[Ads-l] [PW] Quote: Some people are troubled by the things in the Bible they can=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=99t_?=understand. The things that trouble me are the things I can understand. (Attributed to Mark Twain 1915)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 23 19:09:35 UTC 2017

A correspondent asked me to explore a version of the quotation in the
subject line. I did not see a version on Barbara Schmidt's wonderful
“Twain Quotes” website. Wikiquote listed the saying in the "Unsourced/
Possible Fakes" section of the Mark Twain webpage with a first
citation in 1971.

Random House Webster's Quotationary (2001) and The Times Book of
Quotations (2000) included instances with 1987 and 1975 citations.

I've located an instance attributed to Twain in 1915. He died in 1910.
The phrasing has been highly variable over the decades, and my current
conclusion rejects the ascription to Twain. Here is a link:


Earlier citations and insights would be welcome. Thanks.

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

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