There Are Old Pilots, and There Are Bold Pilots, But There Are No Old, Bold Pilots

Dorothy Verrill? Charles L. Wright? Harry D. Copland? Harry Copewell? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: The adjective “bold” has positive connotations. Yet, some difficult and dangerous professions do not countenance the inherent riskiness of bold actions. Here is the template of a pertinent adage:

There are old X, and there are bold X, but there are no old bold X.

This saying has been applied to race car drivers, mushroom hunters, airplane pilots, stock traders, and others. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: The earliest instance in this family of expressions located by QI appeared in “Safety Education: A Magazine of the Good Adventure” in May 1931. Airplane pilot Dorothy Verrill wrote about her experiences learning to fly. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1]1931 May, Safety Education: A Magazine of the Good Adventure, How Good Pilots Are Made by Dorothy Verrill, Start Page 231, Quote Page 231, Column 1, Education Division of the National Safety Council, … Continue reading

“There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots” said my instructor, one day, after we had come down from practising landings, “and it’s not a good idea to make a climbing turn at low altitude right after the take-off, as you did just now. It may be pretty flying, and it may be exciting—give you a thrill—but it’s not safe, especially for a student.”

Dorothy Verrill ascribed the saying to her flight instructor. QI examined articles in “The Hartford Courant” of Connecticut[2] 1929 February 20, The Hartford Courant, Aviation by Mary Goodrich, Quote Page 6, Column 7, Hartford, Connecticut. (Newspapers_com) and “The Kansas City Star” of Missouri[3]1929 March 31, The Kansas City Star, A Woman’s Temper Defeats Mental Hazards in Flying by Dorothy Verrill Yates, (North American Newspaper Alliance), Quote Page 17A, Column 3, Kansas City, … Continue reading which identified Lieutenant Charles L. Wright of the L & H Aircraft Corporation as Verrill’s instructor. Thus, Wright is currently one of the leading candidates for creator of this expression.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading There Are Old Pilots, and There Are Bold Pilots, But There Are No Old, Bold Pilots

References

References
1 1931 May, Safety Education: A Magazine of the Good Adventure, How Good Pilots Are Made by Dorothy Verrill, Start Page 231, Quote Page 231, Column 1, Education Division of the National Safety Council, New York. (Verified with scans; thanks to University of Minnesota Library System)
2 1929 February 20, The Hartford Courant, Aviation by Mary Goodrich, Quote Page 6, Column 7, Hartford, Connecticut. (Newspapers_com)
3 1929 March 31, The Kansas City Star, A Woman’s Temper Defeats Mental Hazards in Flying by Dorothy Verrill Yates, (North American Newspaper Alliance), Quote Page 17A, Column 3, Kansas City, Missouri. (Newspapers_com)

The World Is in Greater Peril from Those Who Tolerate or Encourage Evil Than from Those Who Actually Commit It

Albert Einstein? Pablo Casals? Josep Maria Corredor? Paul S. Reichler? Robert I. Fitzhenry? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: A family of sayings about the unwise toleration of evil has been attributed to the famous scientist Albert Einstein. Here are five examples:

(1) The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.

(2) The world is too dangerous to live in, not because of people’s evil deeds but because of those who sit and let it happen.

(3) The world is a dangerous place not because there are so many evil people in it, but because there are so many good ones willing to sit back and let evil happen.

(4) The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm. It’s dangerous because of those who watch and do nothing.

(5) The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.

I am skeptical of these ascriptions because there are so may variants, and I have never seen a solid citation for any of these statements. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: In 1955 Josep Maria Corredor published a book in French about the prominent Spanish cellist Pablo Casals titled “Conversations avec Pablo Casals: souvenirs et opinions d’un musicien”. The book employed an interview format to present commentary from Casals on a variety of topics. In addition, Corredor gathered and printed opinions about Casals from several well-known individuals including Albert Einstein.

Editions of this popular book were issued in other languages. In 1956 an English translation by André Mangeot was published as “Conversations with Casals”. The section containing opinions about Casals began with the following assertion:

We would like to take this opportunity of expressing our gratitude for the opinions reproduced below, which were sent direct by the people concerned.

