[Ads-l] folk aphorism?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Dec 1 01:37:30 UTC 2019

Not being a quotehound (or even a quotekitty), I tracked down exactly one
instance on the web, which appears to be from the same source (although
it's not credited):

I did find this quote, credited to Victoria Holt, which involves the same
excluded middle but goes somewhere else with it:
*"You should never regret anything in life. If it's good, it's wonderful.
If it's bad, it's experience"*
And either way you can wash it down with rye.

On Fri, Nov 29, 2019 at 10:49 AM Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu>

> A query for the quote hounds, from S1 E11 "The Favor" (11/15/58) of the tv
> Western _Wanted Dead or Alive_. The  show's hero, bounty hunter Josh
> Randall (played by Steve McQueen), enters a saloon in an outlaw town and
> asks the barman what he's serving. Barman says it's rye, Randall asks for
> some, barman asks if he wants water with it. Randall demurs, saying:
>   If it's bad, water won't help. If it's good, it won't need it.
> That has the sound of a quotation familiar to the character -- or, more
> likely, a variation on such a quotation. It could just have been invented
> by the scriptwriters to suit the nature of the character, as a fictive
> piece of homespun practical wisdom. Or it could be some version of an
> actual vernacular (perhaps regional) aphorism; it sounds like something my
> Kentucky connections would say (of bourbon), though I don't recall having
> heard it there.
> Anyone have any leads on it?
> Arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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