[Ads-l] Quote: There is no God, and Harriet is his prophet (1851 August)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 22 01:21:46 EST 2017

Way back in January 2011 that was a thread about the saying in the
subject line. Now there is a Quote Investigator entry on this topic:

There Is No God, and Harriet Martineau Is His Prophet

[Begin acknowledgment]
Great thanks to Victor Steinbok whose inquiry led QI to formulate this
question and perform this exploration. Steinbok remarked that Wolfgang
Pauli used an instance aimed at Paul Dirac. He also knew that an
earlier instance named Robert G. Ingersoll. Thanks also to Ben Zimmer
who mentioned the connection to the Islamic profession of faith.
[End acknowledgment]

Feedback welcome

On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>  Ben Zimmer said:
>> Note the play on the Islamic profession of faith, "There is no god but
>> God, and Muhammad is his prophet."
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahada
> Thanks for your response, Ben. I agree that the phrase you give is an
> important precursor that gives insight into the construction of the
> saying with Harriet Martineau. Indeed the results from the search
> pattern that I used were overwhelmed by this profession of faith. I
> had to develop a strategy to filter it out to find Harriet.
> Other figures have been substituted into comparable sayings: Mr.
> Atkinson, Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, Felix Adler, Paul Dirac, man, and
> Robert Ingersoll. For example in 1912: There is no God, and Karl Marx
> is his prophet.
> And there is this passage attributed to Mark Twain (not verified yet by me):
> Money is God. Gold and Greenbacks and Stock — father, son, and the
> ghost of the same — three persons in one; these are the true and only
> God, mighty and supreme; and William Tweed is his prophet.
> Garson

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

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