Myth Blaster: Chain Email Misquotes – Breaking the Chain

State of Our Union: Election 2012 CircusThe following quotation is floating around the Internet in the form of chain email:

The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.
Marcus Tullius Cicero [55 BC]


Haitian People Relief Drive

Myth Blaster: Cartoon from Scotland?  Myth Blaster: FALSE

The actual quote is – The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall.

This email quotation made me suspicious because the wording and references made is not consistent to the way people wrote in 55 BC. It had things in there that pertain to today’s form of governments, not the Roman Empire. Therefore, I researched. It did not take long to discover what the real quotation was.

Cyberspace [Internet] is a vast source of information at one’s fingertips; however, even there it must be analyzed and search for reputable sources. Chain email is NOT a reputable source – 90% is conjecture, misinformation provided accidentally by people passing it around and purposely by the initiator. The ability to access ancient text and other documents of history, chain email information is not required. Email should be used to pass around humorous pictures and stories and events or news that can be verified with a link provided [or the title/author of the book from which it was taken]. If not delete it and inform the sender why you did not forward it. This is the only way to stop chain email that is intended to keep the public misinformed.

I have some solid advice to folks who pass around chain email – if it does not have a verifiable source, do not click “Forward”.  I have no idea what the purpose of anyone who makes up things or elaborates upon quotations to match their ideology or points being made. However, I DO know that it hurts any cause or points made because they can easily be verified in most cases. So, do not be lazy. Either investigate it or click the “Delete” instead of the “Forward” and join the fight against misinformation.

If wisdom is essential to and stems from knowledge and knowledge is power, then misinformation or tampering with truthful statements and/or information is definitely counterproductive. Besides, it makes YOU look bad when you forward erroneous and misinformation no matter if you think it applies or not. Whoever sends you this garbage; tell them do not send email that has no source, verified source. Some people place the names of big name media without a link to make people think, “Well this must be okay it was reported by Fox News”. Yet no link was provided.

Haitian People Relief Drive


Truth or Fiction [provides the true quotation published above]

Liberty-Tree [while notating that the source is questionable, this site chose to use it anyway; which means they did not actually read Cicero’s works and obtain quotes, and instead got it from chain email like too many have. Liberty-Tree should have found the true quotation and printed it instead.]

Brainy Quote [this misquote was even at this site, which I have used often in the past because they have been reputable in their accuracy. It is getting to the point that I will have to use my hardbound quotations book and quotations I have copied when reading the works of various authors, like Thomas Jefferson (probably the most misquoted) and other Founders.] InfoWars has been caught misquoting Jefferson.

Right Words [investigating this quotations website, it is, as of this date, by far the most reliable above even Think Quest or Brainy Quote. Its Cicero entry has the correct quotation and publishes source whenever possible. Its introduction:

[Right words from all times and from all over the world, with different themes, written by famous authors or words said by the forefathers folklore: famous quotes, famous authors, proverbs and old sayings, riddles, spells and incantations, carols, traditional songs, traditions and superstitions. ]

Pithypedia[correct quote at this site, but commonly does not provide source for its quotes]

The Tea Party has been caught misquoting Founders especially Thomas Jefferson because of his vast amount of letters and documents. Even during his lifetime, Jefferson was known to correct someone for misquoting him. The Tea Party grassroot movement is an organized venture to encourage citizens to vote for politicians who are constitutional and return our nation’s government back to the constitutional republic for which it was created instead of its present socialism that it has evolved to be. If the Tea Party organization wants to remain credible, it should ensure that quotations used are truthful and provide a source so readers can read the works for enlightenment. It just provides more ammunition of the sociocrats to make the Tea Party’s credibility to be questionable; just as it wrongfully paints its members as racists, members of the KKK, and Lord knows what else they can conceive. The organization’s popularity is based upon its conceptual and truthful presentation of facts, statistics, and constitutional law; therefore, credibility is essential in order to gain the respect and trust of Americans who have been indoctrinated otherwise in the government school system.