Quote Unquote

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Jul 8 20:36:19 UTC 2001

In today's "On Language" column William Safire, following OED, gives E. E.
Cummings in 1935 as the first use for "quote...unquote."  There is an
earlier usage by the Marx Brothers, however:

1933 _Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel_ (radio transcript) 20 Mar. in _The
Essential Groucho_ (Stefan Kanfer ed. 2000) 64  In re yours of the fifth
inst. yours to hand and in reply, I wish to state that the judiciary
expenditures of this year, i.e., have not exceeded the fiscal
year--brackets--this procedure is problematical.  Quotes, unquotes, and

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               http://quotationdictionary.com

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