During Christmas People Will Forget the Past With a Present

Gladys Parker? Don Marquis? Walter Winchell? Uncle Ezra? Phyllis Diller? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: A collection of Christmas season quips employ wordplay based on “past” and “present”. Here are two examples:

What I like about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present.

At Christmas time youngsters want the past forgotten and the present remembered.

Remarks of this type have been attributed to humorist Don Marquis, cartoonist Gladys Parker, and comedian Phyllis Diller. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: This family of jokes is difficult to trace because the phrasing is variable. In January 1933 a one-panel cartoon called “Flapper Fanny Says” by Gladys Parker depicted a woman opening a present. The caption said the following. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1] 1933 January 19, Public Opinion, (Caption of one panel cartoon: Flapper Fanny Says by Gladys Parker), Quote Page 12, Column 3, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)

Nothing smoothes out the past like a present.

This instance of the quip did not mention Christmas, but it contained the key wordplay elements.

In February 1933 the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” of New York printed an instance about birthdays with an anonymous attribution:[2] 1933 February 24, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Reverting to Type by Art Arthur, Quote Page 12, Column 2, Brooklyn, New York. (Newspapers_com)

… the latest bit of wisdom scribbled on the bulletin board at Connie’s Inn reads, “On her birthday every girl wants her past forgotten and her presents remembered”

In July 1934 Gladys Parker revisited this notion in her one-panel cartoon “Flapper Fanny Says”. Parker’s illustration depicted a woman tending the flowers on a trellis, and the caption said:[3] 1934 July 3, The Canton Repository, (Caption of one panel cartoon: Flapper Fanny Says by Gladys Parker), Quote Page 3, Column 4, Canton, Ohio. (GenealogyBank)

Many a person will forget the past for a present.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading During Christmas People Will Forget the Past With a Present

References

References
1 1933 January 19, Public Opinion, (Caption of one panel cartoon: Flapper Fanny Says by Gladys Parker), Quote Page 12, Column 3, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)
2 1933 February 24, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Reverting to Type by Art Arthur, Quote Page 12, Column 2, Brooklyn, New York. (Newspapers_com)
3 1934 July 3, The Canton Repository, (Caption of one panel cartoon: Flapper Fanny Says by Gladys Parker), Quote Page 3, Column 4, Canton, Ohio. (GenealogyBank)

It Isn’t Enough To Write So You Will Be Understood. You Have To Write So You Can’t Be Misunderstood

Quintilian? William Cobbett? John Cooke? Charles Haddon Spurgeon? W. E. Smith? Walter Winchell? Rollin D. Salisbury? William H. Taft?

Dear Quote Investigator: A maxim about the goal of communication expresses an ideal that is desirable but nearly impossible to achieve. Here are three versions:

(1) You must not only speak so that people can understand you, but so that they cannot misunderstand you.

(2) Teach not only so that the children can understand you, but so that they cannot misunderstand you.

(3) You must write not so that you can be understood but so that you cannot possibly be misunderstood.

Would you please explore the provenance of this family of sayings?

Quote Investigator: The Roman educator Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus) published a multi-volume work about rhetoric titled “Institutio Oratoria” (“Institutes of Oratory”) around the year 95 CE. Quintilian discussed strategies of persuasion. Here is a passage from book 8 chapter 2 translated into English by scholar Harold Edgeworth Butler. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1]1922, The Institutio Oratoria of Quintilian With an English Translation by H. E. Butler (Harold Edgeworth Butler, Professor of Latin in London University), Volume 3 of 4, Book 8, Chapter 2, Quote … Continue reading

For we must never forget that the attention of the judge is not always so keen that he will dispel obscurities without assistance, and bring the light of his intelligence to bear on the dark places of our speech. On the contrary, he will have many other thoughts to distract him unless what we say is so clear that our words will thrust themselves into his mind even when he is not giving us his attention, just as the sunlight forces itself upon the eyes.

Therefore our aim must be not to put him in a position to understand our argument, but to force him to understand it. Consequently we shall frequently repeat anything which we think the judge has failed to take in as he should.

