Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results

Albert Einstein? Narcotics Anonymous? Max Nordau? George Bernard Shaw? George A. Kelly? Rita Mae Brown? John Larroquette? Jessie Potter? Werner Erhard? Dear Quote Investigator: It’s foolish to repeat ineffective actions. One popular formulation presents this point harshly: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. … Continue reading Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results

I Don’t Suffer from Insanity; I Enjoy Every Minute of It!

Edgar Allan Poe? Edward Hastings Ford? Lloyd Biggle Jr.? Pat Williams? Joss Whedon? Bumper Sticker? T-Shirt Slogan? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: The following statement has been attributed to Edgar Allan Poe, the influential writer of detective fiction and the macabre: I don’t suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it! Poe died in 1849 … Continue reading I Don’t Suffer from Insanity; I Enjoy Every Minute of It!

Insanity Is Hereditary. You Can Get It from Your Children

Sam Levenson? Oscar Levant? W. C. Fields? Helen Gorn Sutin? Dave Berg? Ann Landers? Erma Bombeck? Grace Kelly? Dear Quote Investigator: Many parents concur with a very funny quip that reverses the traditional notion of inheritance: Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your kids. This joke has been attributed to the newspaper columnist Erma … Continue reading Insanity Is Hereditary. You Can Get It from Your Children

When Is a Mouse If It Spins? Because the Higher It Gets the Fewer

Robert Overton? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: The question and answer of the following exasperating riddle appear to be nonsensical: Question: Why is a mouse when it spins? Answer: The higher, the fewer. Would you please examine the provenance of this conundrum? Quote Investigator: Robert Overton published “Ten Minutes: Holiday Yarns and Recitations” as a Christmas … Continue reading When Is a Mouse If It Spins? Because the Higher It Gets the Fewer

The Most Fun You Can Have Without Laughing

H. L. Mencken? Woody Allen? Walter Winchell? Alfred Lunt? Sarah Bernhardt? E. V. Durling? Jim Bishop? Colonel Stoopnagle? Frederick Chase Taylor? Leo Rosten? Humphrey Bogart? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: The following declaration of high praise has been applied to love making: The most fun you can have without laughing. Influential commentator H. L. Mencken and … Continue reading The Most Fun You Can Have Without Laughing

A Blind Man in a Dark Room Looking for a Black Cat That Is Not There

Charles Darwin? Lord Bowen? Confucius? E. R. Pearce? William James? Ralph Waldo Emerson? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: A vivid and comical metaphor has been applied to professions that require abstract and recondite reasoning abilities: A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black hat which isn’t there. A metaphysician is … Continue reading A Blind Man in a Dark Room Looking for a Black Cat That Is Not There

The Scariest Monsters Are the Ones That Lurk Within Our Souls

Edgar Allan Poe? Rona Jaffe? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: The following quotation has been tweeted repeatedly, and I have seen it on Facebook and several tumblrs. The words are always ascribed to the famed poet and writer of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe: The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls. I … Continue reading The Scariest Monsters Are the Ones That Lurk Within Our Souls