Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dubious Internet Quotation Sites

Books and magazines used to have editors — and good ones still do.  The Internet allows anyone to be his own publisher.  On the one hand that can be good.  The financial barriers to reaching an audience have been eliminated.  However it also means that a great deal of nonsense gets distributed.

This site attempts to combat a small corner of nonsense.  However, other sites promote it.  For example, the popular quotation site has the fake Goebbels quotation, and is probably the source for many who cite it.  It apparently gets over a million visitors a year.

What is interesting to us is that the site provides no information at all as to who is behind it.  Nor does it give any sources for the quotations it provides.  It allows visitors to provide feedback — but although we have twice reported that the quotation is a fake it remains on the site.

Compare that with a real print dictionary of quotations.  An excellent example is the Yale Book of Quotations.  The editor assiduously sources quotations, and finds lots of them that are falsely attributed. If you want to be sure the quotation you are using is real, do not depend on anonymous Internet sites

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