Popular culture fans reverently quote favorite lines from the movies, and in some cases, television. A year ago, I blogged about this in Make it Count. These cherished lines are remembered and become a part of the viewers’ lexicon.
A recent online article pointed out how many popular lines are misquoted and still end up being a part of popular vocabulary. The beauty (and sometimes heartburn for quasi-purists like me) of language is its fluidity and adaptability by the people who use it. Viewers take ownership of lines that resonate with them for whatever reason. They change the line to suit the circumstance and the misquote becomes popular.
“Beam me up, Scotty.” – Star Trek: “Beam me up, Scotty,” is the granddaddy of misquoted movie/television lines. Captain Kirk says “Beam me aboard,” “Beam us home,” and even “Scotty, beam me up,” but never the catchphrase that the whole world associates with Star Trek.
“Just the facts, ma’am.” – Dragnet: Can you believe that Joe Friday never actually said his own catchphrase? The line actually comes from a spoof of the show done by Stan Freberg. On the show, Joe Friday did say versions of the line like, ” All we know are the facts, ma’am,” but never, “Just the facts, ma’am.”
“Play it again, Sam.” – Casablanca: No one actually said, “Play it again, Sam,” during Casablanca, though it has since become the title of another movie. During the original movie, Ilsa says, at one point, “Play it, Sam. Play As Time Goes By.” Usually, though, the quote is attributed to Humphrey Bogart’s character, who says later in the film, “You played it for her, you can play it for me.” When Sam tries to refuse, he replies, “If she can stand it, I can. Play it!”
In Wizard of Oz, one of its most famous lines spoken by Judy Garland (as Dorothy Gale) to her dog: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” It’s generally misquoted as: “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” or “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto.”
“If you build it, they will come” was not what the voice said in Field of Dreams. Instead, it was: “If you build it, he will come.”
Did you know the correct quote?
Share a favorite movie or television quote you’ve used.