Posts tagged ‘Quote’

March 9, 2013

Shaken, Not Stirred

shaken not stirred

Shaken, not stirred‘ is a catchphrase of Ian Fleming’s fictional British Secret Service agent James Bond, and his preference for how he wished his martini prepared. The phrase first appears in the novel ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ (1956), though Bond does not actually say the line until ‘Dr. No’ (1958) but says it ‘shaken and not stirred’ instead of ‘shaken, not stirred.’ It was first uttered in the films by Sean Connery in Goldfinger in 1964 (though the villain Dr. Julius No offers this drink and utters those words in the first film, Dr. No, in 1962).

It was used in numerous Bond films thereafter with the notable exceptions of ‘You Only Live Twice,’ in which the drink is offered stirred, not shaken (Bond, ever the gentleman, ignores his host’s gaffe, telling him the drink is perfect), and ‘Casino Royale,’ in which Bond, after losing millions of dollars in a game of poker, is asked if he wants his martini shaken or stirred, and snaps, ‘Do I look like I give a damn?’

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December 4, 2012

Too big to fail

Lehman Brothers

Too big to fail‘ describes financial institutions that are so large and so interconnected that their failure is widely held to be disastrous to the economy, and which therefore must be supported by government when they face difficulty. The term was popularized by Congressman Stewart McKinney in a 1984 hearing discussing the FDIC’s intervention with a failing bank, Continental Illinois.

Proponents of this theory believe that the importance of some institutions means they should become recipients of beneficial financial and economic policies from governments or central banks. One of the problems that arises is moral hazard (where costs that could incur will not be felt by the party taking the risk), in this case companies insulated by protective policies will seek to profit by it, and take positions that are high-risk high-return, as they are able to leverage these risks based on the policy preference they receive.

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September 10, 2012

I would rather cry in a BMW

If You Are the One

I would rather cry in a BMW‘ is a quotation that became an online sensation in China in 2010. It originated from Ma Nuo, a 20-year-old female contestant on the television show ‘Fei Cheng Wu Rao’ (also known in English as ‘If you are the One’).

The line was in response to a question by an unemployed suitor who asked if Ma would ‘ride a bicycle with him’ on a date. The series of events have been summed up in the media with the quip ‘I would rather cry in a BMW than laugh on a bicycle.’

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August 13, 2012

Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

Mick Jagger

Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?‘ is a quotation – sometimes misquoted with ‘on’ in place of ‘upon’ – from Alexander Pope’s ‘Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot’ of 1735. It can be taken as referring to putting massive effort into achieving something minor or unimportant, and alludes to ‘breaking on the wheel,’ a form of torture in which victims had their long bones broken by an iron bar while tied to a Catherine wheel.

William Rees-Mogg, as editor of ‘The Times’ newspaper, used the ‘on a wheel’ version of the quotation as the heading (set in capital letters) for an editorial in 1967 about the ‘Redlands’ court case, which had resulted in prison sentences for Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. The philosopher Mary Midgley used a variation on the phrase in an article in the journal ‘Philosophy’ written to counter a review praising ‘The Selfish Gene’ by Richard Dawkins, where she cuttingly said that she had ‘not attended to Dawkins, thinking it unnecessary to break a butterfly upon a wheel.’

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July 3, 2012

The Medium is the Message

mcluhan by bill brioux

The medium is the message‘ is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. The phrase was introduced in his most widely known book, ‘Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man,’ published in 1964.

McLuhan proposes that a medium itself, not the content it carries, should be the focus of study. He said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the characteristics of the medium itself. McLuhan frequently punned on the word ‘message’ changing it to ‘mass age,’ ‘mess age,’ and ‘massage’; a later book, ‘The Medium is the Massage’ was originally to be titled ‘The Medium is the Message,’ but McLuhan preferred the new title which is said to have been a printing error.

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June 21, 2011

Barba Non Facit Philosophum

trustworthiness of beards

Barba non facit philosophum‘ is a Latin phrase meaning ‘A beard does not constitute a philosopher.’ According to the Latin author Aulus Gellius, who relates he was present at the episode, a man in a cloak, ‘with long hair and a beard that reached almost to his waist’ once came to the Athenian aristocrat, Herodes Atticus, who was renown for his ‘charm and his Grecian eloquence,’ and asked that money be given him for bread. When Herodes asked him who he was, the man, seemingly taking offense, replied that he was a philosopher, adding that he wondered why Herodes thought it necessary to ask what was obvious

‘I see,’ said Herodes, ‘a beard and a cloak; the philosopher I do not yet see.’ Some of Herodes’ companions informed him that the fellow was a actually a beggar ‘of worthless character,’ whose behavior was often abusive. Hearing which, Herodes said: ‘Let us give him some money, then, whatever his character may be, not because he is a man, but because we are men,’ and ordered that enough money be given to the man so that he could ‘buy bread for thirty days.’ The Athenian’s phrase, shortened to ‘A beard does not constitute a philosopher,’ has taken on a meaning similar to the proverb: ‘Clothes do not make the man,’ encountered in many cultures.

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