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Synopsis

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.

If you can't be kind, at least be vague.

An aphorism is a pithy observation that attempts to communicate a truth about the human experience, often with a dash of wit. History's greatest thinkers and writers have viewed the aphorism as a potent tool, and it is remarkable how many of their most memorable observations have been introduced with the biggest little word in the human language: If. These ifferisms, as they have been dubbed by quotation anthologist Dr. Mardy Grothe, demonstrate the powerful role that hypothetical and conditional thinking play in our lives.

This novel compendium of wisdom, wit, and wordplay presents nearly two thousand quotations that all begin with the word if. Alongside history's most famous sayings, readers will find—and often learn the fascinating story behind—such modern classics as "If you build it, they will come" and "If anything can go wrong, it will." In chapters on sex, love, sports, politics, advice, gender dynamics, and more, quotation lovers will savor scintillating observations from the usual suspects—Twain, Wilde, Shaw, Emerson, and Franklin—as well as scores of contemporary wits and wordsmiths.

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