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An inaccurate quote is not a quote at all


This morning I was surfing the internet, looking for images I might use for a Memorial Day post. At the same time, I was watching for appropriate quotations. And I came across this:

“Never was so much owed by so many few.” – Winston Churchill

Yes, exactly that. What a ghastly corruption of a famous Churchill statement. It doesn’t even make sense. And yet, apparently thanks to the internet and perhaps its cut-and-paste feature, this corrupted quotation is very widespread. Do people even read what they post? Go ahead. Run a search on it. It’s everywhere.

The correct quotation is in the image, which is linked to a recording of the speech from which it came. Churchill was praising the British airmen who defended England during WWII.

The slightly abbreviated form of the quote that most people remember is:

Never was so much owed by so many to so few. — Winston Churchill

Please, if you’re going to repeat one of the most famous statements in history, get it right. Churchill must roll in his grave every time he sees that mangled misquote.

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