Archive for Quotations

Fish and lovers

I just saw an email advertising a “three-day flash sale,” but I misread it as a “three-day fish sale.” Which led me, of course, to Ben Franklin’s saying about fish and guests; that turns out to derive from John Lyly’s 1578 book Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit, which includes the line “fish and guests in […]

Book-throwing quote

I recently had occasion to quote the line “It is not a book to be lightly thrown aside. It should be thrown with great force,” a variant of which I had always seen attributed to Dorothy Parker. But it’s my sad duty today to inform you that Parker may not have originated this joke. A […]

The Grammar of ’Splaining

On WHYY’s “Radio Times” this week, in discussing Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, host Marty Moss-Coane asked her guest, “So what kind of ’splainin to do does Mark Zuckerberg have?” I’m just charmed by the construction of her sentence.  It refers, of course, to one of the great Lines That […]

Pants revisited

(This post is more or less NSFW.) Back in column III (which includes some NSFW material), I wrote about a game in which you replace words from Star Wars quotations with the word pants. Years later, I came across a list of the Top 278 Star Wars Lines Improved By Replacing A Word With “Pants”. […]