Recently, I posted a photograph displaying an inspirational Lao Tzu quotation (namely, "If you are depressed, you are in the living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.") to a friend's Facebook page. (Tracking down the photo led me to a Facebook page dedicated to motivational quotations apparently for business people, Your Empowering Success.) Moments after posting it, I began to wonder, "Did Lao Tzu actually ever say that?" The main thing which led me to wonder this was the fact that the quotation provided no citation — often a sign that there is in fact no source in the first place.
In the course of trying to figure out if this was a Lao Tzu quote (apparently it isn't — but of course please correct me if it is!), I came across two indirectly related web sites.
One is a web site (recommended by my friend, who is studying Buddhism) dedicated to inspecting potentially fraudulent Buddha quotations:
"Nope, I didn't say that." — Buddha
(It mixes in real Buddha quotations, too, to keep you on your toes.) The web site has a very friendly attitude, and is in fact fun to read. And there is
an article posted by Victor Mair on April 30, 2010 to the Language Log blog. It does discuss Lao Tzu, but not the quotation I had posted.
UPDATE: If you "like" the author's Facebook page, you'll get instant update of new posts on fake Buddha quotes!