But are the true? Are they accurate? Most bloggers refuse to give their sources. Thus, while I like the quote and might express the thought, it has no clout without the reference. Think of all the time people quote Jesus when it was really Benjamin Franklin. Think of all the quotes attributed to Abraham Lincoln that never passed his lips. Today I have seen quotes from Gandhi, Emerson, Thomas Paine, Plato, Mark Twain and others. Are they accurate?
Often we read a quote that was repeated from another source, that was repeated by another source that was repeated by another source, that was repeated by the person who made it up.
Other times we follow the same procedure and it is like the old parlor game of “Telephone” where the message at the end is nothing like what went in at the beginning.
I remember one time I wanted to quote Shakespeare,
A rose by any other name,Not being a Shakespeare scholar I did a quick search and found that what he actually said was,
Be it oh, so sweet,
Is still a rose.
“What's in a name? that which we call a roseI like mine but it is not accurate. Notice I did not put quotes around mine.
By any other name would smell as sweet”
Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II
I realize you may not have the time but I would appreciate it if you would give me a title and a page number so I can see if it is accurate.
There. I feel better now.
homo unius libri
I figure that unless you're doing a formal study of something, a quick quote isn't worth the bother to check, IF the message is what you wish it to be. Of course, there's no excuse for knowingly misquoting or misattributing. However, for a stickler for accuracy to repost a quote, it's kind of like buying a used car, buyer beware. I don't know if it's true, but I've read that "Kennedy's" quote about "not asking what your country could do for you' was stolen by him from Kalil Gabran, who had stolen it earlier from some ancient philosopher.ReplyDelete
That also brings up the reality that sometimes people come up with things independently that are very similar. The golden rule is a good example. That seems like common sense advice from a person of good will. When it comes from Jesus though, it is more than common sense. It becomes a divine imperative.Delete
Right now I am working on reading primary sources. I just finished Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and am currently reading Montesquieu. I am finding them much more complex and interesting than the "sound bites" would indicate.
Grace and peace.