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      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011
     (9967.1)
    Got any favorite portable statements?

    Examples: freedom isn't free, bros before hos, Jesus saves, power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely, when Clinton lied nobody died, 49% of all statistics are created on the spot [or fill in with another number, of course]

    and my own life maxim: it never works out quite the way you were thinking.

    Basically, while these are quotes, they get peppered into speech free of their original context because the words in such an order invoke a greater sense tidily captured. They become like idioms but are usually just a little longer and newer than most recognized idioms. And, our culture being what it is, are often used sarcastically.
    ********************

    Long ago in another lifetime some smart ass friends came up with the phrase "portable statements" to cover the domain of all mottos, idioms, bumper sticker catchphrases and other shibboleth with particular attention to any handy statements they created.

    The phrase is, ipso facto, a portable statement which is why I love it so much I've held onto it after letting go of those friendships. (I do miss those guys sometimes; time and tide just sorta happen, you know?)
    • CommentAuthorDrax
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011
     (9967.2)
    "It's a bit more complicated than that" - Paraphrased from Ben Goldacre

    I actually have a small issue with a lot (but definitely not all) of stock phrases, particularly one that keeps popping up at the moment "The squeezed middle". People often use them when they have no actual evidence but have a feeling that something they've felt is endemic of a wider problem. It seems that some portable statements have a kind of power to end a discussion/debate/furious argument which is odd. See also: "Funeral held for common sense..", "Political correctness gone mad" etc.
    •  
      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011
     (9967.3)
    That issue is a discomfort that should be there. }:> I kind of get a perverse kick out of portable statements precisely because they have to be somewhat over simplifications of the issue at hand. They are handy phrases people hide behind because how a person feels about them quickly (and sloppily) defines how they feel about the subject at hand.
    •  
      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011
     (9967.4)
    Most recently I came across this one "On the internet if you aren't paying for it, you are the commodity."
    •  
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011 edited
     (9967.5)
    Is there a distinction to be made between portable statements and plain old slogans?
    They would seem to fulfill many of the same functions.
    • CommentAuthorNil
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011
     (9967.6)
    @citruscreed

    Off the top of my head, a slogan is something created (or adapted) for a specific purpose (to sell an idea / product / person), whereas these statements tend to be dropped in in place of actual thought. Or something. I only just woke up, so I'm not exactly running at full speed yet.
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      CommentAuthorInternaut
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011
     (9967.7)
    "We've got ourselves in one hell of a goat rodeo."

    I actually had no idea goat rodeo was a phrase until about a month ago.

    Apparently it's a regional thing.
  1.  (9967.8)
    'that's another back of a fag packet job'.

    Became such a joke at work that we actually had a flattened B&H box we christened the Intranet Design Manual...

    'I'm in a brewery where a pissup is not occurring'

    'It's just another Grade A Clusterfuck'

    'shut up, you're just the data-monkey'

    I actually have a small issue with a lot (but definitely not all) of stock phrases, particularly one that keeps popping up at the moment "The squeezed middle". People often use them when they have no actual evidence but have a feeling that something they've felt is endemic of a wider problem. It seems that some portable statements have a kind of power to end a discussion/debate/furious argument which is odd. See also: "Funeral held for common sense..", "Political correctness gone mad" etc.


    @Drax - yes, totally, and this winds me up a good deal. There are a few examples (none of which I can think of right now though) that really get under my skin because they're sloppy and misleading.
    •  
      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011
     (9967.9)
    @Drax, @Jon

    "In the current economic climate" springs to mind ...
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011
     (9967.10)
    "Better, faster, cheaper. Pick two." (apparently this is called the Project Triangle by some people)
    "The question is: Do we forgive our fathers in our time, or in theirs?" (this is, more or less, a quote from the movie Smoke Signals. You'd be surprised how often I say this)
    •  
      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011
     (9967.11)
    @256 I just used the first one a few days ago with someone I don't know very well, and he totally got it.

    But had to also say - I love Smoke Signals! My go-to line for dealing with things in the way we wish they were instead of the way they are is the quote "But Victor, our people were fishermen!"
    •  
      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2011
     (9967.12)
    @256/razrangel - reminds me of the saying I used to hear in my days working in a County Council highways depot:

    there's two ways of doing things, the quick way and the right way

    Whether or not that's an excuse for slow working I'll leave you to decide.
    •  
      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJun 22nd 2011
     (9967.13)
    @sneak046 Another variation is "There's three ways to do something: The right way, the wrong way and the Army way." My brother told it to me to explain why he had to fly out of Afghanistan to Kyrgystan (sp?) to Kuwait to Germany to Atlanta to Seattle to his base in Alaska. I had pointed out it would have been faster and possibly cheaper to fly from Afghanistan to Korea to Alaska. It's meant to explain the method is as fast/efficient as possible but includes a lot of needless bureaucracy and thorny international relations.

    In and of itself not quite a portable phrase, however, you can always substitute another proper noun for Army to cover the peculiar methodology that results of navigating circumstances. I once heard someone fill in "the observant Orthodox Jew way" referring to intricate steps they have to take to keep to the daily traditions while still keeping up with modern life. Again, for my purposes I like when it refers to something anyone can at least guess at. It's not quite as satisfying if it's something like "then there's Bob's way" where Bob is an idiot with too much power, ruling his corner of the office, half dozen subordinates and the fax copier with an iron fist.

    Mildly surprised no one has mentioned Fight Club. Now that movie (and book, I suppose, though I've never read it) is chock full of portable phrases. Helps that they sound and are delivered somewhat like mantras or yogi-style advice. E.g. You are not the contents of your wallet. But as for the sick joy I get out of inverting portable phrases, it's hard to beat "His name is Robert Paulson."
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeJun 22nd 2011
     (9967.14)
    Another one:

    "The only real crime is getting caught" (army formulation) / "Nothing's illegal as long as you don't get caught" (Travelling Wilbury's formulation)

    @raz - Smoke Signals is amazing, and incredibly quotable. I also love "They charged him with attempted murder. Then they plea bargained that down to assault with a deadly weapon. Then they plea bargained that down to being an Indian in the 20th Century." Don't get to slip that into conversation very often, though.
  2.  (9967.15)
    Reminds me of something inmates say: The only difference between us and you, is we got caught.

    At the same time, some guards respond: You're not guilty of the crime; you're guilty of being dumb enough to get caught.
  3.  (9967.16)
    Do questions count?

    Is that a new stereotype?

    Did I just kll premature ejaculation?

    Also, Exclamations!

    Awesome Sauce!

    By the hammer of Thor!

    Yes, I watch way too much television. Or nowadays, Internet streaming. Um...legally.
    • CommentAuthorOrpheus
    • CommentTimeJun 22nd 2011
     (9967.17)
    I rarely use portable phrases, really. I mean in the way that i might use them again and again.

    I came up with a better one earlier this week, which was "Just because a car is broken doesn't mean that it cant drive."

    My favourite one has to be from an episode of House a few series back. "If the toasters not working you check the cable not the power company." (Major paraphrasing)

    But generally, i try to use my own words rather than others
  4.  (9967.18)
    From my days of dating a dominatrix: A little pain never hurt anyone.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2011
     (9967.19)
    "That'll happen"
    An appropriate response to almost any piece of information. Try it today!
    (blatantly plagiarised from Super Troopers)
    • CommentAuthorGordon
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2011
     (9967.20)
    "Things will change when I'm in charge."

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