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What They Didn't Say: A Book of Misquotations


What They Didn't Say: A Book of Misquotations Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An entertaining and thought-provoking book for language buffs and anyone interested in quotations, What They Didn't Say sifts through more than one hundred and fifty misquotations, incorrect attributions, and apocryphal remarks to reveal the origins of the quotes. Organized in an accessible A-Z format, quotes range from "Actors are cattle" (Alfred Hitchcock) to "You dirty rat!" (James Cagney) and span from the classical world right up to the present day.

Bringing together a fascinating range of wrongly remembered sayings, What They Didn't Say aims to set the record straight by revealing the real names and actual words behind the famous missayings.

Sample entry:

A good day to bury bad news.

In the hours following news of the terrorist action in America on 11 September 2001 ("nine-eleven"), the British government adviser Jo Moore sent out an email reading, "It is now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury." This was leaked and widely reported; public shock and distaste were heightened by its becoming fixed in the general consciousness in the form, "a good day to bury bad news."

Book News Annotation:

Wrongly remembered sayings where the incorrect version has established its own identity, popular summaries of original thoughts, and apocryphal or unverifiable comments attributed to a particular person, are among the misquotations Knowles cites. She is a historical lexicographer and a publishing manager for Oxford Quotations Dictionaries. Among the surprising non-existent favorites are Beam me up, Scotty; and Play it again, Sam. Names are indexed. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Elizabeth Knowles is Publishing Manager for Oxford Quotations Dictionaries and is a historical lexicographer, having previously worked on the 4th edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. She is editor of the current 6th edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Product Details

A Book of Misquotations
Knowles, Elizabeth
null, Elizabeth
Oxford University Press
Reference | Subject area reference | Humanities
Reference-Quotations Anecdotes and Proverbs
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
20 b/w illus.
8.00x6.34x.68 in. .49 lbs.

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