Quote: If it ain't broke, don't fix it! (antedating1973 October 25)

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 10 02:40:05 UTC 2010

Fred Shapiro discusses this quote at the "Quotes Uncovered" blog
today. Bert Lance, an administrator under Jimmy Carter, was a locus of
popularization, and the earliest known cites are in 1976 shortly
before Lance used it.


Barry Popik has a webpage on the quote that includes some interesting
variants that occurred earlier, e.g., IF WE CAN’T FIX IT—IT AIN’T


Here is a citation in 1973 that I just located. The prefixed mention
of "Murph" may be a reference to Murphy's Law:

Cite: 1973 October 25, Hamburg Reporter, Free standing quote in
Hansen's Food Market advertisement, Page 3, Hamburg, Iowa.

Murph sez: If it ain't broke, don't fix it!


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

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