[Ads-l] Adage: A hero is no braver than an ordinary person, but the hero is brave five minutes longer

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 20 18:29:54 UTC 2020

Back in August 2018 Jonathan Lighter asked about the following
expression which had been labeled a Japanese proverb by the French
author Henry de Montherlant:

Victory belongs to him who can hold out another quarter of an hour.


I recently found this expression in Marcel Proust's "A L’Ombre Des
Jeunes Filles En Fleurs" which is the second volume in “A La Recherche
Du Temps Perdu”. Proust also called it a Japanese proverb. This
discovery occurred while I was researching the following newly posted

A Hero Is No Braver Than an Ordinary Person, But the Hero Is Brave
Five Minutes Longer

[Begin acknowledgement]
Great thanks to Barry Popik, Jonathan Lighter, and Randall Houston
whose inquiries led QI to formulate this question and perform this
exploration. Popik has an article discussing this topic on his
website. Thanks to discussants Ben Zimmer, Mark Mandel, Benjamin
Barrett, Laurence Horn, and Bill Mullins.
[End acknowledgement]

Feedback welcome,

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

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