July 12, 2006

Fake proverbs at the Aspen Institute?

Victor Mair sent in a link to Daniel Gross' story in Slate about how "CEOs, venture capitalists, policy wonks, elected officials, movie stars ..., and freeloading journalists" vied with one another in quoting "Chinese proverbs" at a recent Aspen Institute shindig ("The Fortune Cookie 500", July 5, 2006). Victor's comment: "I didn't read them all carefully, but I think that every single one of the 'Chinese proverbs' these business execs quote is phony". Disappointing, if true -- you'd think that our executive class could at least be fashionable in an accurate way. First the CEO of Raytheon plagiarized the pithy sayings that he passed off as his own, and now we learn that his brethren and sistren may be inventing the sayings that they claim to be traditional. Say it ain't so! Can anyone confirm that any of the Aspen oriental apothegms is non-fake? Write me and I'll tell the world.

Posted by Mark Liberman at July 12, 2006 09:27 PM