I have a box of personal journals I almost never look at. In fact, I’ve never read any of them (except for a page or two at a time) since I wrote them. But, I was reorganizing in the basement and needed to put them into a different box, so recently I accessed them. In one journal I noticed a small notebook with no title. I didn’t remember it. I opened it and found a collection of quotes and a few excerpts I’d copied from publications.
What a strange melange. Some of the items I expected, such as quotes from religion, New Age thinking, writing teachers, famous writers, history and even friends. Keep in mind I’ve always been a cultural polymath. The ones below are among the strangest and most interesting of the quotes.
An excerpt from Variety, Aug. 26, 1981, p. 68, about a Michael Jackson concert: During the 45-minute lapse between acts, scores of youths created havoc by beating and robbing patrons of jewelry and handbags. Even after the show, patrons were followed, harrassed and robbed in the streets as they left the [Madison Square] Garden. Despite security and police efforts outside the arena, the gangs turned the evening into a nightmare for many.
‘Spurt,’ ‘tang,’ and ‘zap’ belong among the warthogs of the word family. — James and Marguerite Pendergast, Writer’s Digest, April 1976, “Thought for Food.”
Someday, so help me, I’ll be so famous none of you will ever be able to touch me again. — Rona Barrett (anyone remember her?)
We Americans don’t fantasize about commanding the Sixth Fleet or running General Motors. We think about driving the Ferrari downtown to pick up the Oscar before our date with Cheryl Ladd or Burt Reynolds. — Robert McKenzie, TV Guide
On the last page was a list of my “favorite words.”
I recognize a few, which were little-known, like limned and appose. I remember being attracted to words that were pronounced quite differently than they looked, such as melee, and words that started with a series of straight consonants or vowels, such as thwart and oeuvre.
There needs to a psychological test for writers to list favorite words; I’m sure there’s a personality profile in there somewhere.