Misquoting a Quote

Reposted from DILBERT by Scott Adams - The Famous Quote I Never Said

The strap line on the header for this blog uses the quotation:

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” 

it is attributed it to Scott Adams and is one of his Dilbert Principles.

I recently came across a blog post by Scott Adams in which he reports how his quote has been appropriated and misquoted, being corrupted to read:

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.”

The blog article reads - You’ll see lots of versions of that quote floating around the Internet too (see a few in the image above), but many of the newer ones have been altered from “art” to “design.”

My problem with the altered quote (aside from creating a misleading history) is that design is largely rules-based. Art is not, or at least not so much. When I hire a designer, I want someone who has the training and experience to know what will work for a particular commercial purpose. They should be thinking about how the message is delivered, how the human brain processes ideas, what part of the design has the button you want users to press, and so on.

That is pretty much the direct opposite of art. So putting design in that quote is an attempt to (elevate?) design to art, as if art is somehow more important.

Personally, I think good design that affects millions of people is more important than art than hangs in one room. But I’m not trying to pick a winner. All I’m saying is that the famous quote about design, mistakenly attributed to me, doesn’t make sense.

He suggests:

"Just remember that 98% of everything you read on the Internet is bullshit. The other 2% is accurate by accident."

You can misquote me on that - Scott Adam

I am pleased to note that I managed to use the quotation correctly...

I chose the quote because it encapsulates my ethos about art precisely and I agree with Scott the misquote means something quite different...

WARNING when I last tried to access Scot Adams website I received a Malware alert

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