December 12th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Associate librarian chooses top ten quotations

Christine O’Donnell didn’t go to Yale, nor is she a witch, she assured viewers during her campaign for the U.S. Senate this fall. And while she may have lost her Senate race, O’Donnell can boast a new accomplishment: she has uttered two of the top ten quotations of 2010, according to Yale associate librarian Fred Shapiro.

Shapiro, also a lecturer at the Law School and the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, has released his annual list of the ten best quotes of the year, the Associated Press reported.

Tied for first place are “I’m not a witch,” O’Donnell’s catchphrase in a TV ad for her campaign, and “I want my life back,” BP CEO Tony Hayward’s complaint after being lambasted for the Gulf Coast oil spill. O’Donnell made the list a second time for a comment she made in an October senatorial debate: “You’re telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?”

Shapiro has compiled his list of notable quotations every year since 2006, when the Yale Book of Quotations was first published. He chooses quotes that are indicative of the mood of the country or that have become famous in the media, he told the Associated Press. Several are from politicians, including Nancy Pelosi, Gordon Brown, and Sarah Palin (via Twitter). The quotes will eventually appear in the next edition of the Yale Book of Quotations.

O’Donnell’s witch quote “was such a remarkable unconventional quote to be a part of the political discourse,” Shapiro said. Apparently her follow-up, “I didn’t go to Yale,” was not.

The full list:

  1. (TIE) “I’m not a witch.” Christine O’Donnell, television advertisement, Oct. 4.
  2. (TIE) “I’d like my life back.” Tony Hayward, comment to reporters, May 30.
  3. “If you touch my junk, I’m gonna have you arrested.” airline passenger John Tyner, remark to Transportation Security Administration worker at San Diego airport, Nov. 13, 2010
  4. “Don’t retreat. Instead – reload!” Sarah Palin, Tweet, March 23.
  5. “Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le! Los mineros de Chile!” Chant at Chilean mine rescue, Oct. 13.
  6. “I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies. They’re saying: My goodness, what can we do to turn this country around?” Sharron Angle, radio interview in January.
  7. “We have to pass the (health care) bill so you can find out what is in it.” Nancy Pelosi, speech to National Association of Counties, March 9.
  8. “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach.” LeBron James, television broadcast, July 8.
  9. “You’re telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?” Christine O’Donnell, Delaware senatorial debate, Oct. 19. (The Associated Press reported the quote: “So you’re telling me that the separation of church and state, the phrase `separation of church and state,’ is in the First Amendment?”)
  10. “They should never have put me with that woman. … She was just a sort of bigoted woman who said she used to be Labour.” Gordon Brown, comments about a voter he met while campaigning for British general election, Apr. 28.

[via HuffPo]