Don’t quote me!
“You dirty rat!” “Just the facts, Ma’am!” “Play it again, Sam.”
Ever heard those expressions?
Oh, just a million times? Me too.
These are just a few of the expressions embedded within our culture to the extent that most of us would swear to their authenticity.
What about “Elementary, my dear Watson”? You mystery aficionados ever run across that?
It might surprise you to know those exclamations were never uttered by those to whom the expressions were attributed!
Yep. Surprised me too.
Now, that doesn’t mean similar words were not spoken.
For example, Leo Durocher is supposed to have said, “Nice guys finish last!” What he actually said was, “Take a look at them. All nice guys. They’ll finish last.”
Same with Joe Friday in Dragnet. As close as he came to that pithy remark was “All we want are the facts, Ma’am.”
Alas, the same holds true for Sherlock Holmes immortal four words. They were never spoken together. Horror, horror!
In The Crooked Man, Holmes says, “my dear Watson.” A few lines later, the world’s greatest detective replies “Elementary” to an observation made by Watson. But those four words together – no way.
And Bogart’s actual words in Casablanca were “You played it for her, you can play it for me. … If she can stand to listen to it, I can. Play it.”
Now, it’s no secret, we all get a kick out of someone making a goof in their conversation, especially if that individual is a high profile person.
On the other hand, many quotes had been attributed to many high profile individuals mistakenly.
For example, believe it or not, Dan Quayle did not say on a trip to Latin America that he wished he had studied Latin so he could converse with them better. But, he did misspell “potato.”
Nor did Al Gore claim he “invented the Internet,” nor George Bush ever remark, “The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.”
Kinda sobering for you fanatics, huh?
For you Biblical scholars out there, where can you find “No rest for the weary”? Answer? You can’t! It comes probably from Isaiah 57:21 “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”
What about “money is the root of all evil”? Sorry, it isn’t in the Bible either. What is, you’ll find in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil. . .”
Probably one of the best known personalities in the world of quotable quotes as well as misguided quotes is Yogi Berra.
Some quotes attributed to him, but that he did not utter were:
“Always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise, they won’t go to yours.”
“When I was young and green behind the ears..”
“Never answer an anonymous letter.”
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn’t enough,in the second half, you have to give what is left.”
And the best of all quotes that he never said:
“Ninety percent of putts that are short don’t go in.”
Yep, seems like half the quotes we hear weren’t spoken by those we thought, and the other half by someone else.
Just to prove my point, in what movie did Jimmy Cagney say, “You dirty rat?” None! What about Tarzan’s “Me Tarzan, you Jane.” Again, none.
So, a word to the wise. Watch what you say. You might be misquoted.