Questions related to (semi-)famous quotations.

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32
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6answers
162k views

What does the phrase “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish” mean?

It was Steve Jobs's ending comment in the Stanford Commencement in 2005, and Jobs mentioned: Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. What does this phrase mean? I understand this may also seem ...
31
votes
2answers
5k views

When should end punctuation go inside quotes?

I have been/am being taught that end punctuation should always go inside quotes. For example, you are supposed to write: Marvin thought it was "awful." The problem is I do not see how does this ...
24
votes
4answers
7k views

How correct is “quote, unquote” and where does its usage come from?

In the following quote, it seems (to me at least) quite difficult to figure out what exactly is being quote: “The best cure—quote, unquote—for aging is slowing disease,” Daniel Kraft, the chair of ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

How should I punctuate around quotes?

The American convention in quotations is (typically) to place punctuation inside quoted text. But I always run into situations where the punctuation of the quote interferes with the punctuation of the ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Meaning of “Mr Right's first name is Always”

What does this quote mean? When I eventually met Mr. Right I had no idea that his first name was Always. — Rita Rudner
17
votes
10answers
4k views

“Do you want to live forever?”

There's a famous story about a Marine sergeant at the Battle of Belleau Wood shouting "Come on, you apes. Do you want to live forever?" It's been attributed to several people; a character in ...
15
votes
5answers
34k views

What is the best way to punctuate a list of questions in a declarative sentence?

In my report a need to write a list of example questions that someone might ask, but I would like to do it in a sentence rather than a separate list. Here is an example: This poses questions such ...
14
votes
2answers
55k views

What is the proper use of [square brackets] in quotes?

I sometimes see square brackets used while quoting. My assumption is that they are replacing a pronoun with what the object of the pronoun, but I never know for sure because I don't usually get to ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What does Theoden's quote in The Two Towers 'oft evil will shall evil mar' mean?

The formulation of this phrase seems odd and I can't pick the full meaning out of it. He says it after Wormtongue has thrown the Palantir out of Orthanc, which seems to be a great example of evil ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How much punctuation is appropriate when ending a sentence with a full-sentence quotation?

When you end a sentence with a quotation that is itself a full sentence, do you use the quotation's punctuation? The containing sentence's? Both? Something else? I think this might be best ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

How are “yes” and “no” formatted in sentences?

If I am expecting an answer from a question and wish to state my prediction, do I need to use quotes around a simple "yes" or "no"? I think the answer is no. / I think the answer is "no." ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Some Chicken, Some Neck, what did Churchill mean?

I've been thinking about the following quote from Churchill "The contribution of Canada to the Imperial war effort in troops, in ships, in aircraft, in food, and in finance has been ...
10
votes
1answer
7k views

Where does this translation of Saint-Exupery's quote on design come from? [closed]

A very well-known aphorism from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n'y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n'y a plus rien à retrancher. (Terre ...
9
votes
3answers
33k views

If I quote only the middle part of a sentence, do I use ellipses?

For example, if Peter is my source, should I say: Peter mentioned his '... unquenchable thirst, a fatigued body...' as being part of the reason for his actions. Or would I have to leave out the ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

How to deal with quoting a grammatical error?

What should you do if you’re quoting someone, and that quote has a grammatical error? Say for example that I’m quoting this line from the American Pregnancy Association: The term used for a ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Is “It is you who are mistaken!” correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What rules make “Remember me, who am your friend” grammatical? This is a line spoken by the Emperor to Luke in Star Wars. I always wondered if this is grammatically ...
7
votes
5answers
989 views

Meaning of “that friendship will not continue to the end which is begun for an end”

Can someone explain the meaning of this quotation? That friendship will not continue to the end which is begun for an end.
7
votes
2answers
368 views

What is the best way to track down the origin and grammar of this quote?

The best way to know a man is to walk a thousand miles in his shoes. That way, he's a thousand miles away and has no shoes. I'm willing to bet it's a Jack Handey quote, as it's rather in that ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense

I'm trying to translate this famous quote from Churchill Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and ...
6
votes
6answers
21k views

Is it “end quote” or “unquote”?

When reading something that has a quote in the middle of it, is it proper to say "end quote" or "unquote" to signal the end of the quote? I've heard both ways.
6
votes
2answers
379 views

Should I replace “me” and “I” with “he” or “she” when quoting?

If I quote someone saying "me" or "I", when I quote them should I replace them with "he" or "she"? For example, if someone says: I went to the movies. Should I quote that like this: He/she ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What does this quote/excerpt mean?

I read the following lines somewhere on the Web: If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will suffer defeat. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need ...
6
votes
5answers
18k views

How to add contextualizing text to a quotation?

How do you add text which provides context to a quote? For example, consider if I were to quote someone as having said: This is unacceptable! Were that the whole quote, can I add any text to ...
6
votes
4answers
34k views

What does “The Quality of Mercy is not Strained” mean?

