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The Quotes Game.

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Re-experiencing "I am a big, scary piece of bacon!" and other perennial favorites.
I collect quotes. A well-composed remark is beautiful, sharing insight, humor, or both in an elegant package of words. Sharing a quote can help to draw implicit parallels to other times and events, helping to provide much-needed perspective in the face of difficult situations. Consider, for example:
Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is. --Sir Winston Churchill
Of course, sometimes a quote can be much more lighthearted, making the hearer laugh. For example:
Flint must be an extremely wealthy town: I see that each of you bought two or three seats. --Victor Borge, playing to a half-filled house in Flint, Michigan
Often, the real fun begins when one says something that is reminiscent of an earlier quote but changes some critical detail, either to make a joke
They'll get my hot glue gun when they pry it out of my cold, dead hand -- 'cause that would hurt too much if I were still alive. --Ken Snyder
or to use humor to make a point.
Power Corrupts. PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely. --Edward Tufte
One of my favorite situations is the accidental historical backreference, such as this gem from a Microsoft ad:
One World, One Web, One Program
which is especially amusing (or disturbing, depending on your particular point of view) in light of a certain pronouncement from one of the most notorious characters from the twentieth century:
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer
Another beauty is where a quote is taken, intact, out of context, when it can have an entirely new meaning.
Brilliant isn't a word that should be used in football. Football players aren't brilliant. Brilliant is for guys like Norman Einstein. --Joe Theisman
(It would appear that Theisman went to school with a smart guy whose name happened to be Norman Einstein.) These musings led me to the creation of what I call The Quotes Game. Here's how it works:
  • Invite over some friends who also like word games. (This last qualification is probably redundant.)
  • Put a whole bunch of quotes on small pieces of paper, one apiece.
  • Everyone selects a piece of paper and then gets a quote.
  • Everyone sees only his own quote, and no one else's.
  • Start dinner, drinks, or whatever else you're doing; this game runs "in the background."
  • Each time that someone gets to work his quote into the conversation, he gets to select a new quote from the stash.
  • Whoever has gone through the most quotes at the end of the evening wins.
Honestly, I'm not yet sure just how well this will work, but I am anxious to try it and would encourage others to do the same and to report on their success.
In the end, everything is a gag. --Charlie Chaplin
Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2004-12-13 12:29 PM

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