That’s Wack: Quoting

Over the last few weeks I have noticed a bizarre, if not disturbing, trend in social media statuses. I keep seeing people quote or retweet other folks who post quotes. In it’s spoken form it could sound like this,

“In the words of my friend Rico as he quotes Edgar Allen Poe quoting the Raven, Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore’.”

I am struggling to find a time when this type of rampant quote stacking is acceptable. It’s like a pyramid scheme for quotes. Multi-level quoting.

If the trend continues we may end up with a book of “Inspirational Quotes Quoted by Celebrities for You to Requote.” No. That would not be awesome.

Here are some of the problems:

  1. The punctuation for super-sandwich quote stacking is experimental and may actually damage a computer or digital device.
  2. The readers risk their brains reaching quote saturation and shutting down.
  3. English teachers throughout the United States die a little every time this occurs. It’s a pandemic.
  4. Are we really so lazy that we avoid typing in a few letters for clarity’s sake and just cut and paste our thoughts?
  5. It takes the credit from the original speaker and gives credit to the quoter not for the quote itself but for the wisdom in quoting it.

Number 5 became particularly sinister one day last week. It threatened the very fabric of the age. I found one-click requoting involving scripture taking over social media. We’re quoting someone quoting the Bible. I think that is a sign of the state of modern Christianity. It’s bad enough to quote the big names of current ministry as if it were scripture. Now we are satisfied to quote the Bible with another person’s voice.

“Rico said the Bible said this. I agree with him.”

What do you think about multi-level quoting? Have you ever slowly sapped the life from an English teacher? Are we losing sight of the origin of the quote? Have you suffered a loss of technology or consciousness from rampant quote stacking?

7 thoughts on “That’s Wack: Quoting

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  1. As an amateur vocabularian, I heartily endorse any bloglet in which the word “quoth” is quoted. I laud your efforts combat these life-sucking “quote-stackers”. You are breathing a little life back into the dying teachers of English grammar. “The relentless attack on standard English within the context of social media has destroyed our ability as a culture to clearly articulate our ideas.” ~my brother quoting me from the time I quoted my creative writing instructor as she quoted Archie Campbell trying to sound smart and now I’m quoting him back

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    1. This comment contains the base parts of why we are friends. Nicely done with the black-belt effort in multi-level quoting. Especially when half way through you are quoting yourself, sort of.

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      1. I now frequently quote myself in order to establish as authoritative my contribution to any conversation. I never will forget the time I said and I quote, “”If you can’t believe me, then listen to this quote of an earlier version of me who said and I quote, “You can quote me on this: “One of easiest tricks you can do to impress stupid folks is slap a quote in there, blame it on Mark Twain or Ben Franklin and sit back and rake in the accolades. Of course, it ain’t that hard to impress stupid folks.”” ~me from the forward of Ken’s new book, “The Quote-Stackers Bible and Activity Book.”

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