Ambrose Bierce? Apocryphal?
Dear Quote Investigator: A clever wit claimed that the act of quoting someone really meant erroneously repeating their words. I do not remember the precise phrasing; hence, this quotation itself is somewhat erroneous. Would you please help me to find the correct quotation and author?
Quote Investigator: In July 1906 a newspaper in Vicksburg, Mississippi printed a piece titled “The Cynic’s Word Book” by journalist and short story writer Ambrose Bierce containing a collection of eight entries. The following three items were included. The letter “n” means noun. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1
QUOTATION, n. The act of repeating erroneously the words of another. The words erroneously repeated.
RADICALISM, n. The conservatism of tomorrow injected into the affairs of today
RADIUM, n. A mineral that gives off heat and stimulates the organ that a scientist is a fool with.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 1906 July 5, The Vicksburg American, The Cynic’s Word Book, Quote Page 4, Column 3, Vicksburg, Mississippi. (Newspapers_com) ↩