by O’Toole, Garson
Fascinating history of quotes and misquotes
If you’ve ever googled a quote to see if it were misquoted or even true, you’ll find Hemingway Didn’t Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations fascinating. O’Toole gives a brief synopsis of his start in researching quotes and a explanation of how quotes become attributed to the wrong person or re-worded.Then he covers many familiar quotes grouped by how the misquote or wrong attribution evolved.
Each chapter is complete and short enough to read in a quick sitting, great for doctor’s offices or killing time somewhere. A nice touch to each discussion is that O’Toole lists all references, so if you want to do more research into each iteration, you can start there. It’s really quite fascinating to track the various styles of “evolution.”
This is really a lot of fun to read, especially if you’re anything like our family, whose ears perk up at certain points in the news or a show, questioning a quote. A mass scramble to Google via the nearest tech device ensues.We thought we were decently thorough diving back through multiple references to find each quote’s history. Due to this book, I’ll know to delve even further or jaunt over to O’Toole’s website to find a definitive answer.
Everywhere you look, you’ll find viral quotable wisdom attributed to icons ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Mark Twain, from Cicero to Woody Allen. But more often than not, these attributions are false.
Garson O’Toole—the Internet’s foremost investigator into the dubious origins of our most repeated quotations, aphorisms, and everyday sayings—collects his efforts into a first-ever encyclopedia of corrective popular history. Containing an enormous amount of original research, this delightful compendium presents information previously unavailable to readers, writers, and scholars. It also serves as the first careful examination of what causes misquotations and how they spread across the globe.
Using the massive expansion in online databases as well as old-fashioned gumshoe archival digging, O’Toole provides a fascinating study of our modern abilities to find and correct misinformation. As Carl Sagan did not say, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”