Tag Archives: Quintus Quotes
Back when insults had class, words could be sharper than a two-edged sword; in fact, idioms that use the imagery of swords vs. words have been around for thousands of years. I wonder if our modern society, with its political correctness and instant comments, has somewhat lost the art of refined speech and reflective commentary; perhaps we can rescue witty repartee from extinction by writing, thinking, and speaking with more thought and thoughtfulness. In the meantime, for all you logophiles out there, here are a few witty comebacks from days gone by:
Julius Henry Marx (1890-1977) is best known as Groucho Marx, a member of the Marx Brothers comedy group (along with three of his brothers, Harpo,and Chico and Zeppo). He was known for his rapid-fire wit and snappy comebacks.
He also once said, “I get credit all the time for things I never said.” A case in point is a quote that is famously attributed to him, though he denied ever having said: When Marx was hosting a television show called You Bet Your Life, he asked a contestant why she had chosen to raise such a large family (19 children), to which she is said to have replied, “I love my husband”. Marx supposedly retorted, “I love my cigar, but I take it out of my mouth once in awhile.” Though the show was pre-recorded for editing purposes (he was known for innuendo-laced remarks), there was never any footage that contained such a remark.
Groucho’s career spanned seven decades, and his famous grease-paint eyebrows and moustache are still recognizable today, imitated and homaged in the arts in various expressions (just google “groucho marx caricature”!). So without further ado, here are five of my favourite quotes:
I love quotes; good ones take an entire concept and condense it down to one or two lines. Some are pithy, some profound, some obscure and some obvious, but most always, they make you stop and think. They often relate universal conditions of the human existence, whether that quote comes from a present-day person or one that lived hundreds of years ago.
I often use quotes in my articles here, but I’ve never really had titled posts dedicated to them; I like to use alliterations, but “quote” doesn’t rhyme with anything practical in English – so (naturally) I went with Latin. [For the few Latin aficionados out there, please let me know if I’ve used the wrong form… there aren’t exactly Latin dictionaries floating around.]
I’d like to kick off with one of the wittiest writers I know of, Mark Twain. Here are five zingers (and I apologize in advance for the grammatical errors – I didn’t make the jpegs!); enjoy!