[Ads-l] Lewis Carroll Misquotes

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 16 13:05:03 UTC 2021

Geoffrey Nathan wrote:
> Interestingly enough, the article misquotes
> one of the quotes, by omitting a crucial morpheme. In the one about
> being behind. I recall bumper stickers and cute plaques
> to put up in your kitchen or office that actually say
> 'The hurrieder I go the behinder I get.'

Different versions of this saying have been circulating.

1943 Jan 30 The harder I work the behinder I get.
1958 Nov 23 The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.
1959 Mar 02 The hurrieder I work the behinder I get.

Date: January 30, 1943
Newspaper: The Detroit Free Press
Newspaper Location: Detroit, Michigan
Article: Behind the Front Page
Author: FP Staff
Quote Page 15, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
BEHINDER--Emmaleta Hicks clerical worker at the Michigan Central
Terminal, reports this scrap of conversation between two truck drivers
in the middle of the daily parcel blitz:
"Ya gettin' caught up with your work. Bill?"
"Naw," replied Bill, dejectedly, "the harder I  work the behinder I get."
[End excerpt]

Date: November 23, 1958
Newspaper: The Indianapolis Star
Newspaper Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Article: The Things I Hear!
Author: Lowell Nussbaum
Section 2, Quote Page 5, Column 2
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
GENE MEIHSNER, production man for Caldwell, Larkin, et al., collects
slogans. His latest:
"The hurrier I go, the behinder I get."
[End excerpt]

Date: March 02, 1959
Newspaper: Chattanooga Daily Times
Newspaper Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Article: Down The Lane - Not So Goofy
Author: Mouzon Peters
Quote Page 15, Column 3
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
City Editor Ed Sussdorff says I misquoted him. He claims he did not
say anything so goofy as "The faster I work the behinder I get." What
he really said, he claims, was "The hurrieder I work the behinder I
get." So the record's now straight and my work is behinder than it's
been in some time.
[End excerpt]

There is a match for "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get" in Google
Books (GB) within a periodical called "Executives' Digest". The GB
date is 1951, but when you probe it with 1951, 1952, …, 1958, 1959
snippets suggest that the bound volume contains issues from throughout
the 1950s.

Garson O'Toole

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

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