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 Post subject: Looking for source
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 2:12 pm 
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I'm trying to find origins of the quote: "I know that you believe that you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure that you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." I have seen it attributed to former U.S. Ambassador Robert MCCloskey. Any further info greatly appreciated. :?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:07 pm 
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Wow, this one's familiar -- I'm sure I've seen it here before, but maybe on the "old" forum. Anyone remember?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 4:01 pm 
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I frankly am very surprised to see this attributed to anybody at all.
I personally do not believe any of them.
It's in mgm's (this website right here) collection at
http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Robert_McCloskey/

Also found attributed thusly:
I know you believe you understand what it is you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what I said is not what I meant.
~President Richard M. Nixon to the International Press Corps
http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~chalufu/test.html
"I know you believe you understand what you think I said. But I am not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant."
~ Alan Greenspan
http://www.info.gov.hk/hkma/eng/viewpt/20010201e.htm

I know you think you understand what I said, but what you heard is not what I meant.
http://www.juggling.org/~kparsons@nlnet ... klers.html

The Word Game:
“Now you think you understand what I said, but do you realize that what you think you heard me say is not what I meant?"

Another version:
"I believe that you think you understand what I said, but I fear, that you don´t realize, that what I say is not always what I really mean"


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 5:50 pm 
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Hmmm. Here's a more detailed attribution from someone's site:
Quote:
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
Robert McCloskey
U.S. State Department spokesman at one of his regular noon briefings during the worst days of the Vietnam War.
Marvin Kalb in TV Guide, Mar. 31, 1984.


I still have my doubts. This one's all over the Web and I'm not sure where it came from. (Not my fault this time, it was only recently added here.)

BTW, I checked the old forum - nothing there.

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Owner and maintainer, The Quotations Page


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2002 12:00 pm 
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Thanks for the help with this one. I've seen it around for years and have used it often when doing training on communication skills. The McCloskey attribution seems plausible - it sounds like something a State Department spokesman could say when put on the spot during a press briefing.
An apt response might be John Weakland's: "'The meaning of any communication is the response that it gets."


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