Thursday, December 20, 2007

How Dialogue Becomes Memorable

"Don't, Don't!" Gets you forgotten.

"Don't tase me!" Gets you in the news.

"Don't tase me, Bro!" Gets you in the Yale Book of Quotations!

Fred Shapiro, the editor of the volume, explains:

"It's not 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 it memorable."

The quote is in company with the utterances of Miss South Carolina, (her repeated use of "such as" made here verbal flailings so darned memorable,) and the President of Iran, ("In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country.")

As an aside: In your next play, if you want to have a character, an innocent foreigner travelling to the US, pulled aside at the airport, interrogated, then swept away to prison, put in chains and kept up for hours without explanation, what would your description of that character be?

Bet it wouldn't be an Icelandic babe. (hat tip Andrew Sullivan.)

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