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“Luke, I am your Father” and Other Famous Misquotes

“Luke, I am your Father” and Other Famous Misquotes

A good quote can change the way you see your life, can give you boost when you need it, can act like a friend when you need one. Famous people’s wise words have traveled through history, some have forever been engraved in our collective memory, but many of the quotes we associate with a specific celebrity, even the famous, “Luke, I am your father,” may not be accurate at all!

Don’t believe everything you read. Faulty memories, promiscuous copying, Chinese whispers, inaccuracies, or misinterpretations in translations, have left many quotes attributed to the wrong author or as inventions of other writers with plenty of time to hone their prose. From Einstein to Darth Vader, this issue concerns the greatest philosophers as well as heroes of pop culture.

For example, did you know that the famous line “Luke, I am your father” never appeared in the Star Wars script? And once you stumble across a few of these bogus quotations, you can’t stop finding more.

Here are 18 famous misquotes that everyone has heard at least once, but which are wrong or mis-attributed. Check for yourself if you know who the authors of these famous misquotes really are!

1.  “The end justifies the means.”

“The end justifies the means” is often attributed to Nicolas Machiavelli’s The Prince. However, although Machiavelli – an Italian philosopher, writer, and politician – expressed similar thoughts in his writings, this expression does not come from him. The supposed origin of this phrase is believed to come from the cycle of poetic epistles, Heroes, by the ancient Roman poet Ovid. It is also thought that this quotation could belong to the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, or to the founder of the Jesuit order, Ignacio de Loyola.

2.  “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

auh”It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

Frequently attributed to Spock, or Leonard McCoy, from the original series of Star Trek, but this phrase was never once uttered in any episode. A similar phrase “not life as we know it” is spoken by Spock in the season one episode titled “The Devil in the Dark”. The spurious phrase – sung rather than spoken by Spock – originated in the 1987 novelty song “Star Trekkin” by The Firm. Spock’s other oft misquoted line from the same song is “It’s worse than that, he’s dead, Jim!”

3.  “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Throughout his life the political and public figure, Mahatma Gandhi, uttered many sentences of profound wisdom, this one is not his own. Perhaps he expressed similar thoughts, but Gandhi died in 1948, and the first mention of this phrase in the form we know it appeared only in 1974, in the book The Love Principles, written by teacher Arleen Lorrans.

4.  “Money is the root of all evil.”

Actually, the quote, “money is the root of all evil” is incorrect. The origin of this expression comes from the Bible, but the exact phrase can be found in the 1 Timothy, and has a slightly different meaning, translating more like: “For the love of money is the root of all evil”. Thus, this famous phrase is only partially complete, but it is not an exact quotation from it.

5.  “Luke, I am your father.”

authorjoannereed.net”Luke, I am your Father”

That’s right! The “Luke, I am your father” quote, one of the most famous sentences of Star Wars and probably of the history of cinema is, unfortunately, part of our list of “I never said that”! This is one of the cases where an incorrect quote has become more popular than the original one. In fact, Darth Vader didn’t say it like that. He said, “No, I am your father.”

6.  “Houston, we have a problem.”

“Houston, we have a problem.”

In the Apollo 13 movie about this mission, we hear Tom Hanks – playing Apollo 13 commander, Jim Lovell – say “Houston, we have a problem.” Most of us think this sentence was actually spoken by Commander Lovell, but the official NASA chronology shows it was fellow astronaut Jack Swigert, who used the almost identical words “Houston, we’ve had a problem. We’ve had a main B bus undervolt.”

7.  “Sometimes a cigar is nothing but a cigar.”

“Sometimes a cigar is nothing but a cigar” is frequently attributed to the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, but there is no confirmation of its origin. The first mention of this sentence appeared in the 1950s, more than a dozen years after Freud’s death.

8.  “Let them eat cake”

“Let them eat cake”

“Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” Demonstrating a significant disregard for the peasants predicament during a famine, the quote was first attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette, wife of the then King, Louis XVI. The year was 1789, the year of the French Revolution, and was probably Fakenews as there is no reliable record of her actually having said it.

