Alexander Hamilton? Gordon A. Eadie? Irene Dunne? Peter Marshall? Theodore DeVries? william Sloane Coffin Jr.? Alex Hamilton? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: over there is a famous exhortative statement that employs the contrasting words “stand” and “fall”. Right here are three versions:

(1) If you don’t stand for something, you’ll loss for anything.(2) Those that stand for nothing loss for anything.(3) when you stand for nothing, you autumn for everything.

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This adage is attributed come Alexander Hamilton, Peter Marshall, and others. Could you discover this topic?

Quote Investigator: An exciting precursor for the saying showed up in a Methodist church notice in an Iowa newspaper from 1926. The word order and meaning were distinct, yet the keywords to be the same. In 1927 the very same precursor was published as a “Sermonogram” in one Ohio newspaper: 1 2

It is much easier to autumn for anything than to was standing for something.

Thanks to Andrew Steinberg because that locating and sharing these nascent citations.

The earliest evidence of close complement known come QI was released in the January 1945 issue of a journal dubbed “Mental Hygiene”. At the time of publication human being War II was still gift fought. The adage showed up in an article by the clinical doctor Gordon A. Eadie title “The Over-All Mental-Health requirements of the commercial Plant, v Special reference to war Veterans”. Boldface has been included to excerpts: 3

We space trying to display him not just what we room fighting against, however what we space fighting for. So many of this boys have only a very hazy idea the the real worries of the war. About all they view is “going ago to the an excellent old days.” This is a danger state. If they don’t was standing for something, lock will fall for anything. They should realize that we room fighting 2 wars—the war of arms and the battle of ideas—that various other war of which the battle of arms is one phase.

The crucial reference work “The thesaurus of modern-day Proverbs” from Yale university Press has actually an entry for this adage and points come the exact same journal and year for its more quickly citation. 4

Although the saying was employed by Gordon A. Eadie that is no clear whether he make it. A few months later the adage was spoken by the famous film actress Irene Dunne during a radio transfer as suggested below. QI believes that it is reasonable come categorize this expression as an anonymous modern-day proverb.

The common attribution to the eighteenth-century statesman Alexander Hamilton to be probably based on a mistaken understanding of a relatively modern-day citation. A different man named Alex Hamilton who was a british broadcaster used the saying in 1978. Details space given more below.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

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Posted on February 18, 2014June 21, 2020Categories Irene DunneTags Alex Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton, Gordon A. Eadie, Irene Dunne, Peter Marshall, Theodore DeVries, wilhelm Sloane Coffin Jr.