Pascal Trégueretymology, literature, publicly affairs, united kingdom & Ireland, USA & CanadaJoseph Addison, newspapers & magazines, phrases, politics, joined Kingdom, USA, Washington Irving

The phrase even a stopped, or broken, clock is appropriate twice a day, and its and variants, typical that anyone deserve to be ideal occasionally, if only by chance.

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This expression is regularly used specifically to suggest that one holding a fixed id regardless of changing circumstances will occasionally, if rarely, be correct.

These space the earliest occurrences of the expression that I have found, in chronological order:

1-: from an short article by the English essayist, poet, playwright and politician Joseph Addison (1672-1719), published in The Spectator (London: England) that Saturday 28th July 1711—as reprinted in the third volume that The works of the best Honourable Joseph Addison, Esq (London: printed for Jacob Tonson, 1721):

Great masters in paint never treatment for drawing human being in the fashion; as really well knowing that the head-dress, or periwig, that currently prevails, and gives a grace to your portraitures in ~ present, will make a really odd figure, and also perhaps look monstrous in the eye of posterity. For this reason they often represent one illustrious human being in a roman inn habit, or in some various other dress that never ever varies. I might wish, because that the services of my country friends, that there to be such a sort of everlasting drapery to it is in made usage of by all that live at a details distance indigenous the town, and that they would certainly agree upon together fashions as need to never be liable to changes and innovations. For desire of this stand dress, a man who takes a journey right into the nation is as much surprized, as one that walks in a gallery of old family pictures; and finds as an excellent a range of garbs and habits in the persons he converses with. Did they store to one continuous dress, they would occasionally be in the fashion, i beg your pardon they never are as matters are regulated at present. If rather of running after the mode, castle would proceed fixed in one specific habit, the mode would part time or other overtake them, together a clock that stands tho is sure to point right once in twelve hours: in this case because of this I would advise them, as a Gentleman go his friend that was hunting around the totality town ~ a rambling fellow, If you monitor him you will never find him, however if you plant your self at the edge of any one street, I’ll engage it will not be long prior to you check out him.

2-: native the 2nd volume of A background of brand-new York, from the start of the human being to the end of the dutch Dynasty (New York: Inskeep & Bradford – Philadelphia: Bradford & Inskeep – &c. – 1809), by the U.S. Author Washington Irving (1783-1859):

It is surely more dignified because that a ruler to be persevering and also consistent in error, than wavering and contradictory, in endeavouring to execute what is right; this lot is certain, and I generously make the maxim public, because that the benefit of every legislators, both good and small, who stand shaking in the wind, without knowing which method to steer—a ruler who acts according to his very own will is sure of pleasing himself, while he who seeks to consult the wishes and also whims the others, runs a great risk of pleasing nobody. The clock the stands still, and also points resolutely in one direction, is certain of being best twice in the four and also twenty hours—while others might keep walking continually, and also continually be going wrong.

3-: from The Camden Mail, and also General Advertiser (Camden, new Jersey, USA) of Wednesday sixth November 1839:

The clock the stands quiet is best twice in every twenty-four hours; but those which, favor some people, go too rapid or as well slow, never can be right.

4-: native the concluding currently of The Dirges the the Whig Administration (London: Whittaker & Co., 1841), through the English banker and politician wilhelm Joseph Denison (1769-1849):

Moderate men are even now apprehensive the your successors might be also popular and also too strong. They anticipate as much evil, or more, indigenous the despotism of public opinion, as soon as in error, together they experienced from your restraint the it, when it remained in the right. The revolutionary Bill, plan by few of its writer to examine or subdue windy opinion, has actually been ineffectual for the purpose. Publicly opinion contends length triumphed. You have long opposed it. Habit has actually made friend indifferent to the general public contempt. Proceed to oppose it always. Whenever the is mistake you will certainly be in the right. The clock i m sorry stands is ideal twice a day. By this means you may begin to offer your country. You space incapable of offer it in any other manner.

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5-: The following, native The Bradford Observer (Bradford, Yorkshire, England) of Thursday 30th November 1843, expresses a similar notion—the town of Keighley neighbors Bradford:

The “Clock” Nuisance.—The Bradford clocks which “go,” space often found to be an ext useless than the Keighley clock i m sorry stands still. This is not the very first time us have had to direct attention come the clock nuisance, and also we are afraid it will not it is in the last. But surely there is no insuperable an obstacle in setting the publicly clocks to the real meridian time, or come the Greenwich time, i m sorry is specifically 7½ minutes previously than the moment by the meridian of Bradford.