LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “Don’t Tase Me, Bro,” a phrase that swept the nation after a U.S. college student used it seeking to stop campus police from throwing him out of a speech by Sen. John Kerry, was named Wednesday as the most memorable quote of 2007.
Fred R. Shapiro, the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, said the plea made by University of Florida student Andrew Meyer on September 17, accompanied by Meyer’s screams as he was tased, beat out the racial slur that cost shock jock Don Imus his job and the Iranian president’s declaration that his country does not have homosexuals.
Shapiro said Meyer’s quote was a symbol of pop culture success. Within two days it was one of the most popular phrases on Google and one of the most viewed videos. It also showed up on ringtones and T-shirts.
Second on Shapiro’s list was this tortuous answer by Lauren Upton, the South Carolina contestant in the Miss Teen America contest in August:
“I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us.”
Upton had been asked why one-fifth of Americans are unable to locate the United States on a map and later apologized for her answer not making a lot of sense.
Third was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s October comment at Columbia University in New York, “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.”
Shock jock Don Imus comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team: “That’s some nappy-headed hos there,” was fourth.
Imus created a national outcry and lost his job at CBS radio in April, but returned to the airwaves in December with Citadel Broadcasting.
Other phrases on the list:
5. “I don’t recall.” -- Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ repeated response to questioning at a congressional hearing about the firing of U.S. attorneys.
6. “There’s only three things he (Republican presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani) mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11.” -- Sen. Joseph Biden, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate.
7. “I‘m not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody (Vice President Dick Cheney) who has a 9 percent approval rating.” -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.
8. “(I have) a wide stance when going to the bathroom.” -- Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig’s explanation of why his foot touched that of an undercover policeman in a men’s room.
9. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” -- Biden describing rival Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
10. “I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.” -- Former President Jimmy Carter in an interview in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper.
Editing by Jill Serjeant and Eric Beech