Thus, the remark from Albert Einstein was based on a note sent from Einstein to the creator of the book. The original German text of the note appears further below. Here is the English rendition. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1]1957 (1956 Copyright), Conversations with Casals by J. Ma Corredor, Translated from French to English by André Mangeot, Section: Preface, Quote Page 11, A Dutton Everyman Paperback: E. P. Dutton and … Continue reading

Albert Einstein: It is certainly unnecessary to await my voice in acclaiming Pablo Casals as a very great artist, since all who are qualified to speak are unanimous on this subject. What I particularly admire in him is the firm stand he has taken, not only against the oppressors of his countrymen, but also against those opportunists who are always ready to compromise with the Devil. He perceives very clearly that the world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.

QI conjectures that the variant quotations listed at the beginning of this article were derived from Einstein’s statement in the book about Casals. Yet, it remains possible that Einstein made a separate statement in this family which QI has not yet discovered.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading The World Is in Greater Peril from Those Who Tolerate or Encourage Evil Than from Those Who Actually Commit It

References

References
1 1957 (1956 Copyright), Conversations with Casals by J. Ma Corredor, Translated from French to English by André Mangeot, Section: Preface, Quote Page 11, A Dutton Everyman Paperback: E. P. Dutton and Company, New York. (Verified with scans)

Love Is a Thing That Can Never Go Wrong; And I Am Marie of Romania

Dorothy Parker? Franklin P. Adams? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: The famous wit Dorothy Parker once penned an entertaining poem which rhymed “Romania” and “extemporanea”. Would you please help me to find a citation for this poem?

Quote Investigator: In 1926 Dorothy Parker published the poetry collection “Enough Rope”. The rhyme was contained in a four-line verse titled “Comment”. Parker spelled “Romania” as “Roumania”:[1] 1926 Copyright, Enough Rope by Dorothy Parker, Poem: Comment, Quote Page 55, Horace Liveright, New York. (Google Books Full View) link

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Love Is a Thing That Can Never Go Wrong; And I Am Marie of Romania

References

References
1 1926 Copyright, Enough Rope by Dorothy Parker, Poem: Comment, Quote Page 55, Horace Liveright, New York. (Google Books Full View) link

Home Is the Nicest Word There Is

Laura Ingalls Wilder? Melissa Gilbert? Michael Landon? John Hawkins? William Putman? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: A comfortable and welcoming home is one of life’s greatest boons. The following remark resonates with people who have an enjoyable domestic life:

Home is the nicest word there is.

This statement is usually attributed to U.S. writer Laura Ingalls Wilder who is best known for the “Little House” series of children’s books. However, I have been unable to find this quotation in her oeuvre. Thus, I suspect the phrase has been misattributed. Would you please explore the provenance of this expression?

Quote Investigator: Researchers have been unable to find this statement in the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but the confusion about the source is understandable because the phrase occurred in an episode of the popular television series “Little House on the Prairie” which was based on Wilder’s books.

The series ran between 1974 and 1983. The first episode after the pilot was titled “A Harvest of Friends”. The character Laura Ingalls played by Melissa Gilbert was the narrator. Laura conversed with her father Charles Ingalls played by Michael Landon while sitting in her bedroom in the newly built family home. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1]Television Series: Little House on the Prairie, Episode 1 (After Pilot): A Harvest of Friends, Broadcast on: NBC television network, Release date in U.S.: September 11, 1974, Teleplay by: John … Continue reading

Laura: And I’ve decided something.
Charles: What’s that, Half-Pint?
Laura: Home is the nicest word there is.
Charles: One of the nicest, that’s for sure.

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) specifies John Hawkins and William Putman as creators of the episode teleplay. Hence, this duo probably deserves credit for the dialog.[2]Website: Internet Movie Database IMDb, Television Series: Little House on the Prairie, Episode Title: A Harvest of Friends, Season: 1, Writing Credits for Teleplay: John Hawkins and William Putman, … Continue reading

Laura Ingalls Wilder did employ a pre-existing proverb that extolled the value of homes within one of her books. Details are given below.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Home Is the Nicest Word There Is

References

References
1 Television Series: Little House on the Prairie, Episode 1 (After Pilot): A Harvest of Friends, Broadcast on: NBC television network, Release date in U.S.: September 11, 1974, Teleplay by: John Hawkins and William Putman, Story: John Hawkins, Developed for television by: Blanche Hanalis, Based on book series by: Laura Ingalls Wilder, (Quotation starts at 6 minutes 37 seconds of 49 minutes),(Viewed on Amazon Prime May 27, 2022)
2 Website: Internet Movie Database IMDb, Television Series: Little House on the Prairie, Episode Title: A Harvest of Friends, Season: 1, Writing Credits for Teleplay: John Hawkins and William Putman, Website description: Database of information about movies, television, and video. (Accessed imdb.com on May 28, 2022) link

