expertise in fine dining and love-making.
It was amazing how many friends you could make by being bad at things, provided you were bad enough to be funny.
Making money isn't something to be ashamed of. There's a feeling now that if you have money you must have got it by some kind of shady dealing or being an MP.
Ach, people are always telling us not to do things said Rob Anybody, that's how we ken the most interesting things to do.
The days followed one another patiently. Right back at the beginning of the multiverse they had tried all passing at the same time, and it hadn't worked.
Nanny's philosophy of life was to do what seemed like a good idea at the time, and do it as hard as possible. It had never let her down.
You know, I never imagined there were he-dryads. Not even in an oak tree. One of the giants grinned at him. Druellae snorted. Stupid! Where do you think acorns come from?
There are some things that are more appropriate to a children's than an adult book but there's a huge overlapping area and most kids read an age group up anyway.
When she spoke again it was in the thin, careful and above all brave voice of someone who has pulled themselves together despite overwhelming odds but might let go again at any moment.
These weren't cheap modern books; these were books bound in leather, and not just leather, but leather from clever cows who had given their lives for literature after a happy existence in the very best pastures.
The words echoed around the cavern and broke through mere rock, so great was the force behind them, melted mere mountains, screamed across the miles.
All he knew was that you couldn't hope to try for the big stuff, like world peace and happiness, but you might just about be able to achieve some tiny deed that'd make the world, in a small way, a better place. Like shooting someone.
Maybe the only significant difference between a really smart simulation and a human being was the noise they made when you punched them.
The thing is, I mean, there's times when you look at the universe and you think, What about me? and you can just hear the universe replying, Well, what about you?
I've never known what to do, said Rincewind with hollow cheerfulness. Been completely at a loss my whole life. He hesitated. I think it's called being human, or something.
Rincewind a man who might well have had 'Victim' written all over him but also had 'Wizzard' written on his hat.
Perhaps it was the spell, in its years of living in Rincewind's head, that affected his eyes. Perhaps his time with Twoflower, who only saw things as they ought to be, had taught him to see things as they are.
Rincewind had in any case seen his past life flash in front of his eyes so many times that he could sleep through the boring bits.
Rincewind wasn't used to people being pleased to see him. It was unnatural, and boded no good. These people were not only cheering, they were throwing flowers and hats. The hats were made out of stone, but the thought was there.
Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld. Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant 'idiot'.
Rincewind gave his fingers a long shocked stare, as one might regard a gun that has been hanging on the wall for decades and has suddenly gone off and perforated the cat.
Rincewind tried to force the memory out of his mind, but it was rather enjoying itself there, terrorizing the other occupants and kicking over the furniture.
History was full of the bones of good men who'd followed bad orders in the hope that they could soften the blow. Oh, yes, there were worse things they could do, but most of them began right where they started following bad orders.
Odd thing, ain't it... you meet people one at a time, they seem decent, they got brains that work, and then they get together and you hear the voice of the people. And it snarls.
What is magic? There is the wizard's explanation... wizards talk about candles, circles, planets, stars, bananas, chants, runes and the importance of having at least four good meals every day.
Everyone's heard of Erwin Schrodinger's famous thought experiment. You put a cat in a box with a bottle of poison, which many people would suggest is about as far as you need to go.
Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease.
Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
The labyrinth of Ephebe is ancient and full of one hundred and one amazing things you can do with hidden springs, razor-sharp knives, and falling rocks.
Be one of the crowd? It went against everything a wizard stood for, and a wizard would not stand for anything if he could sit down for it, but even sitting down, you had to stand out.
After you've been working fairly intensively on a novel for six months you never want to see the damn thing again.
The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.
Although the scythe isn't pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of, say, a peasants' revolt will know that in skilled hands it is fearsome.
If you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
The space between the young reader's eyeballs and the printed page is a holy place and officialdom should trample all over it at their peril.'.
Gods don't like people not doing much work. People who aren't busy all the time might start to think.
What's a philosopher?' said Brutha. Someone who's bright enough to find a job with no heavy lifting,' said a voice in his head.
But here's some advice, boy. Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions.
If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn't as cynical as real life.
She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.
Inside every sane person there's a madman struggling to get out.
Inside every sane person there's a madman struggling to get out," said the shopkeeper. "That's what I've always thought. No one goes mad quicker than a totally sane person.
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