Wikiquote talk:Guide to layout

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Old threadEdit

Maybe I haven't found it yet, but I haven't found anything that explains what "Attributed" means. My first assumption is that it means "attributed to XXX, but probably not a quote from XXX", but that would mean that there should also be a separate category for "False attributions" (or maybe "Proven false") where it is known that thorough searches have been done and no version of the quote has been found, where it has been proven that someone falsified the quote, or where it has been shown the quote is by someone else. For some major figures (Abraham Lincoln for example) there really needs to be some way to keeping track of all the false quotes for them (if just on a special subpage), if for no other reason than to have a list to check against when people add new quotes. [[User:GK|gK ¿?]] 09:04, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

A discussion occurred here about name designations, and a bit earlier on the same page. "Sourced" was suggested for all quotations with citations, with a recommendation to abandon "Verified" as too strong a word, far too casually applied, too easily, by too many. "Attributed" to be used on quotes known to be attributed to an individual or source, but without definite citations, and various options for more dubious quotations were proposed or suggested at various places: "Misattributed" for quotes that were known to be wrongfully attributed to a source, and "Probably spurious" where the evidence indicates that they were probably fabricated quotations (sometimes even with fabricated citations). "Quotations by others about ________" is also a recommended heading. "Almost certainly spurious" has sometimes been used, where the evidence of falsehood is especially strong, and occasionally such quotations, or misattributions have been removed to the talk page, because they are not considered worthy of considiration as even possibly genuine, or correctly attributed. It is not recommended that even such quotes as are commonly misattributed to a source be deleted entirely, because we should aim at providing information that debunks false quotes, as well as that which confirms the true ones. Any more precise information or speculation about a particular quotation's origins than the various headers provide can be made in the comments beneath the quote, or sometimes on the talk page. ~ Kalki


"Quotations should be divided into two sections, Verified and Attributed." - so said, but there are some exceptions or a group of articles following different convention; Sourced and Attributed. I am not sure the reason, but somehow I feel the latter pair preferable. And we are better to say other habits (even if they are not rules yet), like Misattributed or sections dedicated to particular works. Any comment is welcome. --Aphaia 05:50, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

After reviewing the discussion Kalki alluded to in the section above, and concurring with Aphaia, I changed "Verified" to "Sourced" in the article. This appears to have been an oversight after a community feeling (if not formal consensus) that the term "verified" is too ambiguous and too easily abused, whereas "sourced" is obvious — the source can and should be provided, so it may be checked, corrected, and/or argued if necessary. We should probably add some additional guidance based on that old discussion (elements of which are in use in some articles), and synchronize this article with Wikiquote:Templates. — Jeff Q (talk) 11:23, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I support Jeff's rewrite. In case there is someone who have different opinion, I'll put a note on WQ:VP.
Let me summarize Kalki's suggestion, we will have (or already have) a set of labels
  • Sourced - if we can provide the source information like following:
    • Faust, Act I, l. 1024.
    • Critique of the pure raison, 121A.[1st ed. of the German original, p.121],
    • Address to the U.S. Congress, 12 September, 1956
  • Attributed - attribution is sure, but without source information.
  • Misatrributed - either frequently or sometimes, that were known to be wrongfully attributed to a source, like:
  • Probably spurious - the evidence indicates that they were probably fabricated quotations (sometimes even with fabricated citations)
  • Quotations by others about ________: [not used in articles classified under Category:Themes]
  • Almost certainly spurious
    • That is.

I am however not sure we need Almost certainly spurious, since it seems to me two classes for spurious quotes too fine and I haven't remember to see this label ACS has been used. If anyone could let me know the usage example, I would easily concur. --Aphaia 13:47, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Article headingsEdit

This guide says: "The person should be shown in a header at the top of the page, followed by their birth and death year (if any), and their profession. See the template." However the template follows a completely different style (name in bold, followed by dates, then description). I only see this page's style on old pages while most newer pages follow the template's style. I have been converting many pages to that style as well. Is this page's instructions just an unchanged relic or was the style change never debated? -- Rmhermen 17:49, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Aphaia started a discussion about this at Wikiquote talk:Templates#Proposal: discuss format of article of people. She and I have opposing views, so I think we're off to a good start for a debate. Interested parties are encouraged to join the conversation. — Jeff Q (talk) 07:23, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Moved discussion from draftEdit

I've noticed I poured much of Wikiquote:Manual of style into this guide. I know why I did it: I wanted a one-stop-shop for directing people to see how to write better articles. I don't feel it is long enough that we do need the split up: quite possibly, when this is moved out of draft, I'll check if the MoS has anything not in this, move it over and redirect. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 17:04, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Moshe: Comments on the draft guideEdit

Moshe: Thanks for the invitation to review this. I have just a few minor comments.