I Do Not Paint a Portrait To Look Like the Subject. Rather Does the Person Grow To Look Like His Portrait

Salvador Dali? Pablo Picasso? Gertrude Stein? Alice B. Toklas? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: A self-assured painter once suggested that one should never deliberately create a portrait to look precisely like its subject. Instead, the brilliance of the artwork would cause the subject to grow to look like the portrait over time. Would you please help me to determine the identity of this painter and to locate a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1943 the Knoedler Galleries of New York presented an exhibition of portraits by the prominent Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. While commenting about the event Dalí expressed a viewpoint similar to the one above. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1] 1943 April 26, Newsweek, Volume 21, Issue 17, Section: Art, Article: ‘Rapport of Fatality’, Quote Page 82, Column 1, Newsweek Publishing, New York. (ProQuest)

“My aim,” says Dali of these likenesses of wealthy heiresses and glamor women of the international set, “was to establish a rapport of fatality between each of the different personalities and their backgrounds. I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject. Rather does the person grow to look like his portrait.”

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading I Do Not Paint a Portrait To Look Like the Subject. Rather Does the Person Grow To Look Like His Portrait

References

References
1 1943 April 26, Newsweek, Volume 21, Issue 17, Section: Art, Article: ‘Rapport of Fatality’, Quote Page 82, Column 1, Newsweek Publishing, New York. (ProQuest)

Everybody Says That She Does Not Look Like It, But That Does Not Make Any Difference. She Will

Pablo Picasso? Gertrude Stein? Alice B. Toklas? Salvador Dali? Glenn Ligon? Arianna Huffington? David Mamet? Clifford Gessler? Michael Schulman? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Depictions of people in paintings, photographs, books, and movies can dramatically change cultural perceptions. Powerful images cause accuracy to be superseded, and stylized portrayals to become reified.

Near the beginning of the twentieth century the famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso painted a portrait of the prominent writer and art collector Gertrude Stein. Several viewers of the artwork complained that the image was inaccurate. Picasso confidently and astutely replied with a remark similar to this:

It may not look like Gertrude Stein now, but it will.

Is this anecdote correct? Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1933 Gertrude Stein published “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas”. Stein wrote the book using the viewpoint and voice of her friend and life partner Toklas. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1] 1933, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein, Chapter 2: My Arrival in Paris, Quote Page 14, Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York. (Verified with scans)

After a little while I murmured to Picasso that I liked his portrait of Gertrude Stein. Yes, he said, everybody says that she does not look like it but that does not make any difference, she will, he said.

Creating the portrait was a slow process for Picasso; he painted it during several months in 1905 and 1906. Toklas arrived in Paris in 1907, and Picasso spoke the line while visiting with Toklas and others in Stein’s art-filled home in Paris.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Everybody Says That She Does Not Look Like It, But That Does Not Make Any Difference. She Will

References

References
1 1933, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein, Chapter 2: My Arrival in Paris, Quote Page 14, Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York. (Verified with scans)

Dictionary: The Only Place Where Divorce Comes Before Marriage

Evan Esar? Jacob M. Braude? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: You have already explored a quip about success and work that cleverly referred to their alphabetical order. I’ve seen a similar joke about divorce and marriage:

The dictionary is the only place where divorce comes before marriage.

Which of these two jests emerged first? Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: The earliest instance of the divorce quip known to QI appeared in “The Yonkers Statesman” in April 1902. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1] 1902 April 19, The Yonkers Statesman, Whim-Whams, Quote Page 3, Column 2, Yonkers, New York. (Newspapers_com)

Patience: “Polly has found something wrong with the dictionary.”
Patrice: “Indeed! What is it?”
“She’s discovered that divorce comes before marriage.”

