Lies & Statistics; Land for Peace

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Aug 5 15:47:06 UTC 2000


   This is from "Everything new is old, scholar's searches find" by Janet Kornblum, USA TODAY, 14 June 2000, pg. 3D:

   Who first used the phrase "lies, damned lies and statistics"?  Mark Twain attributed it to Benjamin Disraeli in his posthumously published autobiography in 1924.  The earliest reference Shapiro (That would be Fred Shapiro, some librarian in Yale Law School--ed.) could find came from an 1896 statistics journal that turned up in a search of JSTOR, a subscription Web site that indexes core scholarly journals.

   The Making of America database (Michigan) has NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, January 1867, pg. 241, "Nothing lies like figures."
   The Making of America database (Cornell) has LIVING AGE, 5 November 1892, pg. 379:

   It has been said by some wits that there are three degrees of veracity: "Lies, d--d lies, and statistics."

   I have an 1880s hit somewhere at home, but didn't post it because I thought Mark Twain had it earlier.


   A friend of mine saw a cartoon in which an old American Indian approaches the Israeli prime minister and says, with some irony: "Land for peace!"
   The friend asked me about the phrase.
   Literature Online has John Weever, THE WHIPPING OF THE SATYRE (poem, 1601):

Which spite of spites,
Still like Mount Sion stands,
In gowned peace clapping her happy hands.
No land for peace, no peace for happinesse...

   John Banks, THE UNHAPPY FAVOURITE (play, 1682):

..and Cowards That sell the Land for Peace and Childrens Portions...

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