~Franz Kafka, quoted by Gustav Janouch,
Apothegms to thinking minds are the seeds from which spring vast fields of new thought, that may be further cultivated, beautified, and enlarged.
~Horace Walpole, quoted in , 1800
To the editor, the author, and the public speaker, it is believed that a great convenience will hereby be afforded; for nothing adorns a composition or a speech more than appropriate —endorsing, as it were, our own sentiments with the sanction of other minds—unless the habit of quoting is too often indulged, when it degenerates into pedantry, and becomes unpleasing.
My life's entwined by curly quote marks
Clever phrases and profound remarks....
Unraveling proverbs is a suitable puzzle for an old man.
~Seneca, "On Tranquility of Mind," translated by Moses Hadas
Some for renown on scraps of learning dote,
And think they grow immortal as they quote.
To patch-work learned quotations are allied;
Both strive to make our poverty our pride.
I doubt whether Cromwell or Milton could have rivaled [William Lloyd] Garrison in this field of quotation; and the power of quotation is as dreadful a weapon as any which the human intellect can forge.
~William Mathews, "Quotation and Misquotation," in , January 1890
The indiscreet Scriblers of our Times, who amongst their laborious Nothings, insert whole Sections, Paragraphs, and Pages, out of Ancient Authors, with a Design by that means to illustrate their own Writings, do quite contrary; for this infinite Dissimilitude of Ornaments renders the Complexions of their own Compositions, so pale, sallow, and deform'd, that they lose much more than they get.
~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), , 1882
In ancient days, tradition says,
When knowledge was much stinted—
When few could teach and fewer preach,
And books were not yet printed—
What wise men thought, by prudence taught,
They pithily expounded;
And proverbs sage, from age to age,
In every mouth abounded.
O Blessings on the men of yore,
Whom wisdom thus augmented,
And left a store of easy lore
For human use invented.
~, 1864, quoted in by Dwight Edwards Marvin, 1916
In a world in which men write thousands of books and one million scientific papers a year, the mythic bricoleur is the man who plays with all that information and hears a music inside the noise.
the originals conveyed a quite contrary sense to that of the pretended quoters, who often, from innocent blundering, and sometimes from purposed deception, had falsified their quotations.
~Louis Menand, "Notable Quotables: Is there anything that is not a quotation?" 2007 February 19th,
Bayle, when writing on "Comets," discovered this; for having collected many things applicable to his work, as they stood quoted in some modern writers, when he came to compare them with their originals, he was surprised to find that they were nothing for his purpose!
The greater part of our writers, in consequence, have become so original, that no one cares to imitate them; and those who never quote, in return are never quoted!
Last January, during his last week in office, he tried to quote a familiar line about poker from a Kenny Rogers song, "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." But it came out like this: "There's a time to go, a time to stay, a time to fold 'em." He thus became the first outgoing president to combine Kenny Rogers and Ecclesiastes into one pop-biblical aphoristic farewell.
~William Rounseville Alger, "The Utility and the Futility of Aphorisms," , February 1863, commonly quoted as "Proverbs are mental gems gathered in the diamond districts of the mind."
Cunning authors cut to be quoted.
~Yoruba Proverb, quoted in by Dwight Edwards Marvin, 1916
To appreciate and use correctly a valuable maxim requires a genius, a vital appropriating exercise of mind, closely allied to that which first created it.
~Christian Nestell Bovee, "Thought," , 1862
To quote copiously and well, requires taste, judgment, and erudition, a feeling for the beautiful, an appreciation of the noble, and a sense of the profound.
~William Watson, "A Note on Epigram," 1883
A good thought is indeed a great boon, for which God is to be first thanked; next he who is the first to utter it, and then, in a lesser, but still in a considerable degree, the friend who is the first to quote it to us.