Monday, April 14, 2008

America's Motto

Stephen Levitt, the author of the best-selling eceonomic-come-social commentary on America, Freakonomics, challenged the readers of his New York times blog of the same name, to pick a 6-word motto for the United States.

He was, supposedly, inspired by the apathetic attitude of my countrymen to create a universal statement about what it means to be British - summed-up, I believe, by the winner to a Times contest, that read: “No Motto Please, We’re British.” or, my favorite, "At least we're not French." The latter would have got my vote, but not because I hate the French (which I don't, it's just those snobby Parisiens). The reason I thought it was perfect was because, in that uniquely English way, we managed to state a positive through a negative, avoid the opportunity to say anything grandiose about ourselves, and seize the opportunity to take a stab at our neighbors... and all in just 5 words. Classic.

So... ahem ...exactly. Boastful, chest-pounding, and inspiring statements of national pride are not exactly the British "thing". (Perhaps, the winner was perfect after all.)

Anyway, back to my other home, the U.S...

In this blog post in February, Stephen Levitt made his challenge, and here is the winner and some notable entires.

For those of you who can't be bothered to click through, here the most voted-for 6-word motto:
Our Worst Critics Prefer to Stay.

And here was I thinking that Americans would be better at this chest-pounding thing!

Do you have other ideas? I challenge you, my creative readers, to give me your 6 word motto for the U.S. (and/or your home country).

1 comment:

e said...

I can't come up with anything.

That was it. That was mine. [looks crestfallen]

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