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There are some quotations that people always seem to get wrong:

Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well. [Real quote from Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio."]

I have nothing to offer but blood, sweat and tears. [Real quote from Churchill: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."]

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.* [Real quote from Mark Twain: "The report of my death is an exaggeration."]

I keep thinking there is a term for this, the way malapropism is a term for a misused word. I have the feeling I read the word somewhere, but all the Googling I've done doesn't give it up.

[*] This one is particularly galling to me, since Twain was such a master of understatement. Oh well ...

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There is a word for an altered/changed quote, which these seem to be. I can't remember it unfortunately! –  Noldorin Jan 23 '11 at 0:49
    
Wikiquote has a nice list of them... en.wikiquote.org/wiki/List_of_misquotations –  Andy Mar 2 '11 at 17:53
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@Andy: Andrew Grimm's answer below to TVTropes has an even longer list: Beam me up, Scotty! –  ShreevatsaR Sep 15 '11 at 5:11
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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The closest I can come up with are just plain misquotation and corruption. How dull.

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Dull, but accurate. As accurate as it gets I think. –  Noldorin Jan 23 '11 at 0:47
    
Thanks, Jon. I'm going to accept this while wistfully hoping some white knight will ride in and save the day with the exact word I think must exist somewhere out there. Otherwise I may have to coin one myself. But that will have to wait for inspiration ... –  Robusto Jan 25 '11 at 15:25
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TV Tropes gives Beam me up, Scotty!

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