Destiny, n. A tyrant’s authority for crime and a fool’s excuse for failure.
Ambrose Bierce 1842-c.1914 ‘The Enlarged Devil’s Dictionary’ (1967) p. 64
Their dull and deep potations excused the brisk intemperance of youth.
Edward Gibbon 1737-94 ‘Memoirs of My Life’ (1796) ch. 3 (on the dons at Oxford)
I suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy. That is the reason why I have no philosophy myself, and must be my excuse for dreaming.
J. B. S. Haldane 1892-1964 ‘Possible Worlds and Other Essays’ (1927) ‘Possible Worlds’.
You needn’t try to reason,
Your excuse is out of season,
Just kiss yourself goodbye.
William Jerome 1865-1932 ‘Just Kiss Yourself Goodbye’ (1902 song)
Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because ‘tis an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to confute him.
John Selden 1584-1654 ‘Table Talk’ (1689) “Law”
Two wrongs don’t make a right, but they make a good excuse.
Thomas Szasz 1920— ‘The Second Sin’ (1973) “Social Relations”
It is wise to direct your anger towards problems – not people; to focus your energies on answers – not excuses.
William Arthur Ward
Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.
George Washington Carver
Not managing your time and making excuses are two bad habits. Don’t put them both together by claiming you “don’t have the time”.
People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.
J. Michael Straczynski
People want a cop-out, listen I’m a realist and I talk about motivation, talk about all the things it takes to be greater or are important to win and people want to use excuses all the time.
Several excuses are always less convincing than one.
The best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses.
G. M. Trevelyan
The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that’s the day you start to the top.
O. J. Simpson
The real man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never excuses himself.
Henry Ward Beecher
The Soviet Union has indeed been our greatest menace, not so much because of what it has done, but because of the excuses it has provided us for our failures.
J. William Fulbright