This page is dedicated to Robert Benchley’s Law of Distinction, namely, that “There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t.”
Purpose: To provide a completist-like scrapbook for this oft-quoted expression of duality.
Methodology: This page is periodically updated with new “there are two kinds of people” statements. Where a statement is attributed source, it’s shown in quotations. Some of the statements are clustered by themes, but mostly, it’s a random assortment. The page also includes sayings that deviate from the strict “there are two types of people” formula, in order to keep things interesting.
There are two kinds of people in the world: Generalists and Specialists.
There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who make things complicated, and those who make things simple.
SPIRA’S LAW OF INDISTINCTION: There are two kinds of dichotomies: those that are proposed as absolute and those that allow for some wiggle room… and of course, all the stuff that’s somewhere in between.
“There are two kinds of people in the world, those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.” - Clint Eastwood, 1966, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” (Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo)
There are two types of vessels on the sea - submarines and targets.
“There are two kinds of people in the world – those who walk into a room and say, ‘There you are!’ – and those who say, ‘Here I am!’ ” - Abigail Van Buren
“There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” – Mark Twain
Mark Twain was the master of aphorisms, especially those with dualistic structures — quite appropriate given his pen name (which was actually based on a nautical term, but hey, it’s a nice coincidence). Hence he gets extra coverage on this page.
“There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars.” -Mark Twain
“There are two kinds of fools. One says, ‘This is old, therefore it is good.” The other says, ‘This is new, therefore it is better.’ Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them, the rest of us could not succeed.” - Mark Twain
“There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate: when he can’t afford it, and when he can.” - Mark Twain
There are two kinds of poets: the ones who tell the stories, and the ones about whom the stories get told.
“For my grandfather, there were two kinds of people in the world: Those who agreed with him, and those who hadn’t yet agreed with him.” - B. Spira
There are 10 kinds of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don’t.
“There are two kinds of people in the world: the Givers and the Takers. The difference between the two is that the Takers eat well, and the Givers sleep well at night.” - Joy Mills
Related Meme: “The difference between commercial and residential landlords is that commercial landlords eat better, while residential landlords sleep better.” – heard from LL, attributed to family business lore
There are two kinds of people in the world: Pessimists and Optimists.
Related Meme: ”An Optimist Sees the Glass as Half-Full, A Pessimist Sees the World as Half-Empty.” I once met a person who always saw the glass as completely full, even though it wasn’t. On the flipside, I also knew a person who saw the glass as half-empty, dirty, filled with germs, possibly made from contaminated lead glass from China, etc. etc.. I’ve also heard this one: ”The Engineer sees the Glass as Twice As Big As It Needs to Be.” The way I see it: “The entrepreneur sees the glass as undervalued by half its potential.”
There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who follow the rules and those who make the rules.
“There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them.” – Phyllis Bottome
“The world is divided into two types of people: those who love to talk, and those who hate to listen.” - James Thorpe
There are two kinds of people in the world: Players and Haters.
“Capitalism is a pimp-hoe system. You are either a pimp, or you are a hoe.”- KRS-ONE
There are two kinds of people in the world: Me and You.
There are two doors in my life; the one that you come in through and the one you go out through.
“Mankind is divided into two great classes: hosts and guests.” - Max Beerbohm, Hosts and Guests
“There are two kinds of people who never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else.” - Cyrus Curtis, 1850 – 1933
“There are two kinds of people in this world, Chris. There are bullies and there are nerds. ..and there are hot Asian chicks.” - Peter Griffin, Family Guy
There are three kinds of people in the world: Those who know math and those who don’t.
“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” - John M. Richardson, Jr
“There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless.” - Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1532 AD
“There are, broadly speaking, two kinds of workers in the world, the people who do all the work, and the people who think they do all the work. The latter class is generally the busiest, the former never have time to be busy.” - Stella Benson
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” – Walter Bagehot
“There are two kinds of statistics: the kind you look up, and the kind you make up.” - Rex Stout
There are two kinds of people in the world…
Those who make your life easier — and those who make it harder.
Those whose presence helps you perform better — and those whose presence makes you do worse.
Those concerned about doing the work — and those concerned about getting the credit.
Those who leave you feeling up — and those who leave you feeling down.
Those who simplify — and those who complicate.
Those who listen when others are talking — and those who wait when others are talking.
Those who give — and those who take.
Those who last — and those who fade.
Which are you?
- Dan Pink
Collected from the above post’s comment thread, two kinds of people in the world:
Energy sources – and energy sinks – Joe McCarthy (aka, “Radiators and Sinks” – @businesstoarts)
Those who teach — and those who grade – Mark Barnes
Dr. Carol Dweck explains two kinds of mindsets with respect to personal potential in learning, a Fixed vs. Growth mindset, as seen in this video:
“There are two kinds of failures: those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.” - Laurence J. Peter
“There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.”
- James Thurber
“There are two great energies of change in human affairs: fear and aspiration.”
- Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline
“There are two ways to live: You can live as if nothing is a miracle; You can live as if everything is a miracle.”
- Albert Einstein
“All books are divisible into two classes: the books of the hour, and the books of all time.”-John Ruslin, Of Kings’ Treasuries, 1865
“There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.”
“There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.”
- Alfred Korzybyski
“My theory is that when it comes to important subjects, there’s only two ways a person can answer. For example, there’s two kinds of people in this world, Elvis people and Beatles people. Now Beatles people can like Elvis. And Elvis people can like the Beatles. But nobody likes them both equally. Somewhere you have to make a choice. And that choice tells me who you are.” - Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman), Pulp Fiction (deleted scene)
“There are two kinds of people in this world: Michael Jackson fans and losers.” - Seth Green
There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data
TV Tropes has a nice analysis/compendium of this meme in popular culture: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThereAreTwoKindsOfPeopleInTheWorld )