Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 21, 2013/ 11 Adar 5773

A quote! My kingdom for a good quote!

By Reg Henry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When the remains of Richard III were identified recently in England, just about every commentator mentioned the famous quotation associated with his name: "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"

Unfortunately for the last Plantagenet king of England, it is always difficult to find a spare horse in the midst of a battlefield rout. They are as scarce as a taxi on a wet night in New York City -- or in Pittsburgh's case, as scarce as a taxi at any time in any weather.

What is more unfortunate is that the quotation was not among the king's last words, which were more likely "ouch" and "darn." He died of his wounds and was buried under a future parking lot, history's way of adding insult to injury.

No, the credit for King Richard's supposed eloquence goes to William Shakespeare, as usual, because the playwright pretty much invented the English language.

You may think this column is a sorry sight, but it is now a foregone conclusion that many of the things we carelessly say are Shakespearean in origin. For example, "a sorry sight" comes from "Macbeth" and "foregone conclusion" from "Othello."

The immortal bard invented dozens of such phrases, and the average person doesn't have to be wearing tights to say them.

That's not to suggest that Shakespeare invented every memorable saying in the English language. He didn't say, even though it is a great truth: "Different strokes for different folks, and so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby." That was Mr. Sly of the Family Stone.

Now, at this stage of the column, you may be baffled enough to wander lonely as a cloud that floats on high (William Wordsworth) or maybe you have trod the pavement in a dead patrol or measured out your life with coffee spoons (T.S. Eliot). Or perhaps you are simply saying: "What the heck is this?" (Anonymous)

What this is about is my huge love for quotations, those pearls of wisdom collected by fine minds to brighten the days of those who delight in language? In particular, this is my tribute to English majors. It is my hope that they will read this column and be cheered up as they sit in the unemployment office.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a writer? Certainly, one must have a hide like a rhinoceros to survive the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (Shakespeare again) and a cast-iron liver to process the shots and barrels of outrageous alcohol (me). But the would-be writer must also imbibe good writing and become inebriated by words.

No less an authority than British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, a great man who did not limit himself in matters of inebriation and was good for a quote himself, observed as much.

"It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations," he said. " 'Bartlett's Familiar Quotations' is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more."

Very true. If I were marooned on a desert island, I would be content if all I had was "Familiar Quotations" to keep me company -- that and a well-stocked fridge and good plumbing. And maybe a DVD player.

It is true that my favorite quotations tend to be from a dead poet's society of the traditional greats -- Wordsworth, Keats, Byron and the boys. But if anybody should criticize my narrow literary taste, then I would say to them: "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries" (French soldier, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail").

One regret: Having kept company, one quotation at a time, with the greatest speakers, actors, singers, statesmen and writers of any generation, I am left feeling defeated that no quotation of mine shall ever be saved for posterity -- not in Bartlett's, not at the bottom of those little calendars people used to turn one day at a time. Apparently everything worthwhile has been said.

If BrainyQuote.com were to include one of my sayings -- such as my definition of a liberal: a person who believes that consenting adults may have any sort of sex but shouldn't be allowed a cigarette afterward -- then it would be better than a Pulitzer to me. So much for good thoughts. I sound no better than a pygmy seeking to enter the hall of giants.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Reg Henry is a columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.



Previously:


Super Bowl leaves dark stain on U.S. image

A confession to sin of shopping omission

Undecided voters are clearly in the wrong

These words can be irritating? Really?

A father's message is something to laugh at

Dear Friends: Facebook is, like, so lame

High Tide: the detergent drug dealers dig

It's funny how scary side effects can be

Must we meet so much? It's transparent

Why America needs a proper curmudgeon

A new grandfather's coming-of-age story

America still shows the power of the individual



© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles