Tag Archives: #slogan

YOLO – You Only Live Once

Credit: https://collegecandy.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/yoda-yolo.jpg

YOLO.  You Only Live Once.

Here we have another recently popular saying that has a not so recent history; although the Canadian rap artist, Drake, would like to think he invented this catchy phrase (good luck trying to trademark it).  He is, however, credited with the new popularity of the phrase which can be found on all kinds of merchandise.  For all of you “Walking Dead” fans, try this on for size.

“So, if Drake didn’t come up with these words of wisdom, who did?”  Hey!  I’m so glad you asked!

This phrase can be found in slightly varying forms throughout history.  In an epistolary novel, Clarissa, by Samuel Richardson around 1747 – 1749, Richardson writes, “…we live but once in this world; and when gone, are gone from it for ever.”

In the 1860’s novel ,Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky (yay for cliff notes!), Raskolnikov uses the phrase, “I only live once, I too want.”

There was a 1937 movie starring Henry Fonda titled You Only Live Once.

There are many more versions of this popular phrase in history.  Even Schlitz Brewing Co. used the slogan during their “Gusto” campaign in 1966, “You only go around once in life, so grab all the gusto you can!”

If you think about it and will consider all variations, the poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC – 8 BC) in his Odes Book I uses the phrase “Carpe Diem” which most of of have learned means “Seize the day”, but is more accurately translated to mean “Pluck the day”.  Carpe diem…. pluck the day….enjoy the now…you only live once.  See?

So, this simple phrase stating a simple truth has gotten a lot of use and I am sure, as we see the popularity of YOLO wane, another version with the same meaning will be ready to take it’s place.

Carpe Diem, y’all!


Keep Calm and Stop Adding Your Own Nonsense !


If you have not seen this poster, you must have been living in a cave far away on a deserted island with no internet nor human contact.  It. Is. Everywhere!  Coffee mugs, wine glasses, t-shirts, car decals, hand towels, notebook covers, tea boxes, etc.  So are the hundreds of variations so cleverly created by those with a hobby or wish and the humor of a 12 year old boy making fart jokes.  “Keep Calm and fill in the blank.”  I have to admit it; THIS one makes me laugh.

So, what is the origin of this popular meme?  It dates all the way back to 1939 Britain.  The world was bracing for yet another World War because the Germans were not behaving themselves.  Of course they were not.  The Germans had been blamed for WWI and the cost of the war had been placed on their shoulders.  They had nothing to lose.  The British Government’s Ministry of Information (MOI) put together this swell idea to create millions of posters for distribution that would, hopefully, raise citizen’s morale.  Many slogans were suggested, but the Treasury would not approve the spending for what the MOI wanted.  They narrowed it down to three slogans:  “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution; Will Bring Us Victory”, “Freedom is in Peril; Defend it with all Your Might”, and “Keep Calm and Carry On”.  The first two were printed up and distributed.  The third was not.  The plan for the third poster was to be distributed as soon as the bombing began, however, feedback from the first two posters were negative.  Citizens found them to be patronizing.  In April of 1940, due to a paper shortage, the retained copies of the third poster were reduced to pulp in order to produce new paper.  A few copies survived, but remained unseen until the year 2000 when a bookseller found one at the bottom of a box of goods he won at auction.  He decided to display it behind his desk and people began to request copies of the poster.  Because of the interest, he received government permission to modernize the poster which can now be found printed on merchandise all over the world.

Now you know something new.