Aphorisms by Franklin P. Jones

It’s been years since a reader first emailed me about Franklin P. Jones (1908–1980), and in that time I’ve only been able to find this collection of aphorisms from Great Thoughts Treasury and this bio from Answers.com. Jones worked as a journalist and then as a public relations executive in and around Philadelphia. His quips and sayings appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest, and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He’s part of the American tradition of homespun wisdom, and like many moral aphorists of the late 19th and early 20th century he found his metier as a columnist/newspaperman, like his predecessors Josh Billings (Geary’s Guide, pp. 13–16), Mark Twain (pp. 58–61), Ambrose Bierce (pp. 356–358) and “Kin” Hubbard (pp. 37–38), with whom he shares a similar wit and sensibility.


Hubbard wrote

The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.

Jones wrote

The most efficient labor-saving device is still money.

Hubbard wrote

Nobody ever forgets where he buried the hatchet.

Jones wrote

One thing you will probably remember well is any time you forgive and forget.

A selection of some of Jones’s other notable observations…

Nothing produces such odd result as trying to get even.

It’s a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water.

Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger.

What makes resisting temptation difficult, for many people, is that they don’t want to discourage it completely.

Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.

Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.