This joke was reprinted in several other newspapers in May 1902 such as “The Daily Morning Journal and Courier” of New Haven, Connecticut [2] 1902 May 3, The Daily Morning Journal and Courier, Unnecessary, Quote Page 4, Column 4, New Haven, Connecticut. (Newspapers_com) and “The Times-Democrat” of New Orleans, Louisiana.[3] 1902 May 13, The Times-Democrat, All Sorts, Quote Page 6, Column 5, New Orleans, Louisiana. (Newspapers_com) Both of these papers acknowledged “The Yonkers Statesman”.

Continue reading Dictionary: The Only Place Where Divorce Comes Before Marriage

References

References
1 1902 April 19, The Yonkers Statesman, Whim-Whams, Quote Page 3, Column 2, Yonkers, New York. (Newspapers_com)
2 1902 May 3, The Daily Morning Journal and Courier, Unnecessary, Quote Page 4, Column 4, New Haven, Connecticut. (Newspapers_com)
3 1902 May 13, The Times-Democrat, All Sorts, Quote Page 6, Column 5, New Orleans, Louisiana. (Newspapers_com)

His Mother Should Have Thrown Him Away and Kept the Stork

Mae West? Jack Wagner? Joe E. Lewis? Charley Weaver? Cliff Arquette? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: The Hollywood screen siren Mae West once verbally lacerated the villain of a movie by saying that when he was born his mother should have kept the stork and disposed of him. Would you please help me to determine the name of the movie?

Quote Investigator: Mae West starred in the 1934 film “Belle of the Nineties”. The reviewer in the “New York Herald Tribune” was impressed by West’s comical line about the antagonist. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1] 1934 September 22, New York Herald Tribune, On The Screen by Richard Watts Jr., (Movie Review of “Belle of the Nineties”), Quote Page 10, Column 1, New York. (ProQuest)

I can recommend to you Miss West’s characterization of her villain, who was, it seems, so worthless that when he was born “his mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”

Mae West received credit as the primary writer of the film, and Jack Wagner received credit for additional dialogue. Hence, QI is not completely sure who created the line. Mae West certainly deserved credit for popularizing the insult; however, a form of the joke was already in circulation as indicated below.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading His Mother Should Have Thrown Him Away and Kept the Stork

References

References
1 1934 September 22, New York Herald Tribune, On The Screen by Richard Watts Jr., (Movie Review of “Belle of the Nineties”), Quote Page 10, Column 1, New York. (ProQuest)

Other People’s Interruptions of Your Work Are Relatively Insignificant Compared With the Countless Times You Interrupt Yourself

Brendan Francis? Edward F. Murphy? Jonathon Green? Sherwin D. Smith? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: I came across the following quotation in the 1978 reference “The Crown Treasury of Relevant Quotations” compiled by Edward F. Murphy:[1] 1978 Copyright, The Crown Treasury of Relevant Quotations, Compiled by Edward F. Murphy, Topic: Quotation, Quote Page 500, Crown Publishers, New York. (Verified with scans)

A quotation in a speech, article or book is like a rifle in the hands of an infantryman. It speaks with authority.

The reference credited Brendan Francis, but I have been unable to discover anything about Francis. Does he really exist? I suspect that the name is a pseudonym. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: Your suspicions are justified. “The Crown Treasury of Relevant Quotations” included more than sixty entries ascribed to Brendan Francis. In 1999 researcher Thomas Fuller attempted to learn more about Francis and concluded that Francis was actually a pseudonym for Edward F. Murphy who compiled the book. QI agrees with this hypothesis. Evidence is presented further below.

Here is a sampling of six statements in Murphy’s book ascribed to Brendan Francis:[2]1978 Copyright, The Crown Treasury of Relevant Quotations, Compiled by Edward F. Murphy, Topic: Interruption, Quote Page 382, Topic: Psychiatry, Quote Page 497, Topic: Decision, Quote Page 205, … Continue reading

Other people’s interruptions of your work are relatively insignificant compared with the countless times you interrupt yourself.

Many a patient, after countless sessions, has quit therapy, because he could detect no perceptible improvement in his shrink’s condition.

Some persons are very decisive when it comes to avoiding decisions.

Most people perform essentially meaningless work. When they retire, that truth is borne in upon them.

Rights are something other people grant you after you’ve fought tooth-and-nail for them.

What an author likes to write most is his signature on the back of a check.

