Questions tagged [quotes]

Questions related to (semi-)famous quotations.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
81
votes
7answers
639k 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 philosophical, ...
58
votes
4answers
19k 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 ...
46
votes
4answers
11k views

How should I punctuate around quotes where the punctuation required by the quote interferes with the punctuation of the sentence?

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 ...
42
votes
5answers
127k 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 [...
40
votes
2answers
340k 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 ...
36
votes
7answers
92k views

“None of us is” vs “None of us are”, Which is Correct? [duplicate]

Background We have a motivational poster in our office that says: None of us is as smart as all of us. I think that it's grammatically incorrect, and here is my reasoning: All of the tigers have ...
33
votes
2answers
4k views

Meaning of “I have often seen Essex cheese quick enough”

John Heywood (c. 1497–1580) once wrote: I never saw Banbury cheese thick enough But I have often seen Essex cheese quick enough. 1 2 The first line alludes to how a Banbury cheese was very ...
25
votes
5answers
216k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
11k views

Exact meaning of the Gandalf quote, “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”?

What is the exact meaning of following quote (it belongs to Gandalf the Grey): He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom. I have a problem especially with ...
22
votes
2answers
12k views

What does Théoden’s quote “Oft evil will shall evil mar” in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings mean?

‘Yes, there can be no doubt,“ said Aragorn. ‘At last we know the link between Isengard and Mordor, and how it worked. Much is explained.’      ‘Strange powers have our enemies, and strange weaknesses!’...
20
votes
2answers
5k 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
19
votes
2answers
135k views

Origin of “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”?

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. - Confucius What is the origin, and evolution, of this popular quote? It has a nice air of pseudo-profundity to it; one problem ...
17
votes
10answers
21k views

Meaning of the Oscar Wilde quote about the “tragedy of old age”

What does this quote by Oscar Wilde actually mean? "The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young"
17
votes
10answers
13k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
20k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
25k views

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
votes
4answers
5k views

Perhaps a Hanlon's Razor, but what does it mean?

I've recently seen a quote saying "Any sufficiently advanced stupid is indistinguishable from genuine malice." I'd love to understand what does it mean.
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is “man” used where a plural might be appropriate, and not “men”?

There is a saying in Bioshock which goes like this: No Gods or Kings. Only Man. Why do they use the singular "man" and not the plural "men"? Ok, I know that man = mankind. The saying could go ...
13
votes
3answers
221k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
11k 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
votes
6answers
20k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
122k 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 the ...
12
votes
2answers
171k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
10k 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 magnificent........
11
votes
6answers
80k 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.
11
votes
3answers
50k 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 ...
10
votes
11answers
25k views

How do I interpret “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”?

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. - Salvor Hardin This sentence has always struck me as a bit off. I see two ways to interpret it: If violence is your last option, you are ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What does it mean to be “sixty-fortied”?

I came across this on an episode of Gilmore Girls (2.16 - There's the Rub), where Emily Gilmore says "I can't believe you let me get sixty-fortied!" (60-40d) I can't find much reference to this ...
10
votes
5answers
13k 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 because ...
9
votes
4answers
89k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
61k views

How to use quotes in a list with commas

This is a sentence that I wrote: In the text, words such as greenbacks, ironclads, and blockade were used. However, I think there should be quotations around the words. How would I place them? ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Did the phrase “final solution” for a form of genocide first appear with the Canadians?

Did the phrase "final solution" for a form of genocide first appear with the Canadians, or with the Nazis / Holocaust? The TVTropes "Final Solution" page explains the origins of the term: While ...
8
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
31k 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,” ...
7
votes
5answers
3k 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
863 views

What does “The faults of the burglar are the qualities of the financier” mean?

I initially thought this quote by Geroge Bernard Shaw had something to do with some traits being valued in some arenas, but discouraged in other arenas. E.g. aggression is probably valuable in war or ...
7
votes
3answers
191k views

Where does the period go in an MLA in-text citation?

I've always been confused when citing like: "The windows misted over from the heat and the smoke inside.” (Hemingway 1) Does the period go inside the quotes (as above)? Or after the citation (as ...
7
votes
7answers
34k views

Meaning and interpretation of Bilbo's “half as well” quote

In The Lord of The Rings, Bilbo says the following to his assembled guests at his eleventy first birthday party: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half ...
7
votes
4answers
2k 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 completely, ...
7
votes
5answers
19k 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
25k views

Are software titles italicized?

The titles of freestanding works (books, movies, plays, albums, etc.) are italicized; smaller parts within these works (chapters in a book, articles in a magazine, songs within an album) are not (they ...
7
votes
1answer
11k 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
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
votes
9answers
28k views

What does it mean by “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold”?

There's a famous Mario Puzo quote from The Godfather. Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold. How to interpret this sentence?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Who first said “We can predict everything, except the future”?

"We can predict everything, except the future" is a quotation that seems to appear everywhere on the Internet. Computerbob has it listed in their favorite quotations list; Anivari.org has it in their ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

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

Should I use “ or " in very formal English writing?
6
votes
1answer
947 views

Origin of the saying “God must love the poor because he made so many of them”

The saying "God must love the poor [or the common people or the plain people] because he made so many of them" falls somewhere between a proverb and a famous quotation, but its origins are rather ...
6
votes
3answers
49k views

Did not get William Shakespeare's quote - “A fool thinks himself to be…”

A very well known quote by William Shakespeare A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool. The first half is okay - a fool thinks himself to be wise (he's in that ...
6
votes
5answers
30k 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 into ...

1
2 3 4 5
8