[Ads-l] statistics, "no substitute for judgement"--Henry Clay Sr.?

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 2 04:01:01 UTC 2019

A newspaper in Staffordshire, England reported in October 1930 on a
speech by economist Henry Clay during which he employed the quotation.

[ref] 1930 October 13, Evening Sentinel (Staffordshire Sentinel),
Production Prices and Depression: Professor Clay on the Trade Outlook,
Quote Page 5, Column 5, Staffordshire, England. (British Newspaper
Archive) [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Professor Henry Clay, the distinguished
economist, who is an honorary member of the
National Council of the Pottery Industry,
addressed the Northern Council Conference on
the Incorporated Association of Retail
Distributors at Scarborough on Saturday.
. . .

The only way (Professor Clay declared) in
which we can measure the results of our own
efforts and those due to external influences
is by comparing one's results with the results
in industry as a whole. Indexes should provide
a rough standard of achievement by which
individual firms can assess their performances.
The difference between a successful and an
unsuccessful business man lies often in the
greater accuracy of the former's guesses.
Statistics are no substitution for judgment.
Their use is to check and discipline the
judgments on which in the last resort business
decisions depend.
[End excerpt]

The quotation was extracted from the speech and appeared in "The
Ottawa Citizen" in November 1930.

[ref] 1930 November 13, The Ottawa Citizen, Press Paragraphs, Quote
Page 26, Column 3, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Newspapers_com) [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Statistics are no substitute for judgment.
--Henry Clay of the Bank of England.
[End excerpt]


On Thu, Aug 1, 2019 at 11:06 PM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Stephen Goranson wrote:
> Subject line: statistics, "no substitute for judgement"--Henry Clay Sr.?
> > This is severally claimed online, but appears quite unlikely.
> This may be a case of name confusion. The remarkable book "Hemingway
> Didn't Say That" presents several error-mechanisms including the
> following: "An ascription can jump from one person to another person
> who shares a similar name." I have not performed a deep search, but
> the following citation is suggestive.
> Date: December 18, 1930
> Newspaper: The Dodge City Journal
> Newspaper Location: Dodge City, Kansas
> Article: So They Say
> Quote Page 3, Column 4
> Database: Newspapers.com
> [Begin excerpt]
> Statistics are no substitute for judgement. Henry Clay, of the bank of England.
> [End excerpt]
> Wikipedia has a germane entry for the economist Henry Clay.
> [Begin excerpt]
> Henry Clay (economist)
> Sir Henry Clay (9 May 1883 – 30 July 1954) was a British economist and
> Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford. . . .
> Between 1930 and 1944 he worked as an economic adviser to the Bank of England.
> [End excerpt]
> Garson
> > SG
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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