  • First, in the Films section, I'm not sure why you specified that quotes under Others would follow the formatting of theme quotes. This implies that they would be grouped alphabetically, and would contain quote marks. I wouldn't be inclined to have them follow that formatting, instead listing them chronologically as they appear in the film (as we would dialogue quotes). I would also not use quote marks for any film quotes.
  • Second, under Theme quotes, you might want to specify that the quotes should be alphabetical by source.
  • Third, I haven't been listing the stars of a film at the top of the page, limiting myself to Director and writer(s). Since they are listed below, under cast, I didn't list them. Which brings me to another comment: shouldn't Cast be a section to be included, right above External links?
  • Finally, (although this really isn't directly about the guide, but something I've seen discussed elsewhere) should film quotes be shown the way we are currently showing them? In other words, should they be done like they are for TV shows, instead of grouping sections with the character, separate from dialogue quotes? The reason I ask is that if someone is reading through a TV show's page, they can usually follow an episode along, since the quotes are ostensibly laid out in chronological order as they appeared in the episode. On film pages, this is not really possible, since to follow through a movie chronologically would require the reader to jump back and forth between dialogue and individual quotes.

OK, I'll stop rambling, but that's my input. I do think the guide is a great idea and I would have liked to have such a one-stop guide when I was starting out. UDScott 21:46, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for the comments.
1. The Others quotations have two styles: theme-like and TV-like. I have updated the text to allow for both styles.
2. Theme quotes, AIUI, are alphabetical by content. At least, that was how I always did thing, and how I saw others do things. I've written the guideline to be more specific.
3. I've made it clear that the stars aren't mandatory. They are sometimes useful: I think if I wrote a page for Terminator, I'd put in Ahnold's name. It's ok not to do it, but I want to specifically allow addition of the stars to the intro, especially for an actor's "seminal work".
4. I've worked hard to make sure the guideline reflects current consensus and established practices. Mostly, it's an explanation of what is shown in Wikiquote:Templates. So, you're right: this isn't a question about the guide. Now, to the actual content of your complaint: I pretty much agree, but I am not really important, as I've never written a movie page from scratch, only did some random cleanup as part of my usual patrols. If you want this changed, and like I said, I sympathise, you will need to gather a wide consensus to make this change. As you may have seen in my "no quote marks" crusade, this takes time and effort.
Any further comments (or direct edits to the guide) would be appreciated. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 08:44, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Comic book formattingEdit

So far, most comics articles have been formatted with a variant on the TV style. Please add here any comments you have regarding comic book formatting. Thanks ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 16:29, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Is that going to be 'official' now? --InShaneee 19:46, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Copyediting and formatting changesEdit

I've just finished a copyediting sweep through the entire page, rewriting certain bits to flow and/or look better. There were only a few edits I was uncertain about; most are simply cosmetic, but you might want to check the history "diffs" to make sure if you regularly watch this page. I'm not married to the "typewriter type" I've used on the various wikicode snippets, but I think they did need some kind of special formatting to set them off from the rest of the text. - dcljr 07:08, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Oh, BTW, I would also be willing to give up the unique section header names now that I see that there's a MediaWiki feature to deal with that problem (see "If multiple sections have the same title" in the table I've linked to). I mainly kept the headers that way while I was editing to make it easier to keep track of the various internal links. I still think using unique names is a good idea since links based numbering are easily broken when significant changes are made... but it does make the TOC look rather annoying. - dcljr 07:15, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Theme pagesEdit

With Theme pages I don't understand why we don't do it by author because speaking at least from my experince when looking for quotes I'm more likely to know who said it then the first word. ~ DFA 00:29, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

TV show episode header formatEdit

It says we should use the form ===''Italicized Name'' [n.m]==, where n is the season, and m is the episode number. Is this really necessary? Seasons are a level 2 header, so it's obvious what season the episode is in. As for the episode number, you can determine that from the TOC. From what I've seen, only about half of the shows (that don't require massive cleanup) stick with this guideline, including large articles with a high number of editors. The rest of them just use ===Episode Name===. Would it be better to drop this guideline, or at least have it say use one of the two styles I mentioned, since it would seem that many people (including me) prefer it without the numbers. Koweja 18:10, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

