I'm about to add a sentence from a client onto a web page. I'm unsure which of these is correct. The first is his submission, and it sort of looks grammatically correct to my non-scholarly eye. Yet I would have used the second in conversation.
'We all have heard of the phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.' 'We have all heard of the phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.'

Terry, West Sussex, UK
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I'm about to add a sentence from a client onto a web page. I'm unsure which of these is correct. ... phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.' 'We have all heard of the phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.'

Well, it's the first time I've heard of it, in any case.

I'd be more likely to say, "We've all heard the phrase ..." than either of the above.
But either form looks acceptable to me (though I would think that more of us have heard "a picture is worth a thousand words").

rzed
I'm about to add a sentence from a client onto a web page. I'm unsure which of these is correct. ... phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.' 'We have all heard of the phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.'

This may be a pondial difference (UK v US), but I've always heard "a picture is worth a thousand words."
Also: I think it better to say "we have all heard the phrase" rather than "we have all heard *of* the phrase." But the "of" may be correct, depending on what you go on to say. That is, if the opening sentence leads to a discussion the phrase itself, the "of" could be supportable.
As for "we all have heard" v "we have all heard," I like the second one. It seems to be a bit smoother.
Maria Conlon
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I'm about to add a sentence from a client onto ... heard of the phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.'

This may be a pondial difference (UK v US), but I've always heard "a picture is worth a thousand words."

It's that Telly Savalas bloke confusing us.
m.
I'm about to add a sentence from a client onto ... heard of the phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.'

Well, it's the first time I've heard of it, in any case. I'd be more likely to say, "We've all heard the phrase ..." than either of the above.

I agree. "We've all heard the phrase..."
But either form looks acceptable to me (though I would think that more of us have heard "a picture is worth a thousand words").

The one with "paint" I asociate only with a popular song, Bread from the 1970s, I think "If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can't I paint you..." I suspect it was the songwriter being poetic.

I find it odd that the Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs doesn't hav the saying in any form. Nor does the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, or Early American Proverbs by Whiting. It must a be more modern than it feels maybe tied to the invention of cameras and printing processes?...

Best Donna Richoux
It must a be more modern than it feels maybe tied to the invention of cameras and printing processes?...

Yes, especially to the rise of advertising: in 1927, in the magazine Printers' Ink, but the published version is "One picture is worth ten (sic) thousand words." Its coiner, F. R. Barnard, obscured its origins by calling it a Chinese proverb. He'd used the one-thousand-words version a few years earlier, but evidently decided to prefer a higher order of magnitude. See here:

What do the Chinese characters actually say?
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Oh great, now I have that dumb song running through my head.
Terry Pinnell wrote on 30 Apr 2004:
I'm about to add a sentence from a client onto a web page. I'm unsure which of these is correct. ... phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.' 'We have all heard of the phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.'

Either one is fine grammatically. But I agree that the "of" should be deleted and that the first would be better as "We've all heard...", in which case I would prefer the second, "We all have heard". That sounds better to me, but don't ask why.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
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I'm about to add a sentence from a client onto a web page. I'm unsure which of these is correct. ... phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.' 'We have all heard of the phrase, a picture paints a thousand words.'

The second is definitely more idiomatic.
"of" is odd here: one would more likely hear a phrase than hear *of* it without actually hearing it. So I'd delete "of".

I'd clean up the punctuation, too, and write the sentence as follows:

We have all heard the phrase "a picture paints a thousand words".
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