Category Archives: Quotes

What’s your line?

One of my readers requested I write a piece on memorable lines from movies.  Initially I loved the idea.  We all have our favorites.  The reader kicked off her request with a classic line, uttered by Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias: “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”  From that same movie I always liked:  “If you can’t say anything nice about anybody, come sit by me.”

As I developed the piece I broke out in hives because I didn’t know where to stop.  I would love to know yours but please, don’t break out in hives.

First, let’s eliminate all the obvious ones:  “Go ahead, make my day.”  “You can’t handle the truth.”  “Frankly my dear…”  And let’s clear away this one that’s going around now, from Get Him to the Greek, “When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.”  I already got some great quotes from Princess Bride and Monty Python movies on my June 2 post on bdelygmias.

I’ll throw out a few and let’s see where they take us. Perhaps you’d like to respond either by identifying the movie or, better yet, giving me another line from the same movie.  Be forewarned, there might be multiple quotes from the same movie.  Or, feel free to post one or more of your own, with or without the movie cited.

  1. Don’t much excite you except whores…and biscuits.
  2. Does this proposition entail my dressing up as Little Bo Peep?
  3. The Zen philosopher Basho once wrote, ‘A flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no hole is a Danish.’
  4. We consider ourselves bi-coastal if you consider the Mississippi River one of the coasts.
  5. I got off that boat with nothing but my dancer’s belt and a tube of ChapStick.
  6. We have so much in common.  We both love soup.  And snow peas.
  7. There’s what’s right and there’s what’s right and never the twain shall meet.
  8. Now you take that diaper off your head and you put it back on your sister!
  9. I found myself driving past convenience stores…that weren’t on the way home.
  10. Value this time in your life kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you’re a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, “What happened to my twenties?”  Your forties, you grow a little pot belly, you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother.  Your fifties, you have a minor surgery. You’ll call it a procedure, but it’s a surgery. Your sixties, you have a major surgery, the music is still loud but it doesn’t matter because you can’t hear it anyway.  Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale, you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, breakfast the night before.  And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering “how come the kids don’t call?” By your eighties, you’ve had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can’t stand but who you call mama.  Any questions?

Oh, no, we didn’t even touch Young Frankenstein.  Or any Woody Allen.  Hives.

Hint:  If you are totally stumped, check the tags below for clues.


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Behind the curve

Where have I been, under a rock perhaps, that I have never heard of “lingua franca?” 

Do you ever notice a word or phrase for the first time and then, all of a sudden, you read it everywhere? 

Recently, I was rushing to finish my June issue of Vanity Fair, as July had just arrived, and I ran across this phrase, lingua franca.  Because I was on a plane, I was unable to look it up.  My guess at a literal translation was “French tongue,” but that didn’t seem to make sense.

In an article called Playing for the World, preceding the start of the World Cup, A. A. Gill wrote, “It isn’t music or movies or pizza that is the lingua franca of the globe. It’s the Beautiful Game.”  Then, I confess, I lingered unduly on the 12-page photo spread of the World Cup athletes.  Annie Leibovitz, I want your job, if just for one day.  But I digress.

I later noticed, in the same issue of the magazine, in different places and in different contexts, lingua franca appeared twice more.

Yesterday I remembered to look it up.  An hour’s worth of cursory research confounded me further. 

You may already know this, but lingua franca is the term for a hybrid language, like pidgin, that is spoken by persons not sharing a common native language, to communicate with one another.  There seem to be dozens of different forms spoken in Europe, the Middle East and South America.

Okay, so I got that.  But now all of a sudden it’s a simile.  It’s a metaphor.  And it’s everywhere.

Again, my research was cursory, so my findings may not be exact, and the sources are obscure.  Either way, here are some examples I dug up.

“The Dow is certainly Wall Street’s lingua franca.”

“T-shirts are the lingua franca of Silicon Valley.”

“Movies are the lingua franca of the twentieth century.”

Sarcasm is the lingua franca of the Internets [sic].”

More literally, in some faiths, a language called Adamic “is the lingua franca of Heaven.”

I read further that Lingua Franca is the name of a literary magazine that closed down in 2001, one I think I would have liked.  It’s also the name of a band out of Flint, Michigan; the name of a CD by an Australian group called The World According to James; and the names of lyrical movements in several countries. 

I hate it when something is cliché before I ever become aware of it.  Reminds me of the “What’s In and What’s Out” list that comes out every January 1st.  Far too often, it’s already Out before I knew it was In.

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Words of wisdom for Saturday

Word Nymph is unplugged this week.  She leaves you with this quote: 

“Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.”

     — Bill Cosby

Happy Father’s Day.  See you Monday.

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Words of wisdom for Friday

Word Nymph is unplugged this week.  She leaves you with this quote: 

“Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.”

     — Shel Silverstein

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Words of wisdom for Thursday

Word Nymph is unplugged this week.  She leaves you with this quote: 

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”

     — Oscar Wilde

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Words of wisdom for Wednesday

Word Nymph is unplugged this week.  She leaves you with this quote: 

“I haven’t trusted polls since I read that 62 percent of women had affairs during their lunch hour.  I’ve never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex.”

      — Erma Bombeck

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Words of wisdom for Tuesday

Word Nymph is unplugged this week.  She leaves you with this quote: 

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”

     — Art Linkletter  

This quote is also attributed to John Wooden.  I don’t care who said it;  I just like it.  By the way, did you know this sentence is known as a chiasmus?  I didn’t.  I recently learned that a chiasmus is a verbal pattern in which the second half of an expression is balanced against the first with the parts reversed.  — W.N.

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Words of wisdom for Monday

Word Nymph is unplugged this week.  She leaves you with this quote: 

“Be careful about reading health books.  You may die of a misprint.”
     — Mark Twain

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