a camel is a horse designed by a committee
a camel is a horse designed by a committee An expression critical of committees—or by analogy, group decision-making—by emphasizing the ineffectiveness of incorporating too many conflicting opinions into a single project. In this figure of speech, the distinguishing features of a camel, such as its humps and poor temperament, are taken to be the deformities that resulted from its poor design. 1952, Proceedings Regular Meeting, Ohio Valley Transportation Advisory Board, Pacific Northwest Advisory Board, pg. 24: A camel is a horse designed by a committee, so we hope that this committee will—and I think it will—function appropriately. 1964, Peter and the Commissar, Allan Sherman and the Boston Pops: And we all know the saying, which is true as well as witty, that a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee. 1975, The Professional Geographer: The Journal of the Association of American Geographers, v.27 1975, pg. 132: If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, what is a materials policy statement prepared by seven study teams? 1976, Popular Science, v.209 1976 Jul-Dec: Whoever concluded that a camel is a horse designed by a committee could have similar thoughts about taxicabs. 2002,The West Wing, episode Night Five, original airdate February 6th, 2002: "This is a presidential address, Andrea, not a camel (...) A camel! A horse built by committee!" (Toby Ziegler) 2004, Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2005, Roger Ebert, Andrews McMeel Publishing, ISBN 0740747428, pg. 388: To quote another ancient proverb, "A camel is a horse designed by a committee." Life or Something Like It is the movie designed by the camel. 2011, January 5, 2011 Mineola, NY Village Meeting. original airdate January 5, 2011: "You know what they say about committees, a camel is a horse designed by a committee - Honorable Mayor Lawrence Werther, Mayor of the Incorporated Village of Mineola, New York.
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