A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 16, 2012
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether”

"Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today” is a proverb that might be a thousand years old. The proverb has had many parodies. “Always put off until tomorrow what you can avoid today” has been cited in print since at least 1913.

“Never put off for tomorrow what you can avoid altogether” has been cited in print since at least 1964, when it was printed in Howard Kandel’s book, The Power of Positive Pessimism: Proverbs for Our Times. The syndicated columnist Ann Landers wrote in 1994, ”Gem of the Day: Never put off until tomorrow what can be avoided altogether.”


Google Books
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 618:
“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”
Thomas Draxe, Adages (1616). Draxe’s wording is “deferre not vntill to morrow, if thou canst do it to day.” The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs notes some similar expressions dating from the fourteenth century.

21 January 1913, Lowell (MA) Sun, pg. 6, col. 2:
Turkey lives faithfully up to the adage “Always put off until tomorrow what you can avoid today.”

OCLC WorldCat record
The power of positive pessimism : proverbs for our times
Author: Howard Kandel
Publisher: Los Angeles : Price/Stern/Sloan, 1964
Series: Price/Stern/Sloan humor classic
Edition/Format:  Book : English

28 September 1964, The Post-Register (Idaho Falls, ID), Earl Wilson entertainment column, pg. 9, col. 2:
EARLS PEARLS: “Proverbs of Our Times,” by Kandel and Page, includes these: “Never put off for tomorrow what you can avoid altogether,” and “He who always finds fault with his friends, probably has faulty friends.”

Google Books
The Elevator Constructor
International Union of Elevator Constructors
1965
Pg. 42:
And here is another: “Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether!”

11 October 1968, Coshocton (OH) Tribune, “Now See Here” by Bert Bacharach, pg. 14, col. 2:
From “The Power of Positive Pessimism” Price-Stern-Sloan: “Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.”

2 February 1984, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Belvedere” comic stip, pg. SG4:
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.”

Google News Archive
1 June 1994, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), Ann Landers column, pg. 52, col. 3:
Gem of the Day: Never put off until tomorrow what can be avoided altogether.

Google Books
Never Go Rattlesnake Hunting in Earmuffs and 599 Other Things You Should Never Do
By Ed Morrow
Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books
1995
Pg. 153:
“Never put off until tomorrow what can be avoided altogether.”
Ann Landers (1918- ), 1994

14 January 1995, The Spectator (Hamilton, Ontario), pg. A9:
Davis’ golden rule of leadership “He (former Ontario Premier Bill Davis) taught me the rule: Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.”

NetScrap
Things We’d Like To See On Company Motivational Posters...
Entered on: 09/24/1998
(...)
21) Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.

25 July 2003, Daily Herald (Chicago, IL), “Good Morning: Dose of laughter is a wise prescription in troubled times” by Jack Mabley, sec. 1, pg. 15, col. 4:
Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.

Google Books
The Official Best of the Net Joke Book
By Tom Haran III
Minneapolis, MN: Mill City Press, Inc.
2011
Pg. 72:
Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Sunday, September 16, 2012 • Permalink