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PHC | Rhetoric | Fun Fillers

Fun Speech Fillers

Quotes | Trivia | Jokes


Quotes

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. Where I Lived, And What I Lived For, Henry David Thoreau

It is not enough to be good if you have the ability to be better. It is not enough to be very good if you have the ability to be great. -- Alberta Lee Cox

Computers make it easy to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do, don't need to be done. -- Andy Rooney

Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed. -- Corita Kent

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. -- Francis Bacon

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother. -- Khalil Gibran

Fear breeds fear. -- Byron Janis

The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him. -- Henry L. Stimson

People who never get carried away should be. -- Malcolm Forbes

To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it. -- Confucius

Winning isn't everything. Wanting to win is. -- Catfish Hunter

Some folks never exaggerate--they just remember big. -- Audrey Snead

In England, if you commit a crime, the police don't have a gun and you don't have a gun. If you commit a crime, "Stop, or I'll say stop again." -- Robin Williams

A lot of people up North, they think everybody from the South is married to their sister and has seen a UFO. I told them, "I'm just dating my sister and couldn't swear that it wasn't a weather balloon." -- Jeff Foxworthy

Friendship is one mind in two bodies. -- Menclus

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. -- Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness. -- Josh Billings

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. -- Anne Frank Live so that your friends can defend you, but never have to. -- Arnold Glasow

Each day can be one of triumph if you keep up your interests. -- George Matthew Adams

Either do not attempt at all, or go through with it. -- Ovid

Winners are men who have dedicated their whole lives to winning. -- Woody Hayes

No one can build her security on the nobleness of another person. -- Willa Cather

Anyone else ever just feel the fetal position coming on? -- Paula Poundstone

When I tell people I'm a comedian they say, "Oh are you funny?" I say, "No, it's not that kind of comedy." --Betsy Salkind

The true test of character is...how we behave when we don't know what to do. -- John Holt

It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded. -- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. -- Abraham Lincoln

Whining is anger through a small opening. -- Stuart Smalley

In spite of the cost of loving, it's still popular. -- Kathy Norris

Tell a man he is brave, and you help him to become so. -- Thomas Carlyle

No explanation ever explains the necessity of making one. -- Elbert Hubbard

There's much to be said for challenging fate instead of ducking behind it. -- Diana Trilling

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. -- Erma Bombeck

If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag. -- Anonymous

Learn to use ten minutes intelligently. It will pay you huge dividends. -- William A. Irwin

Dullness is a misdemeanor. -- Ethel Wilson

Pain is never permanent. -- Saint Theresa of Avila

Superior people never make long visits." --Marianne Moore

"You have to endure what you can't change." --Marie de France

"Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof." --John Kenneth Galbraith

"Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands." --Seneca

"Men often say that women change their minds too much. I say they sometimes don't change them enough. I mean changing their state of mind, their attitudes, their outlook, their expectations, their consciousness -- most of all, about themselves and what is possible in their lives." --Julia T. Alvarez

"The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well." --H. T. Leslie

"Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work." --Carl Sandburg

Don't waste time worrying about that first (or more) gray hair:

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?" --Baseball pitcher Satchel Paige

"Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese." --Billie Burke

He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool-shun him. He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple-teach him. He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep-awaken him. He who knows and knows that he knows, he is wise, follow him --Bruce Lee

"The trouble with being punctual is that there's nobody there to appreciate it." --Franklin P. Jones

"Never let go of the fiery sadness called desire." --Patti Smith

"When trouble comes, wise men take to their work; weak men take to the woods." --Elbert Hubbard

"Never accept the proposition that just because a solution satisfies a problem, that it must be the only solution." --Raymond E. Feist

"There's a mighty big difference between good sound reasons, and reasons that sound good." --Burton Hillis

"Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too easily." --George Santayana

"Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." --Mark Twain

"A man who knows not his limitations is of no use to anyone." --W. Edwards Deming

"If you don't know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?" --Basil S. Walsh

Don't short-change yourself. Use all of your abilities:

"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability." --John Wooden

"Concentrate on finding your goal, then concentrate on reaching it." --Col. Michael Friedsman

"It is only when I am doing my work that I feel truly alive." --Federico Fellini

"I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who *have* to dance." --George Balanchine

Look in the mirror for the agent of your destiny:

"My will shall shape my future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own." --Elaine Maxwell

"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved." --William Jennings Bryan

"I am the master of my fate; /I am the captain of my soul." --William E. Henley

"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others." --Robert Louis Stevenson

"Trouble brings experience, and experience brings wisdom." --Anon.

"Money isn't everything, but lack of money isn't anything." --Franklin P. Adams

Get moving!

"Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action . . .." --Theodore Roosevelt  (oh, Teddy.  How could you . . .)

