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#1
Old 03-31-2016, 06:13 AM
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Glurge attributed to Mark Twain

I was given this bit of wisdom to include in a family newsletter. The attribution to Twain is disturbing since he seems the least likely person to have written such a thing. It shows up credited to Twain on thousands of sites, although Audrey Hepburn also gets her fair share.

"Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile."

Twenty minutes with Google turned up a handful of naysayers, but nothing authoritative. Is there any strong evidence as to the time of composition or to the actual "author"?
#2
Old 03-31-2016, 06:34 AM
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That's unTwainian in both style and substance. Twain would also have punctuated it properly.

Stylistically I'd place it as late-20thC or later. It's probably by Random Internet Person or indeed a conflation of quotes from Random Internet People. My own Googling found "Never regret anything that made you smile" attributed to someone named Amber Deckers, from her book "Ella Mental and the Good Sense Guide".
#3
Old 03-31-2016, 06:40 AM
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More Googling attributes it to this blog from at least six years ago: http://rlnn.com/ArtMay07/OPNever...sYouSmile.html . The webpage appears to be abandoned now.

But it's not Mark Twain. Hope that helps.
#4
Old 03-31-2016, 06:47 AM
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If only half the stuff on the Internet attributed to Mark Twain was true, it would fill up as many books again as he actually wrote.
#5
Old 03-31-2016, 06:50 AM
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More Googling: I've also found various versions attributed to Paulo Coelho (usually cited as from the book "Adultery"), including: "Life is short. Kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly."
#6
Old 03-31-2016, 07:10 AM
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"The reports of my blogging are greatly exaggerated."

-- Mark Twain
#7
Old 03-31-2016, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyrate View Post
That's unTwainian in both style and substance. Twain would also have punctuated it properly.

Stylistically I'd place it as late-20thC or later. It's probably by Random Internet Person or indeed a conflation of quotes from Random Internet People. My own Googling found "Never regret anything that made you smile" attributed to someone named Amber Deckers, from her book "Ella Mental and the Good Sense Guide".
It reads like 10 crappy Country songs dumped in a Cusinart with 10 uplifting Thoughts For The Day. The extreme randomness makes it hard to pin down.
#8
Old 03-31-2016, 07:50 AM
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"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." -Abraham Lincoln
#9
Old 03-31-2016, 08:12 AM
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Oh, although In the OP I asked about dates and possible authors, I mostly want to avoid blaming Mr. Clemons and could use persuasive evidence that he had nothing to do with that mess.
#10
Old 03-31-2016, 08:22 AM
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While it's hard to prove a negative, the fact that it's almost certainly not found in any of his known writings is a pretty good sign.

I mean, you could contact the Twain Library (I haven't checked but I assume there's one somewhere) who have probably been asked about this 50,000 times already, but otherwise the poor quality of writing ought to be enough.
#11
Old 03-31-2016, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyrate View Post
While it's hard to prove a negative, the fact that it's almost certainly not found in any of his known writings is a pretty good sign.

I mean, you could contact the Twain Library (I haven't checked but I assume there's one somewhere) who have probably been asked about this 50,000 times already, but otherwise the poor quality of writing ought to be enough.
You could check with the Mark Twain House ion Hartford, CT. (A great place to visit, btw), or with the editors responsible for the recently-released Autobiography (The Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley)
#12
Old 03-31-2016, 08:57 AM
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Mount Vernon has a page of Spurious Washington Quotations. Monticello's website has many pages--TJ's a favorite of the Spurious Quotation crowd. Bogus quotations from the Founders are often lies to support political causes--but there's also a big market for glurge. There's been fakery for years but the Internet has encouraged it. (Then there are the "All the Founding Father would agree that..." statements. Which only works on those who haven't read about the mighty disagreements occurring at our nation's birth. And later.)

The Mark Twain House site recommended another site for Twain Quotations--this page searches for "Life." Here's a sample (from The Mysterious Stranger):
Quote:
Oh, this human life, this earthy life, this weary life! It is so groveling, and so mean; its ambitions are so paltry, its prides so trivial, its vanities so childish; and the glories that it values and applauds -- lord, how empty!
When evaluating a quotation, first check if the source is given: which book, essay, letter or speech? Also, compare the style & content. Someone born in the 18th century would not have written in the style of a mid-20th century motivational speaker--or an early 21st century NRA member. And a cynic like Twain produced damn little glurge.

(Yes, this is a small hobby of mine; Quote Investigator is diverting. And I remember a long-ago debate teacher who stressed that "quotation" is a noun & "quote" is a verb.)

Last edited by Bridget Burke; 03-31-2016 at 08:59 AM.
#13
Old 03-31-2016, 09:22 AM
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My friends and I use Mark Twain as the source for anything fantastic, unverifiable or dubious. If you don't know or recall where something comes from you just say, "Twain." Occasionally someone will confirm by asking, "Clemens?"

