This post was inspired by MIchelle of From Famine to Feast, who recently posted this quote that didn’t come from Benjamin Franklin, no matter what the internet might think (although I like it anyway):
“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”
Here are a few more examples where the quote is wrong, the person is wrong, or some combination thereof. And the quote in the image above? Yeah no, Mark Twain didn’t actually say that. Not that I would have recognized that dude as Mark Twain anyway, but that’s beside the point.
Elementary, my dear Watson.
This was never, in fact, said by Sherlock Holmes. (Wikiquote)
Good things come to those who wait.
The only one who said this was a Guinness beer commercial (Wikiquote)
The British are coming!
Even non-Americans like me know that Paul Revere shouted this as a warning … except he did no such thing. I guess he didn’t want to warn the British that he knew they were coming. (Wikiquote)
Beam me up, Scottie.
We all know Captain Kirk said that, right? Apparently not. (Wikiquote)
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
This was not, in fact, said by Albert Einstein. It appeared in a book by Rita Mae Brown, which I thought was the name of Whoopi Goldberg’s character in Ghost, but that was Oda Mae. (Mashable)
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
This didn’t come from Dr. Seuss; the actual source is unknown. (Readers Digest)
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.
Gandhi? Nope, but used in 1915 by a Canadian parliamentarian. Another non-Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” (RD)
Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they tried everything else.
I hadn’t heard this before, but I like it! It gets attributed to Winston Churchill, but, while he should have said it, he didn’t. (RD)
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
This is regularly attributed to Victor Frankl, and while it sounds like something he might say, there’s no indication that he did. Stephen R. Covey popularized it, but he didn’t come up with it. He said he read it in a book about Frankl, but he couldn’t remember the name of it, and it remains a mystery. (Quote Investigator)
Can you think of any examples that you’ve come across?
- Mashable: 10 famous quotes that you probably misattributed
- Quote Investigator: Between stimulus and response…
- Readers Digest: 13 Popular Quotes That Constantly Get Misattributed
- Wikiquote: Misquotations