Quote Origin: All of Bach, Streamed Out Into Space, Over and Over Again. We Would Be Bragging

Carl Sagan? Lewis Thomas? Douglas Adams? Stephen Fry? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: Suppose humanity decided to deliberately send a message out into space. What should be included in that message which might someday be read by a hypothetical alien civilization?   In fact, the U.S. launched two robotic interstellar probes in 1977, Voyager 1 …

Phrase Origin: Churchillian Drift

Nigel Rees? Stephen Fry? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: This website contains numerous examples of quotations that have been reassigned from anonymous or forgotten individuals to famous figures. The general phenomenon has been designated “Churchillian Drift” because of the large number of sayings that have been incorrectly attributed to Winston Churchill. Would you please explore …

The Stupid Person’s Idea of the Clever Person

Speaker: Julie Burchill? Elizabeth Bowen? Ezra Klein? Paul Krugman? Andrew Sullivan? Hermione Eyre? William Donaldson? Target: Stephen Fry? Aldous Huxley? Dick Armey? Newt Gingrich? Dear Quote Investigator: Recently, I heard an uncomplimentary quip applied to an intellectual. Here are three versions: The stupid person’s idea of a clever person The dumb person’s idea of a …

The Young Sow Wild Oats. The Old Grow Sage

Winston Churchill? Stephen Fry? Henry James Byron? W. Davenport Adams? Aubrey Stewart? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: The recent memoir by English comedian and actor Stephen Fry contains the following intriguing remark:[ref] 2015 (Copyright 2014), More Fool Me: A Memoir by Stephen Fry, Chapter: The Early Days, Section: Waiting for My Man, The Overlook Press: Peter …

Write Drunk, Revise Sober

Ernest Hemingway? Gowan McGland? Dylan Thomas? Peter De Vries? F. Scott Fitzgerald? James Joyce? Stephen Fry? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: “Alcohol loosens the tongue” is an old saying that some authors treat with reverence. But the resultant lubricated poetry and prose may require a red pencil. The famous writer Ernest Hemingway reportedly made one of …

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