Who is this quote attributed to:

Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 01:49 pm
Who is this quote attributed to (I perhaps paraphrase):

"It is better to let people to think you are stupid than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

Thanks, JM
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Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 06:07 pm
It is commonly attributed to Mark Twain, but there doesn't appear to be any proof that he said it or wrote it. Those words are not in any of his writings. "Anonymous" would be the safest way to attribute it. Its very possible it's origin is tied to the words in Proverbs 17, especially Proverbs 17:28 -

7 Excellent speech becometh not a fool:
much less do lying lips a prince.

27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words:
and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise:
and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
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Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 06:37 pm
LarryBS, Thanks. I thought it was Twain or Jefferson (strangely enough). But the common vernacular that I remember the quote from sounded more like Twain or even Harry S. Truman and couldn not remember.

Perhaps Twain paraphased Proverbs 17:28 but its also possible it was an honest observation of human nature he was so good at expressing.

Thanks again,

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Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 06:40 pm

Just read your signature quote. Many might say that G. W. Bush has studied H.L. Mencken !

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Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 07:20 pm
You got that right. But he may have learned it from his father, former director of the CIA and chairman of the Republican national committee.
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Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2003 08:16 pm
Hmm. I thought it was "It is better to remain silent and appear ignorant to speak and remove all doubt."

But I don't know who said it so. . . I'm no help.
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Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 04:31 am
sarahscire- Welcome to Able 2Know! Very Happy

This is VERY strange. I too remember that quote, but for the life of me, cannot find the attribution. This is the closest that I came to it!

QUOTATION- Woodrow Wilson: I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking. It cannot be so easily discovered if you allow him to remain silent and look wise, but if you let him speak, the secret is out and the world knows that he is a fool. So it is by the exposure of folly that it is defeated; not by the seclusion of folly, and in this free air of free speech men get into that sort of communication with one another which constitutes the basis of all common achievement.
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