Quotes Uncovered: If It Ain't Broke…
I’m back to inviting readers to submit quotations whose origins they want me to try to trace, using my book, The Yale Book of Quotations, and my more recent research.
Lou Nelson asked:
This one would logically not have a traceable attribution.
“There is no end to the amount of things that can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.” Anon.
The Yale Book of Quotations spoils the logic by including the following:
“There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.”
Charles Edward Montague, Disenchantment (1922)
“If it ain’t broke… don’t fix it.”
The Yale Book of Quotations cites Bert Lance quoted as saying this by the Washington Post, Dec. 23, 1976. The YBQ notes, however:
Lance popularized this expression, but the Wall Street Journal, Oct. 4, 1976, printed the following: “If it ain’t broke, let’s don’t fix it,” says Mr. Davant, quoting an old Swedish saying from his home state of Minnesota.