Wikiquote talk:Wikiquote

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Wikiquote:Wikiquote page.


Yes, I know, melodramatic and overdone. I didn't write it, it just seemed to write itself late last night in bed after the lights went out, coming into my mind as-is, nearly fully-formed. So delete it if you like (maybe we don't want mushy stuff like that in Wikiquote, and I wouldn't particularly get upset about it), but before you do, think about what we would say to ourselves to justify the effort of compiling the world's largest compendium of quotes. Perhaps it just needs editing a bit (OK, a lot of editing). Nanobug 12:24 21 Jul 2003 (UTC)

grate page[edit]

Is page sherd win a reword for being very good. I liked reding this page good job to who rote it. —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) June 18, 2005.

Re purposing[edit]

Although I find Nanobug's introduction satisfyingly poetic, I'm think that we might want to use this article as a means to outline specific what Wikiquote is, as a companion piece to Wikiquote:What Wikiquote is not. We could use a straightforward collection of content expectations, as opposed to the many introductory and explanatory pages we have (and are working on), from which readers must themselves infer and synthesize the complete set of expectations. WQ:NOT isn't sufficiently illuminating, and it's better to have a positive statement than expect people to deduce the opposite of a set of negatives (although we certainly should keep WQ:NOT). Opinions? ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:39, 17 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. Following is a draft of what I would put there. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 06:40, 17 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikiquote aims to be an accurate and comprehensive collection of notable quotations.

  • Accurate: Wikiquote aims for accuracy. Where possible, we try to site sources: preferably those in which the quotation first appears, otherwise notable attribution of the quotations. We try to find those quotes which are misattributed, clearly label them and research how the misattribution came about.
  • Comprehensive: Wikiquote aims to have quotes from many different people, literary works, films, memorials, epitaphs and so on.
  • Notable: We limit ourselves to quotations which are notable. A quotation can be notable either because it has achieved fame by itself, but more usually because it was said by someone notable, or appeared in a notable work.
  • Quotations: Wikiquote is a collection of quotations. While, for completeness, articles should have a short introduction of the topic or source, the primary goal is to include quotations.

I want to keep the current content there is on the page, and add the paragraph above beneath it. I will do so within two weeks, barring any objections (so now is the time to raise them!) ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 09:55, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looks good. I see no need to wait two weeks to add it. I think anytime in the next week would be fine. ~ Kalki 10:09, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the encouragement. I accidentally saved a new version of the page, but reverted it. I will change it once a week has passed. In the mean time, people should object if they don't think it's good :) ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 10:26, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think what you've written looks good and is a concise summary of the aims of this site. Good job. ~ UDScott 13:35, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, like so many other things, this seems to fallen through the cracks, but fortunately MosheZadka made it easy to finish. We now have a page that provides newcomers with a concise summary of what Wikiquote is, rather than just what it isn't. I urge all community members to point new editors to this page whenever they find them working outside the stated goals. We should also ensure that our other policy pages and aids (e.g., Help:Contents, WQ:NOT, Template:Welcome) include this link. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 21:48, 18 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Context-dependent meaning of "notable"?[edit]

Should we not allow some latitude for including quotes from people who, while not generally considered notable themselves, played notable roles in the lives of the person who is the subject of an article?

Let's say we have a minor English poet of the 18th century whose wife came up with some choice quotes about him. Would such quotes be used in a "quotes by others about X poet" section? She is not notable herself, but certainly a notable person in our poet's life.

Enough with hypotheticals. The specific example I want to draw attention to is Adi Da, a minor and controversial American guru. Adi Da is fundamentally famous for having influenced new-age author Ken Wilber and for having been the subject of negative media coverage in 1985 when allegations of all sorts of naughtiness (sexual, financial abuse, etc) hit the airwaves (see Wikipedia article on Adi Da. I believe that it is appropriate to include a quote from one of the central figures in that controversy. The person's name is Mark Miller and his quote is on this version of the Adi Da Wikiquote page (third quote under "quotes of others"). Feedback appreciated. Is it good to qualify the "notable" policy this way, or are such things better worked into the main Wikipedia entry on the subject? Carry18 07:25, 30 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Quotes about a notable person by someone not quite as notable are sometimes cited. I would suggest that the most important element is adding such a quote is to include a reliable source that allows editors to verify the quote is valid. (Please read the "reliable source" link, as "reliable" means much more than just finding a Google hit for the quote.) This is not a guarantee, but in general, the more solid the source, the less likely someone will delete the quote. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:27, 11 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
About sections are for people who watch a lot of credits and read a lot of references. It's really only certain intangible themes where notability is a big issue; you could even use a consumer product manufacturer for a common consumer product. A lot of scientists don't have Wikipedia pages yet, unlike soccer players; but their work is usually so revolutionary that you know it is going to be quoted in future science textbooks at least. There's a lot of Ken Burns quotes where he doesn't provide the persons name, presumably because they weren't themselves memorable but had a good insight into a particular event, typically disasters or crime. Hope that helps. CensoredScribe (talk) 22:55, 15 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyright issues[edit]

