Started musing – my, I muse a LOT – about how certain information is considered true, even though there is incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, such as Abner Doubleday inventing baseball, even though he clearly did not; yet, the ballpark in Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of fame, remains as Doubleday Field.
I’m not sure there is a better example than that. There are quotes that are misstated. The one I find most interesting is “Nice guys finish last” by US baseball manager Leo Durocher (1906–1991). His remark was actually his reply to being asked his opinion of the 1946 New York Giants. He actually said: ‘Take a look at them. All nice guys. They’ll finish last. Nice guys – finish last.'” The words are there, but the emphasis is totally off.
How about this list of misattributed inventions? Lots of Thomas Edison. See they are picking on poor Al Gore over the Internet quote YET AGAIN.
This, of course, requires that a lot of people believe something as true. These top urban legends at About.com don’t work for me, because most of them I never heard of. People falsely reported as dead on social media is practically a cliche. It’s not like the old days when having someone reported dead required certain circumstances (see Mark Twain or Paul McCartney).
Nor do I count the deniers, of the Holocaust, e.g., because they seem to be a fringe element.
With Photoshop and Facebook, it’s easy to start a credible rumor, for fun, political mischief, or other criteria.
Tell me what obviously untrue info do you believe many, or most people believe?