We decided to add episode numbers a while back because most TV-show articles (including, by definition, any ongoing series) do not have headings for all episodes, so the table of contents will not number the episodes correctly. Even when all episodes are are included, there is nothing to stop someone from mixing up the order of episodes. (This happens with some frequency. I had to reverse an entire season of Smallville only a few months ago.) Ep numbers themselves are not essential to Wikiquote purposes, except to provide chronological order. Including them makes it easier for editors to verify and make corrections. (Allowing editors to organize, source, and verify information in quote articles is essential to Wikiquote.)
Many articles that do not use ep numbers are completed series, making it possible (and often highly desirable) to implement custom tables of contents to avoid 10-page-long TOCs. In this situation, one or more editors commit to verifying and establishing an episode order, based on sourced information, then create a TOC that is not expected to be modified, and indeed is often rather hard to edit without breaking the TOC. This barrier allows us to forego the ep numbers, as the order has been established by experienced editors, and vandalism or even innocently wrong attempts to edit are easy to spot. But this system has its own problems, and is based on assumptions that are becoming increasingly invalid for the current Wikiquote community.
The guidelines could make this situation clearer. They serve two purposes: to define the desired styles for articles, and to help new editors create articles. For the latter purpose, it's important to keep the information as simple as possible, since new editors are having to learn the entire wiki system as well, and shouldn't be overburdened by too many options and variations. (I think the current style guidelines are already uncomfortably complex, but they are the direct result of other ongoing problems in article creation.) Like much of Wikiquote practice, the more sophisticated styles are typically learned through experience, as we don't have enough experienced editors who are willing and able to commit the time to develop, discuss, amend, review, and ratify guideline and policy changes. It's far from perfect, but has the advantage of putting the burden of learning the complexities squarely on the editors in the best position to handle it.
For the time being, episode numbers are the most practical means to aid most editors in organizing the articles. Of course, other ideas are always welcome, but be prepared for boring Wikiquote history lessons from verbose editors to explain the downsides. ☺ ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:01, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Ideal ExampleEdit

There should be a link on this article sending the reader to an exemplary(sp?) article. 15:57, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Good idea, but it has some practical challenges. First, we'd really need one example for every kind of formatting (people, theme, TV show, film, books, etc.), as each has its differences (some very visible, others more subtle, but all for established reasons). More importantly, each example would have to be stable. Finally, formatting issues are still somewhat in flux, especially given that they have been mostly determined by a handful of active editors (i.e., folks who edit more than, say, 100 times a month). If these folks were the same over time, this might not be an issue, but as it is, our frequent-editor list has tended to change dramatically, being an almost completely new set of 4-8 people every half-year or so. This makes it hard to lock down any layout issues, let alone examples. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 17:11, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
This is the best and easiest way for people to learn. I don't read the instructions (if I can help it) - I look at the articles and follow precedent. The simple way to provide examples is to construct some ideal articles in project name space purely as a model to follow. Tyrenius 22:16, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
You might take a look at Wikiquote:Good articles, which is a work in progress to identify articles which might be viewed as examples of good formatting and content. ~ UDScott 22:36, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
They could be cited in layout guides etc as models. Tyrenius 22:52, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, eventually maybe. But this page is an attempt to identify which articles could serve that purpose - I don't think the process is nearly finished. ~ UDScott 23:03, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Conflict in policies Templates and Guide to LayoutEdit

The Templates page states on specific style for themes pages, while this page states another, which one is authoritative? It seems to me like templates is more up-to-date and should be followed and its policy copied here.

On this policy page:

Quotes should appear alphabetically, sorted by content in a bulleted list. Here quotes should be surrounded by double-quote marks ("); if quotation marks are used inside the quote itself, they should be single-quote marks ('). The quotation should be followed by a tilde (~) and then a link to the source (usually a person, but sometimes a book, television show, etc.). This can be followed by sub-bullets giving context and more information, although unless relevant to the specific themes these are discouraged. It is highly recommended to add the quotation to the source's page, and add comments and context there instead.

