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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 2:23 am 
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I'm new to the Quotations Page. It's potentially very useful, but when I need or use quotations I need exact chapter and verse, not just who said it. Is it possible to get this?

For example, I stumbled in here because I want to find the origin and context of the saying 'A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on'. TQP tells me it's Twain, and the wording is slightly different. Great, many thanks.

But where in Twain's works is it (not just the book, the chapter) and what's the context?

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Andrew Denny


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:19 am 
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The quote is "attributed" to Twain but not found in his works.


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 Post subject: Authoritative quotations
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:44 am 
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Thanks, but I guess that's what I mean about attribution. Is there a site that gives 'chapter & verse' on quotations?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:23 am 
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The only site I know of that is consistent with sources is http://www.bartleby.com/ It's an old edition of Bartlett's. Most sites on the Net do not list sources or citations and the attributions can be questionable.

An excellent book you should read is "Nice Guys Finish Seventh: False Phrases, Spurious Sayings and Familiar Misquotations" by Ralph Keyes. ISBN 0-06-270020-0. It is out-of-print but you may be able to get a copy here: http://www.abebooks.com/ His book will open your eyes about quotations.

That's why I have a large collection of quote books I refer to. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:40 am 
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Thanks! I notice that the Oxford Dictionary is available online via subscription, and that's good, but it's 95 (UK) pounds a year, which is a stiff amount when you only want to refer to it a couple of dozen times a year. Oh well...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:53 pm 
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Specifically for Twain quotes, the best resource on the Net is Barbara Schmidt's website. I have communicated with her on several occasions for help and she has always come through.
Quote:
“A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain, but it has never been verified as originating with Twain.
This quote may have originated with Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) who attributed it to an old proverb in a sermon delivered on Sunday morning, April 1, 1855. Spurgeon was a celebrated English fundamentalist Baptist preacher. His words were:
"A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on."
http://www.twainquotes.com/Lies.html

http://www.twainquotes.com/

Oh, one more comment. I have not settled on any one source being better than any other. They all have mistakes. Some are definitely better than others.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 7:49 pm 
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We do try to have detailed sources for all quotations, but this is MUCH harder than it sounds.

Our policy is to value inclusiveness over accuracy: in an ideal world, we'd have the quotation you're looking for and its exact source, but failing that, hopefully we'll at least have the quotation and as much as we know of the source.

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Michael Moncur
Owner and maintainer, The Quotations Page


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