MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Quotes

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 5 14:58:08 UTC 2013

>>>> "Statistics are like a lamppost to a drunk: useful for support but not
>>>> for illumination.”

LH said:
> That one can't be his, can it?  It's been around for ages.  Fred?

I examined this expression in the past. I did not see it listed in the
Yale Book of Quotations or the Dictionary of Modern Proverbs. Barry
Popik does have an entry. There are multiple matches in the Google
Books database that are assigned the year 1937 (and some bogus earlier
dates). I checked six citations with GB dates of 1937 on paper or with
scans. The earliest was the Reader’s Digest:

[ref] 1937 April, Reader’s Digest, Volume 30, Toward a More
Picturesque Speech, Quote Page 60, The Reader’s Digest Association.
(Verified on paper) [/ref]

Barry Popik lists this Reader's Digest cite without a month. Now he
can add the month if he wishes.


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list