That’s Going in the Quote Book: #12

The newest in an ongoing series of Quotes I’ve collected. To see previous posts in the series, click here.

Before sharing today’s quote, I should explain how my attributions work, especially when it comes to quotes from people I know. Sometimes things get a little messy, but I have my reasons.

I don’t always realize my attribution is inaccurate. If friends don’t tell me it’s “stolen,” I’m happy to assume they’re just that clever.

Other times, it’s a deliberate choice on my part. I may know they didn’t come up with that clever phrase all on their own. They may even tell me they didn’t, but don’t know exactly where it originated. But they still get credit because, for that particular quote at that particular time, it’s more important to me to record who said it to me, rather than who said it first.

That’s why Ron gets the credit for this one.

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

It’s regularly attributed to both Mark Twain and George Carlin, but it’s pretty clear that it didn’t originate with either of them. The general consensus seems to be that it stems from Proverbs – “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.”

Which is interesting and all, but not really the point.

It was a long time ago, but I can remember Ron saying this to me, only a few weeks after we met. He said that he’d heard something that day that he thought I’d like, and that maybe it would would be good for the quote book. So after a few short weeks, not only was he taking an interest in my quote-collecting hobby, he was actively trying to participate.

He was right. It’s a quoteworthy, solid piece of advice. But it’s in the book for other reasons. It’s not always about the quote itself. Sometimes it’s about the intentions of the person who shared it with me.

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