[Ads-l] Adage: Youth is wasted on the young (George Bernard Shaw variant April 22, 1931)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Mon Sep 7 12:17:01 UTC 2015

Not earlier, but another 1931 variant; Irvin S. Cobb, interviewed by Harry Goldberg. Perhaps you have it already. I wonder if there is any basis to the claim that is from Shaw and "recent." 

He quoted with deep feeling the recent epigram from Bernard Shaw: "The most precious thing in the world is youth. Too bad it is wasted on children."

May 10, 1931 Times-Picayune [New Orleans][AHN] p.83 col. 6.

Stephen Goranson
From: American Dialect Society ... on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole ...
Sent: Sunday, September 6, 2015 2:38 PM
Subject: [ADS-L] Adage: Youth is wasted on the young (George Bernard Shaw variant April 22, 1931)

The well-known saying "Youth is wasted on the young" is commonly
attributed to George Bernard Shaw. Back in 2011, I located a New York
Times citation with a date of December 28, 1931 and shared it with
Charlie off-list. (Charlie may have already had that cite in his
files.) I was planning to create a website entry on the topic, but
indolence and distraction were victorious. The citation was the first
listed in The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs.

Prodded by another email request, I searched again and was able to
find an earlier pertinent citation:

[ref] 1931 April 22, Denton Record-Chronicle, New York Day by Day by
O. O. McIntyre, Quote Page 8, Column 2, Denton, Texas.

[Begin excerpt]
Lyda Roberti, that flaxen haired Polish "discovery" of Lou Holz,
continues to be welcomed joyously among the Broadway crowds. Her
youthfulness, marvelous mop of bright hair and comic paper dialect
encompass a combination seldom attained among the bright lights. Youth
is always wonderful. As George Bernard once exclaimed, it seems a
shame to waste it on children.
[End excerpt]

Earlier evidence and feedback welcome,

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

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