16 misquoted quotations
A look at some well-known sayings or writings that aren’t quite accurate.
Here is a selection of well-known sayings or writings that aren’t quite accurate (followed by a couple that are but are mistakenly identified as erroneous):
1. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
This quotation attributed to Gandhi is a later invention by an unknown person, likely inspired by the following passage: “As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. . . . We need not wait to see what others do.”
2. “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win.”
Gandhi was also credited with this pithy progression, but something like it was actually uttered in a speech at a union meeting in the United States in 1914: “First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.”
3. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
This is an amended version of a line by playwright William Congreve, who flourished around the turn of the 18th century. The actual comment is “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”
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