Will Rogers Forever

I’m amazed that all these years after his death, so many of Will Rogers witty quotes are still in use. His quips on politics are his most famous,  but he had plenty of wisdom about life in general too.

I graduated from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, and grew up in Oklahoma just a 30-minute drive from where Will Rogers was born. I’m proud to try to keep his legend alive and I think his words still are as applicable today as when he wrote them.

So, without more fanfare, here are some of the best sayings of Will Rogers:

On politics:

We have the best Congress money can buy.

A fool and his money are soon elected.

I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.

Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money just to be defeated.

On business and the economy:

If you can build a business up big enough, it’s respectable.

An  economist’s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s.

Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.

On life in general:

I never met a man I didn’t like.

 Do the best you can and don’t take life too serious.

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Everybody is ignorant, just on different subjects.

If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.
 
Never let yesterday use up too much of  today.
 
People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.
 
Worrying is like paying on a debt that may never come due.
 
You’ve got to go out on a limb sometime, because that’s where the fruit is.
Advertisements

Snow Kill – Flash Fiction for 1/6/12

It snowed last night and I killed my neighbor Wesley first thing this morning. Before sunrise, I crammed my feet into Trish’s Nikes, loaded her pink-handled .25 automatic and walked to his cabin. The dog went with me. Wesley lives nearby, so it only took a few minutes. I’ve been seething since summer, when I saw them cavorting naked. I shot him twice, chest and head. I tossed one of Trish’s cigarette butts on his porch, the gun in the yard, dialed 911 on Wesley’s cell, and tracked home and put her shoes by the bed where she still slept.

Literally. Really?

If you’re a language type, or if you literally have any brain activity at all, surely you must have noticed that the word LITERALLY has of late had its dictionary meaning literally assaulted, abused, disrespected, ignored, misunderestimated, burned and pillaged. To make matters worse, the new usage we all are literally stuck with is literally outpacing the correct usage and if English were a democracy, well, the votes are literally in, and literally is now literally no more than an intensifier.

Just a couple of years ago, Cool Cats said it like this: “Try thinking very outside the box.”

Now it’s: “Try thinking literally outside the box.”

Actually, that’s not right. The phrase “outside the box” is now antiquated and not cool.

Now it would be: “Try thinking literally spot on.” But I’m still at least a few months from writing about how that British import “spot on” has infected the American vocabulary.

I digress. This is literally all about literally. Literally. Really.

The great thing about this new alternate meaning for literally is that you can literally throw it in almost anywhere. It used to literally mean really, actually. Now it’s ruined, a waste word. It’s lost its purity as a functioning member of the language family. You just can’t trust it anymore.

As a member of the language police, I’m outraged. You took one of my precious words and turned it inside out. By you, I don’t literally mean you, the person who’s reading this. The you I mean is all the idiots who copied the first idiot who began misusing this formerly perfectly good word.

Sadly, to use another trendy phrase, this new usage is literally too big to fail. Language is literally like a river, carving new channels all the time, a process we language lawmen have no control over and can only react to. Generally by literally kicking, screaming, crying, cursing, bitching and moaning, until that fateful day when you walk in the front door and hear yourself say, “Honey, I’m literally home.” That’s the day you know the language criminals have won. And you literally heave a big sigh and move on to the next outrage.

So this is my eulogy to literally. A few sentences to commemorate an old friend who has gone to the dark side. If we language marshals can’t literally keep the language in line, at least we know how to have some fun with it. What follows is me literally trying to salvage some kind of grim gallows humor from this annoyance.

Here are some uses for the new literally:

A WAR STORY

I was already angry, but when I stepped on the land mine, I literally exploded.

A CHILDREN’S STORY

I really don’t like stamps, said the envelope, but I’m literally stuck with it.

A TEARJERKER

When my hobo buddy died, I was literally bummed out.

A MEDICAL DRAMA

When the patient finally decided to have the surgery, he literally had a change of heart.

A CRIME DRAMA

After the cop squeezed out some toothpaste, he literally had a brush with the law.

A ROMANCE

Then my lips found hers. They were literally right under her nose all the time.

What’s yours? Come on, share it literally with everybody in the comment section