Steve Martin? George Carlin? Terry Pratchett? O. J. Anderson? Davis Merritt Jr.? Tom Page? Allen Klein? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: Different attitudes towards life are vividly illustrated by divergent reactions to a partially filled glass:
Optimist: The glass half full
Pessimist: The glass is half empty
A third humorous category is sometimes added to the two categories above. Here are some examples:
Realist: The glass is too big
Comedian: The glass is simply the wrong size
Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be
Would you please explore the history of this extended joke?
Quote Investigator: If readers wish to learn about the original simple bipartite split then they should follow this link to a separate QI article on the topic.
The family of sayings which presents a comical tripartite split is difficult to trace because the family is highly variable.
The first match located by QI appeared in the “Fort Lauderdale News” of Florida in 1977. An unnamed sports writer used an instance while describing a college football player named O.J. Anderson who emphasized the positive. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1977 November 8, Fort Lauderdale News, College Scene: Hurricanes: Anderson Believes Miami Can Win Remaining Three, Quote Page 4E, Column 1, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Newspapers_com)
Optimists say the water glass is half full. Pessimists claim that it is half empty. O.J. Anderson would probably say the water is really overflowing except you can’t tell because the glass is too big. That’s how much of a positive thinker Anderson is.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
|↑1||1977 November 8, Fort Lauderdale News, College Scene: Hurricanes: Anderson Believes Miami Can Win Remaining Three, Quote Page 4E, Column 1, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Newspapers_com)|