By Abraham Lincoln
If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does it have?
Still four, because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.
— Abraham Lincoln
This is a riddle attributed to Abraham Lincoln.
Warren Buffett included the quote in his 2019 Letter to Shareholders:
Abraham Lincoln once posed the question: ‘If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does it have?’ and then answered his own query: ‘Four, because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.’
Abe would have felt lonely on Wall Street.
He had previously quoted the same riddle, in 1992, with this addition:
It behooves managers to remember that Abe’s right even if an auditor is willing to certify that the tail is a leg.
The expression “world class” gets casually thrown around, like a frisbee at the beach. But what does it really mean?