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Kurt Tucholsky & Co: Fake Quotes, The Plague of the Internet


literature Kurt Tucholsky & Co

Fake quotes, the plague of the Internet

As of: 3:35 p.m. | Reading time: 3 minutes

Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935). (Photo by Fine Art Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images) Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935). (Photo by Fine Art Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images)

Language is a weapon: Kurt Tucholsky (1890 to 1935)

Source: Heritage Images / Getty Images

Everyone likes to have winged words and good sayings on all situations. But “fake quotes” have long been a plague of the Internet. Here, an expert explains how to find wrong quotes.

Fthere used to be a special dictionary for winged words, the “Büchmann”. The standard work collected, guaranteed and proven, famous poet quotes and sayings. Today, winged words are available everywhere on the Internet, but fair game is also available. Fake quotes circulate en masse, i.e. quotes that are said to come from famous people but have not been found anywhere. Karl Kraus and Kurt Tucholsky have a particularly large number of false quotes – which is not amazed. Both writers were also aphorists, leaving many concise, short sentences. So a lot of material for wild quote writers.

All the more commendable that there are voluntary service providers who repeatedly identify and claim false quotes from the wide World Wide Web. The blog by Gerald Krieghofer deserves praise, it is recognized in the new Karl Kraus biography by Jens Malte Fischer for having already identified over 50 false Kraus quotes. And Friedhelm Greis is also commendable: the journalist operates @Tucholsky_Kurt, a Twitter bot that automatically displays fake quotes about Tucholsky to users. We asked around.

WORLD: How does the bot track down the Tucholsky quotes? How does he know if they’re wrong?

Friedhelm Greis: The bot, a small computer program, looks in all the tweets published on Twitter to see if Tucholsky is mentioned in it. Then he checks whether the tweet contains a blank quote from a list and informs the user. I assume that it is very likely that a quote will not come from Tucholsky if it is not in the 22-volume complete edition. The texts and letters contained therein are available to us digitally, so that research is easy.

WORLD: What quotes are most often wrongly attributed to Tucholsky?

Old man: “The advantage of cleverness is that you can pretend to be stupid. The opposite is already more difficult. ”(Often misquoted in Spanish.) /“ Tolerance is suspected, the other person might be right. ”/“ If elections changed something, they would have long been prohibited. ”/“ The opposite of good is meant well. “

WORLD: How many false Tucholsky quotes have you tracked down?

Old man: So far, incorrect citations in tweets and re-tweets have been corrected more than 2,700 times under two different accounts. In order not to be blocked by Twitter, I have limited the number of notifications to three per hour.

WORLD: “Wrongly quoted!” Do fake quote users react to your corrections?

Old man: Most thank you for the tip, only a few feel stepped on. A nice reaction from impostor Gert Postel was: “I don’t care, I have read pretty much everything he wrote in the course of my life. So you don’t have to turn me on so stupidly. ”On that another user replied: “I’ve read so much about him, I even know what he didn’t write!”

WORLD: Where and how can you check whether a winged word is correct?

Old man: There are freely available collections such as or – but the collections are incomplete. If in doubt, ask me at [email protected]

also read

The Quotes Destroyer (1)

also read

The Quotes Destroyer (2)



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