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Typing monkeys

Posted by Bob on October 21, 2002

In Reply to: Typing monkeys posted by ESC on October 21, 2002

: : The latest edition of Michael Quinlon's World Wide Words had the following wonderful Endpiece:

: : "We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million type-writers will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true."
: : [Robert Wilensky , in the "Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations", published September 2002.]

: I like that. Does anyone know the source of the original quote about monkeys and Shakespeare?

I don't know the source, but I remember the quote being "an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters..." which would make the statement true. The internet indeed, proves that the number one million is far, far, too low. By the way, many of us surely recall the Bob Newhart riff on this where he imagined the people in charge of checking this out, going from monkey to monkey, continually disappointed, and one excitedly says "Wait, I think we have something here. 'to be, or not to be, that is ... the ... gazornenplat."

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