Does quote make a person look smart, or the other way around?

We all love quotes. If we look at them individually, almost all of them teach us something invaluable, make us look smart (by listing quotes), or at least make us laugh. The quote form itself has a magical power: almost anything sounds smart-ass when marked as quotes.

Quote is the greatest tool for making a boring sentence/person look smart. – Isao Kato –

Why does a quote always sound wise? I believe it is because a quote is stripped off its original context. We wrap a quote with our imagination; we try to make up for or find our personal story that actually fits well with the quote. In another way, we add our own meaning to a quote. It is especially true for the one below:

There are two ways to argue with a woman. Neither one works.

Naturally, a question arise: are people with many quotes actually who we think they are? When we take a look at their individual quotes they look awesome. But what if we review their quotes collectively?

I picked up Henry Ford, the visionary auto czar, to review his integrity through his quotes: all quotes are taken from Brainyquote and Wikiquote.

  • Any colour – so long as it's black. (be arrogant)
  • If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own (be emphatic)
  • If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses (be arrogant)

Is this guy an arrogant genius or emphatic dreamer? Two more…

  • As we advance in life we learn the limits of our abilities (know your limit)
  • Anyone who keeps learning stays young (dream on)

Is this guy a believer or pragmatist?

Conclusion: though each quote might have its own source of wisdom, collectively they show an image of a real human: full of contradictions and conflicts.

Everybody will be famous for 15 minutes. – Andy Warhol –

Why don't we way, every quote has its wisdom for 15 seconds, and move on without caring too much about them?