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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:50 pm 
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All,

1. What is the justification of including "attributed" quotes here? What are the standards for concluding that an attribution is correct?

2. Should quotes that are "attributed" be included here at all? ever?

3. If "Yes", then shouldn't there be some attribution of the attribution? eg: Max Born in his autobiography quotes Albert Einstein as having said "....".

I would be uneasy ever using any "quote" that can only be vaguely, without reference, rhyme, or reason, "attributed".

Anyone?

Kip Hansen

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:58 am 
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The short answer is that the "Attributed" tag means we have a strong suspicion that the quote is wrongly attributed and is not really the work of the quoted author.

So why is the quote still there? One of two reasons:

1. We haven't determined the true attribution yet, but we don't want the quotation to be missing if someone searches for it.

2. People commonly attribute the quotation to the supposed author, so we include it under their name where people will be looking for it. In these cases, there is usually a note indicating the true author. See for example the following quotation commonly attributed to Voltaire:

http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/331.html

Ideally we would only