Famous Closing Argument Quotes

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I unpacked and took a shower, trying to wash the road and a little of my mingled grief and anger off me. Rachel had a point, but was it wrong to want a single, peaceful evening? The smell of roasting hens, peppery and succulent, wafted up the stairs as I got dressed, like a sensory argument for respite. Birchie would serve them with fat slices of the summer’s first heirloom tomatoes from the back garden and her famous cornbread. To make it, she saved bacon drippings in a coffee can by the stove, and she’d put some of that grease into the cast-iron skillet and set it in the oven. She’d make batter while the rendered fat got so hot that it was close to smoking. The sizzle of the batter landing in that pan was the kitchen soundtrack of my youth.
Joshilyn Jackson (The Almost Sisters)
The mixture of a solidly established Romance aristocracy with the Old English grassroots produced a new language, a “French of England,” which came to be known as Anglo-Norman. It was perfectly intelligible to the speakers of other langues d’oïl and also gave French its first anglicisms, words such as bateau (boat) and the four points of the compass, nord, sud, est and ouest. The most famous Romance chanson de geste, the Song of Roland, was written in Anglo-Norman. The first verse shows how “French” this language was: Carles li reis, nostre emperere magnes, set anz tuz pleins ad estéd en Espaigne, Tresqu’en la mer cunquist la tere altaigne… King Charles, our great emperor, stayed in Spain a full seven years: and he conquered the high lands up to the sea… Francophones are probably not aware of how much England contributed to the development of French. England’s court was an important production centre for Romance literature, and most of the early legends of King Arthur were written in Anglo-Norman. Robert Wace, who came from the Channel Island of Jersey, first evoked the mythical Round Table in his Roman de Brut, written in French in 1155. An Englishman, William Caxton, even produced the first “vocabulary” of French and English (a precursor of the dictionary) in 1480. But for four centuries after William seized the English crown, the exchange between Old English and Romance was pretty much the other way around—from Romance to English. Linguists dispute whether a quarter or a half of the basic English vocabulary comes from French. Part of the argument has to do with the fact that some borrowings are referred to as Latinates, a term that tends to obscure the fact that they actually come from French (as we explain later, the English worked hard to push away or hide the influence of French). Words such as charge, council, court, debt, judge, justice, merchant and parliament are straight borrowings from eleventh-century Romance, often with no modification in spelling. In her book Honni soit qui mal y pense, Henriette Walter points out that the historical developments of French and English are so closely related that anglophone students find it easier to read Old French than francophones do. The reason is simple: Words such as acointance, chalenge, plege, estriver, remaindre and esquier disappeared from the French vocabulary but remained in English as acquaintance, challenge, pledge, strive, remain and squire—with their original meanings. The word bacon, which francophones today decry as an English import, is an old Frankish term that took root in English. Words that people think are totally English, such as foreign, pedigree, budget, proud and view, are actually Romance terms pronounced with an English accent: forain, pied-de-grue (crane’s foot—a symbol used in genealogical trees to mark a line of succession), bougette (purse), prud (valiant) and vëue. Like all other Romance vernaculars, Anglo-Norman evolved quickly. English became the expression of a profound brand of nationalism long before French did. As early as the thirteenth century, the English were struggling to define their nation in opposition to the French, a phenomenon that is no doubt the root of the peculiar mixture of attraction and repulsion most anglophones feel towards the French today, whether they admit it or not. When Norman kings tried to add their French territory to England and unify their kingdom under the English Crown, the French of course resisted. The situation led to the first, lesser-known Hundred Years War (1159–1299). This long quarrel forced the Anglo-Norman aristocracy to take sides. Those who chose England got closer to the local grassroots, setting the Anglo-Norman aristocracy on the road to assimilation into English.
Jean-Benoît Nadeau (The Story of French)
She was one of those quiet heroes that we have all across America,” I said. “They’re not famous. Their names aren’t in the newspapers. But each and every day they work hard. They look after their families. They sacrifice for their children and their grandchildren. They aren’t seeking the limelight—all they try to do is just do the right thing. “And in this crowd, there are a lot of quiet heroes like that—mothers and fathers, grandparents, who have worked hard and sacrificed all their lives. And the satisfaction that they get is seeing that their children and maybe their grandchildren or their great-grandchildren live a better life than they did. “That’s what America’s about. That’s what we’re fighting for.” It was as good a closing argument for the campaign as I felt that I could give.—
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
On several occasions, whether the scuttling of the liturgy of the dead or even that incredible enterprise to expurgate the Psalms for use in the Divine Office,102 Bugnini ran into an opposition that was not only massive but also, one might say, close to unanimous. In such cases, he didn’t hesitate to say: “But the Pope wills it!” After that, of course, there was no question of discussing the matter any further. Yet, one day when he had made use of that argument I had a lunch appointment with my friend Msgr. Del Gallo, who as privy Chamberlain had a flat right above the papal apartments at the time.103 As I was coming back down—after the siesta, of course—and came out of the lift onto the Cortile San Damaso,104 Bugnini in person was emerging from the staircase on his way in from the Bronze Gate. At the sight of me, he didn’t just turn pale: he was visibly aghast. I straightaway understood that, knowing me to be notus pontifici,105 he supposed I had just been with the pope. But in my innocence I simply could not guess why he would be so terrorized at the idea that I might have had an interview with the pope regarding our affairs. I would be given the answer, though weeks later, by Paul VI himself. As he was discussing our famous work with me, work which he had finally ratified without being much more satisfied with it than I was, he said to me: “Now why did you do [x] in the reform?” At this point, I must confess that I no longer recall specifically which of the details I have already mentioned was bothering him.106 Naturally, I answered: “Why, simply because Bugnini had assured us that you absolutely wished it.” His reaction was instantaneous: “Can this be? He told me himself that you were unanimous on this!
Louis Bouyer (The Memoirs of Louis Bouyer: From Youth and Conversion to Vatican II, the Liturgical Reform, and After)
And what of colonizing additional dimensions beyond the third? Colonize Time. Why not?” “Because, sir,” objected Dr. Templeton Blope, of the University of the Outer Hebrides, “—we are limited to three.” “Quaternionist talk,” shouted his collegial nemesis Hastings Throyle. “Everything, carnal and spiritual, invested in the given three dimensions—for what use, as your Professor Tate famously asked, are any more than three?” “Ever so frightfully sorry. The given world, in case you hadn’t noticed. Planet Earth.” “Which not so long ago was believed to be a plane surface.” So forth. A recurring argument. Quaternionism in this era still enjoyed the light and warmth of a cheerful noontide. Rival systems might be acknowledged now and then, usually for some property considered bothersome, but those of the Hamiltonian faith felt an immunity to ever being superseded, children imagining they would live forever—though the sizable bloc of them aboard the Malus were not quite certain what the closely guarded Mission Document meant when it described the present journey as being taken “at right angles to the flow of time.
Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)