"the plural of anecdote is (not) data."

Wed Jul 7 01:01:33 UTC 2004

        Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan used it in a diary of the final negotiations for the Tax Reform Act of 1986 that he kept for Newsweek; I didn't see Newsweek, but this is from the 8/24/86 Chicago Sun-Times.  From the diary entry for July 25:

        <<Which made the case for reform.  (Sen. John) Danforth had told of having dinner with a New Yorker who told him, "Jack, I pay taxes.  But I am the only one I know who pays taxes."  Data is said to be the plural of anecdote.>>

        IIRC, Senator Moynihan used this phrase in other contexts and referred to it as being from the social sciences.

John Baker

More information about the Ads-l mailing list