Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Most Common Thoreau Misquotation?

It rankles this curmudgeon when the following beautiful line of Henry David Thoreau is butchered:

In wildness is the preservation of the world.

Again and again, people who cannot read what is on the page substitute 'wilderness' for 'wildness.' People see what they want to see, or expect to see. Here is an example I found just yesterday:

In wilderness is the preservation of Mankind.

(Warren Macdonald, A Test of Will, Greystone Books, 2004, p. 145.)

For more wilderness quotations, see here.