After posting last week, and reading through other submissions across the blogosphere, about movie quotes that I’ve incorporated into my everyday conversations, it dawned on me that I could do a series of posts on the dialogue I’ve
stolen borrowered procured from cinema (already covered), literature, and music.
So, I humbly submit the second installment in this series:
Over the years I’ve incorporated an abundance of literary dialogue into my day to day lingo. The following is a useful guide I’ve put together of situations you may find yourself in and the appropriate responses.
Q: What do you say if you are constantly finding yourself greeting people with the same old boring “hello” or “good morning” or “how are you doing” and you want to mix it up?
A: “Long days and pleasant nights.”
– Stephen King – Dark Tower series
(If they respond with “And may you have twice the number” then you’ve found someone you should make fast friends with. In fact, you could drop all other friends and acquaintances and just hang out with that person from then on, if necessary, because they are awesome.)
Q: What do you say if someone starts an existential conversation and you don’t really feel like playing along but you don’t want to totally disregard them either?
A: “To be or not to be, that is the question…”
– Shakespeare – “Hamlet”
(For bonus points, see how much of the speech you can come up with.)
Q: What do you say when you know what you are doing is right but everyone around you is questioning your motives, techniques, etc…?
A: “If I am to be judged by those who come after me, let me be judged for the truth.”
– Margaret Weis – “The Soulforge”
(If you like fantasy at all, and you haven’t already, you need to read the DragonLance stories written by Margaret Weis (and Tracy Hickman). Go forth, read, and enjoy.)
Q: What do you say when someone you know is worrying way too much about the little things, or even the big things for that matter?
A: “Every life has death and every light has shadow. Be content to stand in the light and let the shadow fall where it will.”
– Mary Stewart -“The Hollow Hills”
(You know that above comment about reading the DragonLance books? Yeah, you should definitely have read, or be planning on reading, Mary Stewart’s Merlin/Arthurian stories: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Final Enchantment, and The Wicked Day. Seriously, why are you still reading my blog when you have so much other reading to be doing?)
Q: What do you say when you need something to explain when people behave unexpectedly poorly?
A: “Darkness dwells even within the best of us. In the worst of us, darkness not only dwells but reins.”
– Dean Koontz – “Strange Highways”
(I have nothing extra or terribly witty to say here. You all know who Dean Koontz is, right? And you’ve probably read something by him at some point. He is nearly as prolific as Stephen King. If you are looking for recommendations – I’d suggest either “Watchers” or “Lightning.”)
Q: What do you say when you see someone achieving great things against all odds?
A: “He never knew when he was whipped… So he never was.”
– Louis L’Amour – “To the Far Blue Mountains”
(Have you noticed that this post is turning into “here are a bunch of books you should read?” I have. And, I’d apologize, but you really should be reading these books and these authors, so I’m not going to. You want more? How about “The Haunted Mesa” and “Flint.”)
Q: What do you say when you find yourself nominated to give the toast at a formal wedding related dinner?
A: “May the brilliance of your joyful days blind you to the memories of those that weren’t.”
– Matthew Blashill – Ascursion
(Okay, so it hasn’t technically been published yet, but I’m working on it. My dad used this toast from my first novel at the Rehearsal Dinner the day before my wife and I tied the knot.)
Q: What do you say when you find yourself, or someone you know, clueless about a situation? Or, worse, you think you know what you are doing only to find out later that you were completely off?
A: “You know nothing Jon Snow.”
– George R.R. Martin – The Song of Fire and Ice series
(See above comments about Margaret Wise and Mary Stewart. Get on it.)
Q: What do you say when someone wants you to try something you already know you aren’t going to like?
A: “I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.”
– Dr. Seuss – “Green Eggs and Ham”
(That one is kind of self-explanatory, right? If not, leave me a comment and I’ll fill you in.)
This, along with the first, are by no means complete lists, but they should be enough to get you through most of life’s experiences. Well, I’ve found them useful anyway. And stay tuned for the third installment coming to The Matticus Kingdom in the near future.