51+ Best Grace Hopper Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was an American mathematician and rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. Hopper was a pioneer in developing computer technology, helping to devise UNIVAC I, the first commercial electronic computer, and naval applications for COBOL (common-business-oriented language).

If you’re searching for life quotes and sayings that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Rachel Carson quotes, powerful Rosalind Franklin quotes, and inspiring Ada Lovelace quotes.

Most Famous Grace Hopper Quotes

It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. – Grace Hopper

A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for. – Grace Hopper

The most damaging phrase in the language is: ‘It’s always been done that way.’ – Grace Hopper

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counterclockwise. – Grace Hopper

Manage things. Lead people. – Grace Hopper

We’re flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. – Grace Hopper

I keep a clock which operates entirely counterclockwise. And on the first day people meet it, they can’t tell time. On the second day, they discover what used to be 5 of is now 5 after, and they can tell time again. Normally, it’s not till the third day that they suddenly realize: there was never any reason why clocks had to run clockwise. – Grace Hopper

Probably the most dangerous phrase that anyone could use in the world today is that dreadful one: ‘But we’ve always done it that way.’ – Grace Hopper

Even in a world of accelerating change, it is still difficult to convince people that the new ways of doing things can be better and cheaper. – Grace Hopper

No innovation or standard should be rejected as too costly without careful evaluation of the ‘cost of not doing it.’ – Grace Hopper

It is insufficient to plan on the past alone; the plan must be examined in the light of ‘all possible future developments.’ – Grace Hopper

The application of systems techniques has been successful in scientific and technical applications . . . It meets difficulty when it is applied in social and political situations largely because people are not ‘well-behaved’ mathematical functions, but can only be represented by statistical approximations, and all of the extremes can and do occur. – Grace Hopper

People are not ‘well-behaved’ mathematical functions. – Grace Hopper

I didn’t know what a billion was. I don’t think most of those men downtown know what a billion is, either. And if you don’t know what a billion is, how on earth do you know what a billionth is? – Grace Hopper

Kids will be using computers instead of memorizing their multiplication tables. This will give them more time to solve word problems, which is much more useful. That’s the real problem. Not the arithmetic but the interpretation. – Grace Hopper

Either you use computers, or you can’t do the job. – Grace Hopper

It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission. – Grace Hopper

They should have a course in civilian dressing. Here I’ve been wearing nice round-toed, flat-heeled shoes, and all of the sudden they want to put me on spike heels, and I fall off . . . And then I tried to get some pantyhose. And the first pair bagged at the calf and the second pair cut me in half and the third pair did both—how do you get a pair of pantyhose that fit? – Grace Hopper

Everyone wants better answers faster. – Grace Hopper

There’s something you learn in your first boot-camp, or training camp: If they put you down somewhere with nothing to do, go to sleep—you don’t know when you’ll get any more. – Grace Hopper

I had a running compiler, and nobody would touch it. They told me computers could only do arithmetic. – Grace Hopper

A business’ accounts receivable file is much more important than its accounts payable file. – Grace Hopper

We’re flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We’ve tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question. – Grace Hopper

A human must turn information into intelligence. We’ve tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question. – Grace Hopper

I will not take what you need to give me. I will take what you want to give me. – Grace Hopper

We’ve tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question. – Grace Hopper

We’re just getting started. We’re just beginning to meet what will be the future-we’ve got the Model T. – Grace Hopper

It’s always easier to apologize for something you’ve already done than to get approval for it in advance. – Grace Hopper

If it isn’t bolted down, bring it home. – Grace Hopper

It’s easier to apologize than ask for permission. – Grace Hopper

I need something to compare this to. Could I please have a microsecond? – Grace Hopper

The only phrase I’ve ever disliked is, ‘Why, we’ve always done it that way.’ I always tell young people, ‘Go ahead and do it. You can always apologize later.’ – Grace Hopper

To me programming is more than an important practical art. It is also a gigantic undertaking in the foundations of knowledge. – Grace Hopper

One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions. – Grace Hopper

No computer is ever going to ask a new, reasonable question. It takes trained people to do that. – Grace Hopper

I am now going to make you a gift that will stay with you the rest of your life. For the rest of your life, every time you say, we’ve always done it that way, my ghost will appear and haunt you for twenty-four hours. – Grace Hopper

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It’s simply larger than it needs to be. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission – Grace Hopper

If you do something once, people will call it an accident. If you do it twice, they call it a coincidence. But do it a third time and you’ve just proven a natural law! – Grace Hopper

I’m totally against women in combat, because we live in a culture and a society that imposes on every man the concept of women and children first…If you had a man and a woman trying to go through some dangerous woods, the man’s instinct would be to protect the woman. Therefore, you weaken the man. – Grace Hopper

From then on, when anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it. – Grace Hopper

Developing a compiler was a logical move; but in matters like this, you don’t run against logic – you run against people who can’t change their minds. – Grace Hopper

Someday, on the corporate balance sheet, there will be an entry which reads, Information; for in most cases, the information is more valuable than the hardware which processes it. – Grace Hopper

If one ox could not do the job, they did not try to grow a bigger ox, but used two oxen. When we need greater computer power, the answer is not to get a bigger computer, but . . .to build systems of computers and operate them in parallel. – Grace Hopper

I’ve received many honors and I’m grateful for them; but I’ve already received the highest award I’ll ever receive, and that has been the privilege and honor of serving very proudly in the United States Navy. – Grace Hopper

If you want my ghost just say, ‘ We’ve always done it that way.’ and i will haunt you for 24 hours. – Grace Hopper

It is easier to apologize than to get permission. – Grace Hopper

You manage things, you lead people. We went overboard on management and forgot about leadership. It might help if we ran the MBAs out of Washington. – Grace Hopper

At any given moment, there is always a line representing what your boss will believe. If you step over it, you will not get your budget. Go as close to that line as you can. – Grace Hopper

If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission. – Grace Hopper

Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one’s superiors; care for one’s crew. – Grace Hopper

I’ve always been more interested in the future than in the past. – Grace Hopper

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