Getting Quotations Right
I find it intriguing to hear stories about misattributions of quotes, particularly when the words become associated with the supposed speaker. The New York Times recently had an article by the Yale Book of Quotations
. A number of the examples are surprising:
For example, we all think we know that Harry Truman originated “The buck stops here.” But we are all mistaken. Truman did receive a “gadget” displaying these four words made at the Federal Reformatory at El Reno, Okla., mailed to him in 1945 and then displayed by him on his desk. A search of electronic newspaper databases, however, pulls up The Reno Evening Gazette of Oct. 1, 1942, with a photograph of a sign clearly reading “The Buck Stops Here” on the desk of Army Col. A. B. Warfield.
I never would have guessed that "all politics are local" could be attributed to a 1932 article in a Maryland newspaper rather than Tip O'Neill.
Labels: books, quotations