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  1. #1
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Question Question about writing

    Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate
    quotations. Tell me what you know."
    Hi! I read a tip about writing as above. I wonder whether it is true. It seems it is paradoxical. On one hand, it contends to eliminate quotations; on the hand, it quotes Emerson's remark to corroborate the point.

    Could you please tell me what you think about this? Thanks!

  2. #2
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Question about writing

    There are different kinds of quotations. Here, Emerson is quoted for something he said. Perhaps the kind of quotations he disliked are the long rambling ones said by people, or the long rambling ones taken out of factual books. In any case, Emerson wants you to relay the information to the reader in your own words, not those of another person.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Question about writing

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hi! I read a tip about writing as above. I wonder whether it is true. It seems it is paradoxical. On one hand, it contends to eliminate quotations; on the hand, it quotes Emerson's remark to corroborate the point.

    Could you please tell me what you think about this? Thanks!
    I think it's ironical, perhaps taken from a list of ironical writing tips, like the following:

    - Other things being equal, avoid phrases like “other things being equal".
    - Be careful with apostrophe's.
    - Always check you're speliing.
    - It's never right to sloppily split an infinitive.
    - Don't end a sentence with a preposition. Alternatives can always be thought of.
    etc.

  4. #4
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about writing

    Susiedqq and Raymott:

    Thank you for your replies. I had understood the meaning of the quotation of Emerson's.

    I am sorry that I didn't make myself clear. I mean whether it is good to use quotation in my writing. I also found some quotations which were applied in articles of some journalists'.

  5. #5
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about writing

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Susiedqq and Raymott:

    Thank you for your replies. I had understood the meaning of the quotation of Emerson's.

    I am sorry that I didn't make myself clear. I mean whether it is good to use quotation in my writing. I also found some quotations which were applied in articles of some journalists'.

    As always, it depends upon the context. If there is a fact that supports a point you are trying to make, but it is a statement made by someone else, then it is appropriate to use a quotation.

    For example, I recently wrote an article about the spike in gasoline prices in the US this past Summer. Consumers were shocked to pay $4.00 per gallon in some cities. In my article, I recounted the time in the late 1970s when gasoline first went over the one dollar per gallon mark in the US. As an anecdote to "spice up" the piece, I used a quote from a book, where a young actor had been advised by an older guest star in the early 1970s to invest in oil, "because, mark my words, one of these days we'll be paying over $1 a gallon for gasoline!" The young actor laughed at him, because at that time it was inconceivable for gas to cost that much. Using the direct quote was more concise and effective in my article than me paraphrasing it.

  6. #6
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about writing

    Hi Ouisch,

    Thank you for your illustration. I agree with you. Sometimes, an appropriate quote will corroborate the argument(s) of an author well.

    Happy Holidays to you all.

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