Talk:Bergen Evans

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Title changeEdit

This article is currently titled Evans, but based on recent improvements, will probably be moved to Bergen Evans if it survives its vote for deletion. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 16:00, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

This article was preserved after a vote for its deletion. See its archived VfD entry for details.

~ MosheZadka (Talk) 02:22, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Bergen Evans' Dictionary of QuotationsEdit

I was first introduced to Evans by his very own Dictionary of Quotations. Looking through it, I note that the following quotes are not mentioned (in parentheses is the heading under which I looked):

  • Lying is an indispensable part of making life tolerable. (lying)
  • Legislators who are... (legislator, legislation, leader, intelligence)
  • There is no necessary connection... (leader)
  • Wisdom is meaningless until our own experience has given it meaning. (wisdom)
  • Words are one of... (words)

Presumably, if he said them, they would be in his Dictionary. I'm leaving these under Attributed, but someone should try to find sources. I don't have a copy of The Natural History of Nonsense, but that's where they would be if they exist.

Most people who compile quotations are compiling other people's quotations, not their own. If this is the case here, none of these quotes would belong in Evans's article, but rather in the articles of the original quotees. If I don't hear otherwise, I plan to stop at my local library later today to see which is the case. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:32, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Evans does quote himself a few times in his Dictionary (which is where I found the source for the quote on freedom of thought), not to mention some of his commentaries. I think you'll find that the case in many quote books. Editors can't resist the opportunity for self-insertion, especially if there's no one looking over their shoulders. These quotes may indeed come from Evans, but it would mean that he did not find the quotes worthy of inclusion.--Superluser 02:17, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Here's another issue. Many of Evans' choicest quotes are in response to other quotes. Take, for example, this entry on conservatives or a quote misattributed to Voltaire. I think that Almost any college professor would echo the sentiment. The often-asserted belief that our colleges are "hotbeds of radicalism" is a ludicrous fantasy, or In reality, however, Voltaire clung to his life with zest and was not prepared to give it up to defend any piece of senseless babble--or anything at all, whether he disapproved or approved, would be great additions to the quote list here, but they make little sense without the quotations that they are in reference to. It would be helpful to be able to link from Evans' commentary to the entry for the quote under the author's entry. Is there a way to do that? --Superluser 03:00, 28 December 2006 (UTC)


  • Legislators who are of even average intelligence stand out among their colleagues ... A cultured college president has become as much a rarity as a literate newspaper publisher. A financier interested in economics is as exceptional as a labor leader interested in the labor movement. For the most part our leaders are merely following out in front; they [only] marshal us in the way that we are going.
  • A man who won't lie to a woman has very little consideration for her feelings.
  • Lying is an indispensable part of making life tolerable.
  • There is no necessary connection between the desire to lead and the ability to lead, and even less the ability to lead somewhere that will be to the advantage of the led.
  • There is wisdom in the selection of wisdom.
  • Wisdom is meaningless until our own experience has given it meaning.
  • Words are one of our chief means of adjusting to all the situations of life. The better control, the more successful our adjustment is likely to be.
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