This is something which came up inthis thread about glurge attributed to Mark Twain and which I think is worthy of a separate discussion; hence the thread here.
Anyone who’s been on the internet for any length of time will have noticed that as well as the cats, food pics, adult stuff, memes, games, and YouTube videos there’s also a lot of people sharing “Insipirational”-type quotes of the “Live out loud, laugh every day, love everyone and dance like no-one’s watching” variety (Changing fonts and accompanying image of a beach, sunrise, mountain, or Minion optional).
Quite often some of these things are allegedly said by famous people. Allegedly, because to anyone with even a passing familiarity with that famous person knows that Mark Twain wasn’t one for that “Eat Pray Love” sort of thing, Benjamin Disraeli never had anything memorable to say on modern consumer society and the wisdom of Confucius did not directly extend to encouraging people to put their smartphones down and live in the moment.
Or, as that old but apt joke goes: "You can never be sure of the origin of quotes on the internet " - Abraham Lincoln
So, my question: Why do people go around misattributing inspirational/glurge-style quotes to people who patently didn’t make them?
Obviously some of it is honest mistake or confusion, but for something like “Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile” (the example from the other thread) is very obviously not the sort of thing Mark Twain would ever have said.
That sort of thing suggests to me a deliberate attempt to misattribute - the author must know it wasn’t said by whoever they’re claiming it was said by - so why are they misattributing it? What do they hope to gain from that?