[Ads-l] Optimists invent airplanes; pessimists invent parachutes

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 29 13:57:03 UTC 2021

The QI article has now been updated although changes may not be
visible to visitors for several hours. The following line was added to
the acknowledgement:


[Begin acknowledgement excerpt]
Many thanks to Pete Morris who located the crucial 1939 citation.
[End acknowledgement excerpt]


On Fri, May 28, 2021 at 8:28 PM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Fantastic citation, Pete. Thanks for searching.
> The Google Books database contains many issues of Rotarian in full
> view, so I was surprised that GB was only showing a snippet.
> I have now determined that the full view issues of Rotarian are not
> completely searchable. The search index for the full view Rotarian
> issues must be corrupted. Thus, I manually looked through the issues,
> and finally found the target text in the May 1939 issue on page 53.
> Here is a link to the beginning of the issue. (Search within the issue
> does not work. You have to manually go to page 53.)
> https://books.google.com/books?id=e0EEAAAAMBAJ&
> The QI article will be updated, and you will be acknowledged, Pete.
> Date: May 1939
> Periodical: Rotarian
> Publisher: Rotary International, Chicago, Illinois
> Section: What They're Saying
> Article: Optimism Versus Pessimism
> Author: W. H. H. MacKellar (Honorary Rotarian) Peekskill, New York
> Quote Page 53, Column 1
> Database: Google Books Full View
> [Begin excerpt]
> It was optimism that originated the steam
> boiler. It blew up. Then pessimism came along
> and added the safety valve. Optimism built the
> steam engine, and it ran away, until pessimism
> invented the governor. Optimism laid down the
> railroad, but pessimism made it practicable with
> the air brake and the block-signal system. Optimism
> designed a ship to sail daringly into the
> skies—and fall perhaps at times. So pessimism
> designed the parachute.
> [End excerpt]
> Garson

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

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