Quote: I choose a lazy person to do a hard job (Attributed to Bill Gates) (Congressional Record Help Request)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 27 03:54:36 UTC 2014

An intriguing citation on the topic of the "lazy man" was sent to me
by a librarian named Erica Cathers, and I've updated the quotation
entry on the QI website.

A researcher named Frank Gilbreth Sr. evaluated the motions of workmen
to determine the most efficient techniques to perform tasks. Gilbreth
championed the counter-intuitive resourcefulness of the lazy man
according to a profile published in "Popular Science Monthly" in 1920.

[ref] 1920 December, Popular Science Monthly, Volume 97, Number 6,
"The Man of the 'One Best Way': How Frank Gilbreth studies men and
their ways" by Fred C. Kelly, Start Page 34, Quote Page 34, McClure,
Phillips and Company, New York. (Google Books Full View) link [/ref]


[Begin excerpt]
Gilbreth studied the methods of various bricklayers--the poor workmen
and the best ones, and he stumbled upon an astonishing fact of great
importance and significance. He found that he could learn most from
the lazy man!

Most of the chance improvements in human motions that eliminate
unnecessary movement and reduce fatigue have been hit upon, Gilbreth
thinks, by men who were lazy--so lazy that every needless step counted.

Another important thing Gilbreth noted was that the so-called expert
factory workers are often the most wasteful of their motions and
strength. Because of their energy and ability to work at high speed,
such men may be able to produce a large quantity of good work, and
thus qualify as experts, but they tire themselves out of all
proportion to the amount of work done.
[End excerpt]

Here is a link to the updated entry. ADS discussants were acknowledged
at the end.

Choose a Lazy Person To Do a Hard Job Because That Person Will Find an
Easy Way To Do It


On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 7:39 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Quote: I choose a lazy person to do a hard job (Attributed to
>               Bill Gates) (Congressional Record Help Request)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Here are the year and month for the citation with the attribution to
> Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord.
> Journal: Review of Military Literature: The Command and General Staff
> School Quarterly
> Year: 1933
> Month: September
> Volume: 13
> Number 50
> Quote Page: 23 and 24
> Published Quarterly by The Command and General Staff School Library,
> Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
> On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 7:30 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Thanks, Dan and Dave. Your help is deeply appreciated. Carl von
>> Clausewitz is also the lucky recipient of an ascription together with
>> Helmuth von Moltke, Erich von Manstein and others. The attribution to
>> "von Somebody" is popular.
>> The people who are citing this breakdown into four classes clearly
>> want to be placed in the brilliant but lazy quadrant. To prove their
>> laziness they give sloppy and/or misleading quotations and
>> attributions. The diligent but block-headed quadrant which is labeled
>> dangerous is my homebase though I slip into the lazy sector
>> periodically.
>> The leading candidate currently is Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord. There
>> are a cluster of citations for Hammerstein in 1933, and I was able to
>> access scans for the following:
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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