An often incorrectly quoted Shakespearean phrase that is derived from Hamlet Act III, Scene II.
Hamlet is speaking to Horatio, praising his loyalty and virtue. Says Hamlet:
"Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart
As I do thee."
This distinction is not mere pedantry. The popular variation of this phrase, "heart of hearts", is speaking of a different set of circumstances than the original. Heart of hearts implies multiple hearts; each of them flimsy reproductions of the one true heart. One has only one heart; that is why the heart is so crucial and so poetically significant. To allude to a vast array of cheap, plastic hearts coming off of some visceral conveyor belt undercuts the import of the subject while attempting to elevate one above the others. It is shallow
folly, and damn annoying besides. There is nothing that lowers a person more in my estimation than blithe misquotation.
But, the correct, original phrase is sublime. The heart of your heart, the core of that which is singularly irreplaceable. Not only in your heart, which is exclusive enough, but smack dab at the bullseye center of you. One feels tempted to hum Cole Porter's "You're the Top" for entry into the VIP room of a person's regard.
In short, use the correct phrase. Don't be condescending about it, but gently inform people that No, sorry, you are not the one that is misquoting William Sodding Shakespeare, it is they.
Or would it be them?