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pratchett quotes

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They may have been ugly. they may have been evil. But when it came to
poetry in motion, the Things had all the grace and coordination of a
deck-chair.
-- Meet the creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions
(Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites)


AIRPORTS: A place where people hurry up and wait.
-- From A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Enquiring Young Nome
by Angalo de Haberdasheri
(Terry Pratchett, Wings)


Let's see, now... in HOGFATHER there are a number of stabbings, someone's
killed by a man made of knives, someone's killed by the dark, and someone
just been killed by a wardrobe.

It's a book about the magic of childhood. You can tell.
(alt.fan.pratchett)


We took pity on him because he'd lost both parents at an early age. I think
that, on reflection, we should have wondered a bit more about that.
-- Lord Downey reflects on Mister Teatime
(Terry Pratchett, Hogfather)


“You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. ”I read that in a
book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
-- The nomes discuss science
(Terry Pratchett, Wings)


Up until now I'd always though RSI meant 'I hate my damn job'.
(alt.fan.pratchett)


The old shaman said carefully, "You didn't just see two men go through
upside down on a broomstick, shouting and screaming at each other, did
you?" The boy looked at him levelly. "Certainly not," he said. The old man
heaved a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness for that," he said. "Neither did I."
-- Rincewind and Twoflower take up broomstick flying
(Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic)


Death isn't on line. If he was, there would be a sudden drop in the death
rate. Although it'd be interesting to see if he'd post things like: DON'T
YOU THINK I SOUND LIKE JAMES EARL JONES?
(alt.fan.pratchett)


I EXPECT, he said, THAT YOU COULD MURDER A PIECE OF CHEESE?
-- Death talks to the Death of Rats
(Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man)


“Can't sing. Can't dance. Can handle a sword a little.”
-- Victor's resume
(Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures)


Death and Famine and War and Pollution continued biking towards Tadfield.
And Grievous Bodily Harm, Cruelty To Animals, Things Not Working Properly
Even After You've Given Them A Good Thumping but secretly No Alcohol Lager,
and Really Cool People travelled with them.
-- The eight Bikers of the Apocalypse
(Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens)


Humans suffering from a conflict of signals aren't the best people to be
holding guns, especially when they've just witnessed a natural childbirth,
which definitely looked an un-American way of bringing new citizens into
the world.
-- (Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens)


Watch Rincewind.

Look at him. Scrawny, like most wizards, and clad in a dark red robe on
which a few mystic sigils were embroidered in tarnished sequins. Some might
have taken him for a mere apprentice enchanter who had run away from his
master out of defiance, boredom, fear and a lingering taste for
heterosexuality. Yet around his neck was a chain bearing the bronze octagon
that marked him as an alumnus of Unseen University, the high school of magic
whose time-and-space transcendent campus is never precisely Here or There.
Graduates were usually destined for mageship at least, but Rincewind--after
an unfortunate event--had left knowing only one spell and made a living of
sorts around the town by capitalizing on an innate gift for languages. He
avoided work as a rule, but had a quickness of wit that put his
acquaintances in mind of a bright rodent.
-- Terry Pratchett, "The Colour of Magic"


What you have here is an example of that well known phenomenon, A Bookshop
Assistance Who Knows Buggerall But Won't Admit It (probably some kind of
arts graduate).
(alt.fan.pratchett)


- "Surely you have considered terrorist activity?"
There was another pause. Then the spokesman said, in the quiet tones of
someone who has had enough and who is going to quit after this and raise
chickens somewhere, "Yes, I suppose we must. All we need to do is find some
terrorists who are capable of taking an entire nuclear reactor out of its
can while it's running and without anyone noticing. It weighs about a
thousand tons and is forty feet high. So they'll be quite *strong*
terrorists. Perhaps you'd like to ring them up, sir, and ask them questions
in that supercilious, accusatory way of yours."
-- The BBC interviews a nuclear spokesperson
(Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens)


“The thing is that Mr. Dibbler can even sell sausages to people who have
bought them off him *before*.”
-- Now *that's* marketing
(Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures)


“It's got three keyboards and a hundred extra knobs, including twelve with
'?' on them.”
-- The Unseen University Organ, as designed by B. S. Johnson
(Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms)


“If you put butter and salt on it, it tastes like salty butter.”
-- Popcorn comes to the Discworld
(Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures)


A true beanie should have a propellor on the top.
(alt.fan.pratchett)


“No, no, no, what you do is, you get a gnu, then you point it at the driver
and someone says, 'Look out, he's got a gnu!' and you say, 'Take us where
we want to go or I'll fire this gnu at you!'”
-- "Host Age at 10,000 Feet", Nome style
(Terry Pratchett, Truckers)


On the fifth day the Governor of the town called all the tribal chieftains
to an audience in the market square, to hear their grievances. He didn't
always do anything about them, but at least they got *heard*, and he nodded
a lot, and everyone felt better about it at least until they got home. This
is politics.
-- Carpet politics are very similar to Discworld politics
(Terry Pratchett, The Carpet People)


The Archchancellor's most important job, as the Bursar saw it, was to sign
things, preferably, from the Bursar's point of view, without reading them
first.
-- Middle management explained
(Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures)


Bognor has always meant to me the quintessential English seaside experience
(before all this global warming stuff): driving in the rain to get there,
walking around in the rain looking for something to do when you're there,
and driving home in the rain again...
(alt.fan.pratchett)


Nanny Ogg looked him up and down or, at least, down and further down.
“You're a dwarf,” she said.
-- Nanny Ogg meets Casanunda
(Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad)


People didn't hit you over the head with farmhouses back home.
-- Nanny Ogg gets homesick
(Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad)


Tsort's Constant:
1.67563, or precisely 1,237.98712567 times the difference between
the distance to the sun and the weight of a small orange.
-- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic" (slightly modified)


“Young Edward thinks that there is no lake of blood too big to wade through
to put a rightful king on a throne, no deed too base in defence of a crown.
A romantic, in fact.”
-- Lord Rust describing Edward d'Eath
(Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms)


Experience has taught me that you feel better on a flight if you avoid
chicken fat in plastic sauce.
-- The joys of travelling the world by plane
(Terry Pratchett, alt.fan.pratchett)


It's an old magical principle -- it's even filtered down into RPG systems
-- that magic, while taking a lot of effort, can be 'stored' -- in a staff,
for example. No doubt a wizard spends a little time each day charging up
his staff, although you go blind if you do it too much, of course.
(alt.fan.pratchett)


Take One ticket to New Orleans
Take One cab to Bourbon Street
Take steps to the counter of the all night frozen dacquiri shop.
Take One Large Cupful.
-- Terry's recipe for the Ultimate Banana Dacquiri
(Terry Pratchett, alt.fan.pratchett)