Wikiquote:Village pump archive 20


Archive
Archives



January 2008, originally posted to Wikiquote:Village pump.

Village pump archive 20Edit

Articles that every Wikiquote should haveEdit

I'm not sure what we call it around here, articles like on Wikipedia. Their not rely articles, more like lists. But anyway. I made a short post at Meta here about a possible list of articles that every Wikiquote project should have. Do you guys think that en.q has reached a point where it has most of them? We could start of by top 100 list, or 500. What about 1000. This would mostly help other small languages to grow and not so much for en.q and that's why I posted it first at Meta. But after a short wait I wasn't getting any reply I decided to post it here since you would probably have the best experience to do such a list. --Steinninn 05:04, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

  • That is kind of an interesting conundrum - perhaps there are things that would be vital to one WQ that would be humdrum to another. I suppose for the sake of cultural understanding, every WQ should have coverage of widely regarded religious texts like the Bible and the Koran, and the Upanishads, along with the most widely known religious figures such as Moses, Jesus, the Buddha, and Mohammad; foundational philosphers like Socrates, Plato, Confucious, and Lao Tze, along with some of their more modern counterparts like Marx and Kant; the most widely known scientific figures such as Galileo, Newton, Freud, Einstein, and Sagan; and political/military leaders of historical import such as Ghengis Khan, Napoleon, Washington, and Lenin. I know I haven't even mentioned the poets and writers yet, but there are many of those as well. More important than biographies, all WQ's should have thematic entries on universal concepts such as Love, Justice, Honor, and Courage. It would take quite a while to assemble a complete list, but that's where I would work from. BD2412 T 05:34, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Agreed. I made it years ago in Japanese at my user subpage. Basically it goes along the outline BD2412 described. If you guys have an interest, I'll post it as latinized for your food of thought. --Aphaia 07:17, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
      • Yea, definitely. Thanks both to BD2412 and Aphaia for your help. It would be great if you would post a english version of this list. By having it here and on Meta we could encourage other languages to use this list, much more then having it only on the Japanese page. --Steinninn 15:26, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
        • OK, I'll take care of it tomorrow. --Aphaia 17:51, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Religious figures, scientists and philosophers can be translated. However, it's difficult to believe that there are many novelists or poets who need to be in every language Wikiquote.--Poetlister 16:38, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Shakespeare, most likely, and Chaucer. Some of the ancients as well (Homer, Ovid, Aeschylus, Sophocles). BD2412 T 17:23, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I think that few people, whatever their language, would query these, or Goethe, Victor Hugo or Tolstoy. But I bet that plenty of people would be horrified to find that their favourite poet in Turkey or Portugal is scarcely known in the English-speaking world. Indeed, some very famous (in America) poets are less well-known in Britain. This is a recipe for endless arguments.--Poetlister 18:34, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Point taken. I think the list of "every Wikiquote should have" should be more tightened and concise than "English Wikiquote should have" just because of the Poetlister's argument. But we may logically suppose the former should be a complete subset of the latter? --Aphaia 17:51, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
You mean, if an article is one that every WQ should have, it is definitely one that English WQ should have? Incidentally, I think every WQ should have Shakespeare (for example). Perhaps if a particular poet or writer could be identified as the favorite (or perhaps most quoted) of their language/culture/country (whichever division is largest) that poet or writer should be included in the list, since we are a multicultural endeavor. BD2412 T 19:06, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I can't think of any WQ project that shouldn't have Shakespeare. We should also try to have world leaders and influential people from all over the world. I can't say that I know them all, if I had, I would have started of by making the list and then post it on the Village pump. So, Aphaia, could you give us a link to the japanese list? --Steinninn 19:40, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Sorry for late reply. There it is: ja:User:Aphaia/WQ100. I forgot it was a bilingual page from the beginning exactly for serving the broader audience in future :o --Aphaia 23:03, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

