bogus Horatian quote?

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 19 17:52:12 UTC 2012

Stephen Goranson wrote:
> It (the version nearest below) appeared in the Atchison {KS] Daily Globe,
> March 23, 1899; pg. 2; Issue 6,654; col C (19th century newspapers),
> article title, "Globe Sights"

Great. Thanks Stephen! The saying moved from Atchison, Kansas on March
23 to Hutchinson, Kansas on March 25. This appearance in the Atchison
Daily Globe might be the first.

"A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice" is listed in
the online Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations with credit to
Edgar Watson Howe in Country Town Sayings (1911). The saying is also
listed in A Dictionary of American Proverbs (1992) by Wolfgang Mieder,
Stewart A. Kingsbury, Kelsie B. Harder. They also cite Country Town
Sayings (1911).

The adage is not directly attributed to any individual in 1899, but
the page header in Country Town Sayings (1911) says "Paragraphs By E.
W. Howe". A paragrapher is "a person who writes very short pieces or
fillers for a newspaper" according to the online Random House
Dictionary. So Howe was probably the paragrapher for the Atchison
Daily Globe in 1899.


The American Dialect Society -

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