When you search for literary quotes, do you check the original source? I confess I am guilty of just pasting what I find attributed to a book (usually from Goodreads), but not all quotes there are accurate.
Sometimes, the literary quote change is simply done to make the quote more “quoteable.” I did this in my Fault in Our Stars quote list, by eliminating all of the “she saids.”
On the other hand, sometimes a line is pulled from a story because it sounds quotable, then the literary quote gets rephrased so many times that the original meaning is lost.
Today, just for fun, I’m going to take actual quotes from 10 popular books and show you how different a literary quote can become when it is taken out of context.
10 Literary Quotes Taken Wildly Out of Contex
General PSA: when you are quoting a source to always keep the original meaning in mind and double check all quotes you see online so you aren’t guilty of re-posting literary quotes out of context!
Winnie the Pooh
The literary quote that is used the most from Winnie the Pooh is “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” In fact, this quote is not in the books at all. It’s from a 1997 video called, “Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin.” There is another commonly misquoted passage from Winnie the Pooh, which I could find nowhere in the books as it is given in quote form.
Out of context: “Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would I’d never leave.”
In context: “Pooh, promise me you won’t forget about me ever. Even when I’m a hundred.”
The Wizard of Oz
Out of context: “You don’t need brains.”
In context: “I think you are a very bad man,” said Dorothy.
“Oh, no, my dear; I’m really a very good man, but I’m a very bad Wizard, I must admit.”
“Can’t you give me brains?” asked the Scarecrow.
“You don’t need them. You are learning something every day. A baby has brains, but it doesn’t know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get.”
“That may all be true,” said the Scarecrow, “but I shall be very unhappy unless you give me brains.”
The Hunger Games
Out of context: “I’m almost foolishly happy .”
In context: right when your song ended, I knew—just like your mother—I was a goner,” Peeta says. “Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.”
“Without success,” I add.
“Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck,” says Peeta. For a moment, I’m almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we’re supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love.”
Anne of Green Gables
Out of context: “I think diamonds would comfort a person for a good deal.”
In context: “Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds…” “I don’t know- exactly,” said Jane unconvinced. “I think diamonds would comfort a person for a good deal.”
A Game of Thrones
Out of context: “Tyrion was never much use.”
In context: “Tyrion was never much use in making a camp or breaking one.”
Out of context: “The machine knows all.”
In context: “I see that you instinctively follow that great error- that the machine knows all.”
Out of context: “I don’t like what I cant’t understand.”
In context: “Still, I don’t understand how those words got into the web. I don’t understand it and I don’t like what I cant’t understand.”
2001: A Space Odyssey
Out of context: “An irreplaceable amount of effort has gone into making me what I am.”
In context: “He began to pull out, one by one, the little units on the panel marked EGO-REINFORCEMENT…. “Look here Dave, said Hal. “I’ve got years of service experience built into me. An irreplaceable amount of effort has gone into making me what I am.”
War and Peace
Out of context: “Now is the best of all.”
In context: “What nonsense,” said Natasha,” to say that the honeymoon and real happiness are only during the first part of the time! On the contrary, now is the best of all. If only you would never go away from me!”
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Out of context: “Let us go on and take the adventure that shall fall to us.”
In context: “Then in the name of Aslan,” said Queen Susan, “if ye will all have it so, let us go on and take the adventure that shall fall to us.” So these kings and queens entered the thicket and before they had gone a score of paces they all remembered that the thing they had seen was called a lamp-post, and before they had gone twenty more they noticed that they were making their way not through branches, but through coats.
What are your favorite misquoted literary quotes?
Quote Me Thursday Social Boost Link Up
The goal of the Quote Me Thursday link-up is to feature YOU! All posts linked up will be shared and pinned by me! Link your neglected book and quote posts for some extra juice!
Remember, you can link up as many book or quote-related posts as you want!
As always, I will feature my favorite link-up in next week’s edition. When you share your post with me, you agree to for me to use one image from your post in next week’s QMT and have your post shared by awesome bloggers. I will also pin all link-ups to the new Quote Me Thursday Pinterest board.
This Week’s Post Features
1. Links must be book or quote-related (reviews, quotes, book lists, author interviews, whatever!).
2. Link to your blog-specific URL, not your home page.
3. Visit some of the other posts and have some fun!
4. Use the hashtag #quotemethursday when sharing this link-up!