Weekend Words: List

“Ye been oure lord, dooth with youre owene thyng Right as yow list.”

Unknown German Master, “Three Scribes at Work” (9th century), ivory relief, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (image via Web Gallery of Art)

This week, the world got a glimpse of Steve Bannon’s to-do list.
Taking stock of its entries, the Guardian reports, “While it may be a
bad guide to what Trump has done, Bannon’s board is a good guide to
what Trump has tried to do. Items on the list to have appeared as
executive orders or legislative proposals include ‘cancel federal
funding to sanctuary cities’ (blocked in court), and ‘hire 5,000 more
border patrol agents’ (ordered, but likely years off). Partially
obscured from view is a reference to the true Trump signature promise
– that wall along the southern border. It reads ‘build the border wall
and eventually make Mexico’. For the record, the wall remains proposed
but without funding and without any Mexican consent.”

The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about
from Science, along with behaviour control, genetic engineering,
transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of
plastic flowers.

—Lewis Thomas

Enough organization, enough lists and we think we can control the

—John Mankiewicz

I’ve been accused of every death except the casualty list of the World War.

—Al Capone

Of all the creatures that were made, man is the most detestable. Of
the entire brood he is the only one — the solitary one — that
possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices
— the most hateful. He is the only creature that has pain for sport,
knowing it to be pain. Also — in all the list he is the only creature
that has a nasty mind.

—Mark Twain

“List, list, O, list!

—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, spoken by the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest
people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.

—Robert Orben

An income tax form is like a laundry list — either way you lose your shirt.

—Fred Allen

As someday it may happen that a victim must be found
I’ve got a little list; I’ve got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed — they never would be missed!

—W. S. Gilbert, The Mikado

As we look over the list of the early leaders of the republic,
Washington, John Adams, Hamilton, and others, we discern that they
were all men who insisted upon being themselves and who refused to
truckle to the people. With each succeeding generation, the growing
demand of the people that its elective officials shall not lead but
merely register the popular will has steadily undermined the
independence of those who derive their power from popular election.
The persistent refusal of the Adamses to sacrifice the integrity of
their own intellectual and moral standards and values for the sake of
winning public office or popular favor is another of the measuring
rods by which we may measure the divergence of American life from its
starting point.

—James Truslow Adams

I have here in my hand a list of two hundred and five that were known
to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and
who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State

―Joseph McCarthy

History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised again.

―Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Ye been oure lord, dooth with youre owene thyng Right as yow list.

―Geoffrey Chaucer, Clerk’s Tale, The Canterbury Tales (ca. 1387)

It is worth remembering that every writer begins with a naively
physical notion of what art is. A book for him or her is not an
expression or a series of expressions, but literally a volume, a prism
with six rectangular sides made of thin sheets of papers which should
include a cover, an inside cover, an epigraph in italics, a preface,
nine or ten parts with some verses at the beginning, a table of
contents, an ex libris with an hourglass and a Latin phrase, a brief
list of errata, some blank pages, a colophon and a publication notice:
objects that are known to constitute the art of writing.

―Jorge Luis Borges

The list could surely go on, and there is nothing more wonderful than a list, instrument of wondrous hypotyposis.

―Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

I am scared easily, here is a list of my adrenaline – production: 1:
small children, 2: policemen, 3: high places, 4: that my next movie
will not be as good as the last one.

―Alfred Hitchcock

Note the startling regularity through history with which society
martyrs the rebel in one generation and worships him in the next.
Socrates, Jesus, William Blake, Buddha, Krishna — the list is as
endless as it is rich.

―Rollo May

Love’s boat has been shattered against the life of everyday. You and I
are quits, and it’s useless to draw up a list of mutual hurts,
sorrows, and pains.

―Vladimir Mayakovsky

How do people go to sleep? I’m afraid I’ve lost the knack. I might try busting myself smartly over the temple with the night-light. I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.

―Dorothy Parker

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