Quote Origin: The Struggle Between the Admitted Desire To Dress and the Unadmitted Desire To Undress

Lin Yutang? Sydney J. Harris? Carl Bakal? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: The kaleidoscopic world of fashion contains fluctuating hemlines, shifting necklines, transparent fabrics, and revealing slits. A pundit once stated that fashion embodies the struggle between the admitted desire to dress and the unadmitted desire to undress. Would you please explore the provenance of …

The Middle of the Road is Where the White Line Is—and That’s the Worst Place To Drive

Robert Frost? Margaret Thatcher? Dwight D. Eisenhower? Aneurin Bevan? Franklin P. Jones? I. P. Reynolds? Eric Nicol? John M. Ashbrook? William Penn Patrick? Sydney Harris? Alan Craig Loughrige? Jim Hightower? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: Social relationships and political decisions often entail compromise. Yet, these intermediary policies, i.e., middle-of-the-road positions, frequently engender hostility. Here is a …

The Time To Relax Is When You Don’t Have Time For It

Sydney J. Harris? Beulah Schacht? Sol Margoles? Evan Esar? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: A nearly paradoxical piece of advice states that the best time to relax is when you feel unable to relax because of time pressures. Would you please explore this adage. Quote Investigator: Here is a family of closely related statements with dates: …

Life Is Not About Finding Yourself. Life Is About Creating Yourself

George Bernard Shaw? Mary McCarthy? Thomas Szasz? Sydney J. Harris? Helen A. De Rosis? Victoria Y. Pellegrino? Karen Horney? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: For decades pop-psychology has emphasized the task of “finding yourself”, i.e., identifying your deepest values, abilities, feelings, and desires. Yet, these qualities are not immutable. Instead, living fully means endlessly recreating yourself. …

Education Is What You Get from Reading the Small Print in a Contract. Experience Is What You Get from Not Reading It

Pete Seeger? Vesta M. Kelly? Mr. Minnick the Cynic? Old Timer? Bill Gold? Evan Esar? Saul Lavisky? Laurence J. Peter? Sydney J. Harris? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: Comprehending the details of a complex legal contract is a daunting task. Yet, entrapment by an unnoticed provision of an agreement is a terrible experience. Here is a …

To My Embarrassment I Was Born in Bed with a Lady

Mark Twain? Groucho Marx? Wilson Mizner? Sydney J. Harris? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: A funny man once said that he was embarrassed to discover that his behavior had always been scandalous; he had been born in bed with a lady. This line has been connected to Mark Twain, Groucho Marx, and Wilson Mizner. Would you …

Regret for the Things We Did Can Be Tempered by Time; It Is Regret for the Things We Did Not Do That Is Inconsolable

Sydney J. Harris? Sydney Smith? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: Different types of regret may be experienced when you do something and when you refrain from doing something. A statement on this topic has been attributed to two disparate Sydneys: the English wit Sydney Smith and the U.S. columnist Sydney J. Harris. Would you please determine …

Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler

Albert Einstein? Louis Zukofsky? Roger Sessions? William of Ockham? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: The credibility of a quotation is increased substantially if it can be ascribed to a widely-recognized genius such as Albert Einstein. Hence a large number of spurious quotes are attributed to him. I would like to know if the following is a …