The Mosquito And The Misquoter

Leave your window open on a hot summer night and you invite a cloud of mosquitoes inside to suck your blood. Leave your computer open at the same time and you’ll get an even worse infestation of misquoters. Either way, you’ll be scratching for days.

I have been lectured at length and disturbed at a distance by ” shares ” on my social media platform. Not the ones with the cute kittens or the picture post cards of bonny Cornwall…these are harmless enough if you don’t count shredded curtains. It’s the intellectual-sounding propaganda quotes that are attributed to long-gone authors or philosophers that bug me. Because so many of them are direct mis-quotes or fake attributions.

They are always waved about on the page to gain credence for something…though it’s never a revival of clear water…it’s mud all the way. Someone wants my opinion to agree with theirs, and tries to dredge up support with a clever-sounding meme. If they have a big store of videos, these can be put forward as well with whatever construction the sender wants to put on them. The more obscure, the better the chance of success.

Do I fall for it? Sometimes, but I never pass the piss-take onwards to fool other people. That probably defeats the viral-purpose of the original poster. And thankfully there are fact-checking sites and groups that can hold up the yellow or red flag when they detect a lie. I just need to remember to invoke them in time before the rot sets in.

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