During my walk this morning, which was very quiet inasmuch as it is Labor Day, I got to musing about catchphrases that make their way into popular consciousness. For those of us who have reached a certain age, Humphrey Bogart's classic line, "We'll always have Paris" captures perfectly a nostalgic feeling of loss and remembrance [though few of us are fortunate enough to find Ingrid Bergman in our memories.] What are some of the others? I asked myself.
One line that I seized on the moment I heard it comes from the movie Jerry McGuire, starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding, and Renée Zellweger. I have been using it whenever I can, thinking that I was the only person who had noticed it, but now it is popping up on TV enough so that I realize I am not alone. Cruise has lost Zellweger by his bad behavior, and she is seeking consolation from her feminist support group when Cruise barges in and launches into a long apology and plea for forgiveness. When he pauses for breath, she says, "You had me with hello."
Another favorite that lingers in the mind is the conclusion of the first stanza of Dryden's great poem, Alexander's Feast: "None but the brave deserve the fair." A while back, I got that confused with "the good die young," which turns out to be the title of a song by someone named Billy Joel [there, I have revealed my total cluelessness.]
And then there is "You shall not crucify us on a cross of gold," the oratorical flourish of William Jennings Bryan, immortalized in The Wizard of Oz ["oz" being the customary contraction for an ounce of gold.]
I invite other nominations from my indefatigable readers.