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6 Interesting Fax Machine Quotes

by Louise W. Rice

First invented in the 1840s, fax machines became an integral part of business and personal communication. Though today you can use an email to fax provider, the fax machine is still in the minds of office workers everywhere. With such popularity, it is inevitable that numerous quotes about faxes would eventually come out. Here is a look at six of the most interesting ones.

1.  “Fax Is Not of Much Use if It’s the Only One”

Kwame Anthony Appiah opined that a value is like a fax machine. It is not of any use if you happen to be the only person that has one. This quote is based on the premise that for you to utilize your fax machine, there must be someone to receive it who either has a fax machine or uses online cloud-based service such as eFax.

Appiah was insinuating that your values will only have meaning and impact if they are shared by others. The quote is found in Appiah’s book “The Ethics of Identity.”

2.  “The Eye and Brain Are No Fax Machine”

Torsten Wiesel stated that the eye and brain are not like a fax machine, nor are there little people in our heads looking at the images coming in.

This quote appears in work “Genius Talk. Conversations with Nobel Scientists and Other Luminaries” by Denis Brian. The book draws on the views of Nobel Prize-winning scientists and other luminaries in neuroscience, psychology and other sciences. Wiesel hinted that the eye and brain do not capture and store everything they are presented with like a fax machine does.

3.  “No Fax Machine? No Message Received”

In 2005, the basketball rivalry between NBA superstars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal dominated the game’s headlines. With Kobe playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and Shaq featuring for the Miami Heat, the two teams’ looming clash on Christmas Day 2005 had tongues wagging.

In the lead up to the showdown, Kobe came from a spectacular 62-point showing against the Dallas Mavericks. Asked whether Kobe’s phenomenal performance was sending a message to him and the Heat, Shaq had a curt reply: He did not have a fax machine, so he didn’t get Kobe’s message.

4.  “Fax Baroque Only”

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This well-known saying cautions people from trying to repair something that is still working as expected. Television presenter and comedy writer Denis Norden had an amusing version, “If it ain’t baroque, don’t fax it.” This could be interpreted in multiple ways.

One would be that traditional fax has largely given way to newer communication technologies such as email. Therefore, the only thing that should be sent using a fax machine is something from a bygone era, such as baroque artistic expression. Another version is that since fax is such an important means of sending documents that it should be preserved, just like something as valuable as baroque.

Whatever interpretation, Norden was alluding to the need for infrequent use of traditional fax.

5.  “Fax Is Life”

In an interview, celebrated actress Joan Collins stated that she does not use email. “I phone and fax. I think people who are hunched over their computer screens all day should get a life.”

Clearly, Collins thought that people were so fixated on the internet and personal computers that it robbed them of the ability to have real conversations and interpersonal interactions.

6.  “Never Sent a Fax”

Facing charges of cheating public revenue when he was the Portsmouth Football Club manager, Harry Redknapp leaned on his alleged disorganization and aversion to technology as a defense. He said, “I don’t know what an email is … I have never sent a fax, and I’ve never even sent a text message.”

Redknapp proceeded to claim he could not write and that he relied on his accountant to facilitate his compliance with tax requirements. Aged 65 at the time, he was eventually found not guilty on February 8, 2012.

Fax Intertwined with Thoughts and Memories

Despite giving way to email as the primary means of sending documents quickly over long distances, fax remains ingrained in many activities, thoughts, and memories. Not surprising that these are just a few of the numerous quotes referring to fax over the years.

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