Homer Simpson among most quotable

By Beth Hale

August 23, 2007 01:00am

Article from: Herald Sun

HIS most famous catchcry - "D'oh!" - is not even a word but Homer Simpson has matched some of the greatest wordsmiths by being quoted twice in the latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations.

Springfield's loveable slob appears alongside golden-tongued literary luminaries including Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde.

The woo-hooing, doughnut-scoffing hero did not, however, win his spot in the dictionary with the classic: "Here's to alcohol, the cause of - and solution to - all life's problems."

The head of America's funniest dysfunctional family, instead, scored with: "Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try."

That appeared in an episode entitled Burns' Heir, written by Jack Richdale in 1994.

The other to appear in the dictionary published yesterday is his homily to the show's Indian shopkeeper: "Kids are the best, Apu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate.

"And they practically raise themselves, what with the Internet and all."

That came in a 1999 episode entitled Eight Misbehavin', written by Matt Selma.

Both quotes appear under the entry for 53-year-old Groening, who is classified by the dictionary compilers as an American humourist and satirist.

Homer is not the first character from The Simpsons to find a place in the respected dictionary.

Already there is the much-repeated reference to the French by Scottish caretaker Groundskeeper Willie, who remarked: "Bonjour, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys" in a 1995 episode.

And Bart risked a throttling by beating his father to the dictionary under a special catchphrase category for his "Eat my shorts!" and, "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?"

Simpsons fanatics will also note that quotes that have not yet made it into the volume include schoolboy Ralph Wiggum's comment: "Me fail English? That's unpossible."

The new collection of more than 5000 quotations paints a vivid picture of our modern world.

From the mouth of Joan Collins there is an insight into love with the utterance: "Older men treat women like possessions, which is why I like younger men."

It also includes Stephen Fry's observation: "The email of the species is deadlier than the mail."

And there is a rather double-edged comment on the love of money in the quote from fallen media tycoon Conrad Black: "Since when was greed a criminal offence?"

After recently being convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice, Black will be sentenced in November.

In a reflection of the impact of advertising, furniture chain Ikea got in with the slogan, "Chuck out the chintz".

Another slogan that has been a household and media favourite for years also enters the book for the first time.

"Naughty but nice," was dreamed up by Britain's National Dairy Council in the 1980s in a bid to sell more cream.

Pamela Anderson and William Hague are others to contribute wise words, along with Gordon Brown and David Cameron and even Kate Middleton.

Dictionary editor Elizabeth Knowles said: "To edit a dictionary of modern quotations is endlessly fascinating.

"You find yourself looking at today's world from the perspective of a host of people from past and present, in quotations ranging from the deeply serious to the frivolous and surreal.

"And each time you come back to the book, you see from a new viewpoint, or hear a new voice."


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