1. “I think, therefore I’m.”
I translated and updated Descartes’ famous Latin phrase into modern colloquial English, which uses contractions a whole lot. Just rolls off the tongue like a fine gummy bear. I think about this expression a lot, and then I think about how the simple act of thinking about it means that I’m.
2. “Are you being serious with me right now?”
This is a good one because of what I like to call its “Schrodinger’s Syntax.” It remains at all times in the liminal state of being both question and editorial statement—a paradox of wanting to know whether someone is being serious with you right now, but also making it clear that someone should maybe rethink how serious he is being with you right now. It is also a generally unbeatable way to find out whether someone is being serious with you right now.
3. “The proof is in the pudding, as I always say.”
I heard this wise phrase for the first time on the underside of the foil of a pudding cup, and I spent the next ten minutes sifting through the pudding to make sure it wasn’t contaminated. This was also around the time of a widespread listeria recall, and I don’t quite remember if pudding was on the recall list, but you can never be too careful when your health is at stake. The first half of this expression is an old saying, while the second half is just something I add for some Splett flavor. Like bananas, which I often add to pudding for some Banana flavor, or to ice cream, chocolate syrup and cornflakes, for what I call a Banana Splett. To be honest, I don’t really know what the phrase means.
4. “What is this — oh, it’s my lunch.”
I use this expression almost every day, and sometimes twice a day if I happen to pack two lunches. My favorite thing about this expression is that midway through it, confusion gives way to joy. Isn’t that really how life should be? I should note here that I’m writing this after eating a delicious sandwich, which may be positively affecting my mood. Meat juice is known to raise serotonin levels. If you’re looking for delicious sandwich suggestions, please check out my post, Splett On Rye: Richard Splett’s Favorite Sandwich Recipes, which I will write probably sometime this year, and post after I write it.
5. “A stranger is just a friend without your telephone number.”
I have found this to be true in all parts of life. Wherever you are, in whatever city or town or foreign park, as soon as you distribute your phone number, you have new friends. Sometimes they call you in the morning, sometimes late at night, but whether they’re telling you about their day or just breathing heavily in a disturbing way, the telephone has connected you literally and spiritually. (This also works for cell phones.)
6. “A rose is a rose is a rose.”
I’ll be honest, I actually thought the expression was “arrows is arrows is arrows,” which I thought was cool because arrows were a criminally underrated form of weaponry until the Hunger Games girl brought them back, but flowers are okay too, I can accept that.
7. “You’re never better than yourself at your worst.”
This is a very uplifting phrase that I made up back in 3rd grade, when I wanted to grow up to be a phJrase-inventor. It means, obviously, that when you are at your best, even your worst is better than that. Even not your worst, I mean. Actually, now that I read it, it doesn’t really make sense. Probably why I didn’t get either of my doctoral degrees in Phrase Invention!