Posted: 11/10/2015 at 10:16
Never was there a better illustration of
"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"
A small amount of knowledge can mislead people into thinking that they are more expert than they really are.
'A little knowledge is a dangerous thing' and 'a little learning is a dangerous thing' have been used synonymously since the 18th century.
The version 'a little learning' is widely attributed to Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744). It is found in An Essay on Criticism, 1709, and I can find no earlier example of the expression in print:
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.
The similarity of the two phrases is demonstrated by what appears to be an impromptu coining of 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing' in a piece in The monthly miscellany; or Gentleman and Lady's Complete Magazine, Vol II, 1774, in which the writer misquoted Pope:
Mr. Pope says, very truly, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." ...........http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/a-little-knowledge-is-a-dangerous-thing.html