Apparently, this saying was invented by an advertising executive, Fred R. Barnard, to promote his agency’s ads. I don’t know if this is factual or not. This is what says the Google search engine, the most accessible source of explanation of anything.
As is customary, that statement was repeated in multiple search results, reinforcing the impression it could actually be correct. Maybe it is ?
Not to make me drift away into my doubts, and not to bore me, the Google search pointed me to an adjacent territory with a more interesting statement. Apparently our brain can process images 60,000 times faster than it can process words. WOW !
But wait, what does that mean ? That if I see an image, I will digest its content in one second versus 60,000 seconds, or a little under 20 hours, it would take me to understand a word ?
That can’t be true. How many of us would actually do the math, though, to see the absurdity of that phrase ? It is catchy, and we like to quickly borrow and use catchy phrases rather than dissect them until the spell breaks.
Beware of catchy statements that are senseless. They are the younger brothers of populism.