A thoughtful post. It's odd how sayings tend to get attributed to famous people -- Mark Twain, Bill Cosby, Einstein ... -- and most of us never bother to check.
This is certainly a cynical post for a self-described idealist! "pure bunk" is way too harsh. I cannot agree that the life of an exemplary person must only attract either uncritical praise or hostility. Sure, it happens, and often enough to be the usual. But others are truly inspired. I daresay Mandela himself did not spring from a rock. Not everyone who is inspired to be good eventually comes to your attention. To paraphrase ... who? Thoreau? Emerson? Shakespeare? Twain? Will Rogers? Freud? ... "Some significant number of people lead lives of quiet admiration."
@Richard: Do you think checking has become ever so much more difficult with the internet? Not physically harder but reliably harder. Now we not only have to find the citation, but also judge its reliability. What with the appearance of authority and the ease of propagation, how does one decide when to stop collecting attributions and pick one?To choose among Josh Billings, Artemus Ward, and Mark Twain (all of them pseudonyms, on top of it) one almost has to time travel to New England.At least Bartlett's had dedicated editors, but they haven't kept up.
Well designed,interesting and entertaining. Keep it up.
Post a Comment