quote, v. 1

To reproduce or repeat a passage from (a book, author, etc.); to repeat a statement by (a person); to give (a specified person, body, etc.) as the source of a statement

We live by cultural conventions and social norms, by the promises we give and are given, by the rules of nature. When they are broken, we know, because we can quote the particular article of faith that has been broken.

“I said … “

“You said … “

“He said … She said … “

“It said …”

But what makes a statement worth quoting?

That it conveys meaning or information, that it is memorable or ingenious, that it is pretty, pithy, or that it pierces the very heart of some—any—truth.

There are quotes, good quotes, and better ones. Their quality is defined by the influence they wield over the reader or listener. If they make you break out in goosebumps, or marvel at a turn of phrase, or think—they’re probably quotes that made you quiver inside for a moment. And those might be worth dissecting to see what lies at their core, what figure of speech, what trick of the linguistic trade.

For why not? Everyone who can use language, can also use it a bit more effectively. Crafting quotes is for writers and speakers, sure, but aren’t we all writers of our own lives and speakers of our own stories?

I hope Quiver Quotes is helpful in Your Quest, even if the articles may sometimes appear to be sending a fountain pen nib-first into your back. (This is also known as gentle encouragement with a peaceable object, to be distinguished from prodding with a sharp object, which is dangerous and discouraged.)

PS: As with all matters of taste, on QuiverQuotes I discuss those quotes that make me quiver 2. Perhaps you disagree with the selection, perhaps you have an interesting quote you’d like to suggest. If so, let me know. For more information about this site, please consult the Questions Page or browse the general References page.

PPS: I am not a professional linguist.

  1. “quote, v.” 2.a. OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2016. Web. 9 February 2017. 
  2.  De dictiōnibus non disputandum est. 
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