The Value of a Mistruth

Yellow Red Blue (1925) by Wassily Kandinsky, 127 x 200 cm, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France. Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty.

It’s a bad habit, but when I’m in public I often listen in on other people’s conversations.

Just recently I was sitting on a busy train when, straining my ears to make sense of nearby chatter, I heard a fellow passenger insist on the following insight: that the phrase “OK” was first used by the American…

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