Champagne Confusion

It used to be easy to verify the accuracy of a quote; I would refer to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. This was a single, reliable, and available source of reference. (Note the use of the Oxford comma; it is especially important to use it when writing a list that refers to Oxford). It is no longer so easy to discover who uttered a great phrases; reference sources are more available, but there are now many sources and the lack of reliability can be seen in the differing answers one can obtain.

 

On the website of a local winery came the following quote about Champagne. 

In victory you deserve it, in defeat you need it. 

The quotation was attributed to Napoleon. I wanted to share the thought online, but wanted to verify the quotation first. Using Google, I found the quote, with a little more context. 

I could not live without champagne; in victory I deserve it; in defeat I need it. 
This was from a Daily Mail article and it was attributed to Winston Churchill. I understand that anything reported in the Daily Mail has a high chance of being wrong, but this was not a helpful start to verifying the accuracy of the quote.

Another Champagne website attributes this to Napoleon:

I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate… And I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself

The same sentiments, but a lot less snappy even allowing for the vagueries of translation

 

In despair I turned to the Oxford University Press. They offered the following quote:

In victory, you deserve champagne, in defeat, you need it.

They attributed the quote as follows:

Anon; frequently associated with Napoleon without evidence.

 

I received confirmation that the Daily Mail is not only a terribly unreliable source of information, but has a definite English bias in that inaccuracy. No other source mentions Churchill as the source of the quote, but the Daily Mail could not credit a Frenchman with such a sparkling thought. 

I also found a treasure trove of quotes (I wonder if there is a collective noun for quotes) on the subject of Champagne. I did not seek to verify the accuracy of the attribution, but none came from the Daily Mail.

My only regret is that I did not drink more Champagne. – Lord Maynard Keynes, on his deathbed

 

Lily Bollinger was asked “When do you drink champagne?”, and replied:

I only drink champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. 
Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. 
When I have company, I consider it obligatory.  
I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am.  
Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.
 

 

Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right – F Scott Fitzgerald

 

And finally a quote that is attributed by other sources to Churchill

Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!

Published in: on 24 December, 2014 at 8:48  Leave a Comment  

Champagne Confusion

It used to be easy to verify the accuracy of a quote; I would refer to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. This was a single, reliable, and available source of reference. (Note the use of the Oxford comma; it is especially important to use it when writing a list that refers to Oxford). It is no longer so easy to discover who uttered a great phrases; reference sources are more available, but there are now many sources and the lack of reliability can be seen in the differing answers one can obtain.

 

On the website of a local winery came the following quote about Champagne. 

In victory you deserve it, in defeat you need it. 

The quotation was attributed to Napoleon. I wanted to share the thought online, but wanted to verify the quotation first. Using Google, I found the quote, with a little more context. 

I could not live without champagne; in victory I deserve it; in defeat I need it. 
This was from a Daily Mail article and it was attributed to Winston Churchill. I understand that anything reported in the Daily Mail has a high chance of being wrong, but this was not a helpful start to verifying the accuracy of the quote.

Another Champagne website attributes this to Napoleon:

I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate… And I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself

The same sentiments, but a lot less snappy even allowing for the vagueries of translation

 

In despair I turned to the Oxford University Press. They offered the following quote:

In victory, you deserve champagne, in defeat, you need it.

They attributed the quote as follows:

Anon; frequently associated with Napoleon without evidence.

 

 

I received confirmation that the Daily Mail is not only a terribly unreliable source of information, but has a definite English bias in that inaccuracy. No other source mentions Churchill as the source of the quote, but the Daily Mail could not credit a Frenchman with such a sparkling thought. 

I also found a treasure trove of quotes (I wonder if there is a collective noun for quotes) on the subject of Champagne. I did not seek to verify the accuracy of the attribution, but none came from the Daily Mail.

My only regret is that I did not drink more Champagne. – Lord Maynard Keynes, on his deathbed

 

Lily Bollinger was asked “When do you drink champagne?”, and replied:

I only drink champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. 
Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. 
When I have company, I consider it obligatory.  
I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am.  
Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.
 

 

Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right – F Scott Fitzgerald

 

And finally a quote that is attributed by other sources to Churchill

Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!

