Q: "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 4 03:16:15 UTC 2010

Fred Shapiro wrote
> I am not clear as to whether anyone has verified the occurrence of this saying in the 1966 Scientific American article.  Does anyone know of the exact wording there?

I have viewed the 1966 Scientific American article on paper in a bound
volume of magazine issues. Here is the citation from my blog. It
specifies the year, month, and page:

[OET] 1966 September, Scientific American, The Uses of Computers in
Science by Anthony Oettinger, Page 168, Volume 215, New York.
(Verified on paper)

Note that the two key sentences are not adjacent in the Scientific
American article. Each sentence is used separately as an example in a
discussion of the computer analysis of language. The blog post
contains two excerpts from the Scientific American article.

I photocopied page 168. Some of the important text is near the center
gutter and therefore not easy to read in the photocopy. But I can scan
it and send it to you if you wish.

I have also seen on paper the 1965 citation in "The Computer Age" by
Gilbert Burck. The sentence about fruit flies is the variant "Fruit
flies like bananas". The two key sentences are not adjacent. (I
photocopied: the title page, copyright page, and two quotation
page(s).) But I have not updated my blog post yet to include this new
information.Scanning and emailing is possible.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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