Below is the key phrase in its original Latin form:[2]1922, The Institutio Oratoria of Quintilian With an English Translation by H. E. Butler (Harold Edgeworth Butler, Professor of Latin in London University), Volume 3 of 4, Book 8, Chapter 2, Quote … Continue reading

Quare non, ut intelligere possit, sed, ne omnino possit non intelligere, curandum.

QI believes that Quintilian’s statement was the seed which produced the efflorescence of sayings under examination. For example, in 1807 James Beattie who was a Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic at Marischal College in Scotland published “Elements of Moral Science”. Beattie cited Quintilian when he presented his own version of the saying:[3]1807, Elements of Moral Science by James Beattie (Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic in the Marischal College, and University of Aberdeen), Volume 2 of 2, Second Edition, Part 4, Chapter 1, … Continue reading

We should study, says Quintilian, not only to be understood in what we speak or write, but to make it impossible for the attentive to misunderstand us.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading It Isn’t Enough To Write So You Will Be Understood. You Have To Write So You Can’t Be Misunderstood

References

References
1 1922, The Institutio Oratoria of Quintilian With an English Translation by H. E. Butler (Harold Edgeworth Butler, Professor of Latin in London University), Volume 3 of 4, Book 8, Chapter 2, Quote Page 210 and 211, William Heinemann, London. (Google Books Full View) link
2 1922, The Institutio Oratoria of Quintilian With an English Translation by H. E. Butler (Harold Edgeworth Butler, Professor of Latin in London University), Volume 3 of 4, Book 8, Chapter 2, Quote Page 210 and 211, William Heinemann, London. (Google Books Full View) link
3 1807, Elements of Moral Science by James Beattie (Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic in the Marischal College, and University of Aberdeen), Volume 2 of 2, Second Edition, Part 4, Chapter 1, Section 2, Quote Page 283, Printed for William Creech; Edinburgh and T. Cadell and W. Davies, London. (Verified with scans)

Like a Little Bridegroom On a Wedding Cake

Alice Roosevelt Longworth? Marie Corelli? Jane Burr? Rose Guggenheim Winslow? Nancy Hale? Ruth Hanna McCormick? Walter Winchell? Ethel Barrymore? Grace Hodgson Flandrau?

Dear Quote Investigator: A U.S. politician running for president was once described as a “little man on a wedding cake” and a “bridegroom on the wedding cake”. This ridicule harmed his campaign, and he lost the race. The remark has been attributed Alice Roosevelt Longworth, the daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, although on several occasions she denied authorship. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: Alice Roosevelt Longworth did use this expression when describing presidential aspirant Thomas Dewey in July 1944, but she was not the first. The phrase “little bridegroom on every wedding cake” was intended as a compliment when it was applied to Dewey in June 1944. This vivid saying can be traced backwards at least a few more decades. It has been used with both positive and negative connotations.

In 1904 the novel “God’s Good Man: A Simple Love Story” by Marie Corelli employed a wedding-cake-topper simile positively to portray a new wife:[1] 1904, God’s Good Man: A Simple Love Story By Marie Corelli, Chapter 10, Quote Page 172, Methuen & Company, London, England. (Google Books Full View) link

“But ’ere was we all a-thinkin’ she’d be a ’igh an’ mighty fashion-plate, and she ain’t nothin’ of the sort, onny jest like a little sugar figure on a weddin’-cake wot looks sweet at ye and smiles pleasant…”

In 1908 a serialized work in a Washington D.C. newspaper titled “Letters From a New Congressman’s Wife” described a party during which a connubial couple waited stiffly for the arrival of a dignitary. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[2]1908 February 16, The Sunday Star (Evening Star), Section: Sunday Magazine, Letters From a New Congressman’s Wife (Continuation title: Congressman’s Wife), Start Page 9, Quote Page 18, … Continue reading

Of course, it was rather strained while the Secretary and his plump little wife stood up like the bride and groom figures on a wedding cake, waiting for the great guest of honor to arrive . . .

