- I Google “Life is a verb, not a noun”.
- Lots of entries say it's by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, but none give a source (as usual)
- I Google “Charlotte Perkins Gilman wikiquote”
- I follow the link to http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Charlotte_Perkins_Gilman
- It’s not there
- I Google “Charlotte Perkins Gilman Life is a verb, not a noun”
- One of the entries this time looks more like like a source: I can see that it has a reference in it, to a (p. xv)
- I follow link to http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=33118
- It’s a review by Cara L. Burnidge, of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: a biography, by Cynthia J. Davis, with a link to the book itself at Amazon.com
- I follow link to http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0804738890
- The Amazon page has a “look inside” version of the book, so I look to see if p.xv is included. It is, and has the quote, but no source. However, the same paragraph has several other quotes, and then an endnote reference 10.
- I look to see if endnote 10 is included in the “look inside” version. It is, on p.409, where it says “she calls 'life' a verb in HW, 203”, which sounds like it could be the source.
- I assume 203 is a page reference, and that HW is an abbreviation for the source. What is HW?
- I look to see if the abbreviations are included in the “look inside” version. They are; HW = Human Work
- I Google “Charlotte Perkins Gilman Human Work”
- There's a Google books version at http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Human_work.html?id=IHoEAAAAYAAJ&redir_esc=y.
- I follow the link to the book; it’s not searchable.
- Back to Google Results page; there's another version at http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Human_Work.html?id=y8Gif_Ni0L0C&redir_esc=y
- I follow the link to the book; this one is searchable.
- I search for “verb”; there are many hits; one is on p.203. And there it is:
- I go to the beginning of the book, and get the rest of the bibliographic details.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Human Work, p203. McClure, Philips and Co, 1904.
Elapsed time, less than 15 minutes.
Try that with a paper library!
Maybe I should add it to wikiquotes...