Where are these quotes about reputation from?
June 29, 2008 8:50 PM   Subscribe

[Quotation source-filter] I've found many references on the Internet to two similar quotes about losing a good reputation. The quotes are attributed to Warren Buffett and Benjamin Franklin, but I haven't been able to pin down what the original source is. The full text of the quotes are inside.

The quotes are:

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

Warren Buffett

"It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it"

Benjamin Franklin

I'd love to hear anybody's ideas about where to find the definitive source of these quotations.
posted by eisenkr to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
According to the Encarta Book of Quotations, the first is Attrib., meaning they didn't have a firm grasp of the origin either. Its earliest publication per Google Books is in Uncle John's Bathroom Reader, which is not particularly encouraging.

I found no corroboration of the Franklin quote in Google Books, which makes me think it's just a recent misattribution.
posted by dhartung at 9:36 PM on June 29, 2008

Ah. Poor Richard's Almanac does have:

Glass, China and Reputation
are easily cracked
and never well mended.

I believe it unlikely that Franklin had another similar aphorism about reputation. Also note that it just doesn't sound very 18th century.
posted by dhartung at 9:40 PM on June 29, 2008

It is impossible to track down many supposed "quotes"; never trust attributions on the internet. See my answer here for more detail.
posted by languagehat at 6:59 AM on June 30, 2008

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