[Ads-l] Quote: It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it (was Re: Another that's new to me:)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 3 22:03:41 EST 2017


The Quote Investigator article about the remark in the subject line is
now available.

 https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/11/30/salary/

[Begin acknowledgment]
Great thanks to Wilson Gray, Felix Kramer, and K whose inquiries and
comments led QI to formulate this question and perform this
exploration. Also thanks to the pioneering research of Ralph Keyes,
Barry Popik, Fred Shapiro, and the volunteer editors of Wikiquote.
[End acknowledgment]

Garson


On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 11:50 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks, Garson!
>
> BTW, I had no idea that _Joad_ was an actual surname and not just a
> joke-name that Steinbeck had made up specifically as a semi-insulting term
> for poor white people. I had the same impression of Al Capp's _Yokum_.
>
> Youneverknow.
>
> On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 11:26 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Wilson Gray wrote:
>> > “It can be very hard to understand something, when
>> > misunderstanding it is essential to your paycheck.”
>> >
>> > But, only a single Google hit, this time.
>>
>> Upton Sinclair made a similar remark when he was campaigning to become
>> Governor of California. I've been intending to write an entry for this
>> quotation for years. Fred has a 1949 citation in "The Yale Books of
>> Quotations" and Barry has a 1935 citation in a book by Sinclair. (Last
>> week I examined "Procrastination is the assassin of opportunity".)
>>
>> [ref] 1934 December 11, San Francisco Chronicle, I, Candidate for
>> Governor and How I Got Licked by Upton Sinclair, Quote Page 16, Column
>> 9, San Francisco, California. (GenealogyBank)[/ref]
>>
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> I used to say to our audiences: "It is difficult to get a man to
>> understand something, when his salary depends upon his not
>> understanding it!"
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>> Here is a thematically similar passage from C. E. M. Joad in 1922.
>>
>> [ref] 1922, Common-Sense Theology by C. E. M. Joad, Chapter 3: The
>> Life Force in Education, Quote Page 131 and 132, T. Fisher Unwin,
>> London. (HahtiTrust Full View) link [/ref]
>>
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> Mr. Banks. Hear, hear! It's all a question of trusts and monopolies.
>> Doctors have a monopoly of medicine just as parsons have of God. You
>> can't get a parson to admit the arguments of an agnostic, because his
>> salary depends on his not letting the agnostic refute him; and you
>> can't get an ordinary doctor to look kindly on psychoanalysis or
>> autosuggestion because their success would make him superfluous. All
>> this is not a question of the Life Force at all; it is a question of
>> bread and butter.
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>> Garson
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
>
>
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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