Sunday, 31st August 2014

by Joshua Gaskell

I am amused to discover that the initialism EQ originally denoted exactly what its current users most despise. Whereas now it refers to the ‘all must have prizes’ notion of an emotional intelligence quotient, it was first used to refer to a person’s educational quotient: ‘a numerical measure of educational level relative to age, arrived at by dividing educational age by chronological age, and freq. expressed as a percentage value’ (OED). It first appeared in a 1920 issue of the Teachers College Record, where an R. Franzen explained that, ‘The ratio of E.Q. to I.Q. gives the percentage of what that child could do, that he has actually done.’