It's amazing how the entire meaning of a quote can change with just a few additional words. Some people like to exclude these words to make the quote fit their narrative, but these Redditors know the truth. Keep reading for an eye-opening experience.
u/olChum_69 asked: What are some famous quotes people misuse by not using the full quote?
Machiavelli: "It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both. "
"I want people to be afraid of how much they love me." -Michael Scott
The love of...Giphy
Money is the root of all evil. The actual verse reads "the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil."
I like the actual verse much more. I always thought money and wealth itself isn't inherently bad, but the desire/love for it can be.
"The race is not (always) to the swift".
The full quote is: "the race is not to the swift, not the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
The point isn't so much that persistence is sometimes enough to overcome skill, but rather that sometimes everyone is unlucky.
"Now is the winter of our discontent."
Actual quote: "Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York."
The "now" modifies "made", not "is". Richard III is describing a good thing, that the "seasons are changing" for him and things are looking up. Basically the complete opposite of what you get by stopping half way through the quote.
If wrong, to be set right.Giphy
"My country, right or wrong."
People use it to justify blind patriotism and ignoring the bad things that their country does but forget the rest of the quote: "if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right."
"History repeats itself. First as tragedy, then as farce."
People often forget the second part!
"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?"
The full quote is not nearly as cut and dry as the first sentence. Much more thoughtful than celebratory.
"To pull yourself up by your bootstraps" was initially meant to imply doing the impossible.
In the early days when you turn a computer on, how do you ready it for reading instructions? There are no instructions running to tell it to interpret the code that will tell it how to run code to tell it...etc.. So a program is needed that effectively pulls the computer up by its own bootstraps, without the need for user input and thus bootstrapping became a term, later shortened to boot.
Rome wasn't built...
Might as well be that person who points this quote out.
"Rome wasn't built in a day [the forgotten part] but it burned in one."
Ah the classic spin on 'It takes years to build trust but only a moment to destroy it.'
Don't mistake my kindness for weakness.
The full quote:
"Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me." -- Al Capone
Not necessarily misused, but I think the full quote is so much more.