So, just finished watching the documentary called “How Beer Saved the World”, and I have to say that I’m impressed by the information contained within. Some of it I was previously aware of, some of it will mean that I have to go out and do some fact checking, because it’s pretty incredible stuff.
Unfortunately my favorite little piece gleaned from the documentary is generally considered to not be true. A quote, attributed to Ben Franklin, that goes, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants man to be happy,” has yet to find proof of it’s starting point. There is a similar statement that Mr. Franklin makes regarding rain and wine, but not about beer.
That makes me sad. I mean, the quote is still fantastic, and knowing a bit more about the history of beer makes me think that the statement has some great truth to it. . . but the quote’s possible inaccuracy causes the rest of the information given within this documentary to become questionable.
Which brings me to my hatred of the day. I hate quotes.
Now, granted, I have been found to look through lists of quotes, looking for funny sayings and whatnot. But honestly, I’m just not a fan. I think this might have happened because of the large amount of facebook status updates that are nothing but attempts at inspiring quotes from people who should be considered somewhat revered.
Of course, most of these quotes tend to come from Winston Churchill himself, a man who is known to have said, “It’s good for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.” Seems like he knew enough about how he would be viewed in the future to diss his followers. (Granted, I have no clue where this quote comes from and could itself be mis-attributed.)
Quotations have their place, to be certain. When writing a paper on a subject, or trying to prove a point in any situation, quotations from knowledgeable sources will do a lot toward making your point sit on solid ground. But in everyday life. . . what’s the point? Every once in a while, sure. We have all come across different inspiring words from someone we respect and they apply to us in that situation, but should that define us? Should we be known as the person who constantly repeats others?
Or should we all strive to be the one quoted? Isn’t that what we all feel when reading these quotes, or even more so, when repeating them, that we wish we had something as profound to say?
But it’s not possible to be uniquely profound when your words are not your own. If you want to be inspiring, I’ll be much more inspired if I hear your words telling me what you want to say, than I will if you are repeating something Emerson wrote. It’s like watching a comedian where he just re-tells jokes you’ve heard over and over again. Maybe his delivery adds something to the joke, but in the end, it’s already been spoiled. It’s just not as funny as when it was new (although, to be honest, most of these jokes weren’t that funny to begin with).
Be original, be you.
Since I’ve begun my attempts to join the publishing industry, I’ve seen many aspiring authors and agents and whomever else spew out the words of others. There are situations in which this is acceptable. But in the world of writing, you should try to be clever with your own words, not with your use of the words of others.
There are always exceptions to this rule. Yet, I see overuse happening more than appropriate use.
And there’s one thing that will help. Beer makes you clever. Every time. And you can quote me on that. 🙂