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Lies, damn lies and statistics

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Mark Twain? Or Benjamin Disraeli?

Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

Mark Twain in his autobiography

Today, the observation is associated with Mark Twain. A few knowledgeable know that he in turn attributed it - or, to be precise, wrote that it was attributed - to the writer, politician, Prime Minister of Great Britain etc. Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881). There doesn't, however, appear to exist any evidence that he used it. The quote began to show up in the 1890s. It can be found in several places from this time in various versions, and always as a common saying that's not attributed to anyone in particular.

Sources:
Wikipedia: Lies, damned lies, and statistics
Wikiquote: Benjamin Disraeli
University of York, Dept. of Mathematics: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

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