On the templates page:

'''[[w:Theme|Theme]]''' is (''a short description of the theme''). 
<!-- NOTE: Copying an abbreviated version of the Wikipedia article's intro is recommended. 
Be sure to remove redlinks or point them to Wikipedia articles, though. -->

<!-- alphabetical list by quote -->

== Sourced ==

* QuoteA.
** [[Author]], source

* QuoteB.
** ''[[Name of Book or Play]]'' by [[Author]]

* ''Foreign language quote.''
** Translation: English translation
** Author and source

== Unsourced ==

* UnsourcedQuoteA.
** [[Author]]



On of these two policies needs to be adopted and standardized or we're all just going to keep going around reformatting over each others reformats of articles. Personally, I like the templates format better simply because it's more straight forward and less wishy-washy. --Imjustmatthew 20:38, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Imjustmatthew, I apologize that no one has addressed this issue yet. As you suspected, Wikiquote:Templates and its subpages have been the de facto guidelines for formatting articles of all genres for about two years. Most of the efforts by regular editors to standardize formatting for each genre in this time have focused on these for several reasons:
  • They are succinct, and follow the general wiki principle of instruction through example.
  • They are used as boilerplate by the "add new article" input boxes at Help:Starting a new page.
  • The genre subpages have provided a means to discuss the genre-specific issues without cluttering the main page.
Of course, we've been using Wikiquote:Guide to layout all this time to provide guidance to new users in our standard {{Welcome}} message, so it's important that we bring these two into sync. If someone doesn't beat me to it, I'll see about fixing this. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 14:28, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your announced initiatives :) I agree on that now Wikiquote:Templates is our standard, and synch is needed. --Aphaia 07:32, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


There is no mention of this in the guide. "Attributed" is defined in a way which would apply to "unsourced", but the former seems to be used in articles where "misattributed" should be the term. Tyrenius 22:20, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

This change had been made a while back to the template, but it yet to be changed here (which I have just done). ~ UDScott 22:33, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Time to return to this subject. In the "People pages" and "Theme pages" sections here we are giving advice on how to add attributed or unsourced quotes. This is also true of the templates accessed via the input boxes at Help:Starting a new page. I would have thought we should end this but I'm not bold enough to do it myself. --Antiquary 21:49, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I think the "Theme pages" section is completely wrong and didn't try to rewrite it. I did add a warning as you suggested to to "Unsourced". 121a0012 05:16, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree about "Unsourced," and endorse the changes made by 121a0012. Wikiquote:Templates and Wikiquote:Sourced and Unsourced sections need to be updated in this regard as well. At the latter, I think the bit at the end about "a relatively new usage of the 'Attributed' heading" should be promoted to best practice, and integrated in all these pages. I will comment about "Themes" separately and draft some changes. ~ Ningauble 14:01, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Colon placementEdit

I see several pages formatting television quotes as

  • Character: Quoted text.

Rather than as

  • Character: Quoted text.

The layout guide suggests that the latter is correct, and I have changed several pages accordingly. However, it occurs to me that the former might be better because it does not obscure the colon, which sometimes gets lost with the latter formatting. Was there a discussion of this somewhere, or is this open for discussion? Postmodern Beatnik 15:33, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

The discussions surrounding dialog formatting are so old that I'm having a hard time finding them at the moment. As soon as I locate them, I will link to them and summarize. Of course, formatting guidelines are always open to discussion, and there are rationales for either form. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 16:30, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Themes againEdit

As 121a0012 remarked earlier today at Unsourced above, this section is completely wrong. (See also Theme pages and Conflict in policies Templates and Guide to Layout above.)

  1. As described at Wikiquote:Templates and used in current practice, the format should be consistent with that of people articles: quote marks are superfluous and citations should be sub-bulleted beneath each quote.
  2. Recent practice has been fairly consistent in sorting quotes alphabetically by author (where they are sorted at all) rather than by the words of the quotation. (Chronological order has been used to good effect in a few cases, but is nonstandard.)

