Most Notable Quotations of 2012?

Tue Nov 20 15:24:13 UTC 2012

Ben Bernanke:  "Under current law, on January 1, 2013, there's going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases."  According to Paul Waldman,, this was the first use of "fiscal cliff" to refer to what Wonkblog more accurately calls the austerity crisis.

Richard Mourdock:  "Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen."

Rick Perry:  "Oops."  Unfortunately, the full quote is so inarticulate (which is sort of the point) that it isn't very quotable.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Shapiro, Fred
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2012 9:45 PM
Subject: Most Notable Quotations of 2012?

I'm starting to think about my annual list, run by the Associated Press, of the top 10 most notable quotations of the year.  By "notable" I mean "important" or "famous" or "particularly revealing of the spirit of our times" rather than necessarily being eloquent or admirable.

I would welcome suggestions of notable quotations from 2012, particularly ones from politics or popular culture or entertainment or sports or business or technology.

I already have the following in mind as plausible candidates for the list, all drawn from the election campaigns:

Romney on liking being able to fire people
Romney on 47 percent
Romney on binders full of women
Obama on "you didn't build that"
Obama on horses and bayonets
Eric Fehrnstrom on "Etch a Sketch"
Todd Akin on legitimate rape

Fred Shapiro
YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS (Yale University Press)

The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list