'You lie!' makes South Carolina quoteworthy in '09

The State (Columbia, S.C.)December 17, 2009 

Congratulations, South Carolina.

You dominated the list of notable quotations for 2009.

You can thank your colorful politicians and your reputation as an outspoken critic of government for the distinction.

This year, the state made a name for itself with its disappearing governor, a heckling congressman and its voice in the debate over health reform.

"It's been a wild year," said Robert Oldendick, a political science professor at University of South Carolina. "If there's only 10 quotes and we're one of 50 states, by probability we shouldn't get any on it. We've, unfortunately, invited a lot of publicity."

Fred Shapiro, editor of The Yale Book of Quotations, chose three statements made by South Carolina residents in his top 10 list. Shapiro published his book in 2006 and has released a list of 10 memorable quotes each year since then.

Shapiro's number one quote was this gem, spoken by an unknown citizen at a town hall forum last summer in Simpsonville: "Keep your government hands off my Medicare."

"The first quote reflected the debate and how much polarization there was," Shapiro said.

Other notable quotes connected to South Carolina were U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson's shout of "You lie!" during a President Obama speech on health care reform. And, the now infamous statement released by Gov. Mark Sanford's press office, "The governor is hiking the Appalachian Trail."

To read the complete article, visit www.thestate.com.

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