May You All Live Forever. May I Live Forever Less A Day

A. A. Milne? Winnie the Pooh? Tom Phillips? Walter Kerr? Jack Valenti? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: The following poignant and memorable quotation about love and companionship appears on many websites:

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.

Usually these words are attributed to the author A. A. Milne who created the character Winnie the Pooh and his companions Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Christopher Robin and others. Yet, I have never seen a citation, and I suspect that the Milne never wrote it. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: QI has been unable to find this quotation in the writings of A. A. Milne. The earliest conceptual match located by QI appeared in “The Rotarian” magazine in 1917. An advertisement from Tom Phillips presented a four-line verse containing the central idea of the quotation. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

Greetings—
May you all live forever
May I live forever less a day
For I would not wish to live
When all my friends had passed away

TOM PHILLIPS
See you on Peachtree St., June 17th

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading May You All Live Forever. May I Live Forever Less A Day

Notes:

  1. 1917 January, The Rotarian, Volume 10, Number 1, (Advertisement placed by Tom Phillips), Quote Page 94, Column 1, Rotary International, Chicago, Illinois. (Google Books Full View) link

People Say Nothing Is Impossible, But I Do Nothing Every Day

A. A. Milne? Alfred E. Neuman? Winnie the Pooh? The Foolish Almanak? Theodor Rosyfelt? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: I saw the following entertaining quotation on several websites where it was ascribed to the Winnie-the-Pooh character of the author A. A. Milne:

People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

I searched for this quote in The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh and was unable to find it. Perhaps it was used in one of the movies. Could you explore this funny statement?

Quote Investigator: The earliest evidence of this humorous remark located by QI appeared in 1906 in “The Foolish Almanak For Anuthur Year” by Theodor Rosyfelt. The book was filled with deliberate misspellings, and the author’s name may have been creatively altered. No attribution was given within the text for its prolix version of the jest: 1

It is said that nothing is impossible; but there are lots of people doing nothing every day.

The first collection of Winnie-the-Pooh stories was published in 1926, so the joke was already in circulation before A. A. Milne’s children’s classic was released. In addition, QI has found no substantive evidence that Milne wrote or said this jest.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading People Say Nothing Is Impossible, But I Do Nothing Every Day

Notes:

  1. 1906, “The Foolish Almanak For Anuthur Year” by Theodor Rosyfelt, Section: March, Unnumbered Page, [First page for the month of March], John W. Luce and Company, Boston, Massachusetts. (Internet Archive) link  link