Oddly enough Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz TX, childhood home of Steve Earle, is not really named after Samuel Clemens. The school had been Schertz Cibolo and in changing districts it was decided that it would be too expensive to replace the band uniforms adorned with their distinctive lettering SC. So a contest was held to name the school using the initials SC and Samuel Clemens was the winner.

I'm not sure but I think that's Twain.
#14
Old 03-31-2016, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyrate View Post
More Googling: I've also found various versions attributed to Paulo Coelho (usually cited as from the book "Adultery"), including: "Life is short. Kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly."
Did not find anything at all similar to that in a search of Adultery in Amazon "Look Inside."
#15
Old 03-31-2016, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget Burke View Post
...
(Yes, this is a small hobby of mine; Quote Investigator is diverting. And I remember a long-ago debate teacher who stressed that "quotation" is a noun & "quote" is a verb.)
This is your website??

OMG. I now have a gigantic girl-crush on you.
#16
Old 03-31-2016, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
This is your website??

OMG. I now have a gigantic girl-crush on you.
Alas, no. I'm only an amateur.
#17
Old 03-31-2016, 10:44 AM
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Style counts. Anyone who has actually read Twain and knows what style is would reject that as a Twain quote if his body were dug up and it was found tattooed on his chest.
#18
Old 03-31-2016, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Style counts. Anyone who has actually read Twain and knows what style is would reject that as a Twain quote if his body were dug up and it was found tattooed on his chest.
All the while appreciating that he would appreciate the humor in such a thing
#19
Old 03-31-2016, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget Burke View Post
Mount Vernon has a page of Spurious Washington Quotations.
...
Does it mention the "George Washington Principle"?

It's easier to tell the truth when you're the one holding the axe...
#20
Old 03-31-2016, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bridget Burke View Post
Alas, no. I'm only an amateur.
Well... okay. I still like you.
#21
Old 03-31-2016, 12:21 PM
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And I've bookmarked her.
#22
Old 03-31-2016, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baal Houtham View Post
Oh, although In the OP I asked about dates and possible authors, I mostly want to avoid blaming Mr. Clemons and could use persuasive evidence that he had nothing to do with that mess.
It doesn't sound like Bruce Springsteen's saxophonist either.
#23
Old 03-31-2016, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Style counts. Anyone who has actually read Twain and knows what style is would reject that as a Twain quote if his body were dug up and it was found tattooed on his chest.
It might be the most unlikely attribution I've ever seen (apart from jokes.) But it is very wide-spread and I couldn't find a Snopes-style debunking. 485,000 Google hits for "Twain Kiss Slowly".

And yeah Mr. Gyrate, proving a negative is tough. I'm not familiar with the resources for finding the earliest printed uses of expressions, but was hoping someone might be able to discover that there's no reference for some part of that glurge before, say, 1982.
#24
Old 03-31-2016, 01:39 PM
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A quick search finds this attributed to Twain on a website as early as 2008 (which predates the Coelho book by 6 years). It doesn't sound even remotely like anything Twain would have or could have said. It's as absurd as Sarah Palin attributing a quote about playing nicely to Socrates.

Google N-gram has nothing on this quote.




http://forum.quoteland.com/eve/forum...1/m/3541012171
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...3190028AAo1UQ4


I've found quite a few uses of this as a sig line from 2005:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=610336


assuming that the sig lines aren't automatically updated when the user changes them (which may actually be the case), I've got at least three uses from vack then.




Here's a citation from 2005 (the sig line at the bottom of the first box), but it doesn't atribute the quote to Twain. It's the earliest use of it I've thus far found.
http://longlocks.com/salon/?num=1109220399/2

Last edited by CalMeacham; 03-31-2016 at 01:42 PM.
#25
Old 03-31-2016, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
It doesn't sound like Bruce Springsteen's saxophonist either.
To be fair, they're both dead.
#26
Old 03-31-2016, 01:47 PM
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Here's a book that attributes the quote to Mae West

Women and Positive Aging: An International Perspective
By Lisa Hollis-Sawyer, Amanda Dykema-Engblade

(2016)

p. 204

https://books.google.com/books?id=Qd...202002&f=false


The book is copyrighted this year, though (!). attributions to Twain go back to at least 2008.


This book attributes it to "unknown" on p. 81

Quote This!: A Collection of Illustrated Quotes for Educators
By Diane Hodges (2008)

https://books.google.com/books?id=3k...kly%22&f=false

Last edited by CalMeacham; 03-31-2016 at 01:50 PM.
#27
Old 03-31-2016, 01:49 PM
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I can't find it through Google Books before 2006.

It gives a 2001 date to a Facebook post by Kevin Spacey (who attributes it to Twain) but if you check it was actually made in 2013.
#28
Old 03-31-2016, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post

I've found quite a few uses of this as a sig line from 2005:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=610336


assuming that the sig lines aren't automatically updated when the user changes them (which may actually be the case), I've got at least three uses from vack then.




