Quote Origin: Sometimes Our Inner Fire Goes Out. Another Person Rekindles It and Deserves Our Deepest Gratitude

Albert Schweitzer? Jim Valvano? Erica Anderson? C. T. Campion? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: Maintaining a high level of enthusiasm and motivation is difficult. Sometimes our inner fire starts to sputter. Happily, this fire can be reignited by an experience with another person. We owe that person our deep thanks. Apparently, Alsatian physician and humanitarian …

Quote Origin: Nothing Is More Powerful Than an Idea Whose Time Has Come

Victor Hugo? Émile Souvestre? Gustave Aimard? Frederic C. Howe? Ralph Waldo Trine? Benjamin Disraeli? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: An idea can transform a culture and catalyze historical changes. Here are three expressions from a family of pertinent sayings: (1) Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.(2) Nothing can stand against …

Quote Origin: Predicted Nine Out of the Last Five Recessions

Paul Samuelson? Economists? Wall Street Indexes? Katharyn Duff? Lawrence Summers? Niall Ferguson? Question for Quote Investigator: Predicting the fluctuations of the economy is enormously difficult.  Many economists have forecast recessions that never occurred. Here are three comical expressions: (1) Economists have predicted 11 of the last 5 recessions.(2) The markets projected twelve of the last …

Quote Origin: Please Accept Our Apologies. We Were Roaring Drunk On Petroleum

Kurt Vonnegut? Jacqueline Blais? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: A prominent writer was unhappy that the world was not rapidly phasing out the use of fossil fuels. So the wit wrote a sardonic explanation for future generations. Here are two versions: (1) We were roaring drunk on petroleum.(2) We were rolling drunk on petroleum. These …

Quote Origin: Writing, At Least a Craft and At Its Best an Art, Aspiring To the Unique, Is the Most Difficult of All To Learn

Jacques Barzun? Morris Philipson? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: There are several roles in the domain of publishing. A prominent thinker has asserted that writing “is the most difficult of all to learn”. The thinker also said writing is “at least a craft and at its best an art”. These remarks have been attributed to …

Quote Origin: Nothing That Makes Us Happy Is an Illusion

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe? Jules Verne? Friedrich Nietzsche? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: A character in a novel by the prominent German poet and novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe presented a radical stance on happiness and illusion. Here are two versions: (1) Nothing which makes us happy is an illusion?(2) Can that be a delusion …

Quote Origin: I Don’t Think the Human Race Will Survive the Next Thousand Years, Unless We Spread Into Space

Stephen Hawking? Alvin Toffler? David Deutsch? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: Humankind currently inhabits only one small fragile planet, and the perils on Earth continue to grow. A prominent physicist once insisted that humankind must expand into space in order to survive the next thousand years. I am not sure of the exact phrasing. Would …

Quote Origin: It Will Become Clear That the Internet’s Impact on the Economy Has Been No Greater Than the Fax Machine’s

Paul Krugman? Herman Kahn? Steven D. Levitt? Stephen J. Dubner? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: Predicting the technological future is enormously difficult. Will society ever have flying cars, home robots, or cities on Mars? The opinions of enthusiasts, skeptics, and experts are highly variable. The record of most prognosticators has been poor. Apparently, during the …

Quote Origin: The Worst Tempered People I’ve Ever Met Were People Who Knew They Were Wrong

David Letterman? Wilson Mizner? Edward Dean Sullivan? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: People who are angry and irritable often conceal a secret. They know they are mistaken about something vital. Here is a germane saying: The worst tempered people I have ever met were people who knew they were wrong. This saying has been attributed …

Quote Origin: One More Drink, and I’m Under the Host

Dorothy Parker? Bennett Cerf? Richard Martin Stern? Playboy’s Party Jokes? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: The famous wit Dorothy Parker had trouble controlling her use of alcohol. According to legend she was asked about her experiences at a party, and she replied: One more drink and I’d have been under the host! Parker’s line was …

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