Saturday, August 03, 2013
Special Adage - Fun in Writing June 2, 2010
The prompt for this Fun in Writing was Adages. As I often do, I kind of took it my own direction.
I couldn't think of anything to fit this subject, so I changed it up a little to quotes that are frequently misquoted. Shakespeare suffers a lot from this, but so do movies, plays, books and even songs.
One that springs to mind, since I just saw it on DVD, is from Hamlet. When he's in the graveyard and picks up the skull, he's often misquoted as saying, “Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well.” Not so! He says, “Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio.”
A second one, also from Hamlet, when the queen is asked her opinion of the play: “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.” Instead, it's: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
Another one, this time from MacBeth: “Bubble, bubble toil and trouble.” When if fact, it's “Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
Leaving Shakespeare for the moment, let's reflect on a couple of Bogart movies. The main one misquoted is from Casablanca. It is, of course, in reference to their famous song. So often, this line is not only misquoted, it's attributed to the wrong character. How often have we seen Bogart impersonators take on the famous overbite and say, “Play it again, Sam.”
He doesn't even say the line! Ingrid Bergman spoke to Sam and said, “Play it, Sam.”
From another Bogart movie, the famous whistle quote. I've always heard, “You know how to whistle, just pucker up and blow.” Lauren Bacall didn't say that at all. “You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”
Moving on to another movie icon, Mae West. We've all heard “Come up and see me sometime.” She actually said, “Why don't you come up some time and see me?”
One of my favorite misquotes of all time was said by Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. Everyone always says, “Do you feel lucky, punk?” Poor Harry didn't say that at all. He said, “Ah-ah. I know what you're thinking: 'Did he fire six shots, or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But, being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, PUNK?”
So, in conclusion, I leave you with a great quote, (which is correct) and sums up my point perfectly: “What we've got here... is failure to communicate!”
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