Memetic mutations

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu Jan 17 2002 - 19:39:23 GMT

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    Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 14:39:23 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: Memetic mutations
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    Recent mentions of movies and memetic drift reminded me of this.

    Humphrey Bogart's line in Casablanca is "Play it, Sam." not "Play it again,

    For "Bogart Play it again Sam" Google today turned up 780 web pages, some
    of which refer to the Woody Allen movie which uses the misquote as a
    title. 100 pages note the quote is incorrect.

    Richard Dawkins discusses in the 2nd Ed. of _Selfish Gene_ the drift in the
    words to the song Aude Lang Syne. I think his speculations are interesting
    and likely correct (basically transmission errors).

    The full Bogart quote is:

    "Play it, Sam. You played it for her, now you can play it for me."

    You can see from the context how this might be recalled as the incorrect
    quote since the second sentence could be collapsed more or less intact into

    Keith Henson

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