Samuel Taylor Coleridge coined the term “willing suspension of disbelief” in his critical treatise Biographia Literaria (1817).
Coleridge used the term to refer to the “poetic faith” of a reader in accepting imaginary elements in a literary work.
- Where does the phrase “gone with the wind” come from? The title of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel "gone with the wind"comes from a poem by Ernest Dowson, a poet of the 1890s, called "Non Sum Qualis Eram," or "Cynara."
- What Republican speechwriter described the press as “nattering nabobs of negativism”? William Safire wrote the phrase "nattering nabobs of negativism" for Vice-President Spiro Agnew in 1970. Agnew speechwriter Pat Buchanan, came up with "pusillanimous pussyfooters", also in 1970.
- Who coined the term “POSSLQ” or Persons of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters? The term "POSSLQ", which refers to "Persons of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters," was coined in the 1970s by the U.S. Census Bureau in response to the tripling of the number of unmarried…
- What part did Clara Maass play in the battle against yellow fever? After serving in the Spanish-American War, New Jersey nurse Clara Maass volunteered in 1901 to take part in yellow fever experiments in Cuba. Dr. Walter Reed designed the experiments to see whether a…
- What does I.A. stand for in I.A. Richards (1893-1979)? The first and middle names of the twentieth-century English critic I.A. Richards are Ivor Armstrong.
- Who said, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”? The line is from English writer Alexander Pope's poem An Essay on Criticism. It actually reads "A little learning is a dangerous thing."