The Internet is packed with interesting, inspiring and meaningful quotes.
- Some are accurate. The quote was indeed said by the person it was attributed to.
- Many are attributed to the wrong person.
It must be true: Using a famous person’s name as a decision making short-cut
People are far more likely to accept an idea, if they respect the source. They use the way they feel about the person, as a short-cut in their decision making process. They are also far more likely to spread that idea (or quote), if they are a fan of the person the quote is attributed to. The bigger the ‘name’ the bigger the impact.
Like Will Smith.
Will Smith has seen his name attached to hundreds of quotes he never said. What started off as a prank, led to fake quotes from the Hollywood superstar, being republished all over the Internet, including some leading online publications.
Albert Einstein, Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe and Ernest Hemingway are others, who often have quotes wrongly attributed to them.
The bigger picture
With so much scepticism regarding who said what, it’s easy to miss out on the bigger picture… how useful is that quote to you? If it lifts your spirits, inspires you or causes you to reflect, does it matter who said it?
Yes, if you plan on using the quote for a project, invest the time required to do some fact checking and satisfy yourself you have the correct source.
My point is this: Be your own filter. When you find words that motivate you or inspire you, don’t dismiss them because you’re not 100% sure of the attribution. See the words for what they are… what they mean to you.