The 10 Quotes That Were Voted the Best Of 2013

Looking back over the course of an entire year, it might be difficult coming up with a list of the best things said during 2013. But the Yale Book of Quotations, led by Fred Shapiro, has it covered. Since 2006, they’ve narrowed down every sentence said during the year to the top 10 quotes. 

They’re not the best quotes, per se, because a few of them are actually the most infuriating or shocking, and no one can really agree on what “best” means anyway. But they are some of the most notable of the year – the quotes that make 2013 the year that it was.

So it’s unsurprising to see quotes from President Barack Obama, the National Security Agency, and, of course, TIME’s Person of the Year, Pope Francis.

Note that one quote on this year’s list is actually from late-2012, because the annual lists come out in mid-December, so it didn’t have a chance to make last year’s top 10. But I definitely think it’s worthy of being on this year’s.

Is it a coincidence that the No. 1 quote on this list also happens to be Politifact’s Lie of the Year? Maybe, maybe not.

Check out the top 10 below. What’s missing? Which is your favorite? The answer to both is: Rob Ford. List needs a lot more Rob Ford, all Rob Ford. 


1.

"With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it. The way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate." - President Barack Obama, November 14. 

2.

"This is our fucking city. And nobody is going to dictate our freedom." - Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz after Boston Marathon bombing, April 20.

3.

"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time." - Pope Francis, September 19.

4.

"So let us wage a glorious struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism, let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons." - Malala Yousafzai, July 12.

5.

"I responded in what I thought was the most truthful or least untruthful manner, by saying, 'No.'" - Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, coming clean on his Senate committee hearing statements regarding NSA surveillance, June 8.

6.

"We've got to stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults." - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, January 24.

7.

"Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. Have I tried it? Um, probably in one of my drunken stupors." - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, November 5. 

8.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." - National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, Dec. 21, 2012.

9.

"I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity." - Edward Snowden, June 9.

10.

"Lean In." - Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, book published in 2013.

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Benjamin Cosman

Ben graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Political Science. He recently traveled through New England looking for pie. His second-favorite pastime is googling pictures of politicians laughing.

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