Lies & Statistics; Land for Peace

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Aug 5 17:52:26 UTC 2000

On Sat, 5 Aug 2000 Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:

>    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."

A slightly earlier version of this quotation appears in an article in The
Economic Journal, June 1892, by Robert Giffen.  At page 209 of this
article we find:  "An old jest runs to the effect that there are three
degrees of comparison among liars.  There are liars, there are outrageous
liars, and there are scientific experts.  This has lately been adapted to
throw dirt upon statistics.  There are three degrees of comparison, it is
said, in lying.  There are lies, there are outrageous lies, and there are

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at

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