Parts of Speech

The most influential people say the most interesting things. This year's TIME 100, in their own words

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Marco Grob for TIME

'You know, I don't take my glasses off for many interviews, but I'll take them off for you.'
LADY GAGA, interviewing with Barbara Walters without her trademark sunglasses

'This is not an ordinary fossil. It's not a chimp. It's not a human. It shows us what we used to be.'
TIM WHITE, the paleontologist who discovered Ardi, the skeleton of a 4.4-million-year-old human ancestor

'I'd like to dedicate this double hundred to the people of India for standing behind me for the last 20 years.'
SACHIN TENDULKAR, Indian cricket sensation, on scoring the first double century in a one-day match

'I'm in my place. I'm the Speaker of the House, the first woman Speaker of the House. And I'm in my place because the House of Representatives voted me there.'
NANCY PELOSI, responding to the National Republican Congressional Committee's remark that she should be "put in her place" for opposing an increase in troop levels in Afghanistan

'Hopefully our efforts will lead to greater awareness ... If not, maybe it will bring the headband back into fashion.'
BEN STILLER, on "Stillerstrong" headbands — like Lance Armstrong's "Livestrong" wristbands — from the actor's charity, the Haiti School Initiative, which he started in December

'How's that hopey-changey stuff working out for you?'
SARAH PALIN, addressing Obama supporters in her Tea Party Convention speech

'I'm not supposed to admit this, ladies and gentlemen, but I really missed the applause. You have no idea how shallow I am.'
CONAN O'BRIEN, during the first night of his comedy road tour

'I've been dreaming about this moment so long, I can't believe this is not a dream anymore.'
KIM YU-NA, after becoming South Korea's first Olympic gold medalist in figure skating

'People have called me much worse.'
ASHTON KUTCHER, on being called Mr. Demi Moore, in reference to his actress wife

'Dang gummit, somebody has got to stand up on behalf of middle-class families!'
ELIZABETH WARREN, Harvard bankruptcy expert, on the ills of Wall Street

'Twenty years — to me, that's like a lifetime.'
TAYLOR SWIFT, 20, on the retirement of country duo Brooks and Dunn, who have recorded for as long as Swift has been alive

'I want to take what I've established in daytime, inspiring people and giving them hope — and some cars — and build on that, 24/7, OWN-style.'
OPRAH WINFREY, pitching the Oprah Winfrey Network to potential advertisers; the channel is set to debut in January 2011

Sources: ABC; CNN; Stillerstrong.org SI.com TIME; New York Times; AP; New York Times; AP; Telegraph; BBC; Palin: NPR