[Ads-l] Quote: If I had known I was going to live so long, I=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=99d_?=have taken better care of myself

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 5 06:29:03 UTC 2020

Way back in April 2004 Fred Shapiro asked about the quip in the
subject line. He asked again in January 2014 when he was trying to
locate pre-1966 citations.


Now the QI website has an article with a close match on September 16, 1951.

The QI article also includes the following precursor published in
1831: "If I had known that these legs were one day to carry a
Chancellor, I’d have taken better care of them when I was a lad."

[Begin acknowledgement]
Great thanks to Fred Shapiro and Moi whose inquiries led QI to
formulate this question and perform this exploration. Thanks to
discussants Sam Clements, George Thompson, and Katherine Harper who
located valuable citations. Additional thanks to Ralph Keyes, Nigel
Rees, and Fred Shapiro for their pioneering research.
[End acknowledgement]

Feedback welcome

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

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