I used the same list and posted it at is:Wikivitnun:Greinar sem ættu að vera til. I think we should put a draft here also. --Steinninn 11:09, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Grateful if people would look at this. There's someone who's very upset at the proportion of English-speaking authors and poets. Maybe he has a point, but he's insisting on deleting Milton and Wordsworth rather than Tolkein and Mark Twain!--Poetlister 23:02, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Maybe it's already been changed since you posted, but Milton was on the list I saw, and not Tolkien. True, Twain was on and Wordsworth was off, but I think that's defensible. Of course, that's the trouble with this kind of list; it doesn't surprise me that someone named Poetlister might feel Wordsworth had the better claim. But I'll defend Twain, not on the basis of being more important than Wordsworth, but on the basis of being at the top of the American list. Now someone will have to figure out why Bierce is on the list and Dickens is not... --Ubiquity 02:33, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Wordsworth is in, and Dickens and Twain. (Why do we necessarily have to have an American? There's no American composer.) However, Milton and Yeats are out, as is Bierce.--Poetlister 22:34, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is in several languages; maybe someday Wikiquote will be, too. When there is, the quotes are very likely to be more representative of that (those) language(s). Let's not cripple the original Wikiquote because someone thinks it isn't balanced enough with languages in which it is not currently written. DOR 08:40, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
But Wikiquote is in several languages! Just look at the sidebar for Napoleon I of France. BD2412 T 20:11, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Fans or non-fans?Edit

As many other editors have discussed quite a bit a lot of the TV/Film articles have become dumping grounds for any moderately funny quote from the show/film. Because of this fair use is put to the test and as a result it is often suggested that only a few select quotes be used.

However, on articles where we're well past the "few select quotes" stage which is better to go about the task of trimming the quotes. Fans or non-fans?

Fans are familiar with the work so are better informed as to what is germane to the show's themes and style.

Non-fans, however, being unfamiliar have the advantage of reading the quotes cold and providing a filter in that if they don't get it then maybe it isn't sufficiently decent of a quote to be cited here on WQ.

Thoughts? I ask because I am pondering tackling trimming some TV/Film pages, both as a fan and a non-fan. -- Greyed 16:33, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

