How to Fact-Check Online Quotes Fast

How many memes have you seen that claim to be quotes from significant voices?

C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton seem to get lots of citations, and the appeal is obvious. They’re widely admired, wrote on many different subjects, and weren’t confined by genre (and it doesn’t hurt that they can’t correct anyone). But did they actually write what the memes attribute to them?

For instance, did C. S. Lewis really pen the supposed quote from The Screwtape Letters in which one of the devils claims that the “fear of getting sick” has led many to hell? 

Logos can help you get to the bottom of this. A simple search can scan your entire library (or even a specific book) for a particular phrase. 

So rather than skimming through every page of The Screwtape Letters or The Man Who Was Thursday,* you can direct Logos to search those books for any phrase you want to find.

To search your whole library, open a search, select Basic, and enter the phrase you want to find in quotation marks. To search my library for “fear of getting sick,” I only have to enter it in my Search panel in quotation marks and press enter.

Logos tech tip showing how to use the search feature

To search a particular work, click the search location, and type the book’s name in the search field (you can also search all the works by a single author as discussed in the tech tip from a couple of weeks ago). Using the same example as above, I can search The Screwtape Letters specifically by opening a Basic search, clicking Everything, entering “Screwtape” in the search field, and selecting The Screwtape Letters from the drop-down menu that appears. I can then enter the phrase I want to find and press enter.

Logos tech tip showing how to use the search feature

With a few quick searches, we can see that this passage is definitely not something C. S. Lewis wrote, and if we look for other phrases from that widely circulated “quotation,” we can infer that someone attributed a quote to C. S. Lewis that he did not pen.

Learn more about searching in Logos:


Visit the Logos Help Center for more on how to get the most out of your Logos Bible Software.

*Keep in mind, Logos can only search the books in your library.

Written by
Adam B. Shaeffer

Adam B. Shaeffer (PhD, Durham University) rarely had time for books until he discovered the fantasy novels on his dad's shelf at age 12; the rest is history. His primary research interests revolve around the interplay between theology and literature, attending to fiction's power to narrate theological insights through the thoughts and lives of imagined people and places. His poetry and fiction have appeared in *Jabberwocky,* *Resident Aliens,* and *This Mutant Life.*

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Written by Adam B. Shaeffer