Use of quotations shows great humility

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  • Don Gale is out of touch
    Aug. 6, 2008 3:09 p.m.

    Once again, Don Gale shows just how out of touch he is with the real world. In addition to the great reasons given here for using the quotes of others, may I add one more:

    Avoiding charges of plagiarism.

    As teachers, professors, and even peer reviewed journals and the media get far more sensitive to the possibility that someone has "stolen" an idea, giving proper credit to sources is critical. Heaven help the poor writer who reads a wonderful thought, puts incorporates it into his own words, and then uses it without attribution. Quote marks (even with attribution) can make clear the writer is NOT claiming credit for originating the thought.

    Doubtless Gale would be among those piling on anyone charged with plagiarism even after he castigates those who dare to quote others.

  • bdub
    Aug. 6, 2008 1:24 p.m.

    I promise to never quote don gale in any of my public speeches or writings.

  • Joe
    Aug. 6, 2008 12:43 p.m.

    When one adds a quotation to one's writing, it is the responsibility of the writer to provide some context to put both the quotation in perspective, and to make sure that the quotation accurately reflects the intent of the original author. That is why a single scripture can form the basis for an entire Sunday school lesson.

    In Gale's editorial, he talks about taking one flower from a Monet painting. The single flower may not represent the painting, but it alone may be a thing of beauty, and may encourage one to seek out the original painting. And you don't have to leave a hole behind to copy the flower.

    A great quotation can contain great truths, expressed simply.

    "Ask not what your country can do for you..." expresses not simply a single idea, but an entire philosophy.

    As Paul said "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things."

    Great quotations allow us to think on these things. And I couldn't have said it better myself.

  • Don Gale
    Aug. 6, 2008 10:48 a.m.

    Thank you for adding a little more perspective to a very complex subject. I'm not sure what prompted that column, but I struggle with speakers and writers who rely too much on the words of others and not enough on their own thoughts. You hit upon a few things I was not able to cover. When someone quotes, I would like to feel that it comes from his or her reading -- as it did for President McKay -- and not from some search engine. I'm also suspicious when someone uses a quote to give an idea status. Using Abe Lincoln's words may make me appear wiser, but it isn't necessarily so. One of my former students sent quotations I use on my web site and said: "You are adorable, but you can be a bit of a flibbertybrain!" Humbled again!

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 6, 2008 8:29 a.m.

    Exactly the thoughts I had when reading Mr. Gales article. I couldn't have said it better myself, haha.