We don't have so many editors that we can recommend that any subset be specifically charged with the responsibility of trimming. Everyone is encouraged to learn why we have the limits we do, and how to look at quotes to help do the trimming. The very short answer for "why" is: to avoid copyright violation and to provide the very best (not largest) selection of quotes for the entire Wikiquote audience. The "how" is a little more involved (see Talk:Blackadder#Cleanup tag for my latest pass at this perpetual discussion), but it boils down to providing quotes that even non-fans would find witty or otherwise memorable, quotes that don't require that you can see or hear the show in your mind to get the pith of the words.
On this basis, being familiar with the material can be an impediment. Star Wars action scenes are exhilarating to watch, but basic scene descriptions don't convey the same excitement to anyone who hasn't seen them. On the other hand, show fans, for obvious reasons, probably make up the majority of all editing to any show article. It is therefore necessary for us fans to learn the guidelines and enforce them ourselves. If we don't, we should expect our favorite articles to be periodically reduced to minimal versions by "outsiders". The same is true for excessive quoting in any genre. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Quite true. In fact it was reading Talk:Blackadder#Cleanup tag that lead me to ponder the pros and cons of fans and non-fans engaging in trimming. This was right before I doing some clean up on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. Are you planning on placing that essay in a semi-regular spot User:Jeffq/Essays maybe? That way when I hit on a page that I might want to trim I can reference it on the talk page. Or is that me being a tad this side of bold? Still trying to find that balance of doing stuff without being annoying while I do it. -- Greyed 20:03, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Not at all annoying, just ahead of me. I am planning to start gathering these mini-essays there. I started collecting links to them last year. But I'm still running too slowly to do anything but urgent, time-consuming, critical work as necessary, and quick edits and posts while multiplexing non-wiki stuff (like right now). Wikiquote doesn't really have much in the way of essays, like Wikipedia. I'm not yet comfortable with community-written essays, so I don't know what to advise on this. I'm planning essays in my user space because I'm very opinionated and want to write my own thoughts out without community participation before I try to work with everyone on something that would be generally applicable. But don't let me stop anyone from trying this approach. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 10:26, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
In my opinion it's very hard to trim down on quotes for a TV/Film that you haven't seen. For instance, if I hadn't seen The Matrix I wouldn't understand the dynamics of „Dough this“, and might remove it. But I think we can all agree that this quote should stay in The Matrix article. --Steinninn 19:20, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
No, Steinninn, we don't necessarily agree on this point. "Dodge this" is certainly something Neo said, and is well-known among fans as a key point in a key scene, but its usefulness and relevance to the rest of the English-speaking world is questionable. The problem we face is that each Wikiquote collects memorable, significant quotes within the culture it represents, but fans have a skewed view of what's significant in the overall culture. Matrix fans will certainly remember "dodge this", but how widespread is the knowledge or interest in this phrase? If we keep this, aren't we encouraging stuff like "woah" and "I know kung fu", which aren't original or pithy, even in their usage?
This is how Wikiquote becomes a copyright-violating collection of everything that fans want to remember from their favorite shows and films. We need higher standards, and fans seem almost universally unable or unwilling to commit to these standards, even though they probably form the backbone of our editing staff. And this is why Wikimedia Foundation board members talk about shutting down Wikiquote entirely: the difficulty in avoiding copyright violations because the editors are more concerend about turning Wikiquote into a collection of fan pages than about avoiding copyright violations and staying focused on a select set of the very best material from established people and works in the target culture. (Oops — end diatribe.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:50, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it was Trinity who said "Dodge this". ;-) BD2412 T 22:24, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I tend to agree with JeffQ about this, but what do we do with quotes like "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" and "Round up the usual suspects"? (If I have to tell you where these are from, I'm disproving the point I'm about to make). They're not particularly witty or pithy except in context, but the contexts are so well-known that the lines are iconic. Now Steinninn might say the same thing about "Dodge this" -- where does one draw the line? --Ubiquity 00:12, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's the challenge. Fans of those two films will certainly know these lines, but so do many who have never seen them. Many who haven't can even tell you who said each line, and what the context was. This shows breadth of experience (either of simple memorability or of reusability in other situations, or both) as well as timeliness. That's what makes these otherwise simple statements good quotes for a collection.
One way we can make a rough guess at how widely known these quotes might be is (you all knew I was going to say this!) finding reliable sources that cite or reuse the quote. We don't have any mechanism for citing popularity levels of quotes, but one simple (though hardly guaranteed) way to determine them as needed is to search for the exact quote in Google Book Search. Lots of relevant hits would indicate a thorough penetration of the audiences for those books — in our case, the English-speaking world. (I got 545 for the first quote and 624 for the second. Unfortunately, it's not very useful for short phrases like "dodge this". I got 720 for that query, but the first three pages have nothing relevant, and the vast majority of hits appear to be two sentences, one ending in "dodge" and the next starting with "this" — one of the flaws of Google's engine.) An ordinary Google web search doesn't suffice, because there seems to be no one in the world with more time and energy to create websites than film, TV, and video game fans (which is one reason it's so incredibly easy to find episode numbers for TV quotes these days — every show seems to have at least one copyright-violating transcription site). Using Book Search filters out the ephemeral fan material and flash-in-the-pan phrases that fade as fast as they rise.
I'm not proposing any solution here, just making some observations. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:00, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Just as an example of how a fan's perception might be colored look at one of my favorite quotes from Firefly in [this episode].

Mal: Well, look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
Zoë: Big damn heroes, sir.
Mal: Ain't we just?

