[Ads-l] Kenneth Olsen Computer Quote

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 15 03:54:03 UTC 2017

Back in May 2016 a quotation expressing skepticism about home
computers attributed to Kenneth Olsen of the Digital Equipment
Corporation was discussed here. Now the Quote Investigator website has
an entry on this topic.

There is No Reason for Any Individual To Have a Computer in Their Home

[Begin acknowledgement]
Great thanks to Fred Shapiro whose inquiry led QI to formulate this
question and perform this exploration. Special thanks to correspondent
John Wesley who shared his research on this topic with QI and others.
Wesley located the valuable citations in “Creative Computing”. Also
thanks to Stephen Goranson who located the July 1982 citation.
Additional thanks to mailing list discussants including Bill Mullins,
Donna Halper, John Cowan, Charles Early, John Sleasman, Ivan Van
Laningham, Brian Whatcott, and Luke Owens. Further thanks to Snopes
researcher David Mikkelson.
[End acknowledgment]

Feedback welcome,
Garson O'Toole

On Sun, May 8, 2016 at 12:26 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> Kenneth H. Olsen of the DEC Corporation is often credited with saying something like "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home" in a speech to the World Future Society in Boston in 1977.  Often it is said that Olsen was quoted to this effect in Time Magazine in 1977.
> I can find no contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous documentation for Olsen having said this in 1977, nor have I found it quoted anywhere near 1977 in Time Magazine.  I would welcome any pre-1984 documentation for the quote, or any solid leads to verification of the quote.
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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