Questions tagged [quotations]

Questions about quotations, a group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated by someone other than the original author or speaker.

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591
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20answers
47k views

How do you quote a passage that has used '[sic]' mistakenly?

The usage of '[sic]' is well defined for quoting a passage that you believe has an error in it: nearest to the mistake you place '[sic]' within the quotes. For example, suppose I write a letter from I ...
92
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4answers
220k views

Why does the multi-paragraph quotation rule exist?

The answer to this question clearly explains the standard rule that when you have multiple quoted paragraphs, each new paragraph starts with an opening quotation mark, but only the final quoted ...
79
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10answers
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Appropriate dash to use when attributing a quotation?

If I’m citing a poem or quotation, what kind of dash precedes the author’s name? For example: This Business of Printing; which I am heartily tired of, and repent I e’er attempted....  —John ...
23
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4answers
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Should I fix typos/grammatical errors in quotation?

When writing papers, I meet typos/grammatical errors in quotations now and then. Should I correct them, or leave them as they are?
22
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2answers
11k views

Any reference on the usage of a backtick and single quotation mark like `this'?

Why do I sometimes see a backtick with a single quote `like this'? What's the name of this usage? What are some good references so I can find more information by myself?
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5answers
13k views

How to punctuate a quoted question within a question?

How would I punctuate the bold portion? "Who are you?" she asked. "Wait," I replied, "did you just ask me Who are you?" I would use the following: "Wait," I replied, "did you just ask me, '...
16
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4answers
4k views

Do I need to write [sic] when including a quotation with a number less than 10 that isn't written out?

I know you have to write out numbers less than 10. However, if you're quoting a source that doesn't do so, do you need to write [sic] after each number less than 10 that isn't written out? For ...
16
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4answers
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What is the best way to mention a word: italics, quotes, or single-quotes (apostrophes)?

If I want to mention the word "furlong", for example, should I use furlong, "furlong", or 'furlong'? Also, am I correct in putting the punctuation outside the quotes?
15
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6answers
24k views

If you're using a quote with a period but do not want to end the sentence, do you keep the period?

For example. If I want to quote a passage from a writing, that says The cake is not a lie. and my sentence is: The book by author states that "The cake is not a lie." however studies show that ...
14
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2answers
3k views

The usage of “sic” in writing

I have seen many articles that use quotes from players like: We gonna [sic] be working hard over the summer cause we gotta [sic] get better. What is sic? Where does it come from?
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4answers
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Quotation ascribed to Benjamin Franklin, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

There is a cottage industry in the United States of manufacturing quotations and ascribing them to the American Founding Fathers. A recent one, "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to ...
13
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4answers
82k views

How would you properly show deletion of unnecessary text in a quote?

I assumed you would use dots to show left-out unnecessary text in a quote, such as in The definition of used oil is "oil ... that is xyz". The deleted portion is non-useful text that would confuse ...
13
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3answers
11k views

Quoting a question at the end of a sentence which is itself a question

If my sentence is a question and ends with a quote of a question, where exactly do I put a question mark? Did she ask, "Is it raining"? Did she ask, "Is it raining?"? Did she ask, "Is it ...
13
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4answers
4k views

Capitalizing quotations with initial omission?

Let's say we wanted to omit the first four words of the following quotation. "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt Generally ...
13
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4answers
40k views

How are bracket ellipsis […] used in quotations?

I see this type of syntax often, but I do not know how, when or where they should be used. "It is the case that [...] the inconvenience is altogether imaginary." Is it okay to use if I need to ...
13
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2answers
9k views

Whence “emphasis mine”?

Writers often highlight part of a quotation to emphasize the point they're making. They use a variety of phrases to indicate that the emphasis did not appear in the original text. In order of current ...
12
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3answers
9k views

What is it called when you change a well known quote to suit your subject? [duplicate]

For example, for the original quote we shall use, "One swallow does not a summer make". If someone were to say "One good quote does not a philosopher make" (No dig at Aristotle intended...), or "A ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Changing a quotation so that the original is recognised, but has been given a new meaning

I didn't know how to phrase my title to make it meaningful to anyone, and I can't really explain it now, so I shall use an example: The opening phrase on the DSGB website is "It's counting, Jim, but ...
11
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7answers
24k views

What does “There but for the grace of God — goes God.” mean?

It is a supposedly witty paraprosdokian said by Churchill. But I (and possibly some other people whose first language is not English) don't get it. Can someone explain what it means? Do English native ...
11
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3answers
7k views

When was the first print usage of “Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.”

Henry Ford may have said received credit for this quote. He even had it carved into his mantelpiece in Dearborn Mich but I am not sure if he originated it or borrowed it from somewhere else. Any help ...
11
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3answers
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What does ‘It’s one thing to dance like Fred Astaire, but Ginger Rogers did it backwards’ mean as a metaphor to John Roberts' ruling?

There was the following sentence in June 29 issue of Time magazine titled “Roberts Rules: What the health care decision means for the country” dealing with Chief Justice of Supreme Court, John Roberts’...
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4answers
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What is the origin of the phrase “History teaches, never trust a Cecil”?

I've come across the phrase "History teaches, never trust a Cecil!" in different places (among others, in the Netflix series "The Crown" with regards to Lord Salisbury). While the sentiment is easy ...
10
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2answers
427 views

Is there a term that means “oft-used misquotation”?