I like to think that it is notable because of the triple pun (just in time, just being heroes, heroes are just). It's a line that has stuck with me for the years since seeing the show. I find it memorable and needing very little to convey to other people. If I had to pick one quote from Firefly that would be it. But does it work here? Is it something that other people feel the same as I do?
I am clearer on some other things for which I am a fan. For example I intend to take a hatchet to the Portal page sometime in the near future. While what GlaDOS says is sometimes amusing a good portion are situational. Most of what the turrets say are situational and visual. There was another Mortal Kombat is another page that should me trimmed excessively, especially the multiple permutations of what the announcer says. That might be clear to me because I am not a fan. However I do know part of the charm is the inflection with which the announcer says the lines. Again, something which is not and, to my understanding, should not be conveyed here. -- Greyed 21:17, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Let's see how your point stands against a non-scientific survey, me. First one is... Casablanca? Which I have never seen. Second one, no clue. I could look them up but that, too, defeats your point. As for "Dodge this" Jeff Q's got a great litmus test. Does the quote stand on it's own without a massive amount of stage direction/setup. "Dodge this" doesn't simply doesn't meet that requirement because what makes the line are three things.
  1. Neo's bullet-time dodge.
  2. Trinity's gun against the Agent's temple.
  3. Trinity's growling voice.
Without those three things the line does not mean anything. With them they're it's not a quote. -- Greyed 08:16, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Following morning I did look them up. I was wrong, the second line is from Casablanca, the first one is from Gone with the Wind. I have not seen either. I can say that I knew of "Frankly my dear..." but am clueless as to the context. Take that as you will. -- Greyed 18:18, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

"The usual suspects" has become a cliché in Britain. For example, whenever there is a threat of a large back-bench revolt against the Government, journalists say "It's not just the usual suspects who are protesting". And of course every sourceable cliché should be in here. I can't see "dodge this" getting a status like that.--Cato 09:48, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Problem with formattingEdit

Could someone look at the formatting of Danny Kaye please. I have created the article with two quotes by him and one about him, all sourced from Halliwell's Who's Who. If others add quotes from other sources, it will make the format I have used rather unwieldy. The only solution I can think of is to repeat the reference.--Cato 20:05, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

