The story behind the phrase “The Year of Living Dangerously”

Google has a cool tool for researchers of words and phrases (including quotations) called the Ngram Viewer. It graphs the occurrence of a word or phrase in books published between the years 1500 and 2008. If you do an Ngram search for the phrase “the year of living dangerously,” you’ll see a huge, continuing spike … Read more

Looking back at some famous quotes generated by the “Lewinsky Scandal”

In addition to generating a lot of political fireworks, the “Lewinsky Scandal” involving President Bill Clinton and 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky generated several famous quotations. On January 26, 1998, President Bill Clinton held a press conference in which he famously and vehemently denied having an affair with Lewinsky, saying:        “I did not … Read more

The origins of “Rum, sodomy and the lash” – Churchill’s alleged quip about British naval tradition…

Many books of quotations include a caustic quote attributed to Winston Churchill (1874-1965) in which he supposedly called British naval tradition nothing but “rum, sodomy, and the lash.” (Sometimes given as “rum, buggery and the lash,” using the old British slang term “buggery” to refer to homosexual sex.) The earliest source commonly cited for this … Read more