In 1921 Jane Burr published the novel “The Passionate Spectator”. According to the “Handbook of Pseudonyms and Personal Nicknames” Jane Burr was a pseudonym for Rose Guggenheim Winslow.[3] 1972, Handbook of Pseudonyms and Personal Nicknames, Compiled by Harold S. Sharp, Volume 1: A to J, Quote Page 524, The Scarecrow Press Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey. (Verified with scans) The book wielded the phrase to disparage a fictional character:[4] 1921, The Passionate Spectator by Jane Burr, Chapter 11, Quote Page 89, Thomas Seltzer, New York. (Google Books Full View) link

Dr. Leighton was little and homely, with a voice like a ’cello. In his prim black clothes he reminded me of a candy groom on a wedding cake.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Like a Little Bridegroom On a Wedding Cake

References

References
1 1904, God’s Good Man: A Simple Love Story By Marie Corelli, Chapter 10, Quote Page 172, Methuen & Company, London, England. (Google Books Full View) link
2 1908 February 16, The Sunday Star (Evening Star), Section: Sunday Magazine, Letters From a New Congressman’s Wife (Continuation title: Congressman’s Wife), Start Page 9, Quote Page 18, Column 3, Washington, District of Columbia. (Newspapers_com)
3 1972, Handbook of Pseudonyms and Personal Nicknames, Compiled by Harold S. Sharp, Volume 1: A to J, Quote Page 524, The Scarecrow Press Inc., Metuchen, New Jersey. (Verified with scans)
4 1921, The Passionate Spectator by Jane Burr, Chapter 11, Quote Page 89, Thomas Seltzer, New York. (Google Books Full View) link

Always Forgive Your Enemies; Nothing Annoys Them So Much

Oscar Wilde? Walter Winchell? Reader’s Digest? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: A well-known moral injunction states that one should forgive one’s enemies. A humorous twist suggests that one should grant forgiveness because it produces annoyance in one’s adversaries. This notion has been attributed to the famous wit Oscar Wilde. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: Oscar Wilde died in 1900, and QI has found no substantive evidence that he originated this quip. It is not listed in researcher Ralph Keyes’s important compilation “The Wit & Wisdom of Oscar Wilde”.[1] 1996, The Wit & Wisdom of Oscar Wilde, Edited by Ralph Keyes, (Note: Search indicated that quotation was absent), HarperCollins Publishers, New York. (Verified with hardcopy) Also, the joke does not occur in the 2006 compendium “Oscar Wilde in Quotation: 3,100 Insults, Anecdotes, and Aphorisms”.[2]2006, Oscar Wilde in Quotation: 3,100 Insults, Anecdotes, and Aphorisms, Topically Arranged with Attributions, Compiled and edited by Tweed Conrad, (Note: Search indicated that quotation was absent), … Continue reading

The earliest match located by QI appeared in the popular syndicated column of Walter Winchell in 1954, and he pointed to the mass-circulation magazine “Reader’s Digest”. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[3] 1954 May 27, , Courier-Post, On Broadway by Walter Winchell, Quote Page 21, Column 1, Camden, New Jersey. (ProQuest)

Reader’s Digest recalls O. Wilde’s: “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”

QI has not yet located a precise citation within an issue of “Reader’s Digest”. In addition, quotations with attributions appearing in that magazine were often provided by readers who were compensated. The information was not carefully vetted for accuracy; hence, faulty data was sometimes submitted and propagated.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Always Forgive Your Enemies; Nothing Annoys Them So Much

References

References
1 1996, The Wit & Wisdom of Oscar Wilde, Edited by Ralph Keyes, (Note: Search indicated that quotation was absent), HarperCollins Publishers, New York. (Verified with hardcopy)
2 2006, Oscar Wilde in Quotation: 3,100 Insults, Anecdotes, and Aphorisms, Topically Arranged with Attributions, Compiled and edited by Tweed Conrad, (Note: Search indicated that quotation was absent), McFarland & Company Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina. (Verified with scans)
3 1954 May 27, , Courier-Post, On Broadway by Walter Winchell, Quote Page 21, Column 1, Camden, New Jersey. (ProQuest)

A Notable Family Named Stein With Gertrude, Ep, and Ein

A. H. Reginald Buller? Resident of Brighton? E. V. Lucas? Carolyn Wells? Walter Winchell? Robert Conquest? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: There is a comical limerick about a “family” named Stein. The three referents were prominent writer Gertrude Stein, influential sculpture Jacob Epstein, and famous scientist Albert Einstein. Wordplay was used to split “Stein” from “Gertrude”, “Ep”, and “Ein”. Would you please explore the provenance of this poem?

