Sunday, June 8, 2008

Who Said What

I had thought about titling that last post, "Hell Hath No Fury . . . " But upon looking up the quote, I learned, oddly enough, that it didn't originate where I thought. Even better, I found that a number of other "quotes" I thought I knew well, also didn't come from the sources I was accustomed to crediting for them. While I recognize that the internet overfloweth with bad information, and only at great risk should anyone consider it the last word on anything, I've found over the years that, with regard to matters other than political biographies, sites such as Wikipedia are generally fairly reliable.

I hope the same may be said of Wikiquote, from which the samples below come. With that in mind, and the caveat that I've not done the personal research to confirm the validity of even the examples I'll offer, here are some tidbits from a page dedicated to some of the most frequently misattributed and misquoted "quotes." When you have a little time to kill, you might peruse the page simply for the fun of it.

  • "Just the facts, Ma'am." Never actually uttered on Dragnet.
  • "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Not from Shakespeare.
  • "Only the dead have seen the end of war." Not from Plato.
Admittedly, many of the quotes listed on the page are not misattributed, but only "misquoted," in that they are paraphrases, capturing the meaning of the original, if not the exact wording. Still, it's an interesting page on which to kill a few minutes and learn a few things.