Here's a citation from 2005 (the sig line at the bottom of the first box), but it doesn't atribute the quote to Twain. It's the earliest use of it I've thus far found.
http://longlocks.com/salon/?num=1109220399/2
Sig lines and post counts are automatically updated. Looking at that forum's front page I found the same sig and post count for bikerbraid as late as 2010. You'd have to find a contemporary cache to know what the sig was in 2005.
#29
Old 03-31-2016, 01:54 PM
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A quick search of Google Books turns up nothing as early as even 2000, attributed to anybody.


On the other hand, this e-book from 2014 actually attributes it to Twain, along with a lot of other questionable quotations.

https://books.google.com/books?id=0J...les%22&f=false
#30
Old 03-31-2016, 04:40 PM
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Aha! -- here's the thread about the Plato quote. It's from 2010, and my comments and the quote start on entry #41:

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...ht=Palin+Plato
#31
Old 03-31-2016, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." -Abraham Lincoln
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and internet quotes." - Disraeli
#32
Old 03-31-2016, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and internet quotes." - Disraeli
"A fourth kind. Anything said by Disraeli." - Gladstone
#33
Old 04-01-2016, 09:53 AM
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Just came across this quote attributed to Mark Twain that resembles the one in the OP:

Quote:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. –Mark Twain
#34
Old 04-01-2016, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Just came across this quote attributed to Mark Twain that resembles the one in the OP:
1.) Granted, it does more closely resemble a Twain quote than the original
2.) Although I've read a LOT of Twain, I don't recall this
3.) Your quote is missing a key ingredient -- a cite.

What work of Twain's is it from? Or which webpage or book did you glean it from?
#35
Old 04-01-2016, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
...
What work of Twain's is it from? Or which webpage or book did you glean it from?
http://hereandair.com/quotes-that-changed-my-life/
The ninth one down.
#36
Old 04-01-2016, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Just came across this quote attributed to Mark Twain that resembles the one in the OP:
You know who debunked this?

Quote Investigator.

#37
Old 04-01-2016, 11:20 AM
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Although that second "Twain" quote is more like him in style, it is certainly unlike him in tone.

On the other hand, maybe people are just taking this (actual) Twain quote to heart:

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
-- Rudyard Kipling, An Interview with Mark Twain, p. 180, From sea to sea: letters of travel, 1899, Doubleday & McClure Company.
#38
Old 04-01-2016, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyrate View Post
While it's hard to prove a negative, the fact that it's almost certainly not found in any of his known writings is a pretty good sign.

I mean, you could contact the Twain Library (I haven't checked but I assume there's one somewhere) who have probably been asked about this 50,000 times already, but otherwise the poor quality of writing ought to be enough.
The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley. Although they probably have better things to do.
#39
Old 04-01-2016, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jsc1953 View Post
The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley. Although they probably have better things to do.
Already cited by me in post #11, in response to the same post you replied to.
#40
Old 04-01-2016, 04:09 PM
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An actual quote that seems relevant:

"I didn't really say everything I said." - Yogi Berra
#41
Old 04-01-2016, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
"The reports of my blogging are greatly exaggerated."

-- Mark Twain
Applause.
#42
Old 04-01-2016, 06:25 PM
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A question - would a discussion on why people misattribute "inspirational" quotes to people who almost certainly didn't make them be appropriate for here, or should I start a new thread?
#43
Old 04-01-2016, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Martini Enfield View Post
A question - would a discussion on why people misattribute "inspirational" quotes to people who almost certainly didn't make them be appropriate for here, or should I start a new thread?
I think it's an interesting topic, and deserves its own thread.

My WAG answer: because the inspirational quote sounds so much more inspiring if it's coming from Abraham Lincoln instead of the columnist for the Sioux Falls Weekly Fishwrap.
#44
Old 04-01-2016, 06:49 PM
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"I wish god would use an internet blog, these stones are Heavy". Moses.
#45
Old 04-01-2016, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Baal Houtham View Post
"Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile."

It looks like a severe redux of Desiderata. eg "Do not feign affection" > Kiss Slowly.
#46
Old 04-02-2016, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jsc1953 View Post
I think it's an interesting topic, and deserves its own thread.

My WAG answer: because the inspirational quote sounds so much more inspiring if it's coming from Abraham Lincoln instead of the columnist for the Sioux Falls Weekly Fishwrap.
I've started the thread here, in case anyone is interested or would like to contribute.
#47
Old 04-02-2016, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Baal Houtham View Post
485,000 Google hits for "Twain Kiss Slowly"
and I would be afraid to Google this, no matter how much I might wonder about the gentle tickle of Mr. Clemens resplendent white moustache.
#48
Old 04-02-2016, 12:34 PM
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Once again, a lie has travelled half way around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on.

(as Mark Twain also never said).
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