Some famous phrases are so often misquoted that no one even knows they’re wrong anymore. Here are seven famous misquoted phrases, along with the original phrase. Just remember: if you hear someone say a famous quote wrong, correct them if you dare. After all, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
1) “The Ends Justify The Means”
Used for years for the purpose of justifying the unjustifiable, this supposed quote from Machiavelli’s “The Prince” did not say that, in Italian or otherwise. The actual quote is “One must consider the final result,” which is not the same thing at all.
2) “Now is the winter of our discontent”
Shakespeare has a lot of misquoted lines, that’s for sure. But to keep the list short we’re going to zero in on this one only, because while it is quoted exactly, it is not the entire phrase. The whole line is, “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by the son of York.” Besides an excuse to pun on son/sun, the idea is that the bad times are over and the good times are rolling.
3) “Money is the root of all evil”
Shakespeare does not hold the record for most misquoted lines, however. That record goes to, naturally, the Bible. The same error for the Shakespeare quote above is in use here, but instead of leaving out the last part, this one leaves out the first: the phrase is actually “The love of money is the root of all evil.” By which is meant, money in itself is not harmful, but coveting it is. There’s a whole commandment about covetousness; one tenth of the whole list is against it. So there is that.