[PW] Notable Quotations of the Year Appeal

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at yale.edu
Sun Nov 20 14:08:10 PST 2016

It's that time of year again.  I have only a couple of weeks more to finalize my list, disseminated by the Associated Press, of the notable quotations of the year, and would welcome input.  The criteria are quotations that are famous, or important, or particularly revealing of the spirit of our times rather than necessarily being eloquent or admirable.  This year the competition among political quotations is truly intense, with a plenitude of memorable quotes from you-know-who.  I do, however, desperately want some nonpolitical quotes from fields such as popular culture, entertainment, sports, business, science, technology, etc.  I also desperately want some ridiculous quotes from Democrats to give the list some balance.

Below is my current list of candidates.  Comments on which of these are most notable, or which of them are not so notable, and especially suggestions of additional quotations would be most welcome.  Note that quotes from December 2015 may be eligible.  Internet memes can be considered if they are very popular.

Special note to Sylvia Milne:  I am sorry that you are caused so much unhappiness every year by the paucity of non-U.S. quotations on my lists.  I would welcome non-U.S. suggestions, particularly relating to Brexit.  But please note that the Associated Press is predominantly a U.S. organization, Project Wombat is predominantly a U.S. list, and ridiculous quotations are perhaps predominantly a U.S. phenomenon.  Nations disfavored by my lists should probably be very happy rather than being disappointed.  (But I do want eloquent or admirable quotations as well as the ridiculous ones; the eloquent or admirable quotes are a lot harder to find nowadays.)

Fred Shapiro


I alone can fix it.

Russia ... I hope you're able to find the 30.000 emails.

I think I've made a lot of sacrifices ...

Second Amendment people.

I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any votes.

That makes me smart.

Grab them by the p----.

I'll keep you in suspense.

[I'll accept the election results] If I win.

Such a nasty woman.

Why can't we use nuclear weapons?

I've been treated very unfairly by this judge.  Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage.

I know words.  I know the best words.


Basket of deplorables.

Delete your account.

You need both a public and a private position.

A man you can bait with a tweet ...


Vote your conscience.


Textbook definition of a racist comment.


Drug dealers coming to Maine and impregnating young, white girls.


Darkness is good.  Dick Cheney.  Darth Vader.  Satan.  That's power


Have you read the Constitution? ... You have sacrificed nothing and no one.


Quote about Trump.


[Ted Cruz is] Lucifer in the flesh.


When they go low, we go high.  [May actually be pre-2016 quote by Barack Obama]

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