[Ads-l] Quote: When you=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=99re_20_you_care_what_everyone_thinks=3B_when_you=E2=80?= =?UTF-8?Q?=99re_?=40 . . .

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 1 23:19:59 UTC 2019

The following quotation has implausibly been attributed to Winston Churchill:

When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop
caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realize no one was
ever thinking about you in the first place.

Researchers at Snopes and Politifact expressed skepticism. Snopes
noted that anonymous instances were circulating by 2008.


Churchill quotation expert Richard M. Langworth listed the quotation
in his article titled "All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said"

I was asked to explore the provenance of this saying by a
correspondent who has kindly helped me in the past. I found a variant
ascribed to humorist Will Rogers in a 1935 movie, and I hypothesize
that the modern saying evolved from this early statement:

At 20, we don't care what the world thinks of us.
At 30, we worry about what it thinks of us.
At 40, we're sure it doesn't think of us

Intermediate versions of the saying are shown in the QI article.

Feedback welcome

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

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