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 researches.
“Yogi Berra has been quoted as having said, ‘I never said most of the things I said.’ Is this correct? How many of the famous quotations associated with him been incorrectly attributed to him?”
The Yale Book of Quotations researched all of Berra’s famous sayings and found that some of them were undoubtedly apocryphal. Berra is a “quotation magnet” like Mark Twain or George Bernard Shaw; foolish-sounding quotes tend to be attributed to him regardless of whether he really said them. For example, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” is often erroneously attributed to Berra, but John McNulty used it in a story in the New Yorker, Feb. 10, 1943, when Berra was not yet even in the major leagues. An even earlier version, attributed to a “flutterbrained cutie named Suzanne Ridgeway,” appeared in the Helena Independent, Sept. 10, 1941 (“Now I know why nobody ever comes here; it’s too crowded”).
Maybe some of our newspaper database / Google Books jockeys can uncover still earlier usage.
Do any readers have any other quotations whose origins they would like me to attempt to trace?