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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Abe Lincoln's Sense of Humor

Most people do not think of the Abraham Lincoln as a funny guy. Many consider him the most eloquent President our country has ever known.  Speech writers and public speakers try to copy his style, and all over the globe, children still recite his Gettysburg Address which is celebrated by many as one of the best speeches in the English language. But his humor is often underplayed in the historical context of his presidency.
Honest Abe had a well developed sense of humor, and in celebration of his birthday (2/12/1809), I’d like to share some quotes attributed to him that show the homespun humor he cleverly -- sometimes subtly and sometime not so subtly -- added to his conversation:
“If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”

“No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.”

“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”

“I fear explanations explanatory of things explained."
“No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar."

"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee."

“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

 “You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.”

"Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters."

“Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them."

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”

“Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

"Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators."

"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.”

With over 16,000 books written about him, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, is probably the most scrutinized president in American history. Do you have an favorite Lincoln quotes (humorous or not) to share? Add them to the comments below or send ‘em via Twitter @ScottFroth.

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