The common peril of ill-cited quotations

A perfectly placed epigram can go a long way; a misquote or a witticism attributed to the wrong source can undermine your credibility. Here are 11 common misfires.

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You should double-check every Mark Twain quotation you use.

That’s what Aristotle said, anyway.

Many people pull quotes and memes from the internet and assume that publishers-at-large have done their due diligence and fact-checked quotations attributed to Mark Twain, Martin Luther King and others.

On the internet, however, the quote is often misattributed, and the speaker, or tweeter, can be left with egg on his or her face.

One-time White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci found his tweets under extra scrutiny during his limited stint in public office—and one tweet from 2012 stood out.

HuffPost wrote:

The new director posted a tweet attributing a quote to author Mark Twain that is a little hard to believe.

“Dance like no one is watching,” Scaramucci tweeted back in 2012. “Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like its heaven on earth. Mark Twain.”

Twitter had a field day.

“Na na na na na na na nana
Na na na na nana
Gettin jiggy wit it” — Nelson Mandela

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