Business and industry
- "There's a sucker born every minute" –P.T. Barnum [M]
- After interviewing those who Barnum knew, a biographer found that it would be an uncharacteristic thing for Barnum to say.
- "To get rich is glorious." –Deng Xiaoping [C]
- Innumerable newspapers and other publications have attributed this quotation to the late Chinese leader. It's supposed to be Deng's exhortation to the Chinese people at the start of his reforms. However, no one has ever been able to find an original source of this. See this article by Evelyn Iritani in the Los Angeles Times.
- "Money is the root of all evil." –Bible [C]
- 1 Timothy 6:10 says, in part, in the KJV translation: "For the love of money is the root of all evil: ..." and the NIV and other versions translate this "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. ..." Like the English word "all", the Koine Greek word πᾶν (the form used in this verse is πάντων) can have different meanings according to context. Among other meanings, it can be used refer to absolutely all of something (for example, John 1:3), a large quantity of something (for example, Matthew 3:5), or every type of something (for example, Luke 11:42). Most modern translations remove the characteristic ambiguity of the King James, by rendering the expression: "all kinds of evil" (or equivalent), preferring the third meaning listed above.
- "I have seen the future, and it works." [M]
- "I have been over into the future, and it works." Lincoln Steffens
- "Anything that can go wrong, will" (and variations on this theme) –Edward A. Murphy, Jr. [C]
- Actual quote uncertain. Variously, "If that guy has any way of making a mistake, he will" and "If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way". Murphy's law has been purposely misrepresented and sometimes simply misinterpreted to mean "something will always go wrong" or "nothing will ever work perfectly". This is actually a statement of Sod's Law. Murphy's Law is really a design principle: if something can be done in more than one way (such as inserting a two-socket plug the wrong way around), somebody will eventually do it. The solution is to design defensively – if the plug is asymmetrical, it simply can't be plugged in the wrong way around. There is evidence that Murphy himself did not mean it this way when he said it; for more details, read the article Murphy's Law.
- "Because it's there" –Sir Edmund Hillary [A]
- "Can't we all just get along?" –Rodney King [C]
- His actual quotation, in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, was "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"
- "Football isn't a matter of life or death, it's much more important than that." –Bill Shankly [C]
- "... the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field..." –John Facenda, the famous voice of NFL Films (the official film production company of the National Football League) [A]
- Steve Sabol, current president of NFL Films, denies that Facenda ever used the phrase, and the NFL Films highlight reel of the famous "Ice Bowl" game was narrated by Bill Woodson, not Facenda. It is believed that the phrase was popularized by ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman, who frequently uttered it while trying to imitate Facenda's distinctive voice.