Modern Proverbs Appeal (UNCLASSIFIED)

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed May 23 18:11:05 UTC 2007

On Wed, 23 May 2007, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:

>> Similar sounding: "When you need to drive a nail, everything
>> looks like a hammer."
> I've always heard this as, "If your only tool is a hammer, every problem
> looks like a nail."

According to the staggeringly informative Yale Book of Quotations, the
quotation is the following:

It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything
as if it were a nail.
        Abraham Maslow, The Psychology of Science: A Reconnaissance ch. 2

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
   Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press
Yale Law School                             ISBN 0300107986
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

The American Dialect Society -

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