The Quote: 

The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.

Sometimes rephrased to:

I believe the key to happiness is: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.

Who didn’t say it first:

Elvis Presley, Immanuel Kant, Alexander Chalmers, Allan K Chalmers, Joseph Addison, Rita Mae Brown

Who definitely didn’t say it:

Joseph Addison

Who did say it:

George Washington Burnap in his book “The Sphere and Duties of Woman: A Course of Lectures”

What’s the story?

Oh boy, this was a hard one. A veritable rabbit hole of citation. The latter quote is very widely attributed to Elvis, but is also quoted as being Rita Mae Brown, Immanuel Kant or Alexander Chalmers. Looking for when and where Alexander Chalmers said it I came across his Wikipedia page which said the quote was also attributed to Allan K Chalmers and Joseph Addison.

If you search for Allan K Chalmers quotations, this is the only one that will turn up, on one page oddly attributed to “Anon. Allan K Chambers”

On Joseph Addison’s Wikiquote, I finally found the answer - American clergyman George Washington Burnap. Here’s the quote in context:

"She is fitted to find happiness in that relation by the affections of her heart. The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. We all must have something to love. Especially is this the case with woman, whose capacity for affection is much greater than that of man."

Well, it’s really not the most sexist thing I’ve read, but I can see why the quote was wrested from its context.

Here are some quotes from the other folks…

Elvis Presley: [his acceptance speech from the 1970 Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation Awards] When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies, and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times … I learned very early in life that “Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain’t got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend - without a song”. So I keep singing a song. Goodnight. Thank you.

Rita Mae Brown: 

If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle. (Sudden death 1983)

i-really-dont-any-ideas

hellyeahsilenthill:

idesireyourass:

youhavetobelieveinme:

sarapsys:

posting without a source is unfortunately pretty common, but it doesn’t have to be.  with a few minutes of hunting, you can make sure the artists you like get credit for their work! :)  hope this is helpful.

I have been waiting my entire life for someone to point this out

((Also, I want to thank you for both making this and doing it in an informative matter rather than screaming at them :) ))

Not Silent Hill, but important.

The Quote:
 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Who didn’t say it:
Nelson Mandela
Who did say it:
Marianne Williamson in her book “A return to love: Reflections on the principles of a course in miracles”
What’s the story?
I don’t quite know how misattributions like this one start, but I know how they continue. I read this quote, wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela, in “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli.
I was really moved. Especially because I thought Nelson Mandela had said it. It’s exciting to think that we all possess great power for good, and if Nelson Mandela, a man who fought some of the worst injustice, said that we are powerful beyond measure then it must be true.
By contrast, I’d never heard of Marianne Williamson. She wasn’t the first black president of South Africa. I’m intrigued by her ideas and inspired by her work with people with HIV/AIDS… But I’m less certain about whether our spiritual ideas are even in the same ballpark.
So instead of trusting the word of either Williamson or Mandela, it seems I must find my own way. So must we all. That’s the tricky thing about life.
That said, I doubt that, even with Nelson Mandela’s name on it, this quote would’ve gained much mileage if it didn’t genuinely resonate with people. It doesn’t deserve to be discounted just because it wasn’t said by Nelson Mandela. 
Also, though I was initially disappointed to discover that Mandela didn’t say this, the text of his actual inauguration speech more than makes up for it. From a man who fought some of the worst injustice, and brought real change. 
Here’s a snippet to get you started:
"We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free.
Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward.
We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.
We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom.
We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.
We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.
Let there be justice for all.
Let there be peace for all.
Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.
Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.
Let freedom reign.
The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!
God bless Africa!”
http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Inaugural_Speech_17984.html

The Quote:

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Who didn’t say it:

Nelson Mandela

Who did say it:

Marianne Williamson in her book “A return to love: Reflections on the principles of a course in miracles”

What’s the story?

I don’t quite know how misattributions like this one start, but I know how they continue. I read this quote, wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela, in “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli.

I was really moved. Especially because I thought Nelson Mandela had said it. It’s exciting to think that we all possess great power for good, and if Nelson Mandela, a man who fought some of the worst injustice, said that we are powerful beyond measure then it must be true.

By contrast, I’d never heard of Marianne Williamson. She wasn’t the first black president of South Africa. I’m intrigued by her ideas and inspired by her work with people with HIV/AIDS… But I’m less certain about whether our spiritual ideas are even in the same ballpark.

So instead of trusting the word of either Williamson or Mandela, it seems I must find my own way. So must we all. That’s the tricky thing about life.

