[Ads-l] FW: "Rearranging Their Prejudices" Quote

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 21 18:11:18 EDT 2016


Apparently, William James said something close, but lacking in pith:

Our minds thus grow in spots; and like grease-spots, the spots spread. But
we let them spread as little as possible: we keep unaltered as much of our
old knowledge, as many of our old prejudices and beliefs, as we can. We
patch and tinker more than we renew. The novelty soaks in; it stains the
ancient mass; but it is also tinged by what absorbs it.

Lecture V, Pragmatism and Common Sense, 1907

He gets many attributions for "Rearranging Their Prejudices", but sans
source.

DanG

On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 5:51 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have found a 1927 attribution to a "Professor Robinson at Columbia
> University", who I guess to be James Harvey Robinson.
>
> http://www.jstor.org/stable/41174907
>
> Christian Education, April 1927, p444
>
> DanG
>
> On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 5:31 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:
>
>> (Originally sent, by accident, just to Joel.)
>>
>> I now have this back to 1906.  This is from Zion's Herald (Nov. 7, 1906)
>> (ProQuest American Periodicals), a weekly publication that seems to have
>> been affiliated in some manner with the Methodist Episcopal Church.  It
>> appears in an account of the annual session of the General Executive
>> Committee of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society:
>>
>> <<Bishop Oldham scored with his audience with a _bon mot_ to the effect
>> that some people "think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging
>> their prejudices.">>
>>
>> I presume that Bishop Oldham is William Fitzjames Oldham, who is the
>> subject of a fairly detailed Wikipedia article.
>>
>>
>> John Baker
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
>> Of Joel Berson
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 11:05 PM
>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>> Subject: Re: "Rearranging Their Prejudices" Quote
>>
>> A little later than my question, Peter Reitan (I think) wrote:
>> -----
>> The Appeal (St. Paul, Minnesota), April 22, 1922, page 2 (Chronicling
>> America).
>>
>>
>> William Jennings Bryan's recent attack on the theory of evolution causes
>> the Reverend George Craig Stewart to cry out: "Mr. Bryan is a conspicuous
>> example of the man who thinks he is thinking, but who is only rearranging
>> his prejudices.  Few men really think.-----
>>
>> Of course this is 11 years later than the anonymous "clever preacher"
>> quote.
>>
>> Joel
>>
>>
>>       From: "Baker, John" <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM>
>>  To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>>  Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 3:54 PM
>>  Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "Rearranging Their Prejudices" Quote
>>
>> The identity of the "clever preacher" is not given, if indeed there was
>> such; it may have been just a rhetorical device.  This seems to be a column
>> of thoughts suitable for a prayer meeting discussion, on how people could
>> improve themselves for the new year.  It also ran, a few days later, in the
>> Charlotte News and the Wichita Daily Eagle.  Here's the full title and
>> byline:
>>
>> THOSE NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS.
>> Terse Comments Upon the Uniform Prayer-Meeting Topic of the Young
>> People's Societies--Christian Endeavor, etc.,--for December 31:  "Things I
>> Want to Do Better Next Year."  Phil. 3: 12-14.
>> BY WILLIAM T. ELLIS
>>
>> And here is the full paragraph in which it is found, for context:
>>
>> "You think you are thinking, when really you are only rearranging your
>> prejudices," said one clever preacher to another.  Original mental
>> operations are rare.  Some of us have about as much intellectual
>> individuality as a phonograph record.  We seldom indulge in the luxury of
>> solid, consecutive thought.  This will be a better year for all whose
>> resolution is to do a little more thinking, and along wholesome lines.  The
>> life is the product of the mind.
>>
>>
>> John Baker
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
>> Of Joel Berson
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 2:35 PM
>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>> Subject: Re: "Rearranging Their Prejudices" Quote
>>
>> Is "one clever preacher" Dr. [of Divinity] X?  Now can you come up with
>> his name?
>>
>>
>> Joel
>>
>>
>>       From: "Baker, John" <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM>
>>  To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>>  Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 12:31 PM
>>  Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "Rearranging Their Prejudices" Quote
>>
>> And this takes it back to 1911.  From the Los Angeles Daily Times (Dec.
>> 23, 1911) (Newspapers.com):  ""You think you are thinking, when really you
>> are only rearranging your prejudices," said one clever preacher to another"
>>
>>
>> John Baker
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
>> Of Tim Stewart
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 12:09 PM
>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>> Subject: Re: "Rearranging Their Prejudices" Quote
>>
>> Here's an antedating to September 1918.
>>
>> Title: Biblical World
>> Issue: September 1918
>> volume 52 (LII)
>> number 2
>> p. 140
>>
>> [begin excerpt]
>> Thinking is facing the new world in a new temper. At a reception a
>> gentleman remarked, as he looked over toward a Doctor of Divinity who
>> seemed deep in solitary meditation apart from the crowd, "Dr. X seems to
>> be
>> thinking deeply!" "No, indeed," replied the friend, "Dr. X is not
>> thinking;
>> he is just rearranging his prejudices."
>> [end excerpt]
>>
>> URL:
>> https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044105219372;vi
>> ew=1up;seq=172
>>
>>
>> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>> -
>> - - - - - - - - - - -
>> Read excerpts from the forthcoming *Dictionary of Christianese
>> <http://www.dictionaryofchristianese.com/>*
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 10:58 AM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > In the Yale Book of Quotations, 1st edition, I list the following
>> > quotation under Knute Rockne:
>> >
>> >
>> > Most men, when they think they are thinking, are merely rearranging
>> their
>> > prejudices.
>> >
>> > Quoted in Reader's Digest, Oct. 1927
>> >
>> >
>> > While working on the 2nd edition of the YBQ, I have realized that this
>> > quote was undoubtedly around before Rockne.  I would welcome any
>> citations
>> > or leads pushing it back in time.  Probably "rearranging their
>> prejudices",
>> > "rearrange their prejudices", "rearranging his prejudices," etc. are the
>> > key phrases to search for.
>> >
>> >
>> > Fred Shapiro
>> >
>> >
>> > ------------------------------------------------------------
>> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> >
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>>
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>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
>

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