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Too clever by half

Posted by Frank on August 10, 2000

I'm wondering if anyone knows the origin and precise meaning of this phrase.

I am under the impression that it means something like going beyond the proper point of terminus, or in conversation, supporting an argument with a premise that proves too much, i.e., it is too "clever," and in fact backfires.

Please let me know your thoughts on the phrase, and where I might research it.