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Wednesday, 04 May 2022

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Chasing quotations is problematic. My all time favourite commentary on sports is by Fran Lebowitz:
“Generally speaking, I look upon sports as dangerous and tiring activities performed by people with whom I share nothing except the right to trial by jury.”

The late Ken Purdy was a fine writer, if also a master of purple prose (as the lines you mention above indicate).
He was perhaps the first great automotive journalist/storyteller. There have been very few of those, in a field riddled with shameless second-raters (like sports journalism in general).
Purdy's good work, however, is worth reading, even seen as artifacts of his time. His story about the racing driver Alfonso de Portago resonates still.

"Happy Star Trek Day. May the fourth be with you" - No 6 in Firefly

Hi.

There’s that ‘quote’ that is usually presented as ‘moaning about modern youth,’ with a list of all their failures (laziness, lack of respect, etc), and the ‘punchline’ at the end ascribing the quote to various famous Roman folk.

It’s funny. And it is actually from Schools of Hellas, by Kenneth Freeman.

This is a dissertation written in 1906, after graduation from Cambridge, with a view to entering Trinity College, which required a piece of original work from candidates. After Freeman’s unfortunate death that same year, it was considered important enough to be published.

From memory, the ‘quote’ is actually something he thought elders might express during this period.

The dissertation is available free online.

Peace & all that,
Dean

You got the Abraham Lincoln quote wrong, it was actually George Washington who said that.

Nah. I heard that quote attributed to Hemingway back when I first started mountain climbing...in 1972.

[If you'll read the Barry Popik link you'll see why. Ken Purdy wrote it c. 1957-60, and put it into the mouth of a fictional character, "Helmut Ovden," who was a Hemingway-type character. --Mike]

"It must be true I read it on the internet".
Lots of disinformation on the 'net that gets parroted by the clueless until it becomes common knowledge. Meh!

This is part of the benefit of being married to a librarian. She frequently corrects me, for which I am happy.

Patrick

Photography appears to be an easy activity; in fact it is a varied and ambiguous process in which the only common denominator among its practitioners is in the instrument, the pinnacle being the Fujifilm Q1. Man, that’s one sweet lookin’ camera. I will pants anyone who says otherwise.”—Henri Cartier-Bresson (1999). The Mind's Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers.

"As Abraham Lincoln once said, 'the problem with photos on the Internet is that they are very hard to verify.'"

I’d like to know who was responsible for my favorite;
‘Humans, programmable bio-mechanical units that can be produced cheaply by unskilled labor.’

This discussion reminded me of an anecdote told by Raymond Smullyan in his book '5000 B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies', a book I highly recommend. Here goes:

"At another lecture, [Artur] Schnabel said, "You may find this hard to believe, but Igor Stravinsky has actually published in the papers the statement, 'Music to be great must be completely cold and unemotional'! And last Sunday, I was having breakfast with Arnold Shonberg, and I said to him, 'Can you imagine that Stravinsky actually made the statement that music to be great must be cold and unemotional?' At this, Schonberg got furious and said, 'I said that first!' "

Not just attribution is a problem. Both Teresas were, of course, a Roman Catholic nuns. Not surprisingly, they spoke of God, faith and so on.

“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”

― Teresa of Ávila

“May today be peace within.
May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be...
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you...
May you be content knowing you are a child of God...
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of you.”

― Mother Teresa

Did she slightly misremember her namesake? Did she want to be heard more easily by people of other faiths?

"Today may there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us."

- Altered version of the Mother Teresa quote widely found on the internet.

Here, God and “higher power” are gone and “faith” is not religious. Someone liked it, wanted it secular, but still attributed to a famous wise woman.

“To Err is Human; To Really Foul Things Up Requires a Computer” - William E. Vaughan (Quote Investigator)

Mike, to quote you: "The Internet sucks at quotes. Yes, we have Quote Investigator and Wikiquote. But you have to be very careful. All quotations on the Internet not accompanied by sources and citations should be assumed by default to be wrong."

I believe this posting is the first time I've seen you use a capital letter ('I') for the word "Internet." The freeway Interstate 95 (I-95) is capitalized; but my thought is the Internet is the data freeway and should be capitalized too. What say you?

[I've read a lot about it. "Wired" switched to lowercase in 2004, AP Style Guide switched to lowercase in 2016 (June 1 to be exact), Chicago Manual of style still prefers capitalization. In American orthography we tend to hold out for the capital letter, but in most cases it's fine either way. I kinda go back and forth because I don't think there's a great argument one way or the other. I should just pick one and be consistent.

I've tended in general to like older forms best, for instance P.S. instead of PS, p.m. instead of PM, the use of the Oxford comma, and Internet was always capitalized in the '90s when I was an editor, at least by us...although I've given in on USA and UK. U.K. just doesn't look right any more even to me. --Mike]

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