Time is Money. Benjamin Franklin?

Dear Quote Investigator: As an entrepreneur I marvel at the wisdom and concision of the following maxim: Time is money. This is usually credited to Benjamin Franklin, but I have become skeptical about attributions after reading this blog. So, I performed my own  exploration for this saying and determined that it was indeed Franklin who …

Samuel Goldwyn’s Impossible Quote

Dear Quotation Investigator: Samuel Goldwyn, the Hollywood studio chief, was famous for his creatively humorous speech errors. A famous actor once asked if he could be in one of Goldwyn’s new productions. But Goldwyn did not like the actor, and he supposedly said: I can answer you in two words, “im possible.” Well, that is …

These Are My Principles. If You Don’t Like Them I Have Others

Groucho Marx? American Legislator? Anonymous? Dear Quotation Investigator: My favorite quip attributed to Groucho Marx is perfect for describing some politicians: These are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others. Was Groucho impersonating a politician when he said this? Quote Investigator: It is not clear whether Groucho did employ this joke.  But …

If You Remember the ’60s, You Really Weren’t There

Robin Williams? Charlie Fleischer? Paul Krassner? Paul Kantner? Grace Slick? Dear Quotation Investigator: I lived through the 1960s, but the only thing I remember about it is the following quotation: If you can remember the 1960s, you weren’t really there. Does anyone recall who said this? Quote Investigator: Yes, many people think they remember who …

How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall? Practice!

Jascha Heifetz? Arthur Rubinstein? Generic Maestro? Dear Quote Investigator: How old is that classic joke about one of New York City’s landmark venues? How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. Quote Investigator: Tracing jokes can be difficult because they can be told in so many ways. Etymologist Barry Popik is one of …

Two Things Are Infinite: the Universe and Human Stupidity

Albert Einstein? Frederick S. Perls? Anonymous? A Great Astronomer? Dear Quote Investigator: I saw a comic strip titled “Baby Einstein” that contained three quotations that are usually attributed to Einstein. Are these quotes accurate? I am particularly interested in the second quotation: Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure …

Quote Origin: Time Flies Like an Arrow; Fruit Flies Like a Banana

Groucho Marx? Anthony Oettinger? Susumu Kuno? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: The simile “Time flies like an arrow” compares the rapidity of the passage of time to the quickness of a darting arrow. However, there exist alternative interpretations of the phrase. Here are two possibilities: (1) A particular type of flies called “time flies” are …

This Post Fills a Much-Needed Gap – Part 02

Gary Cooper? Lee Neuwirth? Henry Miller? Moses Hadas? Dear Quotation Investigator: I was told that a prominent journal editor would sometimes write a rejection letter to an author that said his or her “paper fills a much-needed gap”. Is this true? QI: This post continues the investigation of the phrase “much needed gap”, restarting in …

This Post Fills a Much-Needed Gap – Part 01

Dear Quotation Investigator: I once read that the funniest book review ever written begins with the sentence: “This book fills a much-needed gap”. Does this book review actually exist? QI: Remarkably, the phrase mentioned does appear in many book reviews and other evaluations. For years writers have been incongruously eager to praise the filling of …

Misbehaving Children in Ancient Times

Dear Quote Investigator: There is a great quote by Plato or Socrates about the misbehavior of children in antiquity that I read in the New York Times. The quote shows that the problems between generations are not just a recent occurrence. Instead, the conflicts between parents and offspring are timeless [NY8]: The children now love …