About Quotations

One of my favourite blogs to read is Quoteflections.  I actually know the author; we both had the same employer but he doesn’t share his name on his blog so I won’t do it here.

Daily, he will take four or five quotations from a particular theme.  A typical entry is like this one “Ask Your Heart“.  In it, you’ll find quotations attributed to Confucius, Carl Jung, William Shakespeare, and more.  How do we know they are accurate representations from these people or even if they truly said them?  I have reasonable assurance, knowing the blog author and his background.  But still.

That was the point of a recent article in Psychology Today.  “Famous Inspirational Quotes That Never Were”  In that article, there are quotations that everyone knows came from Freud or Gretzky or Ford or the infamous anonymous.  Or were they?  The balance of the post shows some research into what the real quotation actually was.  It was an interesting read.

Who doesn’t like a good quotation?  In fact, I recall one of my favourites and I also recall using it in a presentation during a job interview.  “You Can’t Build a Reputation On What You’re Going to Do. – Henry Ford”.  Was I correct?

At least one of my other favourite quotes can be verified – it’s on YouTube.

“I’m trying to think but nothing happens” – From The Three Stooges’ Curly Howard.  How many times I used that when trying to solve a problem.

How many of you have a built-in quotation at the bottom of your emails?  Can you guarantee that it’s accurate?

Now, I don’t get bent out of shape over it.  It’s not like you’re doing a PhD and you have to prove your case by quoting someone else who said it first.

In friendly terms, it’s the quotation in its context that’s most important.  How important is knowing who actually said it or the precise words?  I don’t recall ever being in a presentation when someone uses a quotation and someone from the audience shouts out “she didn’t say that…”

Regardless, it is nice to be right.  My big take away from the Psychology Today article was the Quote Investigator.  Unfortunately, it can’t either prove or disprove my Ford quotation.  I think I’ll continue to use it but will do my best to verify it.

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