The current format makes it look as if the first two quotes are sourced from Halliwell, while the source of the third quote is unknown. The TOC shows that the third quote is from Halliwell, but it comes across ambiguously in the article itself. I would delete the "About Danny Kaye" heading and simply include all three quotes under Halliwell. I'm assuming, by the way, that the third quote is Kaye speaking about himself. The heading "About Danny Kaye" is a bit confusing, as if someone else had said the quote but was inadvertently not mentioned. When the subjects of articles speak or write about themselves, these quotes don't need a separate section. The About section should only be for what others have said. - InvisibleSun 20:26, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I tend to agree with InvisibleSun. I think giving Halliwell a subheading gives his book an importance it doesn't deserve with respect to Kaye. (If the quotes were both from a book by Kaye, I'd feel differently). I'd rather see all three quotes under "Sourced", each with its own reference. If you feel the repetition of the reference will be punishingly redundant, use "Halliwell (Ibid)" for the subsequent references (and if you're worried the average user won't understand "ibid", use "[[w:ibid|]]" ;-) ). --Ubiquity 21:41, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I've removed the Halliwell heading and placed explicit sources under each quote, and moved the "About" section under "Sourced", based on my assumption that each of the three quotes is from the same page in the cited edition of Halliwell, and that the "private life" quote is spoken by someone else about Kaye, not by him about himself. This I deduced from Cato's formatting and the normally understood meaning of "About" headings in Wikiquote, which is "quotes about the subject by someone other than the subject" (i.e., a place to put quotes that aren't directly from the subject, which is the primary article content). I ask Cato or someone else with the book at hand to fix any error I made in this regard.
There are many problems that this highlights, all having to do with the problem of many editors who don't know each other trying to work on an article over long periods of time. Here are some consequences:
  • If you add several quotes without citing specific sources for each and every quote, it looks like all but the first (or last, depending on how it's done — and people do it both ways) are not sourced. (Look at the problems we're having between frequent editors on a 1-day article with only three quotes.) Over time, articles with quotes like this will attract unsourced quotes mixed in with the not-obviously-sourced quotes, and may be rearranged into the order-du-jour, rendering the implied sourcing totally useless and misleading. (I have fixed a number of articles with this exact problem, and I'm sure there are at least several dozen I've never seen for each one I've fixed.)
  • If you place a book heading above a set of quotes, but don't add specific source information under each quote (even if it's only to repeat the page number), you have the same problem — there's no way to differentiate between a sourced quote and an unsourced one added later by someone else, without laborious examining the article history. (And that's examining by diffs, not by edit summary, because many editors routinely fail to include any edit summary. Personally, I think the default preference setting for "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" should be "checked", especially for anonymous editors!)
  • If you add a heading with a book title, but no other information, even people adding sourced quotes in the right section are likely to add quotes from different editions. Years aren't sufficient, either, because many books (especially popular ones, which are more likely to be quoted from) have more than one format printed in a single year. But cramming all that data into a heading makes for horrible headings and interferes with squeezing useful info into edit summaries, which are hard enough to get people to add without taking up all the available space. (Headings are terse introductions to sections. They should not be used as detailed source lines.)
There are many other potential problems, I'm sure, but you get the idea. We have several ways to avoid these problems:
  • Add full citations to each quote in a source line immediately below each. This is best to avoid errors, but clutters up the page with repetitive source information. (More and more I'm thinking French Wikiquote has the right idea about mandating sources and formalizing a way to make them readable but less of a distraction.)
  • Add a brief but specific citation (e.g., "Halliwell (2001), Who's Who, p. 242") to each quote, with the full citation given elsewhere. Two ways to do this are: to group the quotes under a heading, like the shortest common version of the title, and add source line just under the heading; or to use footnoting to place the complete citation at the bottom of the article. Either way, each quote has a unambiguous source cited, with the full details in a single place. The heading method is likely to collect partial sources from wrong editions, especially if there are enough quotes to make additions far enough below the top source line to allow the editor to fail to notice which edition.
  • Using footnoting to place the entire source line at the article bottom, so that quotes have nothing but a trailing number to indicate they're sourced. Personally, I think this is a very bad idea. Not only does it make it harder for readers to verify quotes, it also makes it much easier for editors to fail to realize the critical need for sourcing because it's too unobtrusive. Sourcing is so important that it is the top-level priority in organizing articles; i.e., sourced quotes come first, and unsourced quotes are nothing but raw material from which we must shuck the useless husks. (That's why I put sourced "About" quotes under "Sourced" headings instead of under a higher-level heading. As far as I'm concerned, anything that isn't sourced should be deleted as soon as anyone can take a pass at finding it. "About" quotes should be treated more, not less, skeptically.)
These are methods I've seen in use in a number of Wikiquote articles. There are probably more I haven't noticed (or don't recall off-hand).
Sorry about yet another essay, but there are a lot of issues here that have not been definitively resolved and codified in policy by the community, and they'll only get worse as Wikiquote grows. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:41, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Halliwell attributes the quote to Sylvia Fine; I have noted this.--Yehudi 17:25, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks to everyone.--Cato 22:41, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I have importing rights here nowEdit

Continuing from Wikiquote:Village_pump_archive_16#Probable_GFDL_problems_with_improper_transwikis, I just tried importing the full page history of American history quotes Roaring 20s, American history quotes New Deal, and American history quotes from English Wikipedia with their temporary undeletion there. Please check the import log and you will see my actions. However, as the imported pages have full edit history from Wikipedia but are not prefixed "Transwiki:", so they are separate from Transwiki:American history quotes Roaring 20s, Transwiki:American history quotes New Deal, and Transwiki:American history quotes, I would like to ask what to do with these transwiki-prefixed pages:

  1. Merge prefixed pages into unprefixed pages?
  2. Merge unprefixed pages into prefixed pages?
  3. Delete prefixed pages?