While I confess that "consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"Ralph Waldo Emerson, I also confess an ulterior motive: giving greater prominence to authors and sources may nudge contributors to pay greater attention to providing citations. If nobody objects, I will revise this section accordingly. ~ Ningauble 14:15, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

External linksEdit

Are there any reasonably solid guidelines about choice of external links? All I can find is the description "Links about the person, with a special emphasis on places where more of their words can be found". I'm just wondering about one or two articles - particularly Albert Einstein - where they're turning into linkfarms not terribly focused on source texts, but I don't want to wade in and trim them if they're within Wikiquote's brief. Gordonofcartoon 15:06, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

That is about all the guidance there is. Consensus, or lack thereof, is generally worked out on a case by case basis, or not. In my estimation, several of the links at Albert Einstein seem less germane to Wikiquote than others. If the list is so excessive as to border on the grotesque, Einstein himself would be unsurprised. Quoth he: "The cult of individual personalities is always, in my view, unjustified. [...] This has been my fate, and the contrast between the popular estimate of my powers and achievements and the reality is simply grotesque." ~ Ningauble 16:17, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Undue weight to simple citationsEdit

From Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • We must be the great arsenal of Democracy.
    • Fireside Chat on National Security, Washington, D.C. (29 December 1940)

From Victor Borge

  • I learned to play the piano on my mother's knee - that was before we got a piano.
    • Richard Dyer, "Laughter Was at the Heart of Victor Borge's Many Talents", Boston Globe, 29 December 2000, p. D17

In situations where we can give the context about where and when the quote was uttered, such as the Roosevelt quotation, it makes sense to give that information prominently. But when we don't have that context and are simply giving a citation, wouldn't it make more sense to put that in a footnote? When I look at the Victor Borge page, the names of the writers of the cited articles seem as prominent as the quotations themselves. That's just an example, but it's true across the project. Could we subordinate mere citations to avoid giving them excess weight on a page?   Will Beback  talk  21:11, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

That Victor Borge one should stand out, since it's a secondary-source citation and therefore missing information. 121a0012 05:01, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Right, but there are plenty of pages like this. I agree that the context is important, when we have it. But the citations aren't.
(In the case of Borge, he probably delivered that line more than a hundred times - it was part of his act. I suppose we could say that it was part of his act, but I'm not sure the sources say that explicitly.)
So I'm suggesting that context-less citations would be better presented in footnotes instead of mixing them in with the content.   Will Beback  talk  05:46, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Interlinear citation is standard format in most quotation compendiums, including this one. The prominence of the relatively obscure "Richard Dyer" which is presented in the citation of the Victor Borge quote is one of the many possible drawbacks of using standard forms of footnote formatting in the interlinear ciations. I have always tended to use, and thus promote more straightforward format of citation akin to that used in many quotation collections; in this case it would be presented in either the form "As quoted in "Laughter Was at the Heart of Victor Borge's Many Talents" by Richard Dyer, in The Boston Globe (29 December 2000), p. D17" — or, more likely than not, I would drop the print-page number, as relatively irrelevant in the current electronic age, and even a report's author is usually relatively unimportant data in a citation of an newspaper article for a quote of someone, which is not even always provided by news sources. The author or editor of either a book or of an article within a book containing a quote I normally would recommend citing, if available. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 07:03, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
The style of interlinear citation here and at major print compendia of quotations is different from other types of works in which quotes may be included incidentally, because it reflects a focus on the act of quotation, of which citation is an integral part.

The quotations themselves do not "pop" as much as they might because the page rendering is a bit dense. A few contributors have occasionally experimented with additional whitespace between quotes, and with a smaller font for citations. Modern print compendia use this sort of typography to very good effect, but it is hard to get it right with wikimarkup. I think our pages would look really nice with an extra 1/2 linespace before level 1 bullets (when lower level bullets follow, not in flat lists), with 90% font size for bullets below level 1, and perhaps with 50-100% greater indentation for level 2 bullets. Unfortunately, I am just dreaming.

