[Ads-l] Quote: Put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Fri Feb 17 06:57:20 EST 2017


Thanks to Garson for his contribution to the historiography of this quotation, which is one of my favorites.  In the quoteinvestigator article, it is not clear whether he was concerned with the earliest printed record of Carnegie's usage of the  quote, but if that is of interest I can supply earlier evidence than the Oct. 21, 1885 citation he mentions.  In my files for the second edition of the Yale Book of Quotations, I have the following revised Carnegie item:


“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is all wrong. I tell you, "Put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket."

Quoted in Christian Union, 27 Aug. 1885. Carnegie said this in an address to students at Curry Commercial College, Pittsburgh, Pa., 23 June 1885. The quotation is almost universally attributed to Mark Twain, but Twain’s usage was later, and he probably picked it up from Carnegie.

See Proverbs 84


Thanks to Garson, I should change "he probably picked it up" to "in his notebook he credited Carnegie for it."


Fred Shapiro

________________________________
From: ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2017 4:13 AM
To: American Dialect Society
Subject: Quote: Put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket

The Quote Investigator website has a new entry about the quotation in
the subject line.
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__quoteinvestigator.com_2017_02_16_eggs_&d=CwIFaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=NvsW-OhBbzxE92nK31T2wnmV21_Bx7bPCKzIsk5T4FQ&m=ZgfZc3TC3xLjj8hM2sS19D2tj7SCy4gnpMOCkRQOMZA&s=yJm-FvhhZd7DAjOrL5R0eDJzuu9u4uutk4bKdyu2HG0&e=

Fred Shapiro and Barry Popik are acknowledged. The key early citation
for Carnegie is listed in The Yale Book of Quotations. Fred made the
following remark in his entry for the quotation:

[Begin excerpt from YBQ]
The quotation is almost universally attributed to Mark Twain, but
Twain’s usage was later, and he probably picked it up from Carnegie.
[End excerpt from YBQ]

My incremental contribution to this topic is a confirmation of Fred's
hypothesis. Sometime between April 10, 1893 and April 23, 1893 Mark
Twain recorded in one of his personal notebooks the following:

[Begin note]
“Put all your eggs in one basket—and watch that basket.” Andrew Carnegie.
[End note]

Thus, Twain credited Carnegie when he learned about the saying. This
information is based on "Mark Twain's Notebook" (1935) edited by
Albert Bigelow Paine.

Garson

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