I really didn’t say everything I said. — Yogi Berra
Maybe he didn’t….but Yogi did say that he didn’t say everything he said — and it should go without saying that some say he is not the only one who didn’t say everything he said. Sad to say, no way can one say who said what was said in all cases, and always saying who said what one said is way easier said than done. Or so they say.
That said, the following is a selection of famous quotes not said (or at least not said originally) by those to whom they are attributed, along with some quotes which are correctly attributed (or so they say). Some mis-atributed quotes happened inadvertently, others deliberately; some have persisted despite attempts to set the record straight. Can you separate the suspect ones from the correct ones?
1. Go west, young man, go west. –Horace Greeley
2. Go West, Virginia, yes, Virginia: there is a —Santa Claus
3. Win one for the Gipper. –Knute Rockne
4. Win one for the Gingger. –Newt Gingrich
5. A woman drove me to drink and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her. –W. C. Fields
6. Forget your troubles, come on, get happy. –Elysian Fields
7. Our comedies are not to be laughed at. –Samuel Goldwyn
8. Our cold meds are not to be sneezed at. –Dr. Don
9. Elementary, my dear Watson. –Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)
10. Excelente, my dear Sr. Muse. –Ricardo Cahill (after bribe payment)
Of the above, the following are attributed incorrectly (supposedly):
1. Greeley did write this in an 1865 editorial, but denied originating it, crediting it to John Soule’s authorship in a Terre Haute (Indiana) newspaper in 1851. Nonetheless, the Greeley attribution persists.
3. Actually, this was said by Ronald Reagan in the 1940 film “Knute Rockne – All American.”
6. Forget Ely Fields – this is the opening lyric of “Get Happy” by Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGk3tY4yP7k
7. Like many “Goldwynisms,” origin is suspect. Reported to be an old Hollywood quip pre-dating its attribution to Goldwyn.
9. Never said by Holmes in Doyle’s novels and short stories. Made famous by actor Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in movies.
How many did you get right?
You got all of them?