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Einstein didn’t know it all

Albert Einstein is often thought to be history’s smartest man.  This may be true regarding his expertise in theoretical physics.

His usage of English as a second language, however, sometimes fell short of perfection.  I refer in particular to a statement, attributed to Einstein, which is widely cited nowadays [early 21st century] in the popular American media.

The statement is as follows…

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

I’m no psychiatrist, just as I’m no physicist, but I do know that the great man, in this case, had it wrong.

Doing the same thing over and expecting a different result?  This may well be a symptom of insanity,but certainly does not define the word.

Einstein may have been a know-it-all, but he didn’t know everything.

Let’s just hope this misguided quotation is not included someday in  authoritative  language venues like the OED.*

-M.B.

Oxford English Dictioary

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