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