Subject: Quotations monthly FAQ v1.01 08-02-93 Content-Type: text Followup-To: poster Summ

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Newsgroups: alt.quotations,alt.answers,news.answers Path:!hookup!!eff!!!!gatech!swrinde!sgiblab!brunix!!jgm From: (Jonathan Monsarrat) Subject: Quotations monthly FAQ v1.01 08-02-93 Content-Type: text Message-ID: Followup-To: poster Summary: Welcome to alt.quotations! This is the Quotations FAQ. Sender: Reply-To: (Jonathan Monsarrat) Organization: Dept. of Computer Science, Brown University Mime-Version: 1.0 Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 04:49:03 GMT Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.Edu Expires: Thu, 12 May 1994 00:00:00 GMT Lines: 414 Xref: alt.quotations:9764 alt.answers:2405 news.answers:17930 Archive-name: quotations Last-modified: 1993/08/02 Version: 1.01 -- Welcome to Alt.Quotations -- The Quotations FAQ v1.01 Jonathan Monsarrat ( Michael Moncur ( This FAQ is formatted as a digest. Most news readers can skip from one question to the next by pressing control-G. Please help archive and index the quotes! Read the section ``The Quotations Archive''. Related FAQs: none? Please help fix the FAQ! Comments and questions should be mailed to Additional books or book comments should be mailed to This FAQ and the indexes are available by anonymous ftp to The FAQ comes in ASCII, LaTeX, DVI, and PostScript formats. Table of Contents 1 About alt.quotations 2 What to Expect 3 What is a Quote? 4 The Quotations Archive 5 How to Help with the Quotations Archive 6 Other ftp sites 7 Books Subject: 1 About alt.quotations Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ---George Santayana (1863-1952) Welcome to alt.quotations! This newsgroup is for sharing and discussing quotations of all sorts. If you are searching for a reference, looking for a book, or want a forum to share your favorite quotes, this newsgroup is for you. This FAQ posts some general guidelines and answers some questions that we see frequently, so that hopefully those who cannot remember the past are not condemned to repost it. Some quotes from this newsgroup are indexed and archived in an ftp site. More on this below. Subject: 2 What to Expect On alt.quotations you will find quotes from movies, plays, books, television shows, and lectures. There are quips from parties, orations from great literature, slices from computer manuals and source code, humor from around the globe, famous last words, and quotes about quotes. There are quotations from Monty Python, The Princess Bride, Ronald Reagan, Star Trek, Jack Handey, Mark Twain, and Shakespeare. There are quotations about UFOs, the devil, sex, money, cats, music, and anything else. Anything goes. Subject: 3 What is a Quote? A quotation is a short, memorable saying by someone famous, tagged with an attribution. This is an ``alternative'' newsgroup and you should feel free to post anything you like here. However, there seems to be a mild consensus about what is and is not a quote. Posts that fit under this definition will be stored in the Quotations Archive. * Quotes should be short. Five lines (400 bytes) is a pretty hefty quotation. Six lines is really an excerpt. This size limitation applies only to the quote itself. A description of the author or the context of the quote can be longer. * Quotes should be exact. If you are not sure of your quote, please say so. That would make it a paraphrasing. Someone else will probably be able to provide the correct phrasing. * Quotes should have an attribution. Possible exceptions are quotes that are well known, but anonymous. Please give the name of the author, the source (book, magazine, movie, lecture), and the year. It would be great to have birth/death years and profession. For example, ``The wise learn many things from their enemies.'' - Aristophanes, 450-385 B.C., Birds, 414 B.C. Aristophanes lived in Ancient Greece and was the greatest poet of Old Attic Comedy. * Quotes should be from someone famous. The term "famous" has many meanings, of course - In this context, it refers to someone who (a) is well known in his/her field, (b) is known to the general public, or (c) has received media exposure for some reason. * Quotes should mean something. If your quote needs to be put in context, then by all means describe the circumstances surrounding the quote. For example, Star Trek quotes often benefit from having a two line synopsis of the episode: ``Sir, I MUST protest. I am NOT a merry man.'' - Lieutenant Worf, Star Trek: The Next Generation, ``Q-Pid''. The omnipotent entity Q has magicked the Star Trek crew into a Robin Hood scene. * Quotes shouldn't be one-liner jokes or cliches. ``Real musicians don't die, they just decompose.'' is not a quote. There is no one to attribute. Bathroom graffiti, bumper stickers, fortune cookies, the Diet Coke