Based on my importing experiences on Chinese Wiktionary and Chinese Wikisource, once the full edit history is imported, there should be no need to prefix "Transwiki:" to imported articles. As there were no importing rights available here, from the above choices I personally favor the first action, like merging Transwiki:American history quotes to American history quotes and making needed edits, to appreciate those who cut and pasted while they could not import. Please reply before I import more page history for you.--Jusjih 01:17, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

You can (and should) import to the transwiki namespace. Just set the "Transfer pages into namespace:" dropdown to "Transwiki" before hitting the button. As for what to do on this project, I have no opinion as I don't know how things work around here. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 16:47, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that if the page already exists, upon import, a history merge will take place, and the imported version will be on top (regardless of revids or timestamps).
After re-reading this, a manual history merge seems in order for at least the cases mentioned here. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 16:57, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your comment, but where is the "Transfer pages into namespace:" dropdown to "Transwiki"? From Special:Export and its Wikipedia equivalent? If the majority comments call for importing to a "transwiki" namespace, I will follow you.--Jusjih 03:16, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
On Special:Import, you should have a dropdown for the import source (w=Wikipedia), a textbox for the page to import, and checkbox for all revisions, or the top one only and another dropdown for the namespace to import into ("all" means it goes to whatever namespace it's coming from - not sure what happens if the namespace doesn't exist here; I don't suggest you try). See m:Help:Import for details. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 04:49, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately I can only "browse" a saved file and then click "upload file" without your mentioned choices here.--Jusjih 03:02, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Apparently you have XML/upload import enabled. I think WMF wikis are supposed to have transwiki import instead, since upload is insecure. You should perhaps submit a shell request in Bugzilla and/or talk to a developer about getting that changed. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 03:42, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

User talk-page change email notification is now enabledEdit

Per our request (mentioned in the VP archives under "Email notification when user talk page changed"), registered users can now choose to receive emails as soon as their user talk pages are been changed since they last read them. Just check the "E-mail me when my user talk page is changed" option in "my preferences". Hope this helps. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 11:43, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Picture of the Year competitionEdit

Dear Wikimedians,

Wikimedia Commons is happy to announce that the 2007 Picture of the Year competition will be held soon. Any user who is registered at any Wikimedia wiki and has more than 200 edits is invited to vote.

The competition is among the 514 images that became Featured Pictures at Wikimedia Commons between 2007-01-01 and 2007-12-31. There are literally hundreds of beautiful high quality pictures... please help us choose the best one!

Voting will be conducted through a tool on the toolserver (to make it easier to count compared to editing on a wiki). Users can request a voting token on http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Picture_of_the_Year/2007/Voting . You will need to have email enabled for the user account you intend to vote from. You can only vote once, even if you have multiple accounts that meet the edit requirement. The voter log will be public although the actual votes themselves will be private.

There are two rounds of voting. In the first round, you can vote for as many images as you like, regardless of category. In the final (28), you can only vote for one image.

Thanks, Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year committee http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Picture_of_the_Year/2007 --Herby talk thyme 13:05, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Wikiquote is also not thisEdit

I'd like to propose the following section be added to Wikiquote:What Wikiquote is not, as official policy:

Wikiquote is not a fan site
Wikiquote is not a depository for every utterance made by a person or in a creative work. If a quotation can only be appreciated by fans, or is only notable within the context of knowing and admiring a particular person or creative work, it should not be included.

