New book takes humbug out of quotations
To make things even more complicated, it is doubtful that Paul Revere warned that"The British are coming" when he would have at the time of the American Revolution thought himself British, although a revolting one. He probably would have said"The Redcoats are coming."
A new, meticulously researched book of quotations attempts to set the record straight on those beloved phrases that have crept into everyday use as signs of wisdom and wit, including Sigmund Freud's sage advice that"sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." (He didn't quite say that, although his biographer thinks he would have approved of the idea.)
"The Yale Book of Quotations" has a simple thesis: famous quotes are often misquoted and misattributed. Sometimes they are never said at all but are, instead, little fictions that have forged their way into public consciousness.
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