Quote Investigator: The earliest match for the limerick located by QI appeared in March 1931, and that citation is given further below.

An interesting precursor occurred in the London humor magazine “Punch” in September 1929. The poem was titled “Precious Steins”, and it employed the same splitting wordplay. These were the first three verses:[1] 1929 September 11, Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 177, Precious Steins, Quote Page 282, Column 3, Published at the Office of Punch, London. (Verified with scans)

What with Gertrude, Ep and Ein,
When I hear the name of Stein,
I go creepy down the spine.

Ein has caught the ether bending,
Gert has sentences unending,
Ep is really most art-rending.

Ein’s made straight lines parabolic,
Eppie’s “Night” is alcoholic,
Gertie’s grammar has the colic.

The final fifth verse suggested that life and art were out of step, and the poem’s creator was down-hearted. No attribution was specified for the poem. Thus, it was either written by a staff member of “Punch”, or it was sent to the magazine by a reader who was compensated.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading A Notable Family Named Stein With Gertrude, Ep, and Ein

References

References
1 1929 September 11, Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 177, Precious Steins, Quote Page 282, Column 3, Published at the Office of Punch, London. (Verified with scans)

Live That You Wouldn’t Be Ashamed To Sell the Family Parrot To the Town Gossip

Will Rogers? Ray Thompson? Walter Winchell? Milton Berle? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: A talkative pet parrot can cause enormous embarrassment when it publicly recites phrases spoken in private. A comedian offered the following guidance:

Live your life so you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell your family parrot to the town gossip.

Popular entertainer Will Rogers has often received credit for this remark, but I have been unable to find a citation. Would you please help?

Quote Investigator: The earliest match located by QI appeared in 1928 in a Meyersdale, Pennsylvania newspaper which acknowledged another periodical. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1] 1928 July 12, Meyersdale Republic, (Filler item), Quote Page 6, Column 4, Meyersdale, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)

So live that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.—Troy Times.

QI has not located the pertinent issue of “Troy Times”. Hence, the creator remains anonymous at this time. Will Rogers received credit for the joke by 1946; however, this long delay weakens the value of this attribution.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Live That You Wouldn’t Be Ashamed To Sell the Family Parrot To the Town Gossip

References

References
1 1928 July 12, Meyersdale Republic, (Filler item), Quote Page 6, Column 4, Meyersdale, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)

Hard Work Never Killed Anyone But Some of Us Don’t Like To Take Chances

Edgar Bergen? Charlie McCarthy? Florian ZaBach? Walter Winchell? Earl Wilson? George Gobel? Sam Levenson? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: During my younger years when I was slow to perform a boring task my parents sometimes scolded me by proclaiming a cliché about hard work. Eventually, I came across a funny riposte:

It might be true that hard work never killed anyone, but why take a chance?

This joke has been credited to Edgar Bergen and his ventriloquist dummy character Charlie McCarthy. Would you please explore its provenance?

Quote Investigator: The earliest match located by QI appeared as an anonymous filler item in a Plainfield, New Jersey newspaper in September 1936. The lengthy phrasing blunted the humor. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1] 1936 September 12, Plainfield Courier-News, (Filler item), Quote Page 6, Column 1, Plainfield, New Jersey. (Newspapers_com)

They say hard work never killed anyone but some of us are just naturally apprehensive and timid and don’t like to take chances.

