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One of my pet peeves involves the way that many writers, bloggers, and others use quotations in their work. Quotations are great, but so is taking the time to track down the real source of the quote. “Martin Luther King once said” is somewhat helpful, but too often the quote has been altered since its creation, and taking the time to find a source (or at least clarify that the real source can’t be found) strikes me as an essential part of the process of creating content, both to honor the source of the quotation and to honor the time and attention of the reader.

So, as I do my work of writing and creating content, I sometimes come across a helpful quote that has been included in something that I am using as a source or inspiration. Generally, I try to track down the original source; when I find it, I include it here so that others might not need to duplicate my efforts. In some cases (i.e. Kevin Watson’s work on John Wesley quotes), I am simply directing you to others who have spent time on this kind of thing as well.

Enjoy, and I hope that this is helpful to someone out there. If you have corrections to any of this, please let me know!

John Wesley: …starched and ironed before they were washed…

I recently heard a quote which was attributed to John Wesley; it has a nice ring to it, but... Well, first, here's the quote: The Church recruited people who had been starched and ironed before they were washed. Searching Wesley's Works (and additiona searches of his...

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery…

The common quote goes as follows: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This is actually a portion of a longer quote that is attributed to Oscar Wilde: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness. There are some helpful...

John Wesley: You have nothing to do but save souls…

One key quotation from John Wesley that comes up in various contexts is: You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. This is a valid quote, but the original source is rarely cited. It is found in the document Minutes of Several...

Julian of Norwich: All shall be well…

Some variants of this quote show up from time to time, often as memes, correctly attributed to Julian of Norwich: All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well... This is taken from Revelations of Divine Love, written circa 1373....

John Wesley: I set myself on fire…

There are several variants of this: I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn... Kevin Watson has done work on this and other Wesley quotes, so I refer the reader to his blog - click here.  

We are made for goodness… Bishop Desmond Tutu

Bishop Desmond Tutu wrote: We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are...