It was the plea
heard round the world. ''Don't tase me, bro'' -- shouted
by a Florida college student as officers removed him from a
speech by Sen. John Kerry -- tops this year's list of
most memorable quotes, compiled by the editor of the
Yale Book of Quotations.
Second on the
list is a quote from Lauren Upton, the Miss Teen USA
contestant who gave a confused and mangled response to a
question about why one fifth of Americans can't locate
the United States on a map.
believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because
some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I
believe that our education like such as in South
Africa and Iraq and everywhere like such as and I
believe that they should our education over here in the
U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and
should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be
able to build up our future for us,'' Upton said.
The words of both
young people were immortalized in videos posted on
YouTube, the video-sharing website.
''These new media
are spreading these things,'' said editor Fred R.
Shapiro, 53, associate librarian and lecturer in legal
research at the Yale Law School. ''I'm not listing the
most admirable quotes, the most eloquent quotes. It's
the most memorable quotes.''
dominated last year's list with quotes about the Iraq war,
but this year he didn't break into the top 10.
That doesn't mean
politicians didn't say anything memorable this year.
Third on the list
is Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comment at
Columbia University in New York: ''In Iran we don't have
homosexuals like in your country.''
senator Larry Craig of Idaho took eighth place with ''[I
have] a wide stance when going to the bathroom,'' his
explanation for his foot touching the foot of an
undercover police officer in an airport men's room.
his Yale Book of Quotations last year after six years of
research. It contains about 13,000 quotes, each extensively
researched to verify its origin.
He expects to add
roughly 1,000 more quotes -- mostly modern -- for the
next edition in about five years, and in the meantime he
plans to keep issuing annual top 10 lists.
He relies on
suggestions from quote-watchers throughout the world, plus
his own choices from songs, the news and movies, and then
searches databases and the Internet to determine the
popularity of the quotes.
In the case of
''Don't tase me, bro'' -- uttered shortly before the
student was shocked with a Taser -- he discovered the phrase
was even printed on T-shirts and used as a cell phone
Shakespeare, but there is a kind of folk eloquence in that.
It wouldn't be a quote if he didn't say 'bro,'''
Shapiro said. ''That had just the right rhythm to make
Shapiro said he
struggled before deciding to include radio personality
Don Imus's ''nappy-headed hos'' comment about the Rutgers
University women's basketball team. The quote ended up
fourth on his list.
''My book does
mix the most eloquent and magnificent quotes with the
sordid and sleazy materials from recent times. There are
some real jarring juxtapositions there,'' he said. ''I
wanted to include the whole culture -- the high and
the low, the old and the new.'' (Susan Haigh, AP)