[Ads-l] quantity/quality

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sun Sep 19 10:02:28 EDT 2021


Since so much of Lenin has been translated, that attribution seems remote.

I don't know if it is relevant (and don't ask me to explain it) but Henri Bergson wrote "...it must not be forgotten that quantity is quality in a nascent state..." Introduction to Metaphysics, 1912 p71.

Also the quote attributed (in 1958 after his death in 1953) to Stalin,
"A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic." (New Yale Book of Quotations p.778, with discussion) might could have played a role.

SG


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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Bill Mullins <amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM>
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2021 5:47 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: quantity/quality

I was looking at "Quantity has a quality all its own."  It is generally attributed to Stalin or Lenin.
Garson doesn't seem to have anything on it, nor does Barry Popik.

The earliest I've found is Ruth Davis, being quoted in _Science_, 9 Jun 1978.

https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.200.4346.1134__;!!OToaGQ!676ecctwfUhPR-ROAz_mIaA0Jb8jqwflAHlG0YeetRm-Y1YMJ5Gsqi6aEdecvO1_$

Starting in 1980, it started to spread rapidly.  Enough of the early quotes talk about it having been written by Lenin, so I'm wondering if there is a Russian version that predates this era, from Lenin's writings.  Anyone know?



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