[Ads-l] Groucho--really?

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 13 11:44:15 EDT 2017

"Philosofy" was one of the "simplified spellings" that often appeared in
the Chicago Tribune from the '30s to the '70s (the Tribune's editor and
owner Joseph Medill was active in the spelling reform movement). See Erin
McKean's 2011 piece in the Washington Post:


Similarly, the Trib spelled "photograph" as "photograf." I don't know why
they didn't go whole hog and use "filosofy" and "fotograf."

On Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 1:48 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> Excellent citation, Tom. The Groucho book edited by Robert S. Bader
> states that the text appeared in a piece that Groucho wrote when he
> was a guest columnist for Fred Rayfield on August 28, 1951 in the
> "Daily Compass", a periodical based in New York with managing editor
> Tom O'Connor.
> However, it looks like some material in the column was recycled. Here
> is a relevant earlier citation in the "Chicago Sunday Tribune".
> The spelling "philosofy" is in the original text.
> Date: July 8, 1951
> Newspaper: Chicago Sunday Tribune (Chicago Daily Tribune)
> Newspaper Location: Chicago, Illinois
> Article: Groucho Finds Happy Medium in Television
> Part 3, Quote Page 8, Column 7
> Database: Newspapers.com
> [Begin excerpt - double-check for typos]
> Groucho also was quite happy with Hannus von Yannuh, a 102 year old
> Norwegian, who became the subject of sermons, editorials and backyard
> chatter all over the country because of his philosofy: "Every morning
> when I get out of bed I have two choices: To be happy or unhappy. I
> always choose to be happy."
> Groucho has adopted that philosofy himself.
> [End excerpt]
> I also found some earlier citations that mentioned Yannuh and his
> philosophy, but did not say that Groucho had adopted the philosophy.
> Garson
> On Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 1:54 AM, Peter Morris
> <peter_morris_1 at blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> > Similar words were spoken by a contestant on  "You Bet Your Life" and
> > noted by Groucho as one of his favourites.
> >
> > http://tinyurl.com/zohzg3f
> >
> > "Every morning when I get out of bed I have two choices: to be happy
> > or to be unhappy. I always choose to be happy"
> > - Hannus Von Yannah, conmtestant
> >
> >

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

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