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Garson O'Toole
Worked at Quote Investigator
Attended Yale University
Lives in Florida
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Garson O'Toole

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Entertaining illustration that fits the quotation; courtesy of Iain Macadair and PhD Comics
 
"Writing Is Easy; You Just Open a Vein and Bleed"

Source: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/09/14/writing-bleed/
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Garson O'Toole

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Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace.

The phrase above is attributed to Oscar Wilde at websites such as like "Goodreads" and "The Quotations Page". But QI has found no substantive evidence linking the saying to Wilde. Instead, there is another similar saying that was written by the English author, journalist, and critic Gilbert Keith Chesterton in "The Illustrated London News" in May 1928:

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.

Interestingly, the positions of the terms "art" and "morality" were switched in Chesterton's original statement. To learn more about the history of this saying you may visit the Quote Investigator website:

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/07/20/drawing/
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Garson O'Toole

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Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative.

The joke above has been credited to the film star Maurice Chevalier, and there is evidence that he helped to popularize it. However, it was circulating before it was linked to Chevalier. More about the history can be found here:

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/07/10/old-age/
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Garson O'Toole

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Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There’s just too much fraternizing with the enemy.

The words above were attributed to the foreign policy specialist Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. But was this ascription just a component of a meta-joke? The astonishing truth is available at the Quote Investigator website.

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/07/02/peace/
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Garson O'Toole

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The most effective kind of education is that a child should play among lovely things.

The words above are attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher and sage Plato. QI believes that the statement was derived from a passage in "The Republic" that yields an imperfect match. More information is available at the Quote Investigator website.

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/06/26/play/

The Tsarevich Fabergé Egg: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic via Wikimedia Commons from the Flickr stream of user diaper.
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1) I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed.
2) Never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.
3) Never, ever, enter a battle of wits half-armed.
4) In a battle of wits he comes only half prepared to the battle.

Many variants of this joke are circulating. Did William Shakespeare craft the original? There is no evidence that he did. An exploration of this topic is available at the Quote Investigator website:

 http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/06/24/wit-battle/

Image Note: "Paris 2010 – Le Penseur" from Daniel Stockman Flickr stream via Wikimedia Commons; licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
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Garson O'Toole

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The following quotation is often incorrectly attributed to Albert Einstein:

The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.

Evidence collected by QI indicates that the saying should be credited to Francis Phillip Wernig who printed it on a poster that was circulating in 1973. Wernig used the pseudonym Alan Ashley-Pitt. To learn more about this saying please visit the Quote Investigator website:

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/10/18/follows-crowd/
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In 1855 a popular London preacher named Charles Haddon Spurgeon made the following statement and asserted that it was an old proverb:

A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.

Precursors of this maxim can be traced back to 1710 and the prominent literary figure Jonathan Swift. More about this history is available at the Quote Investigator website:

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/07/13/truth/
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Garson O'Toole

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The statement below presents a deeply cynical analysis of elections:

Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.

These words have been ascribed to Ambrose Bierce and H. L. Mencken. But who really wrote it? The answer is available on the Quote Investigator website here:

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/07/01/election/

If you are too lazy to click I will tell you that the answer is H. L. Mencken.
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Garson O'Toole

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Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.

This statement is often attributed to Winston Churchill or Abraham
Lincoln, but there is no substantive evidence linking the words to either luminary. Who did craft this statement? The earliest instances were anonymous. Follow the link for more information.

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/06/28/success/
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Garson O'Toole

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A famous sculptor was asked about the technique he used to create his masterworks. He replied, "It is simple. Suppose you want to create 'Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss'. First, obtain a big chunk of marble and a hammer and chisel. Next, chip away everything that doesn’t look like Psyche or Cupid."

To learn about the history of this type of joke visit the Quote Investigator website here:

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/06/22/chip-away/
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Garson O'Toole

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Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Remarkably, there is no evidence Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote or said the words above. Who really originated this saying, and what is the correct phrasing? Quote Investigator is happy to help:

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/06/19/new-path/
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