Hindsight is 20/20
Hindsight is 20/20 is a popular phrase, stating the fact that everyone is a wise man in hindsight.
The expression references the Snellen chart used for diagnosing eye conditions.
A 20/20 on the Snellen chart is a perfect score, used for deeming the visual acuity of someone unimpaired.
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The Snellen chart, which most people recognize today as the rows of letters in varying sizes at the doctor’s office was developed by Herman Snellen in 1862.
“Hindsight is 20/20”, however, didn’t appear as a phrase until a century later, with the earliest documented cases emerging in the late 1950’s, with one of the earliest mentions appearing in a 1959 issue of The Canadian Record.
Spread and Usage
Over the years, the expression became a widespread cliché, known by most that every fool is a wise man in hindsight.
“Hindsight is 20/20” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2006.