There are some quotations that people always seem to get wrong: Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well. [Real quote from Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio."] I have nothing to offer ...
9
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4answers
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Meaning of: “No man is an island, entire of itself”

No man is an Island, entire of itself From an excerpt by Francis Bacon (1561-1626). What does the line mean? Does it count as a proverb?
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5answers
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Break quotation in the middle of a sentence with a complete sentence

An announcer is saying, "Please welcome our very own John Smith!" The announcer pauses after "welcome." I'm trying to write it like this: "Please welcome," He pauses for effect. "our very own John ...
8
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2answers
26k 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 is,” ...
8
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2answers
8k views

Comma placement when using quotes that end with a question mark [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I punctuate around quotes? I've been writing a letter to an editor, and one line of my response reads: In your article "What Makes Free Will Free?" you mention......
8
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2answers
298 views

Pluralize quote ending in punctuation [duplicate]

I (think I) know how to pluralize an indirect quote, e.g., Their survey answers were limited to yeses and nos. But how do I pluralize a direct quote ending in a punctuation mark? Am I even allowed ...
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5answers
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Does quoting in British or American English depend on the quoted or the audience?

If you are quoting/documenting the conversation between two people — one is British and one American — do you use a consistent approach directed towards your intended audience or switch to ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Should a period be placed within quotation marks if it would conflict with a punctuated item that should be used or typed verbatim?

Gee whiz! Just when I thought I had the "period within quotation marks" rules set firmly in my personal punctuational code, I hit upon this sentence: All message IDs are pre-pended with the value “...
7
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4answers
9k views

Where should the period be put when an entire sentence is quoted at the end of a sentence?

As in the following: A common proverb is: “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” A common proverb is: “A rolling stone gathers no moss”. A common proverb is: “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”. ...
6
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2answers
2k 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
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3answers
13k views

What does Albert Einstein’s epigram, “Many of the things you can count, don't count. …” mean?

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics were given to American physicists, Dr. Saul Perlmutter and two other American physicists for “the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through ...
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3answers
3k views

“[…] up with which I will not put.”

Okay, I'm probably being a bit slow here, but I don't quite understand this story: Supposedly an editor had clumsily rearranged one of Churchill’s sentences to avoid ending it in a preposition, and ...
6
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4answers
6k views

Idiom for opportunistically exploiting a situation to one's advantage

I was wondering what various figures of speech could be used to describe a situation where somebody exploits a situation in order to push their own agenda. For example in Persian we have 'Catching a ...
6
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1answer
512 views

Punctuating a Question Ending with an Exclamatory Quotation in American Style

I've done quite a bit of looking for some definitive advice on this scenario to no avail, so I turn to you. What is the proper way to punctuate a question ending with an exclamatory quotation, such as ...
6
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1answer
768 views

Changing person and tense in a quote

I'm reading Cranford (1853) by Elizabeth Gaskell, and encountered the following passage: "Have you seen any numbers of Pickwick Papers?" said [Captain Brown]. (They were then publishing in parts.) ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Quote unquote (or end-quote), unseparated by the actual quotation

In spoken English, people often say "quote-unquote" (or "quote-endquote") to indicate that part of what they are saying is a quotation (scare or otherwise). Sometimes the quoted material will go ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Weird situation - using quotes as nouns and making them plural (APA format)

I'm in a strange situation where I need to take two short phrases and make them into plural nouns. Here's the context: His was the destabilizing blow in a long bombardment of Why Latin?’s and ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What's the message of this Yogi Berra quote?

There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em. - Yogi Berra Does it mean you don't know how good or bad some people are unless you get too close to them? (i.e., you can't ...
5
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2answers
8k views

Quotations that skip paragraphs

This is a problem that has long troubled me. Imagine that I have a block of prose organized in three paragraphs. I want to construct a single quotation that contains only the first and third ...
5
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3answers
1k views

What can I do instead of [sic]?

I have a quote that has a misplaced "to": ... they will put you to back to sleep ... It seems like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can either: Just delete the mistaken "to" (then I ...
5
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1answer
134 views

I need help with quotations and punctuation [duplicate]

How do I punctuate when using quotes? “There were more?” Asked Wendy. or; "There were more," asked Wendy? "He was amazing!" Exclaimed Billy. or; "He was amazing," exclaimed Billy!
5
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1answer
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What does wishbone mean in this Robert Frost quote?

What does the word wishbone mean in the following Robert Frost quotation? Also what is the message conveyed by the quote? Thanks! "A person will sometimes devote all his life to the development of ...
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3answers
1k views

Should one stick to American style of placing punctuation marks within quotes if one uses the American spelling?

According to Wikipedia, there are two ways to use punctation marks when it comes to quoting. Basically, we have the British style, where punctation marks that don't come from the quoted material "is ...
5
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3answers
61k views

How do I quote nonconsecutive lines from a poem?

I'm writing an analysis of a poem and want to quote nonconsecutive lines. Is there a specific way to do this, or would I just use an ellipsis and no slash?
5
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1answer
7k views

Is there a difference between Quotes and Italics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the best way to mention a word: italics, quotes, or single-quotes (apostrophes)? Would it make a difference whether I put a word in quotes or in italics? Is this... -...
5
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1answer
2k views

“He said, X” vs. “X, he said” vs. “X, said he”

I’ve long wondered how in reported speech, what sort of change in nuance is produced by switching around the normal order of the subject (that is, the speaker) and the “speech-related” verb (such as ...
5
votes
1answer
817 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 ...
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3answers
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Rules for three sets of quotation marks [duplicate]

What rules are there for when you have three sets of quotation marks? “I saw that Julia was really annoyed when Mike answered, “‘Blade Runner,’”” John said. (‘Blade Runner’ in singles. Mike answered ...