A 1979 book by television host Joe Franklin contained a brief transcript from a performance by Edgar Bergen during which his character Charlie McCarthy employed this type of punchline, but no date was specified. The duo performed for decades starting in the 1920s.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Hard Work Never Killed Anyone But Some of Us Don’t Like To Take Chances

References

References
1 1936 September 12, Plainfield Courier-News, (Filler item), Quote Page 6, Column 1, Plainfield, New Jersey. (Newspapers_com)

Say Anything You Like About Me, But Spell My Name Right

George M. Cohan? P. T. Barnum? Mae West? Elinor Glyn? Babe Ruth? Damon Runyon? James J. Johnston? Charley Murphy? Max Schmeling? Walter Winchell? Oscar Wilde? Samuel Johnson? Ed Sullivan?

Dear Quote Investigator: A person once planned to write an article or book containing derogatory material about a celebrity. The unruffled response of the celebrity to this prospect was surprising. Here are three versions:

  1. I don’t care what you say about me as long as you spell my name right.
  2. I don’t care how much you pan me, but please spell the name correctly.
  3. Boost me or knock me; it doesn’t mean a thing. Just make sure you spell my name right.

This notion has been credited to Broadway musical icon George M. Cohan, showman P. T. Barnum, actress Mae West, baseball slugger Babe Ruth, and others. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: The earliest strong match located by QI appeared in several U.S. newspapers in 1888. The line was delivered by P. T. Barnum who was a founder of Barnum & Bailey Circus. He also operated a museum filled with curiosities and hoaxes. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1] 1888 August 8, The Evening News, The Table Gossip, Quote Page 4, Column 1, Franklin, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)

P. T. Barnum was once interviewed by a woman who told him that she was writing a book, and that it would contain something disagreeable about him. “No matter, madam,” was his reply, “say anything you like about me, but spell my name right — P. T. B-a-r-n-u-m, P. T. Barnum — and I’ll be pleased anyway.” The blackmailer retired in confusion.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Say Anything You Like About Me, But Spell My Name Right

References

References
1 1888 August 8, The Evening News, The Table Gossip, Quote Page 4, Column 1, Franklin, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)

The True Friend Walks In When Others Walk Out

Walter Winchell? Robert Hill? C. R. Durrant? William T. Ellis? Milton Berle? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: When you encounter difficulties some nominal friends will walk away from you, but your genuine friends will offer help and support. Here are two versions of an apposite adage:

(1) The true friend walks in when others walk out.
(2) A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

This saying has been ascribed to the influential gossip columnist Walter Winchell. Would you please explore the origin of this aphorism?

Quote Investigator: A precursor appeared in 1916 within a periodical based in Atlanta, Georgia called “The Presbyterian of the South”. Friendship was discussed in a piece about the biblical patriarch Enoch with the byline R. H. The initials probably referred to co-editor Reverend Robert Hill of Dallas Texas. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI:[1] 1916 January 19, The Presbyterian of the South, Enoch: For the New Year–A Meditation by R. H., Start Page 2, Quote Page 3, Column 1, Atlanta, Georgia. (Newspapers_com)

He is truly a friend who comes when all else goes, who walks with you when all others are walking from you.

The statement above used the phrases “comes” and “walks with you” instead of “walks in”. Thus, the syntactic match was inexact, but the semantic match was close.

In 1924 “The Border Cities Star” of Ontario, Canada published an article about a meeting of the Odd Fellows fraternal organization. Reverend C. R. Durrant, past grand chaplain of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, delivered a speech containing an instance of the saying:[2] 1924 April 28, The Border Cities Star (The Windsor Star), 600 at Lodge Celebration: 105th Anniversary of Oddfellows Observed, Quote Page 5, Column 8, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Newspapers_com)

“That is why friendship is the basis of Oddfellowship,” he said, “and the reason why it is so strongly emphasized by the Order. To have friends, one must, above all, be friendly himself. The friend walks in when others walk out. He is like a sunbeam, binds like a chain and guides like a vision.”

