Saturday, March 19, 2011

Laconic Phrases

Ah the Spartans. How badass are they? Well, if you've seen 300 then you know that they're super duper badass from that completely accurate depiction of the Battle of Thermopylae.
In addition to being awesome at fighting they weren't too shabby at geography either.
But for all you goddamn hippy peaceniks out there you're probably muttering to yourself "Yeah, they could kill people, big fuckin' deal, that's definitely a productive society. Don't they know that the pen is mightier than the sword?" Well Spartans didn't really like writing stuff down, but they did say some pretty balltastically awesome things. They were famous for their thriftiness with words and so they were basically the inventor of the one liner... except the one liners were often said in the face of death.
So in the movie 300 there are a few examples of documented Laconic phrases you may remember. There's that time when the Persian dude's coming up looking all cool on his bigass chair saying they were going to blot out the sun with their arrows to which the Spartan responds "Sweet brah, then we'll fight in the shade"
The Athenians kept trying to tell them there was a simpler solution...
Or the Persians shouting out "Drop your spears and be called pussies by the rest of the Greeks for the rest of history" or something along those lines. And then Leonidas calls back "Come and get them!"
Archaeologists found Leonidas' fossilized left testicle
Later on, after Sparta had fallen from preeminence in Greece and kinda just sucked as a polis, her citizens nevertheless maintained their short, crazy bravado. When Philip of Macedon (Alexander's father who is usually outshadowed by his son, yet was an unbelievably successful conqueror) came with his army to Sparta, he sent a messenger telling the Spartans that "if they fought against him and he won he'd run train on them and do the whole looting, raping, pillaging, enslaving, etc deal." The Spartans sent back the word "if". Yeah, this was after Philip had taken over most of Greece, including some city states that were way stronger than Sparta at that time. Despite that, Philip, and later, Alexander, both completely avoided Sparta.

I could go on talking about Laconic phrases, but honestly, I'll just link you to a Wikipedia article that has a bunch of really funny ones (if you're a dork like me): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laconic_phrase

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