‘Can I quote you on that?’ Yale librarian’s annual list of the year’s best

For the seventh year, Yale Law School associate librarian Fred Shapiro has released his list of the top 10 notable quotes of the year, and it’s not unexpected — given the presidential election — that many of his top picks for 2012 are from the political realm.

Shapiro, who is also a lecturer in legal research at the Law School, has been compiling his annual list ever since he edited the “The Yale Book of Quotations,” which Yale University Press published in 2006. He sees his annual selection of the best quotes of the year as a way of updating the volume. The yearly list is released by the Associated Press, and is picked up by major media outlets nationwide.

Shapiro says he makes his choices for top quotes on the basis of how often they are cited or how famous they are, as well as for being revealing of the spirit of the times. They are not necessarily admirable or pithy, he says. In fact, most of those that made this year’s list are gaffes, he notes.

On this year’s list are two from 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney and three from President Barack Obama. Remarks by Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin, Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, socialite Jill Kelley, Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss also made Shapiro’s top 10. Finally — for the first time in seven years — lyrics from a song were included in his top picks: “Oppan Gangnam style.”

Shapiro is also the author of “The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations,” published in 1993.

For the complete list of Shapiro’s top quotes of the year, visit the Associated Press story.