Regarding the amount of detail in citations, I will only remark at this time that, when it comes to secondary source attributions, I think who says so is an important consideration. (Newspapers use bylines to ascribe both credit and responsibility, and at many papers the omission of a byline indicates a finding or opinion of the paper itself, i.e., the editorial "we".) ~ Ningauble 17:22, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the helpful responses.
Regarding formatting: In the Franklin D. Roosevelt page I see that many portions or entire quotations are in bold text. I don't see any discussion here or on other pages that gives guidance on when to use emphasis. In the FDR article, it seems editors have decided that some passages are more important than others. In any case, putting the quotations in bold text while leaving the cites/context in plain text would do more to highlight the quotes.
Regarding citations: It's not clear how to handle multiple citations: should they be added in a bulleted list, run together in a single bullet, or restricted to the single best source (if that can be determined?)
How much extrapolation is appropriate? In the case of Borge, it seems like it would help readers to say that these quotations were part of his stage act, even though the sources may not say that in so many words. Anyone who's seen one of his shows, live or on video, could confirm that though. Thoughts?   Will Beback  talk  01:55, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
So many questions, such ambiguous answers:
  1. There is no official guidance on the use of boldface. It is left to editor discretion, which sometimes leads to editorial disputes. People have tried bolding all the quotes on a few pages, but the result is not pretty. Typographers aver that boldface is harder to read, and should only be used to draw attention to a very few words.
  2. There is no consistency in the format of multiple citations of a single quote. I favor using a bullet list when the sources disagree (e.g., as to wording or origin) because each "makes a distinct point," otherwise I usually run them together with a full stop (.). When the original language and an English translation are both quoted, the two sources might be bulleted separately, but this is not done consistently.
  3. I think an ideal choice of multiple sources is to include (1) the primary source or, failing that, the earliest known secondary source, (2) the most reliably accurate source if the earlier attribution is questionable, plus (3) a notable secondary or tertiary source that indicates it is widely quoted, such as a compendium of famous quotes. (Cf. an essay on Primary, secondary, and tertiary sources that I drafted recently.)
  4. Regarding the amount of explanation or context for a quote: only enough, if it is really necessary, to clarify what the quote refers to. As I always say: quotes by their very nature are taken out of context – if it doesn't speak for itself, it probably isn't a very good quote.
Thanks for the helpful questions! ~ Ningauble 14:57, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

I tried this: putting the citation details into a footnote and making the interlinear citation more prose-like. However the superscript footnote forces the citation down a fraction making the problem worse. The citation should be closer to the quotation, not further away.

  • I only know two pieces, one is 'Clair de Lune', the other one isn't.
    • From the obit in The Independent.[1]
  • When I was a little boy and played Liebestraum, my father used to hit me on the head with a newspaper every time I slopped the cadenza . . . I hate Liebestraum.
    • From the obit in The Independent.[1]
  1. a b Tom Vallance, "Obituary: Victor Borge", The Independent (London), 26 December 2000

Maybe there's a trick to force the footnotes into a subscript, which would solve two problems in one fell swoop.   Will Beback  talk  11:11, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

To cite multiple quotations from a single source, one approach that works well is to provide a full citation for the first instance and an abbreviated citation (but not just "ibid.") for subsequent ones. ~ Ningauble 15:00, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
PS – The problem with superscripts spoiling line spacing lies in Internet Explorer. Other browsers handle <sub> and <sup> correctly, and Microsoft may figure it out in a future release. ~ Ningauble 15:12, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Your answer about citations is useful. However I mean to ask about quotations that have multiple sources, not sources that have multiple quotations. IE isn't the only browser that adds extra space because of superscript. What do you think about the use of bold text?   Will Beback  talk  23:50, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
(See numbered responses to your previous post, above the "outdent" in this thread.) ~ Ningauble 00:07, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
(I missed those - thanks for the pointer).   Will Beback  talk  00:59, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

I just came across a page with formatting which is simple but still lowers the over-emphasis on citations: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It is formated like this:

  • They think democracy -- I used to say "damn the democracy", because it's not a stable government.
Quoted from: w:Larry King Weekend, Interview With Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (2002-05-12) [1]

The citation is indented with two colons: "::". That seems a lot easier to read, especially in a page of quotations, than the more conventional format:

  • They think democracy -- I used to say "damn the democracy", because it's not a stable government.

The second bullet point seems unnecessary and distracting.   Will Beback  talk  10:17, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

True List, Blockquote, TemplateEdit

The current style guide says to use lists for quotes, i.e. reduced to the barebones:

  • quote
    • source

Alas, it also suggests to separate quotation blocks from each other, like so:

  • quote 1
    • source 1
  • quote 2
    • source 2

Lists are not an appropriate markup choice in the first place, but if we must use them, can we at least make then consecutive?

  • quote 1
    • source 1
  • quote 2
    • source 2

Or let us use definition lists:

quote 1
source 1
quote 2
source 2

Better yet would be to use some kind of wiki markup that results in HTML markup that uses the <blockquote> (or inline <q>) element.

  • quote

    • source







or HTML5



<figcaption>source</figcaption></<figure> or something like that.