Discussion? --Ubiquity 14:56, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Of course we can all agree that "Wikiquote is not a depository for every utterance made by a person or in a creative work" but I believe that the rest of this proposal is a far too forceful extension of some of the arguments expressed above in "Quotability" and "Fans or non-fans?".
There are always going to be disputes as to what or what should not be included, no matter how little or how precisely one attempts to establish a definition of what criteria should be used, and there are always going to be disputes as to who and what should define the criteria.
At the end of the first discussion above BD2412 indicated "I am still working on formulating this - it is more complicated than I imagined, fitting all the parts together into a coherent whole." I believe this will always be the case whenever one attempts to formulate anything with full honesty, rather than for some very limited convenience and very limited purposes.
It was observed above in defense of the impulse to pare pages down, that Antoine de Saint Exupéry said, "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." I can agree the paring down of excess in anything is often useful, and even necessary, but it should always be engaged in in an intelligent, considerate and responsive way, and I believe the saying is far more applicable to the formation of rules about anything than it is a compendium of quotes ultimately about everything.
I would thus propose that we retain only a very few innate considerations, and leave it at that, beginning with: Is it legal, under the current copyright law and fair-use policies which we must heed? When there are no disputes about this, there always remain the disputes about what is or is not sufficiently notable, and in most regards I am content with an adoption of the strategy of Arthur Ponsonby, who expressed in regard to rules, "The absence of disapproval may be accepted as sanction, and publicity and opportunity for discussion and criticism are the really material and valuable elements..."
I am here expressing my disapproval of this proposed rule, because I do not believe there are easily formulated rules for "quotability" and do not expect that there can be any end to the quagmire of debating it in general terms. I prefer the debates to remain for the most part on a page by page basis. Where disputes inevitably do arise, I would prefer to see each case play out with reasonable arguments on the talk pages, and where resolutions are not likely by the use of reason, then a resolution can be made through consensus polling of interested parties.
The proposal made above is that "If a quotation can only be appreciated by fans, or is only notable within the context of knowing and admiring a particular person or creative work, it should not be included." This could easily be used to rule out the quoting of "Dodge this" or even "There is no spoon" from the page for The Matrix and frankly a page for quotes for that movie, which left out these quotations, is one that I would feel to be the result of gross negligence and incompetence, and any rule that could be used to insist that they be excluded even more so.
In cases where many people have been unappreciative of the need for some moderation, as has occurred on the page for Monty Python and the Holy Grail administrators can eventually pare down, or moderate the paring down of the pages to more acceptable levels, and consensus appealed to in the cases of dispute, and on some pages perhaps even some set level someday reached by consensus, beyond which it is agreed there should be little or no addition.
There are no easy or immediate answers to many of the more subtle and complex disputes that arise among people, and there are certainly no easy rules that can be made to end them, for rules themselves become the subject of dispute, as in this case. In this regard, and many others, I remain a person generally in favor of not making any truly unnecessary rules. ~ Kalki 16:29, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Kalki makes some very good points, most of which I agree with. I see that my proposed wording goes a little too far. In fact, I was not trying to settle the question of things like "Dodge this" (though my opinion about that particular item is probably a little to the right of Kalki's). What I would like to address is pages such as a game page which notes every utterance by every character, or wrestler pages filled with epithets and not much else. These kinds of pages exhibit a fan's lack of selectivity to a fault, in my opinion. Since everything about the subject is wonderful, every golden phrase deserves to be immortalized. Is it a valid defense of a quote such as "Booyah!" for someone to say "wrestler X has a big following, and we all get off when we hear him say "Booyah!"? --Ubiquity 17:01, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree that such pages prone to the overabundance of many inane remarks are often a problem. Yet, I have never agreed that it is usually necessary to delete pages created by such game fans, wrestling fans, and the like, although where others have thought so I have rarely seen anything of any great value to cause me to argue the issue. I would much prefer most pages to contain mostly memorable statements, but with limited time to spend on adding what I feel is memorable where I can, I seldom even pay much attention to the disputes on deletion of pages, and generally trust that on this project "the common sense of most" will not go too far, or become too oppressive — as long as there are not any official rules which appear to justify too great a constraint of things.
Right now I am concerned at the spate of deletions of images of early 19th century paintings occurring at the commons, and affecting the pages here and across many of the wikis, where editors at the commons seem to feel justified in summarily deleting these old images rather than simply checking up on their status as public domain works with a few google searches. I know it is often futile to argue with legal imperatives and established rules, but there are so many willing to constrain and limit others with them, and so few who are willing to insure that they are not unjustly or unnecessarily constraining. ~ Kalki 17:45, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I would not like to see such a rule in place. However, as an alternative, maybe some note on the the fact that it is ok to look at the quotes that are present and pare down those that, in an honest assessment, really aren't that stellar. I think in the admonishment to [be bold] the hardest way to be just that is in the removal of something that someone else has added. Adding is far easier. One is less likely to be in conflict over what is added since that's a single person operation. But removal, unless an editor removes their own quote that's often at least a 2-person operation and almost always in opposition to one another. So in the natural course of things any page's entropy is towards more quotes, not less.