9.  “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This misquote hearkens back to the British Lord Acton, a 19th-century English historian who was commenting about tyrannical monarchs (Caesar, Henry VIII, Napoleon, various Russian tsars, etc.). Lord Acton actually wrote: “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

10. “And you, my son?”

Some people mistakenly think “And you, my son” were Julius Caesar’s last words to his murderer, Marcus Brutus. However, this is just a quote from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Moreover, the very meaning of this expression is also often misinterpreted, for it is mistakenly thought to be an expression of surprise, when in fact the real meaning was different, meaning “You shall be next.”

11.  “Beam me up, Scotty”

“Beam me up, Scotty”

“Beam me up, Scotty, another famous misquote from Star Trek, this time from Captain James T. Kirk, also known as William Shatner. Just like “Spock’s most famous lines, this was never said during the run of the original Star Trek series. A variation of this quote “Beam us up, Scotty” made an appearance in Star Trek: The Animated Series and the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home included the closest other variation: “Scotty, beam me up.” James Doohan, the actor who played Scotty, chose “Beam me up, Scotty” as the title of his 1996 autobiography.

12.  “The eyes are the mirror of the soul.”

“The eyes are the mirror of the soul.” This famous misquote is often attributed to the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, but in fact it is a Latin proverb that has been translated into many languages. Its true author is unknown. It’s also a song title by Chris de Burgh.

13.  “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

This quote has been attributed to several sources, including Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain. It may have first appeared in Rita Mae Brown’s book, Sudden Death, published in January 1983.

14.  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

This phrase, widely cited as a Nelson Mandela quote, was actually written by Marianne Williamson – author, self-help guru, and spiritual advisor to Oprah – from her best-selling 1992 self-help book, A Return to Love. If you got this wrong you’re in good company, In 1998, the New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton, astronaut Mae C. Jemison, and former Spelman College president Johnnetta B. Cole had all misattributed Williamson’s “deepest fear” passage during graduation speeches — to Nelson Mandela.

15.  “Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity.”

“Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity.” This expression, which has become very popular, is often attributed to Albert Einstein, and sometimes to the American musician Frank Zappa. In fact, this expression belongs to Harlan Ellison, an American writer of science fiction novels.

16. “Bikinis, as well as being empowering, they are just so darn comfortable and practical – at the beach or for fighting dinosaurs.”

“Bikini’s .. practical on the beach or for fighting dinosaurs.”

Raquel Welch’s fur bikini publicity still for the 1966 movie “One Million Years B.C.” raised her stature as a leading sex symbol of the era. The photograph became something of a cultural phenomenon and arguably did better than the movie itself. As comfortable as Ms. Welch appears in that bikini, there is no record of her actually recommending her swimwear for those dual purposes.

17.  “Don’t worry, be happy.”

Many of us think the author of the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is Bob Marley – there are versions of the song on Youtube with Bob Marley’s picture on the upload. But, the song was first written and performed by musician Bobby McFerrin seven years after Bob Marley’s death in 1988; the same year, the song became a hit, remaining at the top of the charts for two weeks. Even though the song was from the 1980’s, the expression itself was often used on motivational posters and postcards since the 1960s.

18.  “I may be drunk, Bessie, but you are ugly, and tomorrow I shall be sober.”

Some say that when a member of the Labour Party, Bessie Braddock, accused Winston Churchill of being drunk, he responded with this very ingenious insult. However, there is no evidence that he actually owned that line. Moreover, this scathing line has often been attributed to other famous people of the time.

19.  “640 KB of memory should be enough for anyone.”

“640 KB of memory should be enough for anyone.”

The sentence, “640 KB of memory should be enough for anyone,” is believed to have been uttered by Bill Gates in 1981. However, he denied it: “I have said some stupid things and made some mistakes in my life, but this was not one of them. No one in the computer world would ever say that there’s enough memory.”

And that’s not the only misattributed phrase, “Be nice to nerds, because you might end up working for one.” In fact, Bill Gates never said that either.

So, which one of these quotes is your favorite? Do you know any others, right or wrong, that you think are universal and legendary? Leave a message in the comments, and don’t hesitate to share this article with your friends and family! And don’t forget, don’t believe everything you read!


