The Art of "Quotemanship" and "Misquotemanship"

Quoting people accurately is really hard — and you can quote me on that.

Former Linebacker Turns Tables on Commissioner of the “Ain’t No Fun League”


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Of course, quotations are properly handled the vast majority of the time.
Yesterday, recently retired Pittsburgh Steeler football player James Harrison did this in a Tweet that tweaked National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell. The commissioner is under fire for his handling of football player Ray Rice’s elevator punch-out of his then fiancee, Janay.
Harrison, no fan of the commissioner, sent this message at 6:36 p.m. on 10 September:

ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun huh?

It has been retweeted tens of thousands of time.

Sometimes Bugs (left) did get the gun from Elmer (right)

Sometimes Bugs (left) did get the gun from Elmer (right)

Harrison’s Tweet is beautifully succinct. Even though there were no quotation marks, I wondered about any source of the statement. Granted, he’s passing on a fairly common “proverb,” but this got me hunting for a source in popular culture.
With a fond nod to rabbit hunter Elmer Fudd and his wily prey Bugs Bunny (right), this is an accurate quotation from, among other places, Write Where I Left Off by American rapper Ras Kass (aka John Austin IV). (I won’t bother with the context because I’d have to use the N-word, which is in the previous line.) For the record, I think L’il Wayne in My Birthday had the same line.
In any case, some people are aiming something at Goodell. As Harrison points out, this turns the tables on him. Until now he has enjoyed the reputation of being somewhat of a sheriff.

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