10 Quotes by George Bernard Shaw – Another Master of the English Language


Blog_My Fair LadyOne of my father’s favourite films is My Fair Lady. It stars Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. It was made in 1964 and is based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw.

It tells the story of Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison), an expert in phonetics who makes a bet with a friend that he can transform a lower class flower girl, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) into a duchess by turning her Cockney accent into a proper English  accent.

My favourite scene is one that I often show my clients during a pronunciation lesson. In this scene Eliza has to pronounce the /h/ sound correctly. If she does, the candle will flicker. My French and Italian clients can relate to this scene as they find the /h/ sound particularly challenging. I have to stress that I do NOT put my clients through the same ordeal!


Blog_ George Bernard ShawGeorge Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright like his counterpart, Oscar Wilde. He wrote more than 60 plays and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 and an Oscar in 1938 for the best screenplay adaptation of his play, Pygmalion. He also co-founded the London School of Economics.

He was concerned with many social issues including education and English Language spelling. Shaw is considered one of the Masters of the English Language. So, I felt it appropriate that he should be part of my list of leading figures in English Literature and that I share some of his celebrated quotes in this blog post dedicated to him.

I’ve chosen 10 quotes that totally resonate with me. I’d love to know if they resonate with you, too.

1. Blog_george-bernard-shaw-life-quote

2Succes does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.

3. Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

4. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.


6. People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

7. The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.

8Blog_ we don't stop playing because we grow old 9. He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.

10. Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.


Do you know any of the quotes above? Which are your favourites? Have you seen “My Fair Lady”?

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Ciao for now




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9 thoughts on “10 Quotes by George Bernard Shaw – Another Master of the English Language”

  1. Very interesting as usual.
    Among the 10 pearls of wisdom the one which ‘resonates’ most with me is the second one which tells you how to be successful by not repeating the same mistake twice… Well, can be amended to 10 times??
    Just asking… Could you pls intercede with George?!
    Eternally devoted to you, Shanthi.

  2. My favorite is “life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself”!
    I love “my fair lady” – I do recall our day’s favorite song was “why can’t a woman be more like a man”……I remember his hearty laugh after every verse. I find my husband liking that song too…….what a coincidence! I just remember loving the drumroll in that song.
    Thanks Shanthi.

    1. Yes, Deborah. I remember well Dad singing and laughing to that song. Mmm, doesn’t surprise me about my brother in law!!!

  3. ttttttI have always liked “America is the only country that has gone from barbarism to decadence without the intervening stage of civilization”.GBS

    1. That’s a good one. Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth. However, I think this quote comes from Oscar Wilde. It sounds like his wicked wit.

  4. There is a quote which resonates a little neurotic with me. It’s the last one: “take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get”. The point is that life never gives us exactly what we want. So, as the poet Cavafy wrote: “Ithaca has given you the lovely trip. Without her you would not have set your course. There is no more that she can give”.

    1. Hi Eva, I see what you mean about the last quote. Thank you for introducing the poet Cavafy. Where’s he from?

  5. Thanks for the great sharing of George Bernard Shaw quotes.

    My favorite here: “Succes does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time”.

    Learn from each mistakes and learn from each lessons, and we’ll grow stronger and stronger. Life is full of challenges & obstacles, embrace it.

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