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Experience teaches only the teachable

Experience teaches only the teachable

The most overrated skill is to never make a mistake. The most underrated skill is to never repeat one. We all make mistakes and we should learn from them, but when people say they learn from their mistakes it’s sometimes said as if it’s an immutable law, like gravity or thermodynamics. Mistakes are only a chance to learn, they do not guarantee any lessons or skills; mistakes, or experience teaches only the teachable.

The fact that we are slow to learn from mistakes has been repeated in different form, over and over:

“Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.”

George Santayana

“We learn from history that we do not learn from history.”

George Bernard Shaw

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”

Aldous Huxley

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”

George Orwell
Experience teaches only the teachable

Without the ability to recognize mistakes, somehow accept them, then spark a legitimate change, we are doomed to repeat them perpetually. There is a better chance that experiences, or mistakes, will have value in the future when whatever went wrong is studied honestly and openly, including asking what could be stopping me from learning;repressing mistakes because they’re uncomfortable, shifting blame, or learning the lesson on a logical level but lacking the self-discipline to control the same impulse the next time it arises?

When it comes to thought and behavioral patterns, the combination of self-awareness and self-discipline is often necessary for the lesson to take root. People who are lacking these are doomed to repeat history.


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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They always say time changes things

They always say time changes things

Alongside Picasso, Andy Warhol is probably one of the most recognized twentieth-century artists. Warhol became famous worldwide for his work as a painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author, and public figure known for his membership in bohemian social circles. Warhol is perhaps best known for his role – a central figure – in the movement known as Pop Art. What Pop Art is, at least for Warhol, was the exploration of the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture, or the concept of using mass-produced commercial goods in design.

Warhol’s birth date was never recorded at a hospital, he liked to change his birthday and makeup stories about his youth when doing interviews. Similarly, his name wasn’t Warhol, but Warhola; on one of his first jobs his name in the credits was misspelled but he liked it, and it stuck.

Andy Warhol changed the art world; he was the most significant figure in Pop Art and responsible for its rise. Warhol also changed art techniques; he popularized silk-screening as an artistic process. In fact, Warhol was a different kind of artist altogether. Whereas many artists focus entirely on their art with no interest in fame or fortune, Warhol wanted to be rich and famous, and succeeded in doing so.

Andy Warhol was all about change, but its his quote below that really captures the essence of change.

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself”

Andy Warhol

Thinking that time will change something is just to cling to it and get lost in its torments; time just passes and doesn’t change anything. The only thing that changes is the hour, the date and the year. It is up to each one of us to change and to want to change, to grab the bull by the horns and move forward and arm ourselves with experience and change what was wrong and move in the direction that leads us to success, or failure.

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself


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Quotes

Quote of the day, Giving Up

Giving up

Ever had trouble leaving an unhappy situation because you didn’t want to be a quitter? I understand. Everyone hates being called a quitter. We’ve all read quotes about giving up and are told persistently to never give up, no-pain no-gain, and a whole lot of other motivational mantras. But, there’s a big difference between giving up and knowing when to stop.

There’s a difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough

Knowing when you’ve had enough

Giving up has negative connotations, knowing when you’ve had enough has positive. Giving up means that you have lost hope and trust in yourself. Giving up lowers your self-confidence which is a really bad quality. But knowing when you’ve had enough is understanding that the current situation is not what you want, or not heading in a direction that you want to go. Knowing when you’ve had enough does not mean losing hope or trust in yourself, instead, it increases your self-confidence and your decision-making qualities.

There is a big difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough. Giving up means selling yourself short. It means allowing fear and struggle to limit your opportunities and keep you stuck. Knowing when you’ve had enough means freeing yourself from something that is no longer serving you. Giving up reduces your life. Knowing when you’ve had enough expands it. Giving up is imprisoning. Knowing when you’ve had enough is liberation. Giving up is self-defeat. Knowing when you’ve had enough is self-care.

Don’t simply think you have had enough you, make sure of it in your heart. When comparing the difference between these options understand what is good and what is bad.


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.