Quotation

A quotation or quote is the repetition of one expression as part of another one, particularly when the quoted expression is well-known or explicitly attributed by citation to its original source, and it is indicated by (punctuated with) quotation marks.

A quotation can also refer to the repeated use of units of any other form of expression, especially parts of artistic works: elements of a painting, scenes from a movie or sections from a musical composition.

The rest of this article addresses only written or oral quotations.

Contents

Reasons for using quotations

Quotations are used for a variety of reasons: to illuminate the meaning or to support the arguments of the work in which it is being quoted, to provide direct information about the work being quoted (whether in order to discuss it, positively or negatively, to pay homage to the original work or author, to make the user of the quotation seem well-read, and/or to comply with copyright law. Quotations are also commonly printed as a means of inspiration and to invoke philosophical thoughts from the reader.

Common quotation sources

Famous quotations are frequently collected in books that are sometimes called quotation dictionaries or treasuries. Of these, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, The Yale Book of Quotations and The MacMillan Book of Proverbs, Maxims, and Famous Phrases are considered among the most reliable and comprehensive sources. Diaries and calendars often include quotations for entertainment or inspirational purposes, and small, dedicated sections in newspapers and weekly magazines—with recent quotations by leading personalities on current topics—have also become commonplace.

Misquotations

Many quotations are routinely incorrect or attributed to the wrong authors, and quotations from obscure or unknown writers are often attributed to far more famous writers. Examples of this are Winston Churchill, to whom many political quotations of uncertain origin are attributed, and Oscar Wilde, to whom anonymous humorous quotes are sometimes attributed.[1]

Deliberate misquotation is also common, though this often goes unnoticed, usually because the misquotation is better known or because the misquotation better fits a situation. For example, the Star Trek catchphrase "Beam me up, Scotty" did not appear in that form in the original series—likewise, the famous Dirty Harry quotation "Are you feeling lucky, punk?" is actually a rewording of the original dialogue: "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?"

This differs from misinterpretation, in which an author's words are taken out of context, such as the Nietzsche phrase "God is dead", which is often misunderstood to mean physical death.

Quotations and the Internet

Chiefly a text medium in the beginning, the World Wide Web gave rise to any number of personal quotation collections that continue to flourish, even though very few of them seem to facilitate accurate information or correct citation. On June 27, 2003, a sister project of the Wikimedia Foundation called Wikiquote was created as a free online encyclopedia of quotations in every language and it is now the biggest single quotation collection in the world.[citation needed]

The increase of written means of informal communication brought about by the Internet has produced the practice of using quotations as personal flags, as in one's own signature block. This is most commonly seen in email messages and Usenet posts, while it is almost never seen in blog posts. Quotations are also popular as a user's personal message, a line under the user's nickname in some Instant Messaging clients (and here they often go uncited). In all these cases, quotations are usually included to give a glimpse of the user's personality, to make a statement of their beliefs, or to spread views and ideas.

The sheer bulk of online quotations, combined with more efficient search engines, has effectively made the Internet the world's quotation storehouse, encompassing an unprecedented number of easily obtainable quotations. Though matters of accuracy still remain, features such as Amazon.com's Search Inside the Book and Google Book Search may serve to alleviate such concerns.

Copyright law

Section 30(1) of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (apparently in transposition of Article 5(3)(d) of the EU Copyright Directive on "quotations") allows "fair dealing" with a copyright work for the purpose of criticism or review, provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ See A Book of Misquotations, edited by Elizabeth Knowles, Oxford University Press, 2006.

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • quotation — index attribution, bid, charge (cost), citation (attribution), cost (price), estimate (approximate cos …   Law dictionary

  • Quotation — Quo*ta tion (kw[ o]*t[=a] sh[u^]n), n. [From {Quote}.] 1. The act of quoting or citing. [1913 Webster] 2. That which is quoted or cited; a part of a book or writing named, repeated, or adduced as evidence or illustration. Locke. [1913 Webster] 3 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • quotation — (n.) mid 15c., numbering, later (1530s) marginal notation, from M.L. quotationem (nom. quotatio), from quotare to number (see QUOTE (Cf. quote)). Meaning passage quoted is from 1680s. Quotation marks attested by 1777 …   Etymology dictionary

  • quotation — / quote [n1] repetition of something spoken or written by someone citation, citing, cutting, excerpt, extract, passage, quote, recitation, reference, saying, selection; concepts 274,278 quotation / quote [n2] financial estimate bid, bid price,… …   New thesaurus

  • quotation — ► NOUN 1) a passage or remark repeated by someone other than the originator. 2) the action of quoting. 3) a short musical passage or visual image taken from one piece of music or work of art and used in another. 4) a formal statement of the… …   English terms dictionary

  • quotation — [kwō tā′shən] n. [ML quotatio] 1. the act or practice of quoting 2. the words or passage quoted 3. Commerce a) the current quoted price of a stock, bond, commodity, etc. b) a document containing such a price or prices, usually an offer to sell… …   English World dictionary

  • Quotation — The bid and offered prices a dealer is willing to buy or sell at. The New York Times Financial Glossary * * * quotation quo‧ta‧tion [kwəʊˈteɪʆn ǁ kwoʊ ] noun [countable] 1. COMMERCE a written statement of how much something will cost, for… …   Financial and business terms

  • quotation — Often referred to as a quote. The actual, bid, or asked price of futures, options, or cash commodities at a certain time. The CENTER ONLINE Futures Glossary Highest bid and lowest offer (asked ) price currently available on a security or a… …   Financial and business terms

  • quotation — noun 1 words taken from a book, etc. ADJECTIVE ▪ famous, memorable ▪ direct, verbatim ▪ a direct quotation from a recent speech by the president ▪ illustrative …   Collocations dictionary

  • quotation */ — UK [kwəʊˈteɪʃ(ə)n] / US [kwoʊˈteɪʃ(ə)n] noun [countable] Word forms quotation : singular quotation plural quotations 1) words from a book, play, film etc that you mention when you are speaking or writing quotation from: a famous quotation from… …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.