Published in: on 24 December, 2014 at 8:48  Comments (1)  

Not Really Winning

I posted an entry at the weekend that commented on the problems that American Football had with the concept of Thursday. It is also a sport that has a misunderstanding with the idea of winning. There is one more game left to play of the regular American Football season. After that game we will know the winners in each of the eight divisions. In one of those divisions, the “winner” will have completed the season having lost more games than they have won. The leading teams in the NFC South, who meet at the weekend have both won just six of their first fifteen games, so the best record in will be held by a team who wins seven out of sixteen games. The Jags or Falcons will get a division title that is rather like those awards given at primary school to the losers on Sports Day for participating. The real irony is that, in theory, the sudden-death nature of the play-offs means that that team could get to the SuperBowl. Since they would need to win three games to reach the SuperBowl, they would arrive in the final with a slight winning record. (Ten games out of nineteen) To emerge as “World Champions” they would end up with an amazing 55% win rate.

 

And do not get me started on how the winner of a competition with all thirty-two teams from one country can be called “World Champions”.

 

 

Published in: on 23 December, 2014 at 7:18  Leave a Comment  

The Tale of Two Trees

Earlier in the year we purchased a second Christmas Tree from Craigslist. My wife asked me if I had a preference on the colour of the ornaments for this new tree. I suggested blue and silver, but we went with red and green that tied in with other decorations.

However, my wife found a small tree and purchased some blue and silver ornaments and set the three up in my office. I had my blue and silver tree, but only for a few days. We lent it to a friend who was having a Holiday party and wanted a decorative tree. This one was ideal, as the colours were appropriate for Chanukah. The loan turned into a gift, as the friend liked having a tree.

My wife had another tree and from our existing ornaments was able to dress it in gold and green. An Oakland A’s snowman nestles in the branches, and round the base is wrapped a Norwich City scarf. I don’t have my blue and silver tree, but I do have a tree with colours that I really appreciate.

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Published in: on 22 December, 2014 at 7:00  Leave a Comment  

Geography and Robin Hood

The Kevin Costner Robin Hood and the Prince of Thieves had a famous Geography failure. The titular hero lands at Dover and travels the 200 miles to Nottingham in a single day, a feat made even more impressive by shots of him walking along part of Hadrian’s Wall mid journey. The wall being another 200 miles beyond Nottingham.

Last night we watched the Russell Crowe Robin Hood from 2010. It tells the story in a very different way. The climax of the film involves King John and Robin Hood fighting a French invasion. A line of dialog tells us that the French are landing at Dungeness. Dungeness is a massive expanse of shingle and it is flat, very flat. In the film, the French land on a beach with a cliff behind it. The geography could only look less like Dungeness if the filmmakers had used Norwegian Fjords. The shots look more like the coast around Dover, a spot closer to France than Dungeness, so I am left wondering why name check a spot and then shoot somewhere so obviously not the named location.

Published in: on 21 December, 2014 at 7:52  Leave a Comment  

No Idea What Day It Is

I have long been aware that Americans do not know what game should be called Football; hint it is the one in which most of the play involves kicking the ball and not throwing it.

Today, I learnt that when it comes to the aforementioned sport Americans are unsure on what day it is. It is Saturday and CBS are showing a live game as Thursday Night Football. In England Thursday comes before Friday and the say after.

Published in: on 20 December, 2014 at 18:37  Leave a Comment  

Health Food

There does seem to be an impression held by other nationalities that Americans like unhealthy food.

I cannot think why

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Published in: on 14 December, 2014 at 14:12  Leave a Comment  

Watching An Entire Genre

There are some genres of movies of which it would be nigh impossible to watch all of the examples of that genre. Looking on IMDb for the keyword “vampire” returns 2102 titles; far too many to watch them all (and it would mean watching the Twilight Saga). 

Last night, I did watch the final movie in a very specific genre – “Films about teams from the SF East Bay who have record winning streaks”. There are 2100 less movies in this genre than IMDb’s vampire count. I have seen Moneyball, a film about the Oakland A’s 20 game streak on a couple of occasions. Last night, I saw When the Game Stands Tall, that tells the story of De La Salle High School in Concord, who had a 151 game winning streak – the longest in American Football. The film is less about the streak than it is a story about being a team.

A couple of weeks ago I saw an entire genre in one night. I can now say that I have seen every full length film shot in Saudi Arabia. This is a genre with a single entry, albeit a gem with real emotional heft; Wadjda.

Published in: on 14 December, 2014 at 8:45  Leave a Comment