Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Short Note Long Note

As noted in my ten rules of blogging, I try to maintain a strict daily word limit here. So it's easier for you. It's harder for me.

I saw a presentation today that used the classic quote from Mark Twain, paraphrasing from memory: "I don't have time to write a short letter so I'll write a long letter". But he did not really say those words. It sounds the sort of thing he would say, so people believe it and propagate it. So here are five real quotes:

1. No church, no nobility, no royalty or other fraud, can face ridicule in a fair field and live.

2. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve.

3. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition.

4. Civilization largely consists in hiding human nature. When the barbarian learns to hide it we account him enlightened.

5. Supposing is good, but finding out is better (I'll add in the links/references tomorrow:)

2 comments:

Ann said...

The following quote is often misattributed to Mark Twain:

"I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter." This quote is by the 17th-century French philosopher and mathematician, Blaise Pascal (1623-62), written in a letter to a friend. The original French version was: "Je n'ai fait cette lettre - ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte"

R N B said...

Well done. "misattributed". It's exactly the sort of thing he might have said, but there is no evidence that he actually did.