Nobody's perfect, and even the most articulate among us goof it once in a while. I already gave you a bunch of smart quotes in Chapter 1. Now here are some choice words not to live by.
Question: "If you could live forever, would you and why?"
Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."--Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country."--Marion Barry, mayor of Washington, D.C.
"If you let that sort of thing go on, your bread and butter will be cut right out from under your feet."--Former British foreign minister Ernest Bevin
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.'"--Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Biden (2008) I have a low tolerance for those who knowingly make historical errors, and Biden made two here. First, having a TV set before the late 1940s was like being among the lucky few people on the Internet in the 1970s and 1980s. Second, the Great Depression began three years before FDR became president. As one blogger put it: "And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, ‘Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?’"
"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor staving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that but not with all those flies and death and stuff."--Mariah Carey
"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."--Former President Bill Clinton
"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president."--Hillary Clinton, commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents
"When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results."--Former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge
"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it."--A congressional candidate in Texas.
When Philip Morris chairman Joseph Cullman was confronted with statistics showing that pregnant women who smoke have lower birthweight babies, he replied, "Some women would prefer having smaller babies."
"The police are not here to create disorder, they're here to preserve disorder."--Chicago Mayor Daley during the infamous 1968 Democratic convention
"China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese."--Former French President Charles De Gaulle
"I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law."--David Dinkins, former New York City mayor, when answering accusations that he failed to pay his taxes
"Things are more like they are now than they ever were before."--Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
"We apologize for the error in last week's paper in which we stated that Mr. Arnold Dogbody was a defective in the police force. We meant, of course, that Mr. Dogbody is a detective in the police farce."--correction notice in the Ely Standard, a British newspaper
"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas."--Keppel Enderbery [compare this with the Britney Spears quote below]
"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record."--Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman [and they'll cut off your food stamps, read on to find out why]
"If I did that, I'd be sticking my head in a moose."--Samuel Goldwyn
"Researchers have discovered that chocolate produces some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two, but can't remember what they are."--Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show
"It has come to the editor's attention that the Herald-Leader neglected to cover the civil rights movement. We regret the omission." -- The Lexington Herald-Leader (my home town newspaper!), on July 4, 2004, the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. This apology ran under a headline which read Front-page news, back-page coverage.
"Listen, everyone is entitled to my opinion."--Madonna
"They call me a right-winger, which is an insult -- I'm simply a racist and a separatist."--Tom Metzger, leader of the White Aryan Nations, a notorious hate group
"The government is not doing enough about cleaning up the environment. This is a good planet."--A Mr. New Jersey contestant, when asked what he would do with a million dollars.
"It is necessary for me to establish a winner image. Therefore, I have to beat somebody."--Former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon
"They're multipurpose. Not only do they put the clips on, but they take them off."--a Pratt & Whitney spokesperson explaining why the company charged the Air Force nearly $1000 for an ordinary pair of pliers
"Seniors love getting junk mail. It's sometimes their only way of communicating or feeling like they're part of the real world."--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (2012) Meanwhile, a 2012 survey showed that 81% of Americans would support a system that would allow them to block junk mail.
"The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who make them unsafe."--Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia
"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life."--Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal anti-smoking campaign
"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may re-apply if there is a change in your circumstances."--Form letter from the South Carolina Department of Social Services
"I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada."--Britney Spears, when asked about the best part of being famous
"The President has kept all of the promises he intended to keep."--Clinton aide George Stephanopolous, speaking on Larry King Live
"After finding no qualified candidates for the position of principal, the school board is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of David Steele to the post."--Philip Streifer, Superintendent of Schools, Barrington, Rhode Island
"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."--John Wayne
"Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind."--General William Westmoreland
"I'm sick and tired of people saying that we put out 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we've put out 12 albums that sound exactly the same."--Angus Young, AC/DC guitarist