Quote: It seems as if anything I like is either illegal or immoral or fattening. (Frank Rand attrib Sept 16, 1933)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 9 22:04:53 UTC 2013

All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal or fattening.

In the past, the expression above has been attributed to the New
Yorker columnist and radio personality Alexander Woollcott. I recently
located a citation that may shift this attribution.

On September 16, 1933 the Albany Evening News of Albany, New York
published a column called "As I Hear It" by "The Listener" which
reported on the content of recently broadcast radio programs. The
columnist stated that Alexander Woollcott could be heard on the WOKO
radio station on Wednesday and Friday nights at 10:30 PM.

The program began with a cry of “Hear ye! Hear ye!” and the ringing of
a bell according to “The Listener”. Indeed, Woollcott’s CBS radio show
"The Town Crier" used precisely that introduction. Fortunately for
21st century researchers, the columnist decided to record some of the
remarks made by Woollcott over the air:

[ref] 1933 September 16, Albany Evening News, “As I Hear It” by The
Listener, Quote Page 14, Column 6, Albany, New York. (Old Fulton)

[Begin excerpt]
As for instance quoting Woollcott’s story about the Mr. Frank Rand of
St. Louis who in the interest of his girth was lunching on bouillon
cubes and undressed lettuce.

"Do you eat that stuff because you like it?" someone asked Rand.
"No, I hate it," he replied. "But it seems as if anything I like is
either illegal or immoral or fattening."
[End excerpt]

More on this topic is available at the following link.

Additional citations and comments are welcome. Thanks.

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

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