God in the deatils (1960); No names, no pack-drill (1930)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 25 21:43:27 UTC 2005

At 3:03 PM -0500 1/25/05, Fred Shapiro wrote:
>On Tue, 25 Jan 2005, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>  The version with "devil" is so common that the "God" version becomes
>>  much more fascinating.
>I always thought of the "god" version as the primary saying and the
>"devil" one as a less common derivative, but a Google search shows 18,000
>hits for "god" and 109,000 for "devil."  It may be that the currency of
>"god is in the details" is mostly in architecture contexts whereas "devil
>is in the details" has become a popular general proverb.  Seems like one
>of those situations where there are two proverbs that are opposite in
One factor may be the alliterative effect of the "devil in the
details" version, along the lines of "give the devil his due".


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