"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The persistence of false memory

Last night CBC Here and Now played some of the feedback it got in response to the question they threw out, about how the late, lamented career of Loyola Hearn will be remembered.

One of the back-feeders commented:
How will I remember Loyola Hearn? The same way I remember John Efford. “Take it or leave it”, remember?
Um, no.

The caller or emailer will “remember” something that never happened.


At 8:31 PM, September 09, 2008 , Blogger Peter Jackson said...

In a similar vein, just about everyone accepts this $10 billion equalization loss as gospel now. Wasn't that just some rough estimate?
Whole books have been published on misquotes throughout history. Rarely is there any intentional deceit behind them. The Efford misquote is certainly benign, since "take it or leave it" is a perfectly accurate paraphrase of what he said.
-Peter (not Whittle)

At 8:39 PM, September 09, 2008 , Blogger WJM said...

I agree it is a paraphrase, and a close one.

However, it was not what he actually said.

And the fact that he didn't say it didn't stop certain media outlets — no names — from reproducing the words he didn't say in quotation marks, as if he had.

On many, many, many occasions.

At 8:52 AM, September 10, 2008 , Blogger Mark said...

Peter - any misquote, misinterpretation, paraphrase or invention of another's comments is acceptable if it is in the "national good".

That's generally the consensus view in places like North Korea, Cuba, Iran, and certain fine media outlets in Newfoundland.

At 12:05 PM, September 10, 2008 , Blogger Mark said...

And again...

At 3:49 PM, September 10, 2008 , Blogger Peter Jackson said...

Jumpins, people!
Did I say misquotes are acceptable? I said misquotes are usually -- usually, mind you -- not generated through an intention to deceive. But they certainly can have a devastating effect politically. Just ask Al (I invented the Internet) Gore. Hint: he never said invented.


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