Quotes Uncovered: Bring Your Notable Quotes

At last, I am up to date in responding to reader questions about quotations. Let’s turn now to the kind of posting that in the past has generated hundreds of comments.

I’m starting to think about my annual list, run by the Associated Press, of the top 10 most notable quotations of the year (I know it’s only August, but it’s good to start gathering quotes before the early-in-the-year ones become forgotten). By “notable” I mean “important” or “famous” or “particularly revealing of the spirit of our times” rather than necessarily being eloquent or admirable. An obvious candidate for this year is Tony Hayward‘s “I’d like my life back.”

I would welcome suggestions of additional quotes from 2010, particularly ones from politics or popular culture or entertainment or sports or business or technology.

Bill Reichmann

Columbia, MO chief of police: "I hate the internet." This after an internet video showed abuses by the local police SWAT unit.

I think it's emblematic of the internet's power to hold public figures accountable and their frustration with actually having to be held accountable.



"I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend, but with my accent, I was afraid they would try to deport me." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California, ribbing Arizona's new immigration law, in his commencement speech at Emory University in Atlanta.

Eric M. Jones

"....refudiate...." Sarah Palin

James Hoadley

"Refudiate. English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it." -- Sarah Palin

"I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend, but with my accent, I was afraid they would try to deport me." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger

"We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations." --Ray Lahood

"We want our money back. My commitment is to recover every single dime the American people are owed. My determination to achieve this goal is only heightened when I see reports of massive profits and obscene bonuses at some of the very firms who owe their continued existence to the American people." -- Barack Obama

"Proposition 8 cannot withstand any level of scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage is simply not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.'' -- Vaughn Walker


James Hoadley

"I've been in the business 28 years. I've had it. That's it. '' - Steven Slater

"Sixty years ago I survived a Chinese attack in North Korea and as a result I wrote a book saying that I hadn't had a bad day since. Today I have to reassess that statement." -- Charlie Rangel

"It just had to go in.'' -- Andres Iniesta

I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don't care, but that is not the case with BP. We care about the small people." -- Carl-Henric Svanberg

"The day that we've been fearing is upon us." -- Bobby Jindal

David Chowes, New York City

When I was in college, I worked part time in the tobacco department of a discount department store -- where they mainly sold cartons of cigarettes as a 'loss leader.' The price then was $2.36 per carton -- not each pack!

The manger of this unit was a fifty-five year old man who had seen everything... Quite cynical... He never was graduated from high school.

I was hired at minimum wage (in 1961: $1.25 per hour); after a six month period, my work record was reviewed by
the personnel department... And, my salary was increased 10 cents each hour.

I said, "10 cents."

So, I complained many times to my grizzlled manager as to how outrageous and insulting this was. Eventually he responded...

"David, if you think too much you'll get a headach!"

Wise words.


Sports 2010:

"I'm taking my talents to South Beach" -- Lebron James

"Spain's name will be on top of the world for the next four years." -- Iker Casillas, Spanish soccer player

"But still, I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you. I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position.

For all that I have done, I am so sorry." - Tiger Woods


Deion Sanders: "...this was the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my entire life, except for that Herschel Walker shibacle."

Ryan Selzner

"But my mom doesn't have papers." - second grade girl to Michelle Obama (Silver Spring, Md)

LeBron James

"This fall I'm gonna take my talents to South Beach."

Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

31Mar10: Obama reverses his campaign promise anounces expansion of Off Shore Drilling, disappointing millions of envirormentalist.

April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion subsequently releasing 5 million barrels of oil in an undersea gusher.

May 27,2010 Obama announces a moratorium for off shore drilling for 6 months. Any new projects for Gulf Drilling will be difficult.

Obama should go to the beach this summer in his FLIP FLOPS.

Haz Samuel

Here's my own quote, which occurred to me last week:

"Irritation is the father of invention"


"But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy." - Nancy Pelosi, re: health care reform.

Matt Westfall

"But we have to pass the [health care ] bill so that you can find out what is in it."

~ Speaker Nancy Pelosi


"Every shot not taken is a 100% miss." My cousin's Bar Mitzvah t-shirt attributed this to Wayne Gretzky, but the rest of the family isn't so sure.

Jeff Monson

I would eliminate commission based compensation for brokers and institute a fiduciary clause rather than a suitability clause as the brokers role with the client.


"the strong point of the government is not governance..!"

from: Moeed Yusuf South Asia adviser and manager of the Pakistan program for the United States Institute of Peace, appearing today on the Diane Rehm Show (NPR), responding to a listener's observation that so much aid to disasters of all kinds in Pakistan is lost to corruption.

James Callan

"Well, that wasn't so hard."

-- @bpglobalpr, the fake Twitter feed parodying BP's public relations, once the blown oil well was capped on July 15.

James Callan

"P.S. I hope you take it easy on the kid who lost it. I don't think he loves anything more than Apple."

-- Brian Lam on Gizmodo to Apple, re: the iPhone 4 prototype that they acquired

James Callan

"It is 146 minutes long, which means that I entered the theater in the bloom of youth and emerged with a family of field mice living in my long, white mustache. This is an entirely inappropriate length for what is essentially a home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls."

-- Lindy West, reviewing "Sex and the City 2"