Saying: Keep your friends close but your enemies closer. (Suggestion for YBQ and DMP)
adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 29 23:19:35 UTC 2013
The Yale Book of Quotations (2006) has an entry for the saying in the
subject line. This first citation is to the movie The Godfather Part
[Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, speaking:]
There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught
me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.
The Godfather: Part II (motion picture) (1974).
Coauthored with Francis Ford Coppola.
The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs (2012) also has an entry for the
saying and presents the same quotation.
When I was asked about this saying I found another entry in Random
House Webster's Quotationary (2001) but the phrasing was slightly
different. The word "keep" was repeated.
Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.
MARIO PUZO (1920-1999). Machiavellian advice from Don Corleone as
recalled by his son Michael (played by Al Pacino), The Godfather, Part
II (film), 1974
To resolve the discrepancy I went to youtube to watch a video clip and
transcribed the following:
(Quotation is spoken at 3:22 of 4:07)
Al Pacino: My father taught me many things here. He taught me in this
room. He taught me: Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.
So I think Quotationary is not quite correct. YBQ and DMP have the
core of the quotation correct, but the extended quote seems to be
incorrect. I also checked the excellent iPhone app for the YBQ/DMP and
it lists the same information as the DMP.
So when new editions are released of the print books / ebooks / apps
updating this entry may be a good idea. Please check my transcription
Caveat: There might be more than one filmed version of this scene. I
do not know.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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