To enable an easy site wide change for such style issues it would really help if there was either a template for quotes (Template:Quote uses a deprecated style pattern) or if there was a Mediawiki add-on installed that provided markup for quotes. The current template source code could look something like this:

* {{#if:{{{translation|}}}|''{{{quote|{{{1|}}}}}}''|{{{quote|{{{1|}}} }}
** Transliteration: {{{transliteration}}}|}}
** Transcription: {{{transcription}}}|}}
** Translation: {{{translation}}}|}}
** {{{attribution|{{{2|}}}}}} 11:47, 13 February 2012 (UTC)


Just because I, as a new reader to Wikiquote, needed to do a bit of searching to confirm why some quotes are in bold, I suggest this link is put somewhere on the page and/or further explaination added. Markhurd (talk) 14:00, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

There was a more recent and broader discussion of the issue here. There may not be enough of a consensus to give clear guidance on this page. ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:11, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Theme pages: proposal to change the guidelineEdit

Currently the section on themes gives the following guideline, which was introduced Nov 17, 2005 by MosheZadka.

Unless there is a good reason, the introduction for a theme page may be nothing more than "Quotes about/related to Theme", where "Theme" is made a link to Wikipedia. [3]

Now I wonder if this guideline is outdated? Wikiquote is in the process of growing up, and can act more independently. Every thematic article can have an average one to three line introduction about the topic, similar to Wikipedia, with one link to the Wikipedia article, and possibly more links to related topics in Wikiquote. -- Mdd (talk) 13:45, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

"Unless there is a good reason" is probably an infortuitous clause, but I think it is correct to say the introduction "may be nothing more than..."[emphasis added]. Two or three sentences to clearly identify the subject are certainly fine, and this is becoming the norm. I don't think you are proposing specific wording, but let me clarify my opinion about this by picking some nits:

I would not say "similar to Wikipedia", because the purpose of a lede section there is different, and they often run to several paragraphs. It might be appropriate to say "similar to the first sentence or two of a Wikipedia article".

I am afraid "introduction about the topic" could be taken as an invitation to essay upon the subject, albeit briefly. Let the quotes be about the topic that the introduction identifies.

The advice I usually use when discussing introductions in general (not just theme articles) is:

two or three sentences to identify the subject and, if necessary, why it is notable
Wikipedia's advice at WP:LEADSENTENCE and Opening paragraph is good, but is much more involved than what we need. Perhaps parts of it could be adapted for use here. ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:02, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree all along. I guess on second thought, the guideline is not outdated, but maybe incomplete. For example the latest new article today (see here) followed the current guideline to the letter. There seems to be two preferable options: the current one-liner and a two-to-three-sentences-intro. -- Mdd (talk) 01:26, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Film reviewsEdit

Are quotes from a critic's film review okay to be added to that film's quote page? Illegitimate Barrister (talk) 19:50, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Sorting of quotesEdit

There seems to be an absence of guidelines on how to sort quotes on person pages. The practice I've been following is to sort the Quotes section by date, and the About [person] section by author.

However, DanielTom (talk · contributions) thinks that on a page involving a current political candidate, the About quotes are better understood chronologically. Should we have a policy on how to sequence quotations, or handle it differently on a case by case basis? ~ Robin Lionheart (talk) 08:47, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

For theme pages as well (e.g. Rock and roll, Big Bang, Futurism, Management, Fallacy, Greeks, etc.). ~ DanielTom (talk) 08:57, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
With nothing personal, I really consider bulleted lists too ugly, but carefully phasing in sortable tables will accommodate different readers' preferences on ordering by author, date, or others. It is being tested on Chinese Wikiquote for theme pages, especially when quoting from edicts of governments that I love to quote due to much less copyright problems. To test it here, I prefer to start a brand new page to avoid disrupting existing pages.--Jusjih (talk) 03:19, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
There is an example of tabular format in the Advertising slogans article, though it is not configured as sortable. I think it only works tolerably well because in that context the quotes themselves are very short, by definition. Personally, I do not think bulleted lists are unlovely, and in most cases I think a tabular format would be very awkward. ~ Ningauble (talk) 13:51, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Without it I would not even know that table. Then we should acknowledge the use of sortable table in addition to bulleted list.--Jusjih (talk) 23:34, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

is sourced obsoleteEdit


"Verified" heading. Use "Sourced" instead, and only include quotations from verifiable sources.

I don't see sections called 'sourced' anymore. I believe that only made sense in respect to a corresponding 'unsourced' which is now no longer allowed. "Sourced" is assumed for everything and verified/sourced would just be the basic "Quotes" primary section right?

I don't see an explanation for "Disputed" but I think I recall seeing that used somewhere... 08:08, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

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