The Quote Verifier : Who Said What, Where, and When by Ralph Keyes. As a certified quote addict this is a “must read.” Keyes tracks down falsely attributed quotes and tells the stories behind them.
Word Daze: The Word Lover’s Almanc
Ralph Keyes in the book The Quote Verifier traces the history of hundreds of quotes and misquotes, including several famous quotations attributed correctly or incorrectly to Benjamin Franklin. See if you can identify which of the quotes below originated with Franklin:
1. For want of a nail the shoe is lost, for want of a shoe the horse is lost, for want of a horse the rider is lost.
2. Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.
3. Love your neighbor, yet pull not down your hedge.
4. Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another.
5. Fish and guests in three days are stale.
6. Things as certain as death and taxes. . . . (3).
Quote of the Day: The immortal axiom-builder, who used to sit up nights reducing the rankest old threadbare platitudes to crisp and snappy maxims that had a nice, varnished, original look . . . –Mark Twain about Benjamin Franklin
Answers: None of the quotes originated with Franklin. Instead, as Twain explains above, he adapted them all from other writers, making them often more clear and concise.
1. George Herbert
2. Ralph Waldo Emerson
3. George Herbert
4. George Herbert
6. Daniel Defoe
August 24: Weather Words Day
Today is the anniversary of an editorial by Charles Dudley Warner published in the Hartford Courant in 1897. The subject of the editorial is long forgotten, but one quote from the article lives on as a famous quote: Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.
Although many credit Warner with the funny line, some argue that it really should be credited to Mark Twain, who was a friend and collaborator with Charles Dudley Warner. Ralph Keyes, the author of The Quote Verifier, comes down on Twain’s side, saying that the wording of the editorial reveals that Warner got the quote from Twain: “A well known American writer said once that, while everybody talked about the weather, nobody seemed to do anything about it”