People Die Laughing At You For Misquoting Mark Twain

I am referring to this quote: “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

This quote is NOT by the author and humorist who wrote the classic American novels ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’, Mark Twain.

People Die Laughing At You For Misquoting Mark Twain

Don’t let folks laugh at your ignorance for sharing misquotations.

people die laughing at you for misquoting mark twainI know this quotation is still credited to Mark Twain in quotation and self-help books, together with the many quotation websites.

So who actually say this quotation?

This quote, “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint” is said to be by Marcus Herz, a German Jewish physician as mentioned in  a German book back in 1841.

The original line in German is:

“…Sie werden noch einmal an einem Druckfehler sterben!”

(Zur Diätetik Der Seele Bon Ernst Von Feuchtersleben, Doctor Der Medicin, Mitglied Der Facultat und Der F. F. Gefeufchaft Der Hertze Zu Bien, Druck Und Berlag Von Carl Gerold C. Gerold’s Sohn, 1861, IX Hypochondrie; p.95)

The English translation of the above quote is:

“…an error of the press will assuredly, some day or other, be the death of you.” – Marcus Herz

(The Dietetics of the Soul By Ernst Freiherr von Feuchtersleben, Translated By Henry Aimé Ouvry, Edited From The Seventh Edition, C. S. Francis & Co., 1858, Hypochondriasis; p.139)

In fact, as you can see from the book, Marcus Herz did not utter the complete line, as popularly cited.

It has been altered and rephrased.

By the way, there are countless misquotations all over the Internet and even TV and printed media.

Here is a list of popular quotes WRONGLY attributed to Mark Twain:


“Kindness is a Language which the Deaf Can Hear and the Blind Can See.”

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

“Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.”

“The minority is always in the right. The majority is always in the wrong.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

“Golf is a good walk spoiled.”

You should never trust a man who has only one way to spell a word.”

I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”

It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Don’t believe the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

“Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting over.”

“Politicians are like diapers: they should be changed often, and for the same reason.”

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”


Anyway, here is a good collection of authentic Mark Twain quotes.

Note: The quote in the image above is just a joke, and NOT by Mark Twain.