We are getting more and more folks who don't know or care about adding so much material to our articles that they become copyright violations. I think it advisable that we revise this highly visible page to not only avoid the idea that more is always better (i.e., an unqualified "comprehensive"), but to specfically point out that we collect pithy excerpts, not entire works. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:30, 11 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. But I prefer to keep this document itself as concise as possible.
Also I wonder if we are better to add "free-licensed" a/o "in NPOV". We don't include WQ:NPOV in our welcome message, but when we are growing, it would be problematic (even on Wikipedia, I still prefer to greet a mere welcome though). However we have not to talk here what is NPOV - just put a sentence "NPOV" and give a link. As same, we can indicate why the whole copy isn't within our scope to the document led here, for example, WQ:COPY. --Aphaia 03:00, 17 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I don't know what this means. There is a link to a blogger page which doesn't help. Can this be removed, or moved, or rephrased or something? --FeralOink (talk) 22:55, 14 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Deleted. Whatever that was, it isn't relevant anymore ('was probably just spam). ~ DanielTom (talk) 23:59, 14 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Time to update this page?[edit]

Since this page was developed in 2003 and expanded in 2005, there have been some fundamental changes in Wikiquote practices that are not reflected here. It is still a very fine statement of what Wikiquote is about, if taken in the right spirit, but it is subject to interpretations (not to say wikilawyering) that do not accord with more recent developments. In particular:

  1. "Where possible, we try to cite sources...."
    It has been argued that this means we don't have to. In the early days of the project we did not try very hard, and it was customary for articles to include entire sections of un-sourced attributions. More recently, as reflected in updates to WQ:SAU and WQ:SOURCE, we have been requiring citations and working to remove un-sourced attributions.
  2. "A quotation can be notable ... because it was said by someone notable, or appeared in a notable work."
    It has been argued that this means anything from a notable person or work is inherently quotable because of the source. This does not appear to be what was meant originally, and subsequent efforts have been made to clarify this at WQ:Q. It is a subjective quality that is difficult to nail down in a few words.

If there is support for updating this page then I will draft some new language for the community to consider, and I would be interested in other suggestions. Item 1 is easy enough to update, but it will be challenging to make item 2 concise without being unduly narrow or unmeaningfully broad. ~ Ningauble 17:48, 3 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I took the liberty of updating the page. Please see the diff between my final edit and the most recent prior version.
My changes were incremental, and mostly corrected grammar and style. I broke out the page, changed format slightly for purposes of consistency and clarity. There is a difference in meaning between quote and quotation, so I corrected that. I also wanted to reinforce the fact that Wikiquote is intended to be globally inclusive, in time and place, and whether the source/ creator wrote or spoke the original words.
I was BOLD, although I don't see that invocation any longer, to be BOLD. If I was too BOLD, please revert or turn my volume down a few notches ;o) I will not take offense! --FeralOink (talk) 00:25, 15 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Very fine edits, I daresay.
Only one note from me: the old version, "quotations are the essence of wisdom refined in a handful of well-chosen words", sounds better to my ears, compared to your change, "quotations are the essence of wisdom refined to a handful of well-chosen words." The rest of your changes are all very good, methinks. Excellent job. ~ DanielTom (talk) 00:43, 15 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"whether they be serious or whimsical; whether their creators are famous or notorious..." Inconsistent, no? ~ DanielTom (talk) 18:54, 3 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think parallel construction is strictly necessary, since the subjects of the two clauses are different. I might phrase it differently myself, but the subjective mood is often not conjugated in contemporary English (a situation that may be perplexing to native speakers of languages that routinely do so) and, except in the case of imperatives, is best used sparingly. I think it is really a matter of style and taste rather than grammatical correctness. ~ Ningauble (talk) 13:08, 5 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this page an essay, guideline, policy, or something else?[edit]

Asking for a friend. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 11:45, 20 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If it is not marked as an essay, guideline, policy then it is not one of those. It is just a wikiquote page like any other, giving some information about the project. --Jedi3 (talk) 11:01, 24 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Add "quality" to answer to "What is Wikiquote"?[edit]

The current answer is:

  • "Wikiquote is an accurate and comprehensive collection of notable quotations."

