Quote Noding FAQ

Q: What's a quote writeup?

A: Exactly what it sounds like - a writeup containing quotations coined by the famous figure indicated in the node's title. These have been, in the past, anywhere from single-sentence, unattributed quotations, to entire historical events which revolved around and were defined by a quote.

Q: What do you think of the importance of such writeups?

"I think the 'quotes' node is a decent idea if it's done properly... if a new 'quotes' node is created it would have to be a substantial list, organized chronological or with context etc.."
- dem bones
A: There is nothing inherently wrong with a quotation in a writeup. A well-ordered, comprehensive, organized collection of intelligent quotes can, in fact, be very helpful to anyone, for purposes anywhere from research to simply winning friends and influencing people.

Q: So, like...what's the problem with quote writeups?

"I hate them."
- Rancid_Pickle
A: Ah yes, the problem. Really, it's more than one problem.

First, we have the issue of originality: in its purest, simplest form, a quote writeup is no more original than a cut and paste biography, on which, as you may have noticed, we have declared a literary fatwa. So we attempt to amend this, and in drops our second big problem:


We've decided that a single quotation is rarely, if ever, enough to constitute a worthwhile writeup. Yet, on the other end of the spectrum, precious and few are the noders who enjoy loading, much less reading, a 50K writeup populated entirely by quotations.

Now, I bet I know what your next quest-

Q: So...how am I supposed to title these things, anyway?

"Personally, I think relevant quotes should go into the node of the person who said them (Bill Clinton), but that would result in many single line additions. That being the case, I think that namespacing is appropriate. Bill Clinton - Quotes or, Quotes - Bill Clinton (my personal preference)."
- ophie
A: Hmm. This is a popular question, and quite controversial issue in the wide world of noding. Often, many single-quotation writeups are found within the node named as the 'source' (author, speaker, "coin"-er, etc.) of the quote, followed ' - Quotes'. While this is an excellent way to denote to the reader that they have, in fact, found a node containing nothing but quotes; many members of the administration believe that such information, worthy or not, belongs under the node about the 'source'. But that's not all. A third, equally valid school of thought comes into play, when we examine famous quotes penned by not-so-famous figures.
"...should you use the quote text as a node title or not? I think it depends on whether the quote is well known in itself, or gets its fame from the speaker. e.g. ... The first casualty when war comes is the truth...no one has heard of the good Senator; it's the text that is famous"
- evilrooster
So really, there is no 'right' answer when it comes to titling. But we are running a database of, realistically speaking, limited size. This forces us, as the management, to lay down some guidelines, and make up some 'right' answers. Some quotes belong in biographies. Some quotes belong on their own. Among the management, however, proper titling for a quotes-only node is Author - Quotes.

Q: I think I'm catching on. But back to size: are there any minimum requirements as to the number of quotes per writeup?

A: Once again, a touchy subject. Single quotations, along with context and date, have proven to be stand-alone writeups. But more often than not, this is not the case. If you plan to only be noding quotes (within a writeup), we here at everything2.com would seriously recommend you have a decent, yet not overwhelming, number.

Q: OK. Number, titling, size. Got it. So, before I head out there, into a viscous sea of quote nodes, is there anything else I oughta know?

A: You couldn't have phrased that better. Of course there is. In fact, there are several miscellaneous points:
  • Always, always check the state of the nodegel before you add a quote. There are many quote nodes left out there, floating around unnoticed. You want to node a quotation by the Marquis de Sade on pain? Do a near-miss search with all the words 'Marquis de Sade', 'pain', and 'quotes'. Not found? Check the Marquis de Sade node. Check the pain node. Still not found? The nodegel is giving...
  • You know the quote by heart? Not good enough. Check your sources, check a Bartlett's, if the quote is old enough. Check the internet. Never ever node a quote by memory, especially if it was originally penned in another language. There's nothing worse than being unoriginal and wrong.
  • "When? Where? Why?" -- I can't stress this enough. Context, chronology, and relevance are the only reasonable excuses for letting such writeups live on the database.
A few common mistakes to avoid:
  • The quote is already noded, but incorrectly? /msg the author. If you node a correction, [your correction] will be nuked.
  • Please oh please, if you really want to node a quote from a movie / television show / book, I BEG OF YOU, make it worth our time. Instead of making a writeup consisting of a quotation, the speaker's name, and the medium from whence it came, add it to your own comprehensive writeup about the ENTIRE PIECE of ARTISTIC GENIUS.
Node well, O user.

Submitted by jaubertmoniker

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