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Quotations about Ideas



Good ideas often take wings and fly beyond our reach, while bad ones will cling to us like barnacles to a vessel. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


Ideas can no more flow backward than can a river. ~Victor Hugo


BRAIN:  A commodity as scarce as radium and more precious, used to fertilize ideas. ~Elbert Hubbard


New ideas are but gathered fragments from the past. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


The wings of change always flutter on the fire of ideas. ~Viswo Varenya Samal, May 2011 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden


Crystal ideas are often broken by the grapple with words. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. ~Howard Aiken, as quoted in Robert Byrne, The Fifth and Far Finer than the First Four 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said, 1993


I'm not sure the Great Ideas come to us when we're looking for them. Most likely they come when we don't expect them, like hiccups and hives. But it is worth trying. Meditation calms the spirit. ~Jack Smith, God and Mr. Gomez, 1974


No matter who you are, some scholar can show you the great idea you had was had by someone before you. ~Author unknown


Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings. ~Quoted by Adolph A. Berle, Jr., in New York Times Book Review, per The Reader's Digest, 1955  [In 1983, Reader's Digest attributed the same quotation to C. D. Jackson. —tg]


Ideas are more elusive than mercury, more numerous than stars, more valuable than gold. ~William Arthur Ward, Thoughts of a Christian Optimist, 1968


Then one day he got what a gambler calls a "hunch"... His friends thought him crazy, as friends always think when a man has an original idea and acts on it. Now, when his friends speak of him they invariably add, "I knew him when—." ~Edwin Carty Ranck, "Interesting People: Charles E. Bullard, A Famous Photographer of Cats," The American Magazine, April 1915


Ideas corrode the international fences. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


I hope some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you're having a good idea but it's just eggs hatching. ~Jack Handey, Deepest Thoughts: So Deep They Squeak, 1994, deepthoughtsbyjackhandey.com


My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living. ~Anaïs Nin


An original idea. That can't be too hard. The library must be full of them. ~Stephen Fry, The Liar, 1991


No matter how brilliantly an idea is stated, we will not really be moved unless we have already half-thought of it ourselves.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963


You can't beat ideas — political, social, economic or religious — with implements. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


Let your working ideas go for a picnic — sometimes the fresh air and ant bites are just what they need. Many great ideas were bitten a little at the beginning. ~Terri Guillemets





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