Over the weekend, a blog I follow posted a quote which is often attributed to John Lennon.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
Okay, so. I don’t like John Lennon. I did for a few months after his death, like most dumb teens, and it became fashionable to worship at the temple of The Beatles. Yeah, I know. I was dumb. I was a teenager, you know.
So anyway, I’m not one to believe in the “genius” he’s often touted to be. Whenever I see this quote credited to Lennon I cringe, and it’s because it wasn’t John Lennon’s quote. Yes, he used in it in a song in 1980. (I ain’t gonna tell ya which one. Go look it up yourself if you like that sort of crap.) NO, he DIDN’T coin the phrase.
So who did?
Well, like any good computer jockey, I did the lowest level of investigation you can imagine. (I was at work, and they don’t pay me to do this sort of thing despite my insistence they should.) Because I knew it wasn’t his original quote (the same guy who comes up with “goo-goo-ga-chew” came up with this bit of brilliance? really? you fell for that?), but I didn’t know whose quote it was, I decided I’d go looking. Just for a minute.
Here’s what I found.
According to this site:
The first known appearance was in an issue of Reader’s Digest magazine dated January 1957. The statement was printed together with nine other unrelated sayings in a section called “Quotable Quotes” [RDAS]:
Allen Saunders: Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.
Quote Investigator goes on to cite other citations which reference the one above. Please note, all of them properly attribute the quote to the source from which they got it.
So, twenty-three years before John Lennon stole the phrase (without attribution, may I point out) and made a ton of money from it, the original author of the phrase penned it in a published periodical which was then republished in Reader’s Digest.
So, please, Internet, take a second and stop your continual perpetuation of fecal matter into everyone’s brain. Your dead Beatle doesn’t deserve the credit for this expression. It’s not his.
Thanks. I had to get that off my brain.