Topic for discussing and investigating misquotes.

Misquotes are a common problem, not a rare problem. See e.g. Misquotes by David Deutsch and my Scholarship blog category (which points out or investigates misquotes and factual errors).

In Distribute the Future, Pueyo opens with a quote:

“The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.”William Gibson

I was a little bit suspicious so I was going to do a web search to check if the quote was real. But then I saw he’d given a source link on the author’s name. Great. It goes here:


Which is a “Quote Investigator” article about that specific quote! Great! The guy checked if it was a myth before using it.

The quote investigator says Gibson said similar things but some wordings are inexact. OK. And it gives some versions Gibson did say and that people quote him as having said.

But the wording Pueyo used, with that page as his source, does not appear on the page a single time. Pueyo apparently made up his own wording and gave a “source” link that doesn’t contain or mention that wording.

Pueyo looked up whether it was a real quote, found a webpage about it, found out there was some wording flexibility for the quote … and still unambiguously misquoted.

Related to misquotes, TikTok bans people from posting comments for putting source links in comments for facts or quotes:


The issue is presumably about links in general rather than source links. Though source links might get treated worse because they’ll often be obscure links that no one else is posting. I’m guessing if you share a link that many other people are sharing, or link to a major website, you’re unlikely to get in trouble.