Quote Origin: Anger Is an Acid That Can Do More Harm To the Vessel In Which It’s Stored Than To Anything On Which It’s Poured

Mark Twain? Ann Landers? Turkish Proverb? Mohandas Gandhi? Seneca the Younger? Frederica Mathewes-Green? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: Intense feelings of anger affect the body and mind negatively. This notion can be expressed metaphorically: Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on …

Quote Origin: Not a Day’s Work in All My Life. What I Have Done I Have Done, Because It Has Been Play

Mark Twain? Lawrence Pearsall Jacks? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: The famous author Mark Twain once surprisingly proclaimed that he had done “not a day’s work in all my life”. He stated that his efforts in life had “been play”. Would you please help me to find a citation for his fascinating comments? Reply from …

Quote Origin: I Never Was Ruined But Twice, Once When I Gained a Lawsuit, and Once When I Lost It

Voltaire? Mark Twain? Richard Brinsley Sheridan? John Bright? Apocryphal? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: Legal conflicts are extraordinarily expensive and time-consuming for all the participants. Even the winner of a lawsuit can suffer financially. The ill-fated contender in two legal entanglements once said something like the following. Here are two versions. The word “gained” is …

Quote Origin: This Is Only a Work of Fiction. The Truth, As Always, Will Be Far Stranger

Arthur C. Clarke? Stanley Kubrick? Mark Twain? J. B. S. Haldane? Question for Quote Investigator: Rapid computer hardware and software developments combined with extreme speculations about a technological singularity have led some science fiction writers to complain that envisioning the future has become too difficult. I am reminded of the following disclaimer for a novel: …

Joke Origin: A Clear Conscience Is Usually a Sign of a Bad Memory

Mark Twain? Steven Wright? Senator Sorghum? Philander Chase Johnson? Neal O’Hara? Felix Nieto del Rio? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: A morally upright individual strives to maintain a clear conscience. Yet, satisfying this goal is not always praiseworthy: Often a person with a clear conscience merely has a poor memory. This quip has been credited …

Quote Origin: Be Careful About Reading Medical Books. You May Die of a Misprint

Mark Twain? Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.? Markus Herz? Ernst Freiherr von Feuchtersleben? Walter C. Alvarez? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: All kinds of medical advice is available on the internet. However, the quality is variable, and some of the recommendations are deleterious. A pertinent quip has been circulating for decades. Here are two versions: (1) …

It Is Better To Deserve Honors and Not Have Them Than To Have Them and Not Deserve Them

Mark Twain? Humphry Davy? Robert G. Ingersoll? Cato the Elder? Hugh M‘Neile? Cassius Marcellus Clay? Thomas Fuller? Question for Quote Investigator: A person of great merit may not receive any recognition while an unworthy person may receive numerous accolades. This perverse disconnection has inspired the following ethical stance: It is better to deserve honors and …

Quote Origin: There Are Two Kinds of Teachers: The Kind That Fill You With So Much Quail Shot That You Can’t Move, and . . .

Robert Frost? Mark Twain? Margaret Pepperdene? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: Prominent U.S. poet Robert Frost has received credit for a brilliantly vivid metaphor describing two types of teachers. One type fills students with so much quail shot they cannot move. The other type simply prods students a little, and they jump to the skies. …

When a Man Loves Cats, I Am His Friend and Comrade

Mark Twain? Robert H. Hirst? Susy Clemens? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: Several books about cats contain a quotation credited to humorist Mark Twain stating that Twain was a friend and comrade to people who love cats. I am skeptical of this  attribution, and I haven’t seen a citation. Would you please explore this topic? …

Never Argue With Stupid People. They Will Drag You Down To Their Level and Then Beat You With Experience

Mark Twain? George Carlin? Yul Brynner? Jean Cocteau? Bob Gray? Dilbert? Scott Adams? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: Logic and careful reasoning are the ingredients of a constructive argument. Acrimony and irrationality are the elements of a fruitless argument. The celebrated humorist Mark Twain supposedly formulated the following cautionary remark. Here are two versions: (1) …