The end of the year always provides a dizzying array of lists, from a rundown of deeply significant events in the news (Britney, anyone?), to a top 10 of truly meaningful things that changed our world (striking writers, anyone?), to movie critics naming their year’s best (“Norbit,” anyone?). It should come as no surprise, then, that there is somebody in charge of choosing the Top Ten Most Memorable Quotes of 2007. That person is Fred R. Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations. And the winner this year is “don’t tase me, bro,” the pleading outburst given by a University of Florida student as he was being muscled out of a speech given by Senator John Kerry. Other not-to-be-forgotten turns of phrase that made the cut included the gut-wrenching monologue from that Miss Teen USA contestant trying to explain why so many US citizens cannot find America on a map. Of course, Don Imus’ tasteless remark was up there, too.
These are the quotes that make national news, as they are uttered either by famous people, or people who ended up in the public eye at the wrong time. But I would postulate that those of us who are sensitive to work/life issues have heard their share of catchy quotes this year, too. I know I have. And since I can’t get CNN to cover the story, I’m putting them out there in a blog. Hey, the way TV viewership is going these days, I probably wouldn’t want CNN numbers, anyway.
THE TOP FIVE MOST MEMORABLE QUOTES OF 2007 as compiled by Tom Stern
1.“You’re the one that needs to do your homework—like, actually being HOME.” – retort by my eleven year-old daughter after being scolded for not doing her homework.
2.“I don’t mind running solo on this project, I just don’t want to have to do it alone.” – Overheard during a meeting-in-progress while passing by a client’s open conference room door.
3.“Oh, he said he wants to just be quiet for a while and figure out what he’s going through emotionally. Honestly, that is the LAST thing I would need.” – Let’s just attribute this to “anonymous” so that I won’t lose any business by pointing out the unintentionally ironic outbursts of people I deal with on a daily basis.
4.“What do you mean ‘which anniversary?’ How many other anniversaries did we have?” – My beloved wife, expressing dismay at my response to her consulting me on plans for our wedding anniversary. Though I have no defense for my brain-addled reply, I did counter very cleverly by listing several other possible anniversaries, such as the anniversary of our opening a joint retirement account, the anniversary of that time we took the dog to the vet, and the anniversary of the one day we both agreed that her parents can sometimes be a pain.
5. “How am I supposed to write a blog about work/life balance if you people won’t go away?” — Myself, spoken in jest to my family. Unfortunately, the joke was not appreciated, and the only reason I didn’t spend the night on the couch is that we wanted to try out our new Sleep Number bed.
So, any personally memorable quotes from your year come to mind?