User talk:Before My Ken/Archive

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Hi Before My Ken/Archive. Welcome to English Wikiquote.

Enjoy! —LrdChaos 17:27, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Name change[edit]

As the name change you requested already had occured at Wikipedia, I simply changed it here. Often a confirmation notice of the request on WIkipedia would be requested to prevent impersonations of users, but that didn't seem necessary in this case. ~ Kalki 07:58, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Kurt Vonnegut[edit]

Ed, thanks for your recent work with this page, but I have one issue for you. Often when there is a sufficient number of quotes for a single literary work, a separate page is created (with a link to the new page left on the author's page) so that the author's page does not get too large. I noticed that you recently collapsed Vonnegut's works back onto the author page, which is quite large. I actually think it was better to have a separate Cat's Cradle page, for example, rather than having the quotes remain on Vonnegut's page. I don't want to cause a lot of work for you, but this is fairly common practice to split out major works (I did it with Charles Dickens). What do you think? ~ UDScott 19:03, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, I certainly wondered about that. Is there a set point where it's advisable to spin off material into a separate page, or is it generally done by ear on a case by case basis? On the Vonnegut page, for instance, I merged the "Kevorkian" page into it a couple of days ago, but it still seems somewhat limited in size to have its own page. About "Cat's Cradle" I think you're probably right, it's large enough and it's overwhelming the page. I'll spin it back off again, adding in the quotes from the Vonnegut page. I want to make sure that there's a clear link to it on Vonnegut, though. Ed Fitzgerald 19:11, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there is any hard and fast rule - definitely on a case by case basis. I usually just create a new page for the work if it appears that there are enough quotes to stand on its own. You can look at Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare for examples on how to be sure to show the links to the new pages. In this case, I would recommend that Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, and maybe even Timequake get their own pages. ~ UDScott 19:17, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Bolding vs Blanding[edit]

One can admire activity and ambition, but you have recently done rapid and extensive revision on several pages relating to works and quotes of Robert A. Heinlein and Kurt Vonnegut that had stood in much of their previous state for quite some time, sometimes for years. I will here address some of the comments you have made in the process of doing this.

Though it might not be your general inclination in life, the language you have used in expressing some of your particular points of view on the issue of bolding is somewhat absolutist and authoritarian, i.e: "It's really not a good practice to bold only certain parts of a quote." You argue that "When you bold something, you are usurping the writer's perogative to emphasize what he or she wants to have emphasized" — but as you seem to be aware, I have long argued that this is often the case in the act of quotation itself, as I illustrate even in the act of quoting you here. If one is compiling and presenting quotations one finds notable, for the benefit of others seeking to find some of the essentials of what various people have said, I do not agree that the process of selection alone is "really as far as it should go" and that all quotes should be presented on the pages only in a monotonous and totally uniform style, which you indicate at one point might even extend to the exclusion of the use of images. This would limit us to the creation of pages which I believe would greatly lacking in both visual and more general mental interest and appeal.

You state that "When people in argumentation add emphasis to an existing quote, they're usually careful to note this in some way -- such as writing "emphasis added" at the end -- because it alerts the reader to the fact that the quoters POV is being asserted. In this clean-up I've endeavored to remove all bolding." I definitely agree that people should be alert to the absolute truth that some POV is being asserted or indicated in any sensible act of quotation, and I believe that the use of bolding to some extent can graphically remind people of this, and that though ideally there might be a fair and perhaps even an NPOV balancing that occurs on many articles, and comments should always aim at a NPOV, here at Wikiquote we do not and cannot have quite the same criteria as Wikipedia project in the creation and editing of articles.

As I have indicated many times in the past I strongly believe that the option of further emphasis of such quotations and statements as people find notable should remain here, and not swept away by any absolutist imposition of any form of bland uniformity. When the Wikiquote project was much smaller and the Wikimedia Commons did not exist, I actually did discourage the use of images for several reasons that have diminished or disappeared, but I have encouraged the use of bolding from the earliest months in 2003, partly because it is not commonly used in original works, as italics often are, and could become readily recognized as emphasis of the editors, and only very rarely of the original documents.

If there were to be any policy seeking to exclude the use of bolding for emphaisis in any situation at all, I could recommend only a guideline or rule that in the theme articles we should avoid or exclude its use, so as to eliminate interminable arguments arising because of whose quotes might or might not get bolded, and I have personally come to avoid the use of bolding on such pages for precisely this reason. On the pages for individual authors or individual works, I believe that those most involved and interested in the pages should gradually sort out among themselves what seems most worthy of any additional emphasis, but the use of bolding should not simply be excluded as an option.

On Wikisource where entire documents are gathered, I have always thought that there should not be any added emphasis, and have never added it there, nor would I even approve its use there, but here where their is an innate and entirely inescapable "POV" process of selection of which phrases and expressions are included on the pages, I believe that there should always remain the further option of greater or lesser emphasis on more or less notable statements, especially on large pages where very famous or notable statements would otherwise become buried and obscured amidst the mass of others. Here in many cases original spelling and typographical elements of the published documents, and any variants that commonly occur should be in some way indicated or retained, but the stance that there should absolutely be no additional emphasis permitted at all is one that I have always vigorously rejected, and continue to reject.

On the extensive break-up of author's pages: though I recognize a need to create separate pages for major or extensively quoted works of some authors, most people if searching for a quote will not know what work a quote is from, so I tend to prefer a unitary page so much as possible, and think it a good idea to include at least a couple samplings of the most famous or notable quotes from individual works on an authors page, and not only on the separate "works" pages. The Heinlein page especially has been pretty much gutted of many of his most famous and notable statements.

In using images I have generally tried to find those that evoke or match the theme or subject of certain qoutations, but I am aware that the relevance of images will not always be entirely obvious. In the placing of images, other than those which head a page, I have generally tried to put the image as close as possible to the region or section of a page in which the quote occurs as an aid to finding it and other related comments; but I am aware that various browsers and screen sizes will result in different configurations of images on a page than those I might intend.

Since I was very young, I have always loved browsing and studying quotation collections as well as major literary works but I have also found that images and various forms of emphasis have usually been assets to sustaining interest and minimizing such mental fatigue as uniform text presentations can inflict.

There are a few relatively minor issues that I note in some of your edits, and I would like to point out that It has become a fairly standard convention on most of the WIkimedia wikis to always italicize the titles of books, films, or music albums, and a somewhat less universal standard to put quote marks around the titles of essays, stories, and sometimes chapter titles, and that if links are made on a page these formats should be employed. You also removed some italicization from verse passages in The Fellowship of the Ring that were italicized in the original book, at least as published in the editions that I have.

I certainly do recognize the need for some degree of standardization of many things, but remain an advocate of very minimal constraints on the expansion of stylistic expression, and of the minimal use of absolute rules in all things. It should never become a "thought-crime" for people to differ in their opinions and their interpretations of many statements and circumstances, nor should there be blanket prohibitions on people from boldly and honestly indicating that thought has actually been engaged in, and that thought should be engaged in when selecting quotes, in presenting them, and in reading them. ~ Kalki 14:29, 18 April 2007 (UTC)