There was an article in June edition of Reader's Digest on the spreading of counterfeit quotes. I thought it was very interesting and informative. So I thought I would share some of their examples.
The article states that many of the misquoters are actually American politicians. Barack Obama said that: "Abraham Lincoln once said to one of his opponents...if you stop telling lies about me, I'll start telling the truth about you." But it was not Abraham Lincoln who said this quote; it was actually a Republican senator, Chauncey Depew, who first used a version of this quote in the 19th century!
Many T-shirt slogans and beer commercials often quote Benjamin Franklin as saying "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." What he actually said was a quote about wine and largely the beauty of Springtime. "We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle...But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine--a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy." Guess it's too big to fit on a bumper sticker!
Ralph Keyes' book The Quote Verifier is on frequently misused sayings. I am looking forward to what more his book has to offer on wonderfully misquoted quotes!