Quotes of the week

  • Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.


  • My first rule of travel is never to go to a place that sounds like a medical condition and Critz is clearly and incurable disease involving flaking skin.


  • Never drink to feel better; only drink to feel even better.


  • You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.


  • You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realised how seldom they do.


  • To see him, (Stephen Spender) fumbling with our rich and delicate language is to experience all the horror of seeing a Sevres vase in the hands of a chimpanzee.


  • Let the Dean and Cannons lay their heads together and it will be done.
    [on the proposal to surround St Paul’s with a wooden pavement]


Picture of Jonathan Choat

World Wit & Wisdom

I have always loved words, particularly rather arcane words with exact meanings and delicious sounds like epigone and crepuscular and meretricious. But it is the way quick, intelligent people combine and manipulate words to respond to situations, observations on events, life generally and other people’s ways, with witty, clever and observant epigrams – amusing or instructive quotations, which I most admire. And then there are the hilarious mistakes and deliberate puns – do see Spoonerisms and Notices /signs.

I have compiled a selection from many sources, for you to read or quote, all of which I find amusing, penetrating, acerbic and dryly witty and certainly worth recording. This is a selection of the best I have found, though there are so many more and new quotes are created every day. At present, it has drawn on mainly western hemisphere authors, but there must be a plentiful representation of wits from all over the world – so please contribute them for inclusion. I want this site to be a shared experience, so this is your chance to contribute your own or someone else’s wit and wisdom to make this a growing and live compilation.

You can enjoy World Wit and Wisdom every day by email or send quotes to friends and family as greetings – or otherwise – and it is all free. Enjoy and let me know what you think of the site and send me your contributions.