[Ads-l] The lightning ain=?Windows-1252?Q?=92t_?=distributed right. Mark Twain

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Mon Oct 12 07:03:21 EDT 2020


This is not a match but maybe somewhat related.

"...violent rages...declaring himself...as an idiot, he said, 'I wish to God the lightning would strike me; but I've wished that fifty thousand times and never got anything out of it yet. I have missed several good chances. Mrs. Clemens was afraid of lightning, and would never let me bare my head to the storm.'"

SG

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Mark_Twain_a_Biography/nB05AQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=lightning%20
[https://books.google.com/books/content?id=nB05AQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&edge=curl&imgtk=AFLRE71pQYReymy3-yxbF_ikp2H-Bvr-2vyGSfynJJwuKdn9IbjGxwsrNG7G374wX-KJtWUb3FkL3GTfWbZ5o_r3Y5e7Sw78Y4XVUa0UK8KBhPhB40fYD7yfd9dskWmsaeI9oYhxur51]<https://www.google.com/books/edition/Mark_Twain_a_Biography/nB05AQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=lightning%20>
Mark Twain, a Biography<https://www.google.com/books/edition/Mark_Twain_a_Biography/nB05AQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=lightning%20>
/
www.google.com

________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2020 4:00 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: The lightning ain’t distributed right. Mark Twain

A librarian in Texas asked me about a quip attributed to Mark Twain.
The earliest instance I found appeared in a 1927 book titled "More
Maxims of Mark" compiled by Merle Johnson. Twain died in 1910, but
scholars apparently believe that the sayings in this slim volume are
authentic Twainisms.

Johnson's book was published as a fifty copy limited edition, and a
friend accessed / photographed it in the Rubenstein Rare Book Library
at Duke University. The quotation was on page 13.

[Begin excerpt]
THE TROUBLE AIN'T THAT THERE IS TOO MANY FOOLS, BUT THAT THE LIGHTNING
AIN'T DISTRIBUTED RIGHT.
[End excerpt]

https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://quoteinvestigator.com/2020/10/06/fools-lightning/__;!!OToaGQ!5eExOyLIiRye8OyjnkGN0tUnxk08Q9lfxus57ZhUko85xcdrxjEBJ938KY8NdNNh$

Feedback and earlier evidence would be welcome,
Garson O'Toole

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