Friday, December 7, 2012

Other Dubious Quotations

The 7 December 2012 Wall Street Journal has a page 1 story on a fake quotation by Thomas Jefferson that has been used by, among others, President Obama. There is a page on debunking several dozen falsely attributed Jefferson quotations. The article also discusses other scholars who attempt the Sisyphusian task of debunking fabricated quotations by Churchill, Lincoln, and others.  The article cites Churchill expert Richard Langworth:
It’s a hopeless task, he says, complaining the Internet is like an electronic “Hyde Park Corner” where anybody can say anything, whether it is true or not. “You would need an army of secretaries to reply to all these tweets. Twitter and Facebook have made it worse, because people glom onto these things and pass it on and there it goes.”
It’s good to have company in opposing dubious quotations.