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They Didn't Say That!
Can you name the people these quotes are often incorrectly attributed to?
Updated Apr 25, 2012
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They Didn't Say That, Either!
'I can see Russia from my house.'
Of course Tina Fey said it on SNL, but it comes from an interview of Sarah Palin: ''They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.'
'The only good Indian is a dead Indian.'
The actual quote is said to be 'The only good Indians I ever saw were dead,' although he denied saying that.
“The only traditions of the Royal Navy are rum, sodomy and the lash.”
Churchill wished he said it after his assistant Anthony Montague-Brown beat him to it.
'There's a sucker born every minute.'
There's no evidence that P.T. Barnum said this; it was probably said by con-man Joseph 'Paper Collar Joe' Bessimer.
'Only the dead have seen the end of war.'
General Douglas MacArthur falsely attributed it to Plato. It's actually from a work by George Santayana.
'Astrology is like a life-giving elixir to mankind.'
Einstein actually hated astrology.
'Et tu, Brute?'
This comes from Shakespeare's play, it's taken from Roman historian Suetonius' biography. Suetonius claims it was fabricated though.
'The ends justify the means.'
This is a famous idea in many of his works, but he never actually said it.
'I fear that all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve.'
This was actually from the movie 'Tora! Tora! Tora!' Yamamoto said nothing of the kind.
'I cannot tell a lie.'
This is entirely false, although it has its origins in a biography by Parson Weems.
'If they have no bread, let them eat cake!'
This quote roughly comes from Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 'Confessions.'
'I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.'
Claudine Schneider jokingly made this up about Quayle. Apparently political humor isn't so funny when the politicians attempt it.
'First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win.'
Gandhi never said this, but it bears a striking resemblance to a 1914 US Trade Union address.
'Can't we all just get along?'
Okay, this one was close. He actually said 'People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?' during the LA riots of 1992.
'You forgot Poland.'
The actual phrase was 'Well, actually, he forgot Poland.'
'Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.'
Charles J Sykes falsely attributed it to Gates, because Gates was proud to be a nerd.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
This quote DOES seem very Voltaire-esque, although it comes from 'Friends of Voltaire' by Evelyn Beatrice Hall.
'Houston, we have a problem.'
Although popularized on 'Apollo 13' (and horribly parodied in 'Armageddon'), Swigert and Lovell both said variations of the quote.
'The British are coming!'
No one knows for sure, but most likely it's 'The Regulars are coming!' or 'The Redcoats are coming!'
'The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.'
There is no evidence that he ever said that.
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