All posts tagged: wisdom

Why We Love Quotes

Marie Antoinette never said, “Let them eat cake.” She said “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,” which actually means, “Let them eat brioche.” No one in Casablanca ever says, “Play it again, Sam.” Ingrid Bergman actually says, “Play it, Sam” — but that seems less lyrical, less romantic. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never wrote, “Elementary, my dear Watson.” In fact, Sherlock Holmes never said anything even close to this until the 1929 film The Return of Sherlock Holmes, but by that time, he was simply uttering what Holmes fans had long been misquoting. In Wall Street, Gordon Gekko never said, “Greed is good.” He really said, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good” — but that sounds labored and unnecessarily wordy. Patrick Henry didn’t say, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” That was misquoted by his biographer William Wirt, who wanted to add a bit of embellishment, a bit of zip. And Winston Churchill, oh Churchill, well let’s just say he was famous for adapting other people’s turns of phrase. But is this even a big deal? …