God is in the detailing

Oh, groan. A divine pun in today’s Zippy:

Bill Griffith’s enigmatic God is a recurrent character in the strip. Today we learn about God’s BMW and how He cares for it.

From Wikipedia:

“The devil is in the detail” is an idiom that refers to a catch or mysterious element hidden in the details, meaning that something might seem simple at a first look but will take more time and effort to complete than expected and derives from the earlier phrase, “God is in the detail” expressing the idea that whatever one does should be done thoroughly; i.e. details are important.

The idiom, “God is in the detail” has been attributed to a number of different individuals, most notably to German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) by The New York Times in Mies’s 1969 obituary; however, it is generally accepted not to have originated with him. The expression also appears to have been a favorite of German art historian Aby Warburg (1866–1929), though Warburg’s biographer, E. H. Gombrich, is likewise uncertain if it originated with Warburg. An earlier form, “Le bon Dieu est dans le détail” (“the good God is in the detail”) is generally attributed to Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880). Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations lists the saying’s author as anonymous. … in 1969, it is referred to as an existing proverb.

It doesn’t yet have an entry in the Quotes Investigator.

One Response to “God is in the detailing”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    I always heard it with “details”.

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