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Terry Pratchett

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Everything makes sense a bit at a time. But when you try to think of it all at once, it comes out wrong.

Terence David John (Terry) Pratchett (born April 28, 1948) is a British writer. He writes fantasy, science fiction and books for children.

Sourced quotes

  • "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."[1]    
Simple: The problem with having a mind that is open to new ideas is that people will continue to come and try to put things in it.
What it means: If you are willing to listen to others, then many people will try to tell you things.

Simple: It is better to be in a bad situation that is getting better, then in a good situation getting worse.

  • No, I happen to be one of those people whose memory shuts down under pressure. The answers would come to me in the middle of the night in my sleep! Besides, I am a millionaire.

  • As they say in Discworld, we are trying to unravel the Mighty Infinite using a language which was designed to tell one another where the fresh fruit was.
Simple: As they say in the Discworld (his fantasy world), we are trying to understand the Mighty Infinite using a very basic language
  • Life doesn't happen in chapters— at least, not regular ones. Nor do movies. Homer didn't write in chapters. I can see what their purpose is in children's books ("I'll read to the end of the chapter, and then you must go to sleep") but I'm blessed if I know what function they serve in books for adults.

  • As for The Mapp... I suspect it'll never get a US publication. It seemed to frighten US publishers. They don't seem to understand it.
    That seems to point up a significant difference between Europeans and Americans:
    A European says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with me? An American says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with him?
    I make no suggestion that one side or other is right, but observation over many years leads me to believe it is true.
Simple: As for the map (of Discworld), I do not think it will ever get published in the US. It makes the Us publishers afraid. It shows a big difference in Europeans and Americans:A European says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with me? An American says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with him? I do not suggest either side is right, just that it is true.

  • Imagination, not intelligence, made us human.
  • Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.
    • Foreword from The Definitive Illustrated Guide to Fantasy. Pringle, David. (2003). ISBN 1-84442-930-X. and The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Pringle, David. (1998). ISBN 0-87951-937-1.
Simple: Some people are saying that I have found God (become religious). This is not likely to be true because I can't find my keys, and there is proof that they exist


  • Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil... prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon...
Simple: In the past, men have tried many different ways of fighting evil...Praying, fasting, good works and so on. Until Doom, no one thought about the shotgun. 'Eat leaden death, demon'
  • There should be a notice ahead of the movie that says 'This movie is PG. Can you read? You are a Parent. Do you understand what Guidance is? Or are you just another stupid toddler who thinks they're an adult simply because they've grown older and, unfortunately, have developed fully-functioning sexual organs? Would you like some committee somewhere to decide *everything* for you? Get a damn grip, will you? And shut the wretched kid up !'
  • ...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well.
Simple: A book has to be not only good from the reader's view, but from the writer's as well
  • Oh dear, I'm feeling political today. It's just that it's dawned on me that 'zero tolerance' only seems to mean putting extra police in poor, run-down areas, and not in the Stock Exchange.
Simple: When politicians say "zero tolerance", it only seems to mean putting more effort against the poor, not the rich.
  • Go on, prove me wrong. Destroy the fabric of the universe. See if I care.
  • Oh, come on. Revelation was a mushroom dream that belonged in the Apocrypha. The New Testament is basically about what happened when God got religion
  • What your soldier wants—really, really wants—is no-one shooting back at him.
  • You can’t make people happy by law. If you said to a bunch of average people two hundred years ago “Would you be happy in a world where medical care is widely available, houses are clean, the world’s music and sights and foods can be brought into your home at small cost, traveling even 100 miles is easy, childbirth is generally not fatal to mother or child, you don’t have to die of dental abscesses and you don’t have to do what the squire tells you” they’d think you were talking about the New Jerusalem and say ‘yes’.
  • This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.
  • I mean, I wouldn't pay more than a couple of quid to see me, and I'm me.
Simple: I wouldn't pay much to see me, and I'm me.
  • I think that sick people in Ankh-Morpork generally go to a vet. It's generally a better bet. There's more pressure on a vet to get it right. People say "it was god's will" when granny dies, but they get angry when they lose a cow.
Simple: Sick people in Ankh-Morpork (a city he created) generally go to a vet. It's a safer bet. A vet has more to lose if they mess up. People say "it was god's will" when a human dies, but they get angry when they lose a cow.
  • I have to admit that I drive past Bridgwater quite regularly. And fast.
  • 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).
  • I staggered into a Manchester bar late one night on a tour and the waitress said "You look as if you need a Screaming Orgasm". At the time this was the last thing on my mind...
  • I didn't go to university. Didn't even finish A-levels. But I have sympathy for those who did.

  • I was thinking of 'duh?' in the sense of 'a sentence containing several words more than three letters long, and possibly requiring general knowledge or a sense of history that extends past last Tuesday, has been used in my presence.'
  • 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...
Simple: In Bognor, it rains a lot
  • I must confess the activities of the UK governments for the past couple of years have been watched with frank admiration and amazement by Lord Vetinari. Outright theft as a policy had never occurred to him.
Simple: The activities of the British governments for the last few years have been watched with admiration by Lord Vetinari (A tyrant in his books.) Plain theft as a action never occurred to him.
  • Have a bit more patience with newbies. Of course some of them act dumb—they're often students, for heaven's sake.
Simple: Have patience with new people. Of couse some of them don't act smart, a lot of them are students.
Simple: There are too many people who want to have written, but didn't


  1. The Bromeliad Trilogy (Harper Collins), as cited by Reader's Digest November 2007. Reader's Digest Magazines Canada Ltd. Montreal. Vol 171 No. 1027. p. 49 ISSN 0034 0413

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