Last modified on 10 November 2005, at 10:33

Wikiquote:Quotation marks/Archive

In August, 2005, a vote was held at Wikiquote talk:Templates/Literary works to overturn the policy, established in 2003, of surrounding every English Wikiquote entry in quotation marks. The proposal was agreed unanimously. This page records the discussion behind the old policy.

Original discussionEdit

It has been suggested that since Wikiquote is pretty much all quotes it is superfluous to put quotation marks around every single quote. This page is for you to add your opinion.

The voting period is now over.

  • Proposal One: include quotes around quotations e.g. * "Quote"
    • Pro: readers will expect quotation marks around quotes, as that is the way they always see them in other places.
      • Retort: it's obvious they are quotes without the need for quote marks.
    • Pro: Quotes help to differentiate the quotation from source information that may be added and not properly noted as the source.
      • Retort: not all quotation collections use quotation marks.
    • Con: a lot of quotes come in from other sources without quotation marks, and they must be added. It is much easier to remove quotes than add them.
      • Retort: quotes still need to be removed manually as a global search and replace on an article may remove quotation marks embedded in a quote that should not be removed.
      • Retort: Its only two characters, its not hard to add.
    • Con: quotes with embedded quotation marks and outer quotation marks could be confusing. See [1]. They are also redundant. It's all quotes here, that doesn't need to be reiterated.
    • Con: people will paste in MS smart quotes which will all need to be changed to straight quotes.
      • Retort: A bot can change that.
    • Votes for: Fonzy, Geoffrey, Kpjas, Maveric149 (of course there should be quote marks), Tompagenet, Kwekubo, Fernkes, Nanobug (changed my mind), LittleDan, Gboy
  • Proposal Two: do not include quotes around quotations e.g. * Quote
    • Pro: cleaner appearance and simpler layout.
      • Retort: it's only two characters, its doesn't make it look that much cleaner or simpler.
    • Pro: MOST collections of quotes in book format, and most of the top quotation search sites on the web do not use quotation marks of all entries as a rule. Sites with bulk lists of quotes in text format, rather than those with well designed layouts and categories seem to use them most … and certainly not all of these.
    • Con: It is harder to differentiate quotes from translations and notes.
      • Retort: translations and notes are already labelled as such and hence there is unlikely to be confusion.
    • Con: most existing articles (maybe 70%) have quotation marks around quotes and this would mean quite a bit a work to fix.
      • Retort: we don't have that many articles yet, so this wouldn't take long to do, and could be done as we make other changes.
    • Votes For: Hephaestos, mcenedella, Gaurav, Angela Kalki (of course quote marks are not necessary, in a work devoted to Quotes.)

Add pros, cons, and retorts above as appropriate.


It's 9:5 in favor of quotes. Is this settled? LittleDan 16:56, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)

That is a nearly two-thirds majority. So we add quotation marks where necessary. And embedded double quotation marks become single quotation marks. e.g. "They spell it 'da Vinci' and pronounce it 'da Vinchy'." Nanobug 23:34, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)