Consistency

DEFINITION

Agreement among things or parts. Compatibility between related aspects. Continuously similar in certain respects. Also, degree or texture of density, firmness or viscosity.In order to visualize the meaning of consistency in the first sense, consider an image with deliberately inconsistent aspects: Maurits Cornelis Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972), Other World, 1947, color wood engraving and woodcut printed in black, red-brown, and green, printed from three blocks; image 12 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches (31.8 x 26.1 cm), sheet 39.2 x 32.9 cm. Depending upon which of this room's three windows we look out, we find our point of view is completely different ? entirely inconsistent with each of the others! See optical illusion.Quotes about consistency and inconsistency: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Essays, "Self-Reliance" (First Series, 1841). "What, then, is the true Gospel of consistency? Change. Who is the really consistent man? The man who changes. Since change is the law of his being, he cannot be consistent if he stick in a rut." Mark Twain (1835-1910), U.S. author. "Consistency," paper, read in Hartford, Connecticut, 1884 (published in 1923; reprinted in Complete Essays, edited by Charles Neider, 1963). "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "The Relation of Dress to Art," in Pall Mall Gazette (London, Feb. 28, 1885; reprinted in Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde, 1991). "Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead." Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British author. Do What You Will, "Wordsworth in the Tropics" (1929). Also see absurd, compare, filter, harmony, incongruity, Mohs Scale of Hardness, and pastiche.

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