"two reasons for doing anything"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 11 01:23:02 UTC 2014

I don't see this in the archives, though I've been thinking about it for a
long time.

Many years ago I was told that Sigmund Freud had once said, "There are
always two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason."

Sounds like Freud in principle, but not in style.

Google Books wants to attribute it to J. P. Morgan, but Morgan died in 1913
and the "reported" quote doesn't show up till 1940.

A few minutes ago I was watching a short film on TCM called "Teddy the
Rough Rider" (1947). It shows Theodore Roosevelt insisting, "A man always
has two reasons for whatever he does: a good one and the real one."

This attribution is presumably bogus as well, but evidently the quote
gained traction in the 1940s.

Amazingly the it isn't in YBQ.

Source? Garson?


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

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list