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 May 30, 2018
“If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0”

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is a popular American poem verse from the 1830s. The verse has many joke endings that replace “try, try again.”

“If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0” is a jocular computer saying that has been printed on many images. “If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0” was posted on the newsgroup Google Groups: rec.humor on April 3, 1994.

American film comedian W. C. Fields (1880-1946) is attributed with this take on the saying: “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. Then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it.” Other variations include “If at first you don’t succeed, you’re running about average,” “If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried,” “If at first you don’t succeed, pay someone else to do it for you,” “If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success,” “If at first you don’t succeed, try management,” “If at first you don’t succeed, try two more times so your failure is statistically significant, “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving isn’t for you,” “If at first you don’t succeed, try left field” (baseball adage), “If at first you don’t succeed, we have a lot in common” and “Cooking Rule: If at first you don’t succeed, order pizza.”


The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred. R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 578:
Thomas H.Palmer
U.S. author, 1782-1861
“‘Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again;
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again.”

Quoted in The Village Reader (1840). The identical words, except with “try, try again,” appear in a poem titled “Perseverance; or, Try Again,” printed in Common School Assistant, Aug. 1838. No author is identified.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Missing letters in signs (like Misread Lyrics)
Denny E. Miller
4/3/94
(...)
If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0

Google Groups: rec.humor
Computer One-liners
Peter Piacenza
6/13/94
(...)
66 If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0

Google Groups: rec.humor
Computer 1-liners pt 2
bj...@akamail.com
1/14/98
(...)
If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0

Google Books
The Everything Kids’ Joke Book:
Side-splitting, Rib-tickling Fun

By Michael Dahl
Holbrook, MA: Adams Media Corporation
2001
Pg. 10:
If at first you don’t succeed . . . call it version 1.0.

27 December 2006, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, “Tech Chronicles,” pg. C1, col. 1:
If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0.

22 March 2007, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “South dealer Neither side vulnerable” (Bridge column), pg. 5E:
“My partner is a software programmer,” a reader’s e-mail reads, “and his approach to dummy play is, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, call it Version 1.0.’ “

Twitter
BPG
@BiPolarGuy
“If at first you don’t succeed; call it version 1.0”
11:47 PM - 24 Jun 2007

Twitter
Marti Lawrence
@Marti_L
Replying to @conniereece
@conniereece - If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0
11:11 PM - 29 Jul 2007

Google Books
HTML, XHTML, and CSS
All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies

By Andy Harris and Chris McCulloh
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
2008
Pg. 558:
If at first you don’t succeed; call it version 1.0 and ship it anyways.

Reddit—ProgrammerHumor
What’s in your bugzilla quip list? (self.ProgrammerHumor)
submitted January 21, 2015 by Gubru
(...)
If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Wednesday, May 30, 2018 • Permalink