That said, I doubt that, even with Nelson Mandela’s name on it, this quote would’ve gained much mileage if it didn’t genuinely resonate with people. It doesn’t deserve to be discounted just because it wasn’t said by Nelson Mandela. 

Also, though I was initially disappointed to discover that Mandela didn’t say this, the text of his actual inauguration speech more than makes up for it. From a man who fought some of the worst injustice, and brought real change. 

Here’s a snippet to get you started:

"We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free.

Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward.

We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.

We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

Let freedom reign.

The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!

God bless Africa!”

http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Inaugural_Speech_17984.html

The Quote
“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.”
Who didn’t say it:
Kurt Vonnegut or Jimi Hendrix
Who did say it:
Mary Schmich in “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”, a column for The Chicago Tribune in 1997. http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-46894045/ It was written in the style of a graduation speech. The words were used in Baz Luhrman’s “Everyone’s free to wear sunscreen”
What’s the story?
Schmich’s column is a lovely and very quotable text. Before the days of Sunscreen, it was already going around the Internet as a speech attributed to Kurt Vonnegut. Now I’ve seen this excellent advice attributed to Jimi Hendrix. I suppose Mary Schmich could have been quoting, but I can’t find any context for when Hendrix said this… So I suspect a definite case of misattribution. It’s still a good quote.

The Quote
“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.”

Who didn’t say it:
Kurt Vonnegut or Jimi Hendrix

Who did say it:
Mary Schmich in “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”, a column for The Chicago Tribune in 1997. http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-46894045/ It was written in the style of a graduation speech. The words were used in Baz Luhrman’s “Everyone’s free to wear sunscreen”

What’s the story?
Schmich’s column is a lovely and very quotable text. Before the days of Sunscreen, it was already going around the Internet as a speech attributed to Kurt Vonnegut. Now I’ve seen this excellent advice attributed to Jimi Hendrix. I suppose Mary Schmich could have been quoting, but I can’t find any context for when Hendrix said this… So I suspect a definite case of misattribution. It’s still a good quote.

The Quote:
"Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures."
Who didn’t say it?
Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland
Who did say it?
An anonymous Postsecret user.
What’s the story?
I discovered this lovely quote on another tumblr. 
Searching for it, it’s all over the Internet as being by Lewis Carroll… And yet it’s definitely not a quote from Alice in Wonderland. I searched the book and although plenty of sites - Goodreads included - give the quote as being by Lewis Carroll, there’s no context given. I wondered at first if Lewis Carroll had said it in another book, or a preface, or a letter - perhaps to Alice Liddell’s parents or something… But I couldn’t find any wider context at all, just that quote, on its own.
Searching for results without reference to Lewis Carroll or Alice, I realised PostSecret had come up a few times - and this image, far from being one of the quote’s many tribute memes - was actually its origin. 
The anonymous secret writer chose a picture of Alice as the backdrop for their secret. People were inspired and shared it with others on sites like Pinterest. Others saw it and misunderstood where it was from - easily done. I’m happy to restore it back to its original source - the wonderful PostSecret.com.

The Quote:

"Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures."

Who didn’t say it?

Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland

Who did say it?

An anonymous Postsecret user.

What’s the story?

I discovered this lovely quote on another tumblr. 

Searching for it, it’s all over the Internet as being by Lewis Carroll… And yet it’s definitely not a quote from Alice in Wonderland. I searched the book and although plenty of sites - Goodreads included - give the quote as being by Lewis Carroll, there’s no context given. I wondered at first if Lewis Carroll had said it in another book, or a preface, or a letter - perhaps to Alice Liddell’s parents or something… But I couldn’t find any wider context at all, just that quote, on its own.

Searching for results without reference to Lewis Carroll or Alice, I realised PostSecret had come up a few times - and this image, far from being one of the quote’s many tribute memes - was actually its origin. 

The anonymous secret writer chose a picture of Alice as the backdrop for their secret. People were inspired and shared it with others on sites like Pinterest. Others saw it and misunderstood where it was from - easily done. I’m happy to restore it back to its original source - the wonderful PostSecret.com.

Introducing “Who said that really?”

I love quotations, and one thing I love about the Internet is the way that inspirational, funny, clever and moving quotes can pass from person to person. Anything from Einstein to Winnie-the-Pooh, sometimes people say things that we all identify with…  However…

Something else about the Internet is that we’re all people and we get stuff wrong…  Suddenly a quote from a newspaper is by Morgan Freeman, Kurt Vonnegut or Maya Angelou.

Those people - and others - have said many awesome things. I like to see credit where it’s due. So with this blog I’m hoping to rehome lost quotes with their owners, and also share good things and the people who really said them.