Praise for Stephen Goranson

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Fri Mar 20 13:34:42 UTC 2009

Let me point out to the list, if I have not already, that I have published an update on "Murphy's Law" in my regular column in the Yale Alumni Magazine:

This update discusses Bill Mullins's pushing back of the "Murphy's Law" proverb to 1908 in magic journals, and Stephen Goranson's discovery of an 1877-78 version of the Murphy's Law proverb.  Subsequently, Stephen has found the earliest usage of the term "Murphy's Law."

Stephen has also done great work on "lies, damned lies and statistics" and other important expressions.  Of particular interest to me, he found a 1934 partial version of the Serenity Prayer.  Now he has unearthed the earliest known example of "the whole nine yards."

I don't want to discourage him in any way from his very productive and significant researches, so I will try to refrain from commenting further on the "whole nine shipyards" theory.

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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