Jon, Not Garson

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Jul 11 21:12:29 UTC 2011

I am so used to being "antedated" by Garson that I incorrectly thanked him for the Grantland Rice information.  I should have thanked Jon Lighter instead.


From: Shapiro, Fred
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 5:11 PM
To: American Dialect Society
Subject: RE: antedating of Grantland Rice quote

Thanks for the information, Garson.  But I hope that, by introducing the concept of "antedating" a quotation, I have not led people to forget that The Yale Book of Quotations is a literary reference work much more than it is a linguistic reference work, and that there are various reasons why I may intentionally ignore the earliest publication of a quotation.  For example, where the earliest version of a quotation is not the most famous one or is not the most euphonious one, I may intentionally quote a later version (sometimes indicating the earliest version in an annotation).  For poems and short stories and essays first published in a periodical, I usually dated the quotation according to the first publication in book form and usually took the wording from the first publication in a book form.

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2011 9:31 AM
Subject: antedating of Grantland Rice quote

Like others, YBQ dates sportswriter Grantland Rice's most famous lines to

"All wars are planned by old men
In council rooms apart."

However, Rice's poem, "The Two Sides of War," appeared nine years earlier in
the New York Tribune (March 26, 1921), p. 11. In that version, the phrase in
line one is "older men."

The poem was accurately reprinted the following day in the Wichita Daily
Times (Wichita Falls, Tex.), Sec. I, p. 12.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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