Now that I’ve the Time

A couple days ago, I wrote a painfully long post called The Irrepressible Nature of Irony.

I mean, dude*, it is a massive monster of a missive.

I mean, wow.

Anyway, as a mea culpa, of sorts, for torturing you with such interminablely tedious twaddle, I left a footnote that reads:

To paraphrase a quote attributed to Mark Twain (but which I haven’t had the time or desire to independently verify): “I apologize for the long blog post for I didn’t have the time to write a short one.”

Well, hey, today I found the time (actually, I stole it from that which should have been allocated to my working on the manuscript for my latest novel) to research the quote and I was surprised by what I found.

Come to find out, according to much a lauded, well-researched gem of a site called Quote Investigator, which is run as a hobby by some Yale PhD dude** in his spare time, the actual quote is attributed to Blaise Pascal.

Here’s a cut from the Quote Investigator:

The first known instance in the English language was a sentence translated from a text written by the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal. The French statement appeared in a letter in a collection called “Lettres Provinciales” in the year 1657:

“Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.”

Here is one possible modern day translation of Pascal’s statement. Note that the term “this” refers to the letter itself.

“I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

And now you know.

But that’s not all!

Come to find out again, this QI dude** has turned his side project into a book that may be of interest to all you quote-intensive dudes* out there.

And now you know even more.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★


*non-gender specific
**gender specific

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