Last Plea for Most Notable Quotations of 2013

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 24 23:57:35 UTC 2013

The most interesting quotations in a year sometimes emerge only
through retrospective analysis. For example, the importance and
memorability of the following quotation by business visionary Elon
Musk hinges on future developments:

TED Talk Filmed Feb 2013
Elon Musk: The mind behind Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity
Filmed Feb 2013 - Posted Mar 2013 - TED2013
Quote spoken at location 13:28 of 21:01 (diction simplified)

[Begin excerpt]
"There's a fundamental difference, if you look into the future,
between a humanity that is a space-faring civilization, that's out
there exploring the stars on multiple planets … compared with one
where we are forever confined to Earth until some eventual extinction
[End excerpt]

If Musk creates a long-lived successful company in the space industry
then his comment might be viewed as a fascinating insight into the
mind of a prominent space pioneer. If he fails then the remark will
become a footnote. Of course, we won't be landing on extra-solar
planets any time soon, but we can learn more about them, and we can
continue to explore planets in the solar system.

Compiling a list of quotations that might appear in the 2023 list of
"Top Ten Quotations Spoken or Written in 2013" would be an arduous
task. It would be easier to create the "Top Ten Quotations of the Last
Decade Viewed from 2013".


On Sat, Nov 23, 2013 at 4:26 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Last Plea for Most Notable Quotations of 2013
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I need to get serious about finalizing 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.  Last year's winner was Mitt Romney's quote about the 47 per cent.  Because this is not an election year or year-before-election year, the most notable quotations are less obvious, which is why I particularly could use help this year.
> I would welcome suggestions of notable quotations from 2013, particularly ones from politics or popular culture or entertainment or sports or business or technology.
> Some of the quotations I am already considering for 2013 are:
> Pope Francis on "who am I to judge" and focus of Catholic Church on certain issues
> David Ortiz on Boston marathon bombing
> President Obama on people losing their health insurance
> President Obama on Trayvon Martin
> Wayne LaPierre on good guys stopping bad guys
> Edward Snowden on "I don't want to live in a world ..."
> Hillary Clinton on "What difference does it make?"
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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