What is there to say? I'm not very interesting. I'm not a good writer. I don't even dress well. If you insist on knowing something about me just wander through the archives. It's all there.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

On using quotations and sayings

My office walls are covered with quotes or sayings that I have read in books or seen online. I particularly like the ones that make you do a sort of mental double take. Like, “In 1910, pancake make-up was discovered; but most people still preferred syrup.” or “All that glitters has a high refractive index”. Co-workers poke their heads in just to see the new ones.

I have also been guilty of using quotations and sayings to irritate those around me. To a complaining co-worker, I might say, “Hey, if it was easy - anybody could do it.” or “It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools.” For those who just couldn’t seem to move on anything without a lengthy discourse, I liked “Don’t worry about the mule going blind, just move the wagon.”

My children have suffered through such gems as “Just because everyone else is doing something, doesn’t make it right” and “Privileges aren’t granted, they’re earned.” I'm sure that some therapist in their future will blame their emotional ills on chronic parental homilies.

I am not above making up a useful quotation. Shakespeare’s Hamlet might address some obnoxious bystander by exclaiming, "Methinks I hear the braying of a distance ass” or Hezekiah 6:12 might yield “I shall take no bull from your house.”

There have been those who have asserted that my use and misuse of quotes is a sign of some severe character disorder. What can I say, “I only quote, when it’s absolutely convenient”


Post a Comment

<< Home