I always have a quotation for everything – It saves original thinking
Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957)
One joy of a Monday morning is the illustrated quotation on the editorial page of the Star Tribune. Yesterday’s delightful editorial “cartoon” struck a chord in light of my most recent blog post – a post that featured not one but three quotes. Though inclined to agree with my beloved Sayers, I assured myself that those quotes from Emily Bronte, Heraclitus and Christopher Robin reflect not so much the limits of my original thinking as a robust range of quotable sources.
Truth to tell, I love quotations. First, the thoughts of wise men and women spark my own thought processes. They help me focus, to drill down on a fuzzy idea until it takes shape and form that can be expressed in words. Quoting Louisa May Alcott, “I like good strong words that mean something.”
Quotes help me untangle ideas that are tied up in knots, that yearn to be free of the web I’ve woven around them, to express themselves.
A cardinal virtue of quotes is that they invariably affirm what I am already thinking. Of course I skim through the lists of quotes in my head and in my handy book of quotations until I find articulate bon mots from those with whom I agree. Along the way I consider briefly the ideas of those with whom I differ, silently countering their misconceptions by quoting those with whom I agree. And so I write on, confident that my ideas are time-honored by some of the best.
My fondness for quotes may be in the DNA. It was my Irish Grandpa Treacy whom I never knew who was oft quoted as having said: “the man has good ideas – at least they do be my ideas….”