General Question

ezraglenn's avatar

Where does the phrase "ignorance is bliss" come from?

Asked by ezraglenn (3454 points ) September 15th, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

Seesul's avatar

Here ‘tis nice to have bartleby online

JohnRobert's avatar

I’m fairly certian it came from one of George Orwell’s novels he wrote in the mid 1900’s. I remember it being mentioned in either “Animal Farm” or “1984” (aka Nineteen Eighty-Four). Perhaps you could do a word search on either of those 2 novels.

It is a slogan (propaganda) by the government that the people should just be happy and now worry about who is running things and how they are running them.

robmandu's avatar

< < was blissful until walking into the dentist office this morning for routine work. Now I gotta see a specialist for something to which a root canal compares favorably. Damn knowledge!

Seesul's avatar

@JohnRobert: Although Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair 1903–1950) may have borrowed the phrase, Animal Farm and 1984 were published after WWII (1945 and 1949). Thomas Gray (English Poet 1716–1771) used the phrase in a poem well before that.
Translation (according to Bartleby) is: “Not knowing something is often more comfortable than knowing it.”

JohnRobert's avatar

@Seesul: Thank you. I’ve not read Thomas Gray’s work, but it sounds like he has some profound insights. Since you have mentioned him, I will add him to my “To Read” list. Thanks again.

Melonking's avatar

I like that saying, it really speaks to me.

allengreen's avatar

I that not the mantra of the Republican Party?

Schenectandy's avatar

@allengreen: There are the known knowns, known unknowns, and then there are the unknown unknowns :)

allengreen's avatar

We know what we know and what we don’t know, we don’t know that we don’t know because we don’t now.

The WMD’s are north south east and west…...Go Republicans! I love the way you all destroy America—and I mean that in a good way!

nmyprime35's avatar

The term was first coined by Thomas Gray in a poem named “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eaton College in 1742.

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