“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

In 1897, two of the most famous residents of Hartford, Connecticut were Mark Twain and his friend and fellow writer Charles Dudley Warner, who was then editor of the local newspaper, the Hartford Courant. They had been close friends for decades. Back in 1873, they had even written a satirical novel together, titled The Gilded … Read more

“Give me liberty or give me death!” – famous words Patrick Henry probably didn’t say…

In late March of 1775, the American Revolution had not yet started. The “shot heard ‘round the world” was still a few weeks away. But, to a growing number of Americans, a fight seemed inevitable if Great Britain continued to try to enforce its oppressive “Intolerable Acts” and taxes. Some of the more militant American … Read more

What were the “top quotes” of 2013?

I recently looked through a couple dozen lists of “top” and “best” quotes of 2013 and came to a disappointing conclusion. In terms of truly memorable quotations that generated new idiomatic expressions and catchphrases or that will show up in future books of quotations, the year 2013 was pretty much a bust. Browse through some … Read more

“Wise Latina” and “Too big to fail” – two top quotes of 2009 that were actually uttered years ago

Every year, a number of “quotes of the year” lists are published. My favorite is the annual list issued by Fred R. Shapiro, editor of the excellent Yale Book of Quotations. But my own picks for the top quotes of 2009 include some that are not on Fred’s list. Two of them share an unusual … Read more