Murphy was a mathematics teacher in Manhattan.[3]1991, Baseball’s Greatest Quotations, Compiled by Paul Dickson, Section: Shakespeare On Baseball, Quote Page 390, Edward Burlingame Books: An Imprint of HarperCollins, New York. (Verified with … Continue reading He published groups of quotations in periodicals such as “The New York Times”[4] 1961 April 30, New York Times, Play Ball!, Compiled by Edward F. Murphy, (Collection of quotations about baseball), Quote Page SM54, Column 2 and 3, New York. (ProQuest) and “Sports Illustrated”.[5]1976 September 13, Sports Illustrated, Football formation in which Bobby Layne, T. S. Eliot both call signals, Compiled by Edward F. Murphy, (Collection of quotations about football), Page number … Continue reading

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Other People’s Interruptions of Your Work Are Relatively Insignificant Compared With the Countless Times You Interrupt Yourself

References

References
1 1978 Copyright, The Crown Treasury of Relevant Quotations, Compiled by Edward F. Murphy, Topic: Quotation, Quote Page 500, Crown Publishers, New York. (Verified with scans)
2 1978 Copyright, The Crown Treasury of Relevant Quotations, Compiled by Edward F. Murphy, Topic: Interruption, Quote Page 382, Topic: Psychiatry, Quote Page 497, Topic: Decision, Quote Page 205, Topic: Retire, Quote Page 510, Topic: Rights, Quote Page 512, Topic: Writers and Writing, Quote Page 597, Crown Publishers, New York. (Verified with scans)
3 1991, Baseball’s Greatest Quotations, Compiled by Paul Dickson, Section: Shakespeare On Baseball, Quote Page 390, Edward Burlingame Books: An Imprint of HarperCollins, New York. (Verified with scans)
4 1961 April 30, New York Times, Play Ball!, Compiled by Edward F. Murphy, (Collection of quotations about baseball), Quote Page SM54, Column 2 and 3, New York. (ProQuest)
5 1976 September 13, Sports Illustrated, Football formation in which Bobby Layne, T. S. Eliot both call signals, Compiled by Edward F. Murphy, (Collection of quotations about football), Page number unspecified, Time Inc. New York. (Sports Illustrated Vault at vault.si.com; accessed May 18, 2022)

Be Moderate In Everything Including Moderation

Mark Twain? Oscar Wilde? Socrates? Nancy Weber? Judy Tillinger? Horace Porter? J. F. Carter? Gaius Petronius Arbiter? James Ogilvy? Thomas Paine? Voltaire? Richard A. Posner? Benjamin Franklin? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: The ancient Greek poet Hesiod stated:[1] 2008, Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Fifth Edition, Edited by Jennifer Speake, Entry: Moderation in all things, Quote Page 213, Oxford University Press, New York. (Verified with scans)

Observe due measure; moderation is best in all things.

An extended version of this statement has been attributed to many famous people including Socrates, Oscar Wilde, Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, and Mark Twain. Here are two versions:

(1) All things in moderation, including moderation.
(2) Be moderate in everything, including moderation.

I am skeptical about all these ascriptions for the extended statement. Would you please explore this topic, and help me to find solid citations?

Quote Investigator: QI has found no substantive support for attributing this extended statement to any of the five people listed above. It is difficult to trace.

A collection based on ancient Greek poetry titled “Pagan Pictures” contained a pertinent four line verse called “Moderation”. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[2]1927, Pagan Pictures: Freely Translated and Fully Expanded from the Greek Anthology & the Greek Lyrical Poets by Wallace Rice, Quote Page 153, Boni & Liveright, New York. (Verified with … Continue reading

Nothing too much, doth Chilo say?
Be moderate despite temptation?
Aye; moderate in every way
Be moderate in moderation.

The biographical notes for “Pagan Pictures” stated that the material was based on the Planudean anthology, the Palatine anthology, and epigrams transcribed from ancient monuments. “Pagan Pictures” was published in 1927, and the collection did not specify an author or provide a precise citation for the verse “Moderation”. Thus, its provenance and date remain uncertain.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Be Moderate In Everything Including Moderation

References

References
1 2008, Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Fifth Edition, Edited by Jennifer Speake, Entry: Moderation in all things, Quote Page 213, Oxford University Press, New York. (Verified with scans)
2 1927, Pagan Pictures: Freely Translated and Fully Expanded from the Greek Anthology & the Greek Lyrical Poets by Wallace Rice, Quote Page 153, Boni & Liveright, New York. (Verified with scans; thanks to the University of North Carolina library system)