I propose changing that to:

  • "Wikiquote is an accurate and comprehensive collection of quality notable quotations."

And to change:

  • Notable: We limit ourselves to quotations which are notable. A quotation can be notable because it has achieved fame due to its enduring relevance to many people, or because it is attributed to a notable individual, or appeared in a notable work.


  • Quality Notable: We limit ourselves to quotations which are notable. A quotation can be notable because it (1) has achieved fame due to its enduring relevance to many people, (2) is attributed to a notable individual, or (3) appears in a notable work. In the latter two cases the quote must also demonstrate a level of quantity (wit, pith, wisdom, eloquence, or poignancy).

This change would bring this Wikiquote:Wikiquote generic page more in line with the Wikiquote:Quotability guideline page. See Wikiquote:Quotability#Quality. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 19:33, 25 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oops. Make that proposed change be "... must also demonstrate a level of quality (wit ..." Butwhatdoiknow (talk)
  • Oppose - too subjective. The "Quality" excuse has been used to remove notable quotes that one personally doesn't like (e.g. for religious reasons). "Quality Notable" is not even English. ~ DanielTom (talk) 18:25, 28 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for responding. "Quality Notable" can be fixed. Regarding the substance of your opposition: Do you believe my proposed change misstates Wikiquote:Quotability guideline? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 19:46, 28 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As you say, that's just a guideline, not policy. And anyway, Wikiquote:Wikiquote already defines quotations as "the essence of wisdom refined to a handful of well-chosen words". ~ DanielTom (talk) 20:07, 28 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm. Maybe the problem is with the "Quotations" bullet point in the "What is Wikiquote?" section on this page. What do you think of moving the content of the "What are quotations?" section into that bullet point? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 20:28, 28 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think Wikiquote:Wikiquote is fine the way it is. There is nothing wrong with defining "quotations" at the outset. ~ DanielTom (talk) 20:45, 28 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, let's try this: You say that quality has been used as an excuse to remove notable quotes. I say that the failure to mention quality (or even refer back to the "What are quotations?" section) in the "What is Wikiquote?" section) has been used to support low-quality (that is, not notable) quotes from notable people. Why shouldn't we try to fix that problem as well? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 22:44, 28 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Low-quality quotes of TV-series and computer games[edit]

The main problem: the low-quality quotes of TV-series and computer games. There should be only two quotations per episode, but it's obvious that nobody cares of this rule.--Risto hot sir (talk) 22:51, 28 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do you have any opinion regarding the proposed change? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 23:13, 28 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, Just a Regular New Yorker tried to clean the Top Gear, but only this one site seems to need endless work.--Risto hot sir (talk) 23:39, 28 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alternative propoal[edit]

I suggest we change "Wikiquote is a collection of quotations." to "Wikiquote is a collection of quotations (as defined above)." Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 03:01, 5 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not necessary, in my opinion. The page already states that Wikiquote is a "collection of notable quotations". To address your concern: when the notability of a particular quotation is challenged, perhaps a secondary source (that quotes it) could be required. ~ DanielTom (talk) 22:29, 13 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am intrigued by your "secondary source" suggestion. Is that something that should be discussed here or at Wikiquote:Quotability? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 19:14, 16 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps not "necessary" (few things are), but informative and helpful. After stating a "collection of notable quotations" the page then defines "notable" but not "quotations." My proposal helps the reader find the definition (which is above a "collection of notable quotations." Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 19:14, 16 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Time to unprotect this page?[edit]

Discussed here: Wikiquote:Administrators'_noticeboard#Time_to_unprotect_Wikiquote:Wikiquote? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 21:05, 24 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should WQ:Quotability be policy?[edit]

See discussion at Wikiquote:Village_pump#Elevate_Wikiquote:Quotability_to_a_policy?. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 16:07, 2 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No one has objected so far. If you object now is the time to speak out. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 06:02, 2 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]