July 5, 2010

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”


FAMOUS ORIGINAL SLOGAN:

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
       Ad slogan for the United Negro College Fund since 1971
       Coined by the Young & Rubicam ad agency


CORSETIÈRE COUNTERQUOTE:

“A waist is a terrible thing to waste.” 
       Headline of an article about the Vancouver corset shop (a “corsetière”) Lace Embrace Atelier


COPYCAT COUNTERQUOTE:

“A sick mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
       Movie critic Richard Corliss
       In his negative review of the psychokiller movie Copycat (1995)


GRAMMARIAN’S QUIBBLE:

“The Fund [UNCF] has a slogan that reads, ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste.’ But while one understands the intent of its worded content, the manner in which the slogan is worded makes for light wonderment in semantics as to whether a mind really is a ‘terrible thing’? Should it not then be, ‘It’s a terrible thing to waste a mind’?” 
       Guyanese journalist Emile Mervin
       In an article in the Guyana Gazette, Feb. 26, 2006


COMPOSTER’S VARIATION:

“Compost...because a rind is a terrible thing to waste!”
       Title of a composting manual by Jean Bonhotal and Karen Rollo
       Published by the Cornell University Waste Management Institute (1996)


INFAMOUS QUAYLE BLOOPER:

“When you take the UNCF model that, what a waste it is to lose one’s mind, or not to have a mind is being very wasteful, how true that is.”
       Dan Quayle
       Vice President of the United States (1989-1993)
       Speech at the United Negro College Fund, May 9, 1989
       What a Waste It Is to Lose One's Mind is the title of an unauthorized “autobiography” of Quayle


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