Madison Avenue? Doctor’s Advice? Graffito? Dick Sharples? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: When I strained a muscle recently a friend told me that the injury was nature’s way of telling me to slow down. Another friend quipped:
Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
Would you please explore this adage?
Quote Investigator: The earliest strong match located by QI appeared in the popular syndicated column of Leonard Lyons in April 1960, Boldface has been added to excerpts: 1960 April 8, Grand Prairie Daily News, The Lyons Den: Owls May View Hitchcock Movie by Leonard Lyons, Quote Page 2, Column 5, Grand Prairie, Texas. (Newspapers_com)
Madison Avenue’s definition of Death: “Nature’s way of telling you to slow up”.
“Madison Avenue” is a street in New York City which for many years has been used as a metonym for the U.S. advertising industry. The instance presented by Lyons differed from the more common modern variant by using the phrase “slow up” instead of “slow down” although the meaning was congruent.
QI hypothesizes that the parodic guidance propounded by the expression evolved from similar pieces of health advice and statements in advertisements.
Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.
|↑1||1960 April 8, Grand Prairie Daily News, The Lyons Den: Owls May View Hitchcock Movie by Leonard Lyons, Quote Page 2, Column 5, Grand Prairie, Texas. (Newspapers_com)|