[Ads-l] “Set the world on fire”?
MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY RDECOM AMRDEC (US)
william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
Tue Aug 1 12:29:09 EDT 2017
The earliest I can find "quote magnet" in print is in a 2006 newspaper article by Cristina Rouvalis on the occasion of the release of Ralph Keyes's book _The Quote Verifier_. But using Google Books and Amazon to search Keyes's book does not reveal the presence of the word "magnet". Nor can I find it in Nigel Rees's 2006 book "Brewer's Famous Quotations" (although this does not rule out his having used it on the air in his BBC radio show).
_Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_ 11 Jun 2006 p e-9 col 3
"Some famous dead people, especially Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln, are quote magnets."
A 1999 exchange in alt.urban.folklore includes the phrase, but the sentence structure is so stilted that I'm not confident in what is being said:
">It's interesting seeing mutation and reattribution in action (I like
>'the magnet effect') - especially when you consider that there's no
>way to re-establish a canonical True Version of the quote.
I believe that Stephen Fry suggested that British weatherman Ian McAskill be
the Oscar Wilde of the late twentieth century, granting him the quote
Fred, even if you didn't coin "quote magnet", I think we all can agree that you are the quote magnate.
> I like the idea of everybody paying homage to me, but I'm pretty sure that the writer's claim that I coined the term "quote magnet" is
> wrong. It was probably used by Ralph Keyes or Nigel Rees.
> Fred Shapiro
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Monday, July 31, 2017 11:27 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: “Set the world on fire”?
> Sorry, St. Ignatius [of Loyola] never said that (or these other famous Jesuit quotes)
> Not especially interesting, though the author does - as should we all - pay
> homage* to Fred.
> *As is the the case with "spade" and "shovel," the distinction between "homage" and "hommage" has also pretty much disappeared.
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