How about: "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than illumination!"
I vaguely remember a story about someone famous. My head is like a sieve these days, so let's say it was Oscar Wilde just for the sake of discussion. Apparently, someone in his crowd was known to repeat Oscar's clever comments as though they were his own. One evening, when Oscar had regaled everyone with something particularly witty, this person exclaimed: "Oh, how I wish I'd said that," to which Oscar replied: "You will, my boy, you will!"
The reason this came to me is that someone just sent me an email containing a collection of clever insults. I wish I'd said that...
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." – Winston Churchill
"A modest little person, with much to be modest about." – Winston Churchill
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." – Clarence Darrow
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?" – Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." – Moses Hadas
"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know." – Abraham Lincoln
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." – Groucho Marx
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." – Mark Twain
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." – Oscar Wilde
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend – if you have one." – George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second – if there is one." – Winston Churchill, in response
"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." – Stephen Bishop
"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." – John Bright
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." – Irvin S. Cobb
"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." – Samuel Johnson
"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." – Paul Keating
"He had delusions of adequacy." – Walter Kerr
"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure." – Jack E. Leonard
"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt." – Robert Redford
"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge." – Thomas Brackett Reed
"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them." – James Reston (about Richard Nixon)
"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." – Charles, Count Talleyrand
"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." – Forrest Tucker
"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" – Mark Twain
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." – Mae West
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." – Oscar Wilde
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts – for support rather than illumination." – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." – Billy Wilder
Very, very clever. Again, I wish I could come up with things like this. If you know of any quotes of this ilk, please send an email to me and I'll add them to the collection.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.