QI believes that this saying evolved over time and should be labelled anonymous. Walter Winchell printed the saying in his column repeatedly starting in 1933. Hence, he helped to popularize the adage, but he did not coin it.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading The True Friend Walks In When Others Walk Out

References

References
1 1916 January 19, The Presbyterian of the South, Enoch: For the New Year–A Meditation by R. H., Start Page 2, Quote Page 3, Column 1, Atlanta, Georgia. (Newspapers_com)
2 1924 April 28, The Border Cities Star (The Windsor Star), 600 at Lodge Celebration: 105th Anniversary of Oddfellows Observed, Quote Page 5, Column 8, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Newspapers_com)

You’re Only As Good As Your Last Performance

James R. Quirk? Douglas Fairbanks? Walter Winchell? Louella Parsons? Barbara Stanwyck? Jack Osterman? Al Jolson? Walter Huston? Will Rogers? Hedda Hopper? Marie Dressler? Arthur Ashe? Laurence Olivier? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: The popularity and power of an entertainer, top athlete, or financial whiz can ascend vertiginously, but it can also decline precipitously. A harshly pragmatic family of adages describes the fickleness of admirers. Here is sampling of statements from a variety of domains:

  • A star is only as good as her last picture.
  • A rock group is only as good as their latest album.
  • A columnist is only as good his last column.
  • A coach is only as good as the most recent season.

Often the expression employs the pronoun “you”:

  • You’re only as good as your last performance.
  • You are only as good as your last time at bat.
  • You’re only as good as the last song you wrote.
  • You’re only as good as your last press release

Would you please explore the history of this collection of sayings?

Quote Investigator: A close precursor appeared in “Photoplay Magazine” in 1924. The journal’s editor, James R. Quirk, conducted a survey of business people who operated movie theaters to identify the stars who achieved the best box-office results. Quirk recognized that the rankings would fluctuate over time. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI:[1]1924 May, Photoplay Magazine: The National Guide to Motion Pictures, Volume 25, Number 6, The Greatest Box Office Attractions By Vote of Moving Picture Exhibitors by James R. Quirk, Start Page 44, … Continue reading

Were a vote taken six months from now the vote might be entirely different. Generally speaking a star is as good as his last few pictures.

The statement above did not use the word “only” and referred to a “few pictures” instead of the “last picture”. Excerpts from Quirk’s article were reprinted in other periodicals. For example, in July 1924 “The Indianapolis Sunday Star” reprinted the star ranking data and the commentary which included the text above.[2] 1924 July 6, The Indianapolis Sunday Star, Mary Pickford Leads Stars in Drawing Power, Section 7, Start Page 1, Quote Page 3, Indianapolis, Indiana. (Newspapers_com)

A couple years later in July 1926 “Photoplay Magazine” printed an instance that clearly fit into the family of sayings. The prominent actor, screenwriter, and producer Douglas Fairbanks received credit for the adage:[3]1926 July, Photoplay Magazine, Volume 30, Number 2, Close-Ups and Long-Shots: Satire Humor and Some Sense by Herbert Howe, Start Page 44, Quote Page 45, Photoplay Publishing Company, Chicago, … Continue reading

No mere actor-idol can last beyond a short allotted time. Fairbanks, Lloyd, Chaplin are not mere actors. They are artists—producers. We go to see them because their names assure great entertainment.

“A man’s only as good as his last picture,” says Doug, and I heartily concur. An actor who endures as an idol must have not only character but creative force—and the chance to exercise it.

QI conjectures that the saying evolved over time. James R. Quirk crafted a version that was further refined by Douglas Fairbanks into a pithy memorable remark. On the other hand, the members of this family are highly variable and searching for them is difficult. Therefore, future researchers may discover earlier instances necessitating amendments to this conjecture.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading You’re Only As Good As Your Last Performance

References

References
1 1924 May, Photoplay Magazine: The National Guide to Motion Pictures, Volume 25, Number 6, The Greatest Box Office Attractions By Vote of Moving Picture Exhibitors by James R. Quirk, Start Page 44, Quote Page 109, Photoplay Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. (Internet Archive) link
2 1924 July 6, The Indianapolis Sunday Star, Mary Pickford Leads Stars in Drawing Power, Section 7, Start Page 1, Quote Page 3, Indianapolis, Indiana. (Newspapers_com)
3 1926 July, Photoplay Magazine, Volume 30, Number 2, Close-Ups and Long-Shots: Satire Humor and Some Sense by Herbert Howe, Start Page 44, Quote Page 45, Photoplay Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. (Internet Archive) link