December 11, 2009

“Sound and fury signifying nothing” — except hot air?


“Life’s but a walking shadow...a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”
       William Shakespeare
       Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5


“To paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s sound and fury signifying nothing...The noise machine built by the climate deniers often seizes on what they can blow out of proportion, so they’ve thought this is a bigger deal than it is.”
       Former Vice President Al Gore
       Commenting on the global warming “Climategate” emails
       Interview in Slate.com, Dec. 8, 2009


“This film is a relentless pyrotechnical assault on the senses, the sound and fury signifying nothing more than a 150-minute commercial for Hasbro toys.”
       Movie critic Marc Lee
       In his review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


“[Sportswriter] Bill Simmons...really had no defined angle after all, just a bunch of shards of sound and fury, signifying sports fans’ appetite for brainless nothingness from their sportswriting rather than something substantive and challenging.”
       Sportswriter Andy Hutchins
       In his column on the Sporting Blog, Nov. 21, 2009


“While I applaud Merriam-Webster for correctly identifying the sound and fury signifying nothing from the far right as the dominant characteristic of 2009, I believe they picked the wrong word to truly embody the movement.”
       Journalist Howard Megdal 
       Commenting on Merriam-Webster’s selection of “admonish” as Word of the Year
       (“Admonish" shot to the top of the list three days after Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst during a speech made by President Obama, and it remained among our top lookups for weeks,” explained Peter A. Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's Editor at Large.)

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