What do you fear about retirement?

Apr 15, 2012

Corruption of Inspiration Quotations - Albert Einstein Did Not Say This:


If you are looking for great retirement quotations, then go to The Retirement Quotes Cafe website.

This blog is about a non-retirement quote that appears on many websites:
    "The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been."
    — Albert Einstein
Problem is, Albert Einstein never did say this. This is a variation (and a not-so-clever mangled corruption) of a great quotation that unfortunately appears on many quotation websites.

Fact is, someone (no doubt a devious woman) has taken the first two sentences of a great quotation, placed "woman" in these sentences and attributed it to Albert Einstein.

This is where the passage comes from:
    "If you follow the crowd, you will likely get no further than the crowd. If you walk alone, you're likely to end up in places no one has ever been before. Being an achiever is not without its difficulties, for peculiarity breeds contempt. The unfortunate thing about being ahead of your time is that when people finally realize you were right, they'll simply say it was obvious to everyone all along. You have two choices in life. You can dissolve into the main stream, or you can choose to become an achiever and be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different. To be different, you must strive to be what no else but you can be.
    — Alan Ashley-Pitt
and which at times was changed to:
    “The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”
    ― Alan Ashley-Pitt
You can read this article in Guardian about how quotes "get misattributed or mangled all the time, especially inspirational quotations:"

Inspirational Quotes Misattributed or Mangled All the Time

Another quotation that apparently is not attributed properly is this one:
    "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!"
It has been attributed to Goethe all over the internet (including embarrassingly on one of my websites) and in books such as Joe Vitale's The Attractor Factor.

According to researchers, Goethe never did say this. Check out this article about Goethe's quote:

Goethe Did Not Say This

If you would like to read the many viewpoints about quotations, visit the home page of Sensational Quotes for Smart People.