I think I know what Shakespeare meant for Portia to be saying when he wrote this dialog between Shylock and Portia, and I found a decent discussion on the web here. What I want to know is, what do ...
6
votes
3answers
880 views

Straight quotes vs. curly quotes in formal writing [closed]

Should I use “ or " in very formal English writing?
6
votes
3answers
718 views

Meaning of “The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you, / But that is much”

What did the poet mean by the following lines? The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you, But that is much. — Edna St. Vincent Millay I am not able to understand the meaning ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “God sends meat and devil sends cooks” mean?

What does the quote God sends meat and devil sends cooks by Thomas Deloney mean? And if it doesn't have a specific meaning, in which situation can I use it?
6
votes
5answers
3k views

“When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead”

In "How I met your mother" TV series, there is a character Barney Stinson, who is the author of this semi-popular quote: When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. [sic!] Obviously, ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Using Multiple Sics in One Quote

If a quote is rife with errors, can a single [sic] be used at the end of the quote rather than after each error? She wrote, "Your [sic] making me weigh [sic] to [sic] sleepy." She wrote, "Your ...
6
votes
2answers
63k views

Origin of “do not argue with idiots” [closed]

What is the origin of the phrase “do not argue with idiots”? Please cite some credible references. From googling around, I found these three variations. One came from the Bible but I couldn’t find ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

Jackson = $$son: pun or topical reference

Alfred Bester's short story The Demolished Man (the original version serialized in Galaxy magazine in 1952, not the novel published in 1963) may have been the first instance of SMS-speak, featuring ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the meaning of 'sorry lot' in Albert Einstein's quote?

I just came across this quote by Albert Einstein when I was leafing through the book 'Super Cooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other To Succeed': If people are good only ...
5
votes
3answers
401 views

The meaning of “People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”

I am having a hard time understanding the following Logan Pearsall Smith quote: People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading. Googling didn't help much other than whose quote it is. ...
5
votes
1answer
388 views

Is it acceptable to use 'that' followed by a direct quote?

New York Times: Even before President Obama declared this month that “I have Israel’s back” in its escalating confrontation with Iran, pro-Israel figures like the evangelical Christian leader ...
5
votes
1answer
144 views

Good expressions to signify extensive analysis

I am looking for a way to communicate in a business context that I am carrying out extensive analysis to get to the bottom of something by synthesizing info and insights from various sources to come ...
4
votes
2answers
790 views

“If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.”

What does the following Jack Lemmon quote mean: If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball. I guess picking up the wrong golf ball must be an idiom but I ...
4
votes
1answer
219 views

He who accuses the whole world convicts only himself

Or something like that. Does anybody know the exact text and source of this quotation?
4
votes
2answers
170 views

Attribution: Quoting a Fictional Character

Famously: "Try not. Do or do not. There is no try." -- Yoda Thing is, this is from a movie. A writer wrote it and a voice actor spoke it. Is there a correct form of attribution for a ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Use quotation marks or italics for written quotes?

In narrative writing, should I use quotation marks or italics when I quote something someone wrote? I would go with italics to differentiate written from spoken quotes: “I know who the killer ...
4
votes
1answer
572 views

Punctuation within quotes

When I was at school I was told that a quote should end with a comma. For example: "The car is on the road," said Tom. "No it isn't," replied Dick. "He's right — it's over there!" said Harry. ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How are embedded quotations used?

How would embedded quotations be used when quoting from passages/sources within an essay? What would be the difference between normal quotations and embedded quotations?
3
votes
4answers
947 views

Meaning of “owedst”

...Not poppy, nor mandragora, Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world, Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep Which thou owedst yesterday. — Shakespeare, Othello III.iii I ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Usage of [sic] in quote

If a quote contains a capitalization error, should [sic] be used? For example, in the following: “But, alas! this kind heart had but a short time to remain such", the t in this would normally be ...
3
votes
3answers
638 views

Can someone help me understand this quote about love?

Ah! a blessing beyond all fate; My sole mate 'tis my soul mate. I didn't get this quote. Let me know its meaning please.
3
votes
3answers
7k views

“Punctuality is the politeness of kings.”

Can someone please explain the meaning of: Punctuality is the politeness of kings.
3
votes
3answers
202 views

Is the verb “hustle” used mostly positively or negatively these days?

I am confused about the uses of the word hustle. According to the dictionary, to hustle means a lot of negative things, like: force (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

What do “a sort of moral attention” and “riotous excursions” mean in this quote from the Great Gatsby?

“When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “We don't see things as they are – we see them as we are” mean?

Can someone please explain the meaning of the quotation "We don't see things as they are – we see them as we are."?
3
votes
2answers
151 views

How should blockquoted quotations be formatted?

If I quote someone in a context where a blockquote is appropriate and there isn't lead-in prose which identifies the source, how should it be typeset? I'm quoting a saying or remark, as would be done ...
3
votes
2answers
412 views

Is this quote about music correct?

There's a (famous according to Google) quote by the German-Jewish poet Berthold Auerbach: Music is a universal language, and needs not be translated. With it soul speaks to soul. Is the quote ...