When to quote, who to quote, how to quote

When to quote, who to quote, how to quote

This is a discussion on When to quote, who to quote, how to quote within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I was reading a post recently and a gentleman used a quote from a historical figure in recent US history. The qoute was accurate and ...

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Thread: When to quote, who to quote, how to quote

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    When to quote, who to quote, how to quote

    I was reading a post recently and a gentleman used a quote from a historical figure in recent US history. The qoute was accurate and sounded like it fit in with the view of the poster. Problem was the qoute was part of a larger speech that the poster most likely would not have agreed with.

    The point is that if someone quotes a "historical" or well known person then should that quote be reflective of the man instead of a snippet of a speach that had a cool qoute that supports a single argument?

    Take this quote for example:
    The art of leadership... consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention.
    Sounds like an intrigueing quote. Something that Patton or Sun Tzu would say. And if their name was at the end of the qoute more people would use it. But this qoute was atrributed to Hitler and the rest of it is not something folks woould agree with.

    Guess what I am saying is if you quote someone it should be in context of the man and his views and at least the speach or document it came from. If not it is like listening to a politician qoute a rival politician....you get a snippet of a speach which is taken out of context and does not accurately reflect the views of the politician.

    Why did I post this? Because when I saw the quote I realized it was not in context and was going to reply to it. But since I am trying to be on my best behaviour I did not want to start a debate on the subject and hijack the thread which would have been wrong.

    BTW: I do not mean quotes folks use for sig lines...those are personal statements and are used to convey their personality and views to others.
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    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Being a grammar nazi myself, I try to attribute all the quotes I use.. I also try to point out quotes used out of context by others (on occasion). Especially those attributed to the founders or to founding era folks... that really aren't quotes at all...

    But I also try not to interfere with someone's post... and hijack the thread. At least not too much.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Yup.

    When quoting "historical" folks, I'm a bit of a word nazi myself. Attribution, always.

    When quoting earlier comments in discussion threads, nearly always it's the direct quote linking back to the poster's comment, possibly chopping out the elements that don't alter context but allow focus on what I'm specifically replying to. If it's going to alter the meaning and/or context enough to matter, I try very hard to simply leave the quote intact but bold the portion I'm replying to.

    I hate getting it wrong, as most folks do. Generally, I try hard to appreciate the nature of the quoted text and related context, to the point of knowing how it applies to the current discussion (of course), but also the underlying implications, position of the "speaker," and so on. SunTzu, like you I try to steer clear of quotes that'll just toss gas on a fire (ie, a juicy little "sound byte" that happened to be something Hitler said).
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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Yup.

    When quoting "historical" folks, I'm a bit of a word nazi myself.
    When it comes to history, Hitler was a bit of a nazi, too!

    Oh gosh, I'm just...I'm just too good!
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    Senior Member Array GeorgiaDawg's Avatar
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    I like to use quotes and I'm normally pretty good at looking up the context before using one, but if I happen to use one out of context, I'd love for someone to let me know so I can smack my head a few times and learn from it
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    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    Yep, using things in the proper context is just basic English 101, but I don't necessarily agree with your [OP] example. Quoting in or out of context all depends on what the quote being used was originally intended to mean, and what your current argument is arguing for. For example, if I was writing a paper on effective military leadership, using the quote you just used would be perfectly valid because both Hitler and I were talking about the same thing, despite the fact that Hitler was an evil man and the speech in it's entirety was evil. Just because someone was a bad person or their views are different doesn't mean that they weren't smart or didn't have valid points that are worth quoting.

    Taking a snippet of someones words so that it twists what they were ORIGINALLY trying to say is wrong, and that is a classic example of quoting out of context. An example of that would be..."I think eating ice cream in moderation and in conjunction with diet and exercise is a perfectly healthy practice". Now, let's see how we could take this out of context. IAm_Not_Lost says that "[...]eating ice cream [...] is a perfectly healthy practice". That would be taking a quote out of the context in which it was originally intended.
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    Senior Member Array sigs's Avatar
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    The most misquoted, taken out context written word is the Holy Bible. Too many instances to start listing here but an easy one is, "God helps those who help themselves."
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    "You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy."
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    Distinguished Member Array onacoma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    Why did I post this? Because when I saw the quote I realized it was not in context and was going to reply to it. But since I am trying to be on my best behaviour I did not want to start a debate on the subject and hijack the thread which would have been wrong.
    Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning. - Erwin Rommel

    As Tzu stated "All war is based on deception." While many of the forum post or threads are informative or thought provoking, most of the replys are battles of wits, i.e., the many caliber wars, etc. Not to mention the CCW badges or the profound discussion on the acronym LEO! These so call sound bites are a modern pen and quill, we not longer have the Oracles of debate who pened the Federalist Papers or the Anit-Federalist Papers nor do we have the due diligence to research the numberous miss guilded internet babblings that do not contain a thread of truth!

    To try to change the mind set of the masses, to include myself, is liken to Albert's definition of Insanity - doing the same thing and expect a different result! Pick your battle wisely and "Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate."

    Bovine Manusha!
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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, taking things out of context seems to be the new sport and an acceptable way to get ahead.

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Just frustrating when you see a quote and you start scratching your head saying "that isn't what Churchill, or Kennedy, or whomever" meant! Read the whole speach or document!!!!

    It is like having someone in the Brady Bunch find a quote from Mr. LaPierre and the snippet makes it sound like he favors xyz when in reality he does not and they use it for their own propaganda...."Look! even the NRA opposes xyz!!!! He said it right here"
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    If a man says something that is true does the character of the man somehow make it less true?

    Michael

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    If a man says something that is true does the character of the man somehow make it less true?

    Michael
    NO... But taken out of context, it can appear to be a truth that was never intended.
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    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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    Senior Member Array RKflorida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigs View Post
    The most misquoted, taken out context written word is the Holy Bible. Too many instances to start listing here but an easy one is, "God helps those who help themselves."
    That's not out of context, it is a fabrication. A classic example of the Bible being taken out of context is, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." The sinners all know this one, but the context applies to hypocrisy.
    GeorgiaDawg and WHEC724 like this.

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