The Most Memorable Quotes from 2020

alex atkins bookshelf quotations“Quotations are the backbone of much of literature, and of the transmission of art and thought more generally,” writes Fred Shapiro in the introduction to the Yale Book of Quotations. “Text refer to other texts. Today the [Internet] links documents… but such connections have always been pivotal to human discourse… The delight is our natural response to the monuments of creativity and wisdom, kept alive by quotations, a communal bond uniting us with past culture and with other lovers of words and ideas in our own time.”

Indeed, collections of quotations support this concept of communal bonds. But what happens when these collections are not updated frequently. For example, the Yale Book of Quotations (1,068 pages long and containing more than 12,000 quotations) was published in 2006 and has not been updated since. To address that gap in the quotation collection, in 2013 Shapiro (the associate librarian and lecturer at the Yale Law School) began compiling a list of the top 10 notable quotations for each year.

When you read each quotation, it immediately evokes the feelings and thoughts you had about that particular moment in time. In past years, you may have experienced or learned about an event while you were in different locations; however, during the pandemic everyone was pretty much sheltering-in-place. Taken as a whole, it portrays a nation drowning in lies, insults, suffering, and sadness. Isn’t any wonder everyone is eagerly counting down the days of 2020?

Below are Shapiro’s most memorable quotes from 2020:

“Wear a mask.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

“I can’t breathe.”
George Floyd

“One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
President Donald Trump

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning?”
President Donald Trump

“I will never lie to you. You have my word on that.”
Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a statement dictated to her granddaughter Clara Spera.

“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”
Joseph Biden Jr.

“The science should not stand in the way of this.”
Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary

“You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”
Joseph Biden Jr., former Vice President, then Presidential candidate

“We are all Lakers today.”
Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers Coach

What other quotes should be considered for this list?

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