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(Fruit flies like a banana)[edit]

According to the discussion at Language Log, "Time Flies Like an Arrow, Fruit Flies Like a Banana" was circulating in the 1960s, and wasn't attributed to Chico Marx until 1982, and Groucho until 2000. It's probably due to Noam Chomsky, but that's just a guess.

John Roth

    Chomsky is indeed a likely possibility, but also look into the writings of Anthony G. Oettinger & Susumu Kuno (jointly and severally), of Harvard, c. 1963-'65. And look for forms w/ e.g. " bananas" which may be the earliest form.
-- 09:05, 23 January 2011 (UTC)


If you can provide a precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Time.
  • I think the second you stop fighting it, time really is on your side.
  • What is time? If nobody asks me, I know; but if I were desirous to explain it to one that should ask me, plainly I know not.
  • Time spent with cats is never wasted.
  • Time spent Wishing is Time Wasted
  • Janitor
  • What Difference does it make? Whether Twenty Seconds or Twenty Years,it doesn't have the Faintest Echo or Slighest Whisper in the Thunderstorm of Time
  • The Outer Limits
  • Everything passes, but nothing entirely goes away.
  • To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.
  • How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
  • The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
  • The only thing that really makes me waste my time is to think on my wasted time.
  • Life holds one great but quite commonplace mystery. Though shared by each of us and known to all, seldom rates a second thought. That mystery, which most of us take for granted and never think twice about, is time.
  • Time is the accident of accidents.
  • Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of.
  • It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper understanding.
  • Our true home is the present moment.'
    To live in the present moment is a miracle.
    The miracle is not to walk on water.
    The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment.
  • Everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way and nothing stays fixed. You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters and yet others, go flowing on. Time is a child, moving counters in a game; the royal power is a child's.
  • Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.
  • You can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow.
  • The surest way to be late is to have plenty of time.
  • Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.
  • Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
  • The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
  • Lost, yesterday, somewhere between Sunrise and Sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.
  • Tomorrow's life is too late. Live today.

  • I confess that I do not believe in time. I like to unfold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one of the pattern upon another. Let visitors trip. And the highest enjoyment of timelessness — in an landscape selected at random — is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants. This is ecstacy, and behind the ecstacy is something else, which is hard to explain. It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love.
  • Love vanquishes time. To lovers, a moment can be eternity, eternity can be the tick of a clock.
  • By labor we can find food and water, but all of our labor will not find for us another hour.
  • Nature's Time is Cubic and perpetual. Linear Time is wrong and suicidal.
  • We are not capable of producing a concept of time that is at once cosmological, biological, historical and individual.
  • Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
  • This I offer to the secret of great Truth: Do not waste time!
  • Alone I suffer, alone I wait. Waiting for time. Time the healer.
  • Veritum dies aperit.
    • Time discovers the truth.
    • Seneca in De Ira
  • The present never ages. Each moment is like a snowflake, unique, unspoiled, unrepeatable, and can be appreciated in its surprisingness.
  • The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    • James Taylor (American Singer, Song Writer and Guitarist, b.1948)
  • The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.
  • Time and tide wait for no man. A pompous and self-satisfied proverb, and was true for a billion years; but in our day of electric wires and water-ballast we turn it around: Man waits not for time nor tide.
    • Mark Twain (American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910)
  • Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
    • Mark Twain (American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910)
  • They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
  • Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.
  • Events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order the continuous thread of revelation.
  • I want to go ahead of Father Time with a scythe of my own.
  • All things in this world are impermanent. They have the nature to rise and pass away. To be in harmony with this truth brings true happiness.
    • Buddhist chant
  • Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once.
  • variant: Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once.
    Space is what prevents everything from happening to me.
    • Variously attributed to Woody Allen, Albert Einstein, John Archibald Wheeler, and Anonymous
    • A google books search shows the phrase "everything from happening at once" appears on p. 148 of the 1954 book The Giant Anthology of Science Fiction, edited by Leo Margulies and Oscar Jerome Friend, so it dates back at least that far (the page of search results shows that the book contains a snippet saying: "Time," he said, "is what keeps everything from happening at once." "Very clever," laughed the Chemist. The Doctor leaned forward earnestly. "I should say," he began, "that time is the rate at which we live — the speed at which we). Also, on the google books search for "everything from happening at once" with the date range to 1980 or earlier, none of the results I saw attributed it to Wheeler, Einstein, or Woody Allen; in fact adding "Wheeler" or "Einstein" or "Woody" as an additional term reduced the number of 1980-or-earlier results from 48 to zero. Hypnosifl 23:47, 3 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
    • Found an even earlier one that I somehow missed on my earlier search--"The Man Who Mastered Time" by Ray Cummings, from 1929, which on p. 1 says: "Time," said George, "why I can give you a definition of time. It's what keeps everything from happening at once." Probably the later appearance of the phrase in the 1954 anthology above was in another story by Ray Cummings, "The Girl in the Golden Atom" which according to the table of contents of the 1954 book starts on p. 113, 35 pages before the quote about time. Hypnosifl 00:01, 4 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
    • "The Girl in the Golden Atom" is on Project Gutenberg here, the quote about time appears in Chapter V, in the paragraph that starts "The Big Business Man smiled." And this page says it's a combination of a story published in 1919 and another published in 1920, which were combined to make the finished novel which was published in 1923. So, the quote goes back at least to 1923, maybe 1919. Hypnosifl 00:26, 4 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • The more time we lose, the more memories we make.
  • All things end in unending time.
    • Anonymous, Latin graffito scratched into a brothel's wall, Pompeii.
  • Time. Time is an artificial construct. An idea based on the theory that events occur in a linear direction, at all times. Always forward, never back. Is the concept of time correct? Is time relevant?

Quotation from the book of Ecclesiastes attributed to Solomon[edit]

I'll let this stand for the moment, because of tradition and because I am not desirous of becoming engaged in a bootless firefight with Fundamentalists.

BUT, Biblical scholars are as well-nigh unanimous that the book of Ecclesiastes and the quote herein were not written by Solomon but by Koheleth or Qoheleth, depending on one's orthographic preference.

Vide the Wikipedia article on Ecclesiastes.