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 February 17, 2018
“The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory”

"The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory” is a jocular saying that has been printed on many images. “Miss Stella Delaney was lost in thought. This is a warning against venturing into unfamiliar territory” was published in Harper’s Bazaar (New York, NY) on March 9, 1895.

“The only reason some people become lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory to them” was published in a newspaper in June 1953. In November 1953, the Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune credited the saying to The Re-Saw.

“‘The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.’—Paul Fix” was printed in the Chicago (IL) Tribune in 1983. American film and television character actor Paul Fix (1901-1983) has not been credited earlier and there is no reason to believe that he coined or popularized it in 1953 (when he was not well known).


9 March 1895, Harper’s Bazaar (New York, NY), “Archibald Vandemillion’s Fate” by William Henry Siviter, pg. 196, col. 4:
Miss Stella Delaney was lost in thought. This is a warning against venturing into unfamiliar territory.

7 June 1953, Jackson (TN) Sun, pg. 4, col. 1:
The only reason some people become lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory to them.

21 November 1953, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune “Good Morning,” pt. 1, pg. 13, col. 3:
The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory to them.
-- THE RE-SAW.

21 October 1955, Washington (DC) Post and Times Herald, “The District Line” by Bill Gold, pg. 40, col. 3:
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
The Doyle Printing Service is putting out 3x5 cards which bear this legend:

“The reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s such unfamiliar territory.”

Google Books
Living in Kingdom Come
By Vance Havner
Westwood, NJ: Revell
1967
Pg. 26:
If anybody is lost in thought nowadays, it is because he is in unfamiliar territory.

25 December 1983, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Paperbacks” by Clarence Peterson, Book World, sec. 14, pg. 30, col. 4:
Some examples: “The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.”—Paul Fix.

Google Books
14,000 Quips & Quotes:
For Speakers, Writers, Editors, Preachers, and Teachers

By E. C. McKenzie
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House
1990, ©1980
Pg. 514:
The reason some people get lost in thought is that it is such unfamiliar territory.

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 810:
When a man is lost in thought, it’s probably because he’s in unfamiliar territory.

Google Books
Types of Thinking
By S. Ian Robertson
New York, NY: Routledge
1999
Pg. 12:
The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory. (Attributed to Paul Fix)

Google Books
The World’s Greatest Wacky One-Line Jokes
By Bob Phillips
Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers
2005
Pg. 70:
Lost in Thought
When a man is lost in thought, it’s probably because he’s in unfamiliar territory.

Google Books
Food For Thought:
A Collection of Quotes

Compiled by Pam Pottorff
BookBaby
2015
Pg. ?:
Some people get lost in thought because it’s unfamiliar territory.

Google Books
Mrs. Brower’s Sayings
By Lillian Brower
Xlibris (Xlibris.com)
2016
Pg. ?:
Some people get lost in thought, because it’s unfamiliar territory.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Saturday, February 17, 2018 • Permalink