monkeeys

monkeeys

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Is it really better to be silent and be thought a fool?

Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt


Abraham Lincoln? Mark Twain? Biblical Proverb? Maurice Switzer? Arthur Burns? John Maynard Keynes? Confucius? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: Here are two versions of an entertaining saying that is usually credited to Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain:
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.
The phrasing is different, but I think these two statements express the same thought. When I mentioned this adage to a friend he claimed that it was in the Bible, but it does not sound very Biblical to me. Can you resolve this dispute?
Quote Investigator: There is a biblical proverb that expresses a similar idea, namely Proverbs 17:28. Here is the New International Version followed by the King James Version of this verse: 1
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
The quotations that the questioner listed use a distinctive formulation that is certainly more humorous. In the biblical version one is thought wise if one remains silent, but in the questioner’s statements the word “wise” is not used. Remaining silent simply allows one to avoid the fate of being thought a fool or stupid. This maxim has many different forms, and it is often ascribed to Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain. However, there is no substantive evidence that either of these famous individuals employed the maxim.
The wonderful Yale Book of Quotations (YBQ) 2 investigated the saying and presented the earliest known attribution to Lincoln in Golden Book magazine in November 1931: 3
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
— ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
Since Lincoln died in 1865 this is a suspiciously late instance, and it provides very weak evidence. Further, YBQ indicated that the phrase was in use years before this date with no attachment to Lincoln. The ascription of the saying to Mark Twain is also dubious.
When Ken Burns filmed a documentary about Mark Twain in 2001 a companion book was released, and it listed the following version of the quote in a section titled “What Twain Didn’t Say”: 4
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
The earliest known appearance of the adage discovered by QI occurred in a book titled “Mrs. Goose, Her Book” by Maurice Switzer. The publication date was 1907 and the copyright notice was 1906. The book was primarily filled with clever nonsense verse, and the phrasing in this early version was slightly different: 5
It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.
Most of the humorous content of “Mrs. Goose, Her Book” has the imprint of originality, and based on currently available data QI  believes that Maurice Switzer is the leading candidate for originator of the expression. This 1906 citation was also given in “The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs”, an indispensable new reference work from Yale University Press
 
Now you may be asking what does this have to do with JJOKE and the new illegal regulations and still unseen lobby application.
 
The easy answer is JJOKE must be following the quote's advice and that is why they have not released the lobby application.  Two years of work and only two weeks until the regulated community needs to start using it and NO ONE has seen it.  FOOLS
 
But there is a much more important reason.
 
In case you were not aware if the new illegal lobby regulations (another 2 year project) become effective those that meet public officials or their staff better be careful, no matter what the quote says.  If you remain silent you could be considered a lobbyist and subject to all the rules, obligations and penalties that go along with that moniker.
 
Thats right under the regulations silence is lobbying.  I'll say it again.  SILENCE IS LOBBYING
 
You can't believe it?
 
The regulations define lobbying as having direct contact with a public official and direct contact is defined as:
 
"(1) Direct Contact (i) Means any communication or interaction directed to a Public Official, including, but not limited to: . . .

          (d) Attendance at a meeting with a Public Official; or
    (e) Presence on a phone call with a Public Official, when the Official is aware of such presence; "
     
     
    NO WORDS NEED BE SPOKEN  YOUR PRESENCE IS ENOUGH
     
     
    WHERE ARE THE GOO GOOS?  COME ON BLAIR HORNER  HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS IMPINGEMENT ON YOUR FREE SPEECH RIGHTS OR BETTER YET YOUR FREE NOT TO SPEAK RIGHTS?
     
    Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain and Confucious must all be spinning over in their graves.


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