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Elements

If you are ever forced to take a chemistry class, you will probably see, at the front of the classroom, a large chart divided into squares, with different numbers and letters in each of them. This chart is called the table of the elements, and scientists like to say that it contains all the substances that make up our world. Like everyone else, scientists are wrong from time to time, and it is easy to see that they are wrong about the table of the elements. Because although this table contains a great many elements, from the element oxygen, which is found in the air, to the element aluminium, which is found in cans of soda, the table of the elements does not contain one of the most powerful elements that make up our world, and that is the element of surprise.

Lemony Snicket in The Ersatz Elevator,
Book the Sixth of A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Bad Sir Brian Botany

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Sir Brian had a battleaxe with great big knobs on. He went among the villagers and blipped them on the head.

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– A. A. Milne, demonstrating with his poem Bad Sir Brian Botany how to excel at opening lines.

Life and Times of $crooge McDuck

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To me personally, this will always be one of the finest graphic novels in existence, putting Don Rosa up there with the likes of Alan Moore and Art Spiegelman. Of course, my opinion is coloured by a multitude of particular factors — by having read this excellent saga doled out in tiny chapters over the course of half my childhood, by before that having already spent my entire living memory immersed in stories set in this universe, by being a person who loves continuity finally being given the backstory of one of my favourite characters in what was (and is) usually considered a continuity-devoid universe …

But in fairness, a lot of these factors can be boiled down to me being the exact target demographic when I first read The Life and Times of $crooge McDuck. In age, and in interests. And one can hardly hold that against it.
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He had been trying to think, but could not

Finally, one of the biggest mice spoke.
‘Is there nothing we can do,’ it asked, ‘to repay you for saving the life of our Queen?’
‘Nothing that I know of,’ answered the Woodman; but the Scarecrow, who had been trying to think, but could not because his head was stuffed with straw, said, quickly, ‘Oh, yes; you can save our friend, the Cowardly Lion, who is asleep in the poppy bed.’

The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum.

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The three-legged Death Horse and the Grave Pig

It is a popular superstition in Denmark, that under every church that is built, a living horse must be buried: the ghost of this horse is the death horse, that limps every night on three legs to the house where some one is to die. Under a few churches a living pig was buried, and the ghost of this was called the grave pig.

From the footnotes on page 360 of The Complete Illustrated Works of Hans Christian Andersen (originally published in 1889 as Stories for the Household)

Expediency

Minister, it takes time to do things ‘now‘!

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– Sir Humphrey Appleby,
in Yes Minister series 3, episode 1: “Equal Opportunities”

Not _symptoms_?!

So, what do you make of Atticus’ symptoms?
Symptoms?!
Yeah.
You didn’t tell me he had symptoms. … Oh my God; it’s back!
What’s back?
The pandemic.

– Dr. Lola Adolf Spratt and Dr. Derrick Childrens
in Childrens Hospital 7×2: One Million Saved

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