Wikiquote talk:Templates/Themes

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Proposed format change[edit]

In an effort to make this template more consistent with others (such as Wikiquote:Templates/Literary works and Wikiquote:Templates/People), I propose that this template be altered to remove quotation marks surrounding quotes (as per Wikiquote:Quotation marks) and moving the author's name and quote's source to an indented list item below the quote. I'd also change the period at the end of "Quotes regarding Theme." to a colon, as the current text is not really a sentence.

This would be the new look for the template:

Quotes regarding Theme:

  • Foreign language quote.
    • English translation
    • Author and source


I believe that this proposed format would make it easier to read pages for themes, because it eliminates unnecessary quotation marks and puts author and source information in a more readable location, where it's less likely to be taken as part of the quote at a quick glance. —LrdChaos 14:08, 7 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Also, this format would make it easier when non-English quotes are included, because there would be a place to put the English translation. I've added an example of this above. —LrdChaos 22:01, 8 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

  • I support this move. It makes things more consistent across the templates. I don't really like the use of quote marks on most pages. I think this would be good, although it would mean a lot of cleanup work on the existing theme pages. ~ UDScott 18:36, 11 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • I support the reformatting, deferring (as JackyR suggests) the question of whether there's a better way that the bulleting. This is a definite improvement for proper sourcing. Converting such a quote structure to the "quote" ~ person format used for Quote of the Day is not particularly difficult, and QotD is secondary (IMHO) to providing sourced, verifiable quotes anyway. I oppose the change from period to colon, though. Yes, it's not a complete sentence, but a colon shouldn't be used to introduce a page of text, either. The real solution is to provide proper intro paragraphs for themes, just as we expect them for all other articles. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 17:39, 12 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • For whatever reason, having a proper intro didn't even occur to me at the time I put this together. I definitely support that over the current system and the one I originally had. I'm not sure what the best way to phrase it for this would be, though. If someone can come up with a good way for that, I think this could be copied over as the new template before too long. —LrdChaos 17:45, 12 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
      • Hey, LrdChaos, don't worry about it. It's one of the hundred or so little (and not so little) things that we haven't yet adequately addressed. (We've had some successes — there are no more "Verified" headers, at least — but many small things like intro-less theme articles not only remain, but tend to encourage readers to create new articles in their indequate image. Hopefully your update to the template will get some folks to consider a better intro. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:59, 22 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I've added a comment to the intro paragraph to encourage editors to copy an abbreviated version of the Wikipedia article's intro for use as the Wikiquote intro. I'm not sure it will have the desired effect, but we can hope. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 07:01, 22 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I'll try to go through Themes and update the articles to the new fromat as I have time. Sadly I'm guilty of the introless articles. DFA 21:28, 26 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Another (smaller) change[edit]

Something that occured to me as I've been changing over a few articles is that the format (past or present) doesn't included Sourced and Attributed sections, as which articles about people. Is there any objection to including these sections as part of the template? —LrdChaos 14:31, 28 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Actually, this is a serious omission. The only reason I didn't immediately change this myself upon reading LrdChaos's posting is that I'm currently struggling with the problem of the ambiguous term "attributed", which can mean either "someone claims someone else said something" (a very common occurrence in quotation compendia) or "unsourced" (as Wikiquote officially uses it). I've come to think that we might solve some pressing problems by a global change of "Attributed" to "Unsourced". ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:40, 28 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Jeff, I think this would be a good change. I don't think that people have necessarily understood the implication that 'Attributed' equated to unsourced quotes. I think that some have struggled with where to place a quote (equating 'Attributed' to your first definition). I support this change and think it would be beneficial. Also, to LrdChaos' point, I would also support the inclusion of the two sections on the Theme template. ~ UDScott 15:48, 28 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Using "Unsourced" instead of "Attributed" makes a lot of sense, especially for theme articles (where there's no possibly of confusing an unsourced quote with one that someone claims the theme said). I also support it for people articles; considering that it's the only other template that presently uses the Sourced/Attributed sections, I think we should take up the issue over there. —LrdChaos 16:14, 28 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Incidentally, in my random-page patrol, I've been updating theme articles with, among other things, additions of "Unsourced" rather than "Attributed". (I don't think I've actually changed any existing ones, but I probably will start doing this, too.) This should be an uncontroversial change in direction, and I fully expect we'll be making it official soon. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 13:57, 1 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Seeing no objection to the idea, I've gone ahead and changed the template to include Sourced and Unsourced section headers. —LrdChaos 14:01, 5 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Sorting of quotes[edit]

For theme pages, this template suggests to sort quotes in alphabetical order, sorted by the author/speaker. But this is not consistent with other pages, where quotes are sorted in chronological order based on when they first appear or were spoken. I would rather remain consistent and sort these quotes in chronological order too. What are the community's thoughts on this? Is there value in sorting them this way? To me, I find that sorting them in chronological order gives a better picture of how a given them has been viewed over time and the evolution of quotes on the topic is interesting to see - which gets lost when the quotes are sorted by alphabetically by author. Anyone have a different view? ~ UDScott 13:57, 11 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

In some situations chronological order, or grouping by historical epoch, makes good sense. The Guide to layout provides an exception "where historical development of the subject makes chronological order particularly appropriate," but this is indeed an invitation to inconsistency. The template only shows alphabetization by author as the default, which keeps the template simpler than the guideline, but this may be too simplistic.

I favor sorting by author as the default and in most cases, in large part because that is just how I am accustomed to finding things in bibliographies and libraries. There are also some practical problems with trying to use dates in all cases:

  1. In the lamentably common situation of themes that still contain un-sourced attributions, authors are all we have to go by.
  2. Dates are one of the most commonly omitted parts of incomplete citations, both here and in secondary and tertiary sources that we cite.
  3. The date of a secondary or tertiary source, while it may shed light on when the quote was popular, does little to indicate the original evolution of ideas.
  4. Citations often identify the date of an edition, which is very helpful for verification but leaves the chronology of ideas murky if it was not the first edition.
I do recognize that mixing ideas from different epochs is less than ideal for some readers, and I welcome input from the community, particularly since the previous discussion attracted few participants. ~ Ningauble 18:58, 11 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]
OK, obviously in bringing this question here, I forgot the earlier discussion (including my own agreement with this sorting!). Oh well, sometimes it's hard to remember how these discussions shake out. I again agree with your reasons. Thanks! ~ UDScott 19:17, 11 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]
In the real-life workplace, when I got caught in these situations I used to say "I have slept since then." It happened so often that, to my chagrin, it came to be recognized as a tagline. ~ Ningauble 15:00, 13 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]