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The Greatest Lines Of Terry Pratchett

The Greatest Lines Of Terry Pratchett

The Greatest Lines Of Terry Pratchett
12 March 2015

British fantasy author Sir Terence David John "Terry" Pratchett has passed away at the age of 66 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

His death was announced by his publisher on 12 March, with his official Twitter account expressing the moment in a beautiful, succinct passage:

Best known for his Discworld series, Pratchett was a master of conveying complex, philosophical musings in fleeting, beautiful passages. By way of tribute to the great man, we've collected together some of his finest expressions and words of wisdom.

(Image: Rex)

The Colour of Magic

“Every intelligent being, whether it breathes or not, coughs nervously at some time in its life.” 

The Light Fantastic

“The sun rose slowly, as if it wasn't sure it was worth all the effort.”

Equal Rites

“It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history.” 



Wyrd Sisters

“Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.” 


“The trouble with life was that you didn’t get a chance to practice before doing it for real.” 

Guards! Guards!

“The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication.”


"Multiple exclamation marks," he went on, shaking his head, "are a sure sign of a diseased mind."

Witches Abroad

“Progress just means bad things happen faster.”

Small Gods

“The people who really run organisations are usually found several levels down, where it is still possible to get things done.” 

Soul Music

“There are millions of chords. There are millions of numbers. And everyone forgets the one that is a zero. But without the zero, numbers are just arithmetic. Without the empty chord, music is just noise.” 

Feet of Clay

“Just because someone's a member of an ethnic minority doesn't mean they're not a nasty small-minded little jerk.” 


“Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.” 


“After all, when you seek advice from someone it's certainly not because you want them to give it. You just want them to be there while you talk to yourself.” 

The Fifth Elephant

"He'd noticed that sex bore some resemblance to cookery: it fascinated people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were really hungry they created vast banquets in their imagination - but at the end of the day they'd settle quite happily for egg and chips."

The Truth

“A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” 

Thief of Time

“Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.” 

Night Watch

"Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions."


“Coffee is a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to your older self.” 

Raising Steam

“Uncertainty is always uncertain, but the difficulty with people who rely on systems is that they begin to believe that nearly everything is in some way a system and therefore, sooner or later, they become bureaucrats.”