Good we now have another way to tell someone they’re dumb – please feel free to revive this fine phrasing next time you need to point out stupidity (your own is also acceptable).

But how many inventive phrases get lost because there isn’t an all-noting, all recording Thoreau standing by?

‘I heard one boy say to another in the street to-day “You don’t know much more than a piece of putty.”‘  28 October 1852

Source: Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861, Damion Searls (ed.), preface by John R. Stilgoe (New York: New York Review Books, 2009), p . 171


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