Something I have been meaning to toss out there in these discussions, especially when it comes to recent fiction be it in movies, books, video games or what have you. I think that it is OK for Wikiquote to take something of a spaghetti approach to quotations from recent fiction. As in, throw it at the wall and see what sticks. The newness of a work of fiction lends itself to an exuberance of quotations from fans. But as the years pass and the newness fades I feel it becomes clear, collectively, that some things which appeared spectacular at first exposure really isn't spectacular. At that time, to carry the pasta metaphor, it falls off the wall... some editor removes it. What's left are the quotations that are of a higher quality.

So what is needed is a tolerance of the exuberance in the early years along with a conscious effort to fight the bloating entropy. To pare things down intelligently as it becomes apparent with time and experience what's stellar, what's debatable and what's best left aside. -- Greyed 18:40, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I am all for tolerance and not biting the newbies. But let's take a case in point: John Layfield. Which of the almost 200 unsourced quotes here deserve to be left in? I would say "none" -- so we're back to discussing whether the page should be deleted as a fan page. But I'm sure Mr. Layfield's fans feel that even "he cheated!" and "it's not fair!" are golden witticisms when issuing forth from the master. And maybe they are. Maybe (I don't know, I'm not familiar with Layfield) he says "he cheeeeeeated" and "it's not faaaaaaair!" in some uniquely amusing way. But even if so, I don't think the quotes have any value to the Wikiquote project.
It's clear that Wikiquote is aspiring to a standard like "only what would be good enough for Bartlett's" (and I think we'd miss a lot if we did). But it's also clear that we don't want to be the MySpace of quotations. I'm just trying to form a more explicit statement of where we are drawing the line. --Ubiquity 20:52, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
That's why I like what I mentioned above in "Fan or Non-Fan" for "Dodge This". Maybe Jeff Q can jump in and provide a link to where he first said it but the idea is sound for cases of fiction like this. If what he said is said with a particular inflection then it isn't quote-worthy because the words aren't what matter.
All that WQ can convey are the words, not the inflection, facial expressions, vocal tones, reactions of other people in the scene, dress, mannerism, etc. Some minimal stage direction should be permissible with the emphasis on minimal. But in the end if the words don't stand on their own then it isn't a quote in the WQ sense, it is a different beast.
It is an elegant approach which has wiggle room but can be invoked to settle disputes. It allows the spaghetti approach of tossing a lot of material up to see what sticks while helping guide those who would pare down the stuff that just doesn't stick. Sure, it catches things like "Dodge this" but I want it to. Not because I dislike The Matrix or dislike the line. I loved the movie and I love the line. But I do feel the words of the line cannot be separated from the action setting it up, the stance of the actors in the scene, the vocal inflections of the character uttering the line and the action immediately following the line. None of those rightly belong here and without them the line is nothing. -- Greyed 21:17, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
After a few minutes of thinking I realized there's another way to put it. It separates out content from presentation. My impression is that WQ is concerned with content, not presentation. We can quibble about content 'til the cows come home but presentation, being a separate beast, is far easier to come to a consensus about. -- Greyed 21:43, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Last modified on 11 April 2008, at 08:01