"Action is the antidote to despair." --Joan Baez

"I've always tried to go a step past wherever other people expected me to end up." --Beverly Sills

"When you're through changing, you're through." --Bruce Barton

"True eloquence consists of saying all that should be said, and that only." --Francois de La Rochefoucald

"If you haven't forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?" --Dolores Huerta

"To understand is to forgive - even oneself." --Alexander Chase

"The moment an individual can accept and forgive himself, even a little, is the moment in which he becomes to some degree lovable." --Eugene Kennedy

"The difference between failure and success is doing a thing nearly right and doing a thing exactly right." --Edward Simmons

"Look twice before you leap." --Charlotte Bronte

"The man who has ceased to learn ought not to be allowed to wander around loose in these dangerous days." --M.M. Coady

Whether you ride it out or work it out, you can overcome bad luck:

"Breaks balance out. The sun don't shine on the same old dog's rear end every day." --Darrell Royal

"The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work." --Harry Golden

"Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health." --Michel de Montaigne

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead

"So live that you can look any man in the eye and tell him to go to hell." --Anon.

"One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say." --Voltaire

Don't live life through a rear view mirror:

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." --Thomas Jefferson

"The past should be culled like a box of fresh strawberries, rinsed of debris, sweetened judiciously and served in small portions, not very often." --Laura Palmer

"Let the past drift away with the water." --Japanese saying

"Concern should drive us into action and not into depression." --Karen Horney

"True modesty and true pride are much the same thing: both consist in setting a just value on ourselves - neither more nor less." --William Hazlitt

"Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have." --Doris Mortman

Be yourself and wear what you like:

"Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are." --Quentin Crisp

"If people don't want to listen to you, what makes you think they want to hear from your sweater?" --Fran Lebowitz

"I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch." --Gilda Radner

To me, an elevator is a coffin on a string. Dangling over an abyss. Remember the plane crash in the Andes? When the survivors ate the dead passengers? I'm not proud of this but when I take an elevator, I bring a knife and fork and pray for fat passengers. -- Carolyn May

"It is prudent to pour the oil of delicate politeness upon the machinery of friendship." --Colette

"The world is like a mirror; frown at it, and it frowns at you. Smile and it smiles, too." --Herbert Samuels

"The true test of character is...how we behave when we don't know what to do." --John Holt

To jump-start creative thoughts, drift a little:

"The imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering." --Brenda Ueland

"Not all those who wander are lost." --J.R.R. Tolkien

"No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical." --Niels Bohr

(^:)>o~


Trivia

Here are some facts and interesting things to include in speeches, either as filler or as a way to launch your speech. (Disclaimer:  I haven't checked out the veracity or accuracy of any of these quotes.  Buyer beware!)

Interesting Trivia

  • The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
  • Coca-Cola was originally green.
  • Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.
  • Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
  • The state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
  • The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% now get this...
  • The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
  • The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400
  • The average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000
  • Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  • The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.
  • The youngest pope was 11 years old.
  • The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
  • Those San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
  • Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades - King David, Hearts - Charlemagne, Clubs -Alexander, the Great Diamonds - Julius Caesar
  • 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
  • If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
  • Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th,
  • John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
  • "I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
  • Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that make them looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt.
  • No NFL team which plays its home games in a domed stadium has ever won a Super bowl.
  • The only two days of the year in which there are no professional sports games (MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL) are the day before and the day after the Major League all-stars Game.

Trivial questions

Q. What occurs more often in December than any other month?
A. Conception.

Q. What separates "60 Minutes," on CBS from every other TV show?
A. No theme song.

Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace.

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

Q. There are more collect calls on this day than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day

Q. What trivia fact about Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny) is the most ironic?
A. He was allergic to carrots.

Q. What is an activity performed by 40% of all people at a party?
A. Snoop in your medicine cabinet.


So That's Where It Came From!

  • In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase "goodnight, sleep tight,"
  • It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month or what we know today as the honeymoon.
  • In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's."
  • Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase by this practice.
  • In Scotland, a new game was invented. It was entitled Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden.... and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

Jokes


Word Fun

The Washington Post publishes a yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for various words. The following were some of this year's winning entries:

  1. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.
  2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
  5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
  6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.
  7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
  8. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.
  9. Flatulence (n.), the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
  11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
  12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.
  13. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
  14. Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of your boxer shorts.
  15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), the belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.
  16. Pokemon (n.), a Jamaican proctologist.

The Difficult English Language

Reasons why the English language is hard to learn:

  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce produce.
  3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
  5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  10. I did not object to the object.
  11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  13. They were too close to the door to close it.
  14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  19. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? Or, one goose, 2 geese? So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.

If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all).

That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS TRYING TO LEARN ENGLISH, PITY THEM!


From The Original Hollywood Squares TV Show

These are from the days when game show responses were spontaneous and not scripted like they are now.

Q: If you're going to make a parachute jump, you should be at least how high?
A: Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Q: True or false...a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
A: George Gobel: Boy it sure seems that way sometimes...

Q: You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A: Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Q: Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A: Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q: Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A: Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q: When you pat a dog on its head he will usually wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A: Paul Lynde: Make him bark.

Q: According to Ann Landers, is there anything! wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A: Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army!

Q: Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A: George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q: Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A: Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

Q: Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
A: Charley Weaver: His feet.

Q: Do female frogs croak?
A: Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.