[Ads-l] Groucho--really?

Baker, John JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM
Mon Mar 13 17:22:21 EDT 2017


Of course, as previously discussed on ADS-L, "Inside of a dog it's too dark to read" is not an authentic Marxism either; as far as we know, it came from Jim Brewer, a kid who contributed it to Boys' Life in 1954 (well, the contribution was probably in 1953).  And "Why a duck" was spoken by Chico (though written by George S. Kaufman).  "I do not care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members" was attributed to Groucho personally in 1950, so seems reasonably plausible as an authentic quotation.


John Baker



-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Laurence Horn
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2017 1:14 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: Groucho--really?

> On Mar 10, 2017, at 12:39 PM, GEOFFREY NUNBERG <nunbergg at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> The following quotation is widely ascribed to Groucho Marx:
> 
>> I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
> 
> I suppose it’s not impossible that Groucho said such a thing in his sad dotage, but the tenor is awfully un-Marxian.


Yes, it certainly doesn’t seem to sit well with the other classic Marxist doctrines, e.g. “Why a duck”, “…Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read”, and of course the philosophers’ favorite, “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”

LH

> Can anybody help to trace the actual source of the quote—or what’s really more interesting (if I’m right), its first misattribution?
> 
> Geoff
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list