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Hobgoblins Are the Consistency of Little Minds

blue hobgoblinRalph Waldo Emerson was fond of saying that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Oscar Wilde backed him up, proclaiming, “Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

It may be foolish for me to go up against these two great minds, but well, they’re dead. So, I shall disagree, on the basis of first-hand knowledge. I met a hobgoblin myself yesterday, and the only thing consistent about it was its consistency.

Not too firm. Not too soft. Not mushy exactly Jiggly. Gelatinous. A little bit runny around the edges. Imagine a pile of small brains, and you get the picture.

What I discovered was that hobgoblins are the consistency of little minds.

Care to contradict me? Well, have you ever actually seen a hobgoblin?

2 comments to Hobgoblins Are the Consistency of Little Minds

  • Jeff

    Emerson did not say that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. He said a FOOLISH consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. That is an important difference. Consistency is generally a good thing, except where one persists in a course of action that has been demonstrated to be unproductive, misguided, or just plain foolish. The President’s course of action with regard to Iraq comes to mind . . .

  • You are so right! I made a similar mistake here. What I meant to say is that foolish hobgoblins are the consistency of little minds. Hobgoblins that are not foolish are more runny, like the consistency of cottage cheese.

    Thank you for bringing clarity and accuracy to this very serious subject.

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