One of John Green’s most famous quotes is on shirts, posters and every corner of the Internet -- but it's not his.
The sentence “I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met” actually originates from 13-year-old Melody Truong’s Tumblr account. The line is frequently credited online to Green, who assumed he included it in his novel and had simply forgotten writing it.
“I don’t remember writing the words ... but then again I don’t remember writing a lot of ‘Paper Towns,’" he said in the video. “That book came out seven years ago.”
Green discovered his mistake after reading a Reddit post from Melody’s friend explaining that a quick “control+F” search of the novel would prove that the quote isn’t from the author. Curious as to whether this was true, Green illegally downloaded his novel, searched for the quote and found no trace of it.
“I suppose instead of blindly assuming I’d written something that the Internet said I wrote, I should have done some research,” he said.
To make up for mistakenly accepting credit, Green correctly attributed Melody's quote on a poster he sells in his online store. He is also paying her royalties from the poster's sales and selling a piece of her original artwork.
Now that's how you make up for your mistakes.