Modern Proverbs Appeal

Landau, James James.Landau at NGC.COM
Thu May 24 14:51:50 UTC 2007

Without checking whether the YBQ already has these:

"An airplane cannot fly until the weight of the paperwork equals the
weight of the airplane"

And further on the subject of paperwork:  "No job is done until the
paperwork is finished".  At least two professionally-printed posters
were available with this quote in the  1970's.

"I must be a mushroom.  They keep me in the dark and feed me nothing but
bullshit."  Also available as a professionally printed poster in the
1970's.  Both of the preceeding were quite popular in the Pentagon when
I worked there 1969-1976.

"The most dangerous part in a car is the nut that holds the wheel".  I
think ADS-L had a thread on this one a while ago.

"The way to tell that a man has no idea what he is doing is that he
tries to enforce rules that simply don't apply to the situation."  This
was told to me by my boss Lt. Harold Harrington in 1970 and I have found
this piece of bureaucratic advise to have come in handy many times over
the years.  I have no idea whether Harrington invented it or heard it

"Music has been going steadily downhill ever since Johann Sebastian."
This from my music teacher, Robert "Bob" Johnson, about 1974.  Bob was a
specialist in Renaissance and Baroque music.

    - Jim Landau

On 5/20/07, Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Modern Proverbs Appeal
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
> I would welcome suggestions of "modern proverbs" (defined for this
> purpose as proverbs whose earliest evidence is post-1900) other than
> those listed in The Yale Book of Quotations and Dictionary of American
> Suggestions made without checking those two reference works are fine
> Fred Shapiro
> Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
> Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
>    Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press
> Yale Law School                             ISBN 0300107986
> e-mail: fred.shapiro at
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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