jingle, and many other common themes fit in a small package. But even if they are funny that doesn't make them quotations. Quotes involving movies and television often give the names of the characters or the actors, even though the quote was really written by a professional writer. In general, give the one of the three that is most famous. Giving the real writer would always be nice. If you have a huge list of your favorite quotes, please take the time to categorize them and attribute them. Don't just post an unorganized list. Subject: 4 The Quotations Archive All the quotations that fit the guidelines are stored at a publicly available ftp site: In the future there will be an organized index system. Right now, just the raw postings are available. The quotes are grouped primarily by subject, but there are indexes by author, keyword, type of source (movie, play, book), and meta-subject (humor is a meta-subject, humor-about-cars is a subject). Movie and television quotes have a tendency to mean nothing to people who haven't seen the show, and bring back fond memories to people who have. That doesn't make them real quotations, but since they are so popular, a part of the archive will be set aside for these media related quotes. The index is labeled either ``exact'', or ``incomplete''. If you can give the exact wording to a quote marking ``incomplete'', please write We are trying to keep paraphrasing to a minimum. Here is an example of how to post a quote to alt.quotations if you want to make it easy to archive. All the lines have little keywords so that the quote can be automatically processed into the archive. If you follow this format, you will make life much easier for me. Please note that the quotation is clearly marked as separate from the introduction with the ``Quote:'' tag. Newsgroups: alt.quotations From: (Dr. Who) Subject: Tennyson on love, Bacon on fear My favorite quote I discovered in high school. It still rings a chord with me. Anyone know any other good Tennyson quotes? Quote: 'Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all. Author: Alfred Lord Tennyson, (1809-1892) Ref: Im Memoriam, 1850, line 27, stanza 4. Keywords: love, exact % Im Memoriam was written in memory of Arthur Henry Hallam. % Tennyson was an English poet. By the middle of the 19th century he % was firmly established as the voice of the age, and was made Poet % Laureate in 1850. I don't know the year of the book on the next one, so I've marked it incomplete. I think the original quote is in Latin. Anybody know whether this is Francis or Roger Bacon? Quote: Dolendi modus, timendi non item. (to suffering there is a limit; to fearing, none.) Author: Bacon Ref: Of Seditions and Troubles Keywords: fear, incomplete -The Doctor ----- Department of Bat Radioendoscopy ---- ------ ------------------- ``He who laughs last laughs best''-------------------- Basically, the quotation begins anywhere after ``Quote:''. The author and birth/death information is listed after ``Author:'' and the source is listed after ``Ref:''. You can put some keywords after ``Keywords:'' if you like. Whether the quote is exact or a incomplete should go here. If you want to add comments about the quote for context, or to explain who the author is or what the sources is, put a '%' at the beginning of each line to indicate a comment. At the end of the comments, the text is ignored unless a second ``Quote:'' is found, at which point a new quotation begins. If you're REALLY unsure of your quote, or if you don't know who said it, don't include these headers at all; just ask about it, and most likely someone will respond with an exact quote. For now, I have been hand parsing these files. As soon as we can, I will get help with this large task. Sorry for all the bureaucracy, but things will run more smoothly and better for everyone if we place tags on the text that let me partially automate the process. Subject: 5 How to Help with the Quotations Archive Jon is in search of ``Bibliophiles'' who would act as the Oracle Priests do for Bibliophiles would be emailed a portion of the quotes posted to alt.quotations. They would select the ones appropriate for archiving and email them back to me in the properly formatted form. With many bibilophiles, this would not be too much effort. Please send mail to if you would like to help. Our current Quotations Bibliophiles are Jonathan Monsarrat ( and Michael Moncur ( Subject: 6 Other FTP sites There are no other ftp sites for quotations that we know of. Subject: 7 Books This is a bibliography of quotation books. If you have a favorite book of quotations, or any at all, and can add to this list, please send email to See below for more specific instructions. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations Published: Original, 1941. Third edition, 1980. Publisher: Oxford University Press Editor/Author: Oxford University Press Scope: All quotations, chosen based on familiarity. This is one of the "Big Two" quotation books. Any fan of quotations should have it available. Like all quotation books, it is by no means comprehensive, but it attempts to be, and is at least diverse. Not a book to be read cover to cover, but a good reference for looking up particular quotes. Quotes are arranged by author. Also includes a LARGE (approx. 300 pages) and comprehensive subject index. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations Published: (?) Publisher: Bartlett (?) Editor/Author: (?) Scope: All quotations, chosen based on familiarity. This is the other of the "Big Two." We don't have it at this point, so we can't comment specifically. We'd appreciate hearing from somebody who has it. The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations Published: 1991 Publisher: Oxford University Press Editor/Author: Tony Augarde Scope: 20th-century quotations, chosen based on familiarity. A "modern" version of the Oxford Dictionary, centered on quotes by people who were "still alive after 1900." As such, the quotations in this volume may be more relevant to today's concerns. It is shorter than the original Oxford, probably due to the absence of Shakespeare and Biblical quotations. The Dictionary of Humorous Quotations Published: 1949. Was still in print in 1989. Publisher: Doubleday, originally. 1989 edition - Dorsett Press. Editor/Author: Evan Esar Scope: Humorous quotations, chosen by author. This is one of the many quotation dictionaries that are basically the collected "favorite quotes" of the author. It is arranged by author, and includes a subject index. The Portable Curmudgeon Published: 1987 Publisher: NAL Penguin Inc. (US), New American Library of Canada Ltd (CA) Editor/Author: John Winokur Scope: Cynical, mostly humorous. Chosen by author. These are "outrageously irreverent" quotations from people the author considers Curmudgeons (Cynical, irascible, cantankerous). It is organized by subject, with additional sections devoted to frequently-contributing curmudgeons (W.C. Fields, Dorothy Parker, Fran Lebowitz, and Groucho Marx to name a few.) No index. A book intended to be read cover-to-cover. [ NOTE: There are two sequels to this work, "A Curmudgeon's garden of Love" and "The Portable Curmudgeon Redux". Information on these two would be appreciated, as we don't currently have them. ] The 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said Published: 1982 Publisher: Fawcett Crest / Ballantine (Random House) Editor/Author: Robert Byrne Scope: Chosen by author. Robert Byrne has compiled a volume of quotations which he finds to possess "insight, surprise, wit, pith, or punch." No attempt is made to be comprehensive. The quotes are arranged in "sequential" order, meaning that they vaguely relate to the ones around them. It does include an index by author and subject, though. This book, and its sequels, are my personal favorite collections. The Other 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said Published: 1984 Publisher: Ballantine (Random House) Editor/Author: Robert Byrne Scope: Chosen by author Sequel to the above work. Same concept, new quotations. The Third-and Possibly the Best-637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said Published: 1986 Publisher: Ballantine (Random House) Editor/Author: Robert Byrne Scope: Chosen by author Yet another 637. The Fourth-and by far the Most Recent-637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said Published: 1990 Publisher: Atheneum/Macmillan Publishing Company Editor/Author: Robert Byrne Scope: Chosen by author The cover says that Robert Byrne "Just can't seem to stop", which seems true. It's been three years, though - Let's hope there's a fifth volume coming. All four of these are of equal value in my opinion. This list is by no means comprehensive, but I'd like it to be. If you have any books of quotations (any subject or theme), please send me the following information so that it can be added to this list: * Full Title * Publication date (original printing and most recent, if possible) * Publisher (and distributor) * Editor or Author * Scope (theme: i.e. Humorous, Patriotic, Feminist, etc.) * Library of Congress and/or ISBN numbers if available and a brief summary. (3-6 lines) This FAQ is copyright (C) 1993 by Jonathan Monsarrat and Michael Moncur. Permission is granted to freely edit and distribute as long as this copyright notice is included. This document was written with the LaTeX language and formatted by LameTeX, the PostScript hacker's LaTeX. Jon Monsarrat | Michael Moncur Sleep...oh! how I loathe those | "It's better to be quotable little slices of death... | than to be honest." -- Longfellow | -- Tom Stoppard


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