Things I Love: A Good Quote

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Every Thursday, I post about the things that I love, and God only knows what those things might be.

Word ShirtAnyone who knows me has probably wanted to slap me in the face at least once for my prolific quoting of movies, lyrics, famous sayings, books, bathroom wall graffiti, dog barks, car alarms and other important noises.

I started to wonder what the deal is with my love of quotes and I realize it’s really just an extension of three other things I love:

1. Words
2. Humor
3. Wisdom

I’ve always been a word nerd. My dad was a journalism major with a masters in English. One of his brothers and his sister were journalism majors. I was a journalism major in college and have friends still working as writers. More than words (don’t start singing it!), I love a good turn of a phrase, which is why I tend to admire even goofy lyricists.

David Lee Roth wrote the lyric once, “And the meek shall inherit shit,” which to this day makes me laugh for no apparent reason.

I stumped an entire college English department when I asked them to tell me what you call two words that are spelled the same but sound different and have different meanings: i.e. wound (an injury) and wound (past tense of wind). I got that from a lyric too.

Language is fascinating to me because it is a living entity. In the movie Stargate, James Spader said, “It hasn’t been a living spoken language in over 1000 years” in describing an ancient language found on another planet. That always struck me as amazing that a language could die unless it is used. See, I can even come up with a quote for THAT! It’s a sickness, I tells ya’.

Humor is also an important part of who I am. My dad knew seemingly every good joke ever told and he loved telling them. He also loved hearing new one’s and retelling them over and over. My whole family has a good sense of humor and there are days when I’m kinda funny too. Shut up.

Lastly, wisdom is something that interests me. I really don’t care too much about rote knowledge. I like trivial knowledge because it is mostly worthless and a huge drain on my time, but the basic bricks and mortar of how things work is pretty boring for me. But, if there is wisdom in it, particularly something that strikes me as clever or poignant, it has my rapt attention.

Put the three together in any combination and you can get some pretty amazing quotes. Things like:

“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”

“It’s good to have a loving, caring, close knit family…in another city.”

“If everything you’ve ever done is wrong, the opposite must be right.”

“You can go to hell. As for me, I’m going to Texas.”

“You motor boating son of a bitch. You old sailor!”

“Rock stars. Is there anything they don’t know?”

All great quotes that I love. There are hundreds more. What makes them great is context. If you can figure out how to fit them into a conversation where they actually make sense, BONUS! Sure, it will annoy the hell out of some people, but those it doesn’t will find you infinitely fascinating. They won’t, but you can tell yourself they do and it will be easier because you have a snappy comeback for them if they gripe.

Of course, quoting every line of a movie or tv show as it is rolling might make someone want to punch you in the throat, so you may want to tone that down a bit, but, otherwise quote your ass off. Not literally, cause that would hurt.

Gimme some of your favorite quotes. Maybe I’ll use them and not give you any credit! And there’s nothing you could do to stop me because they don’t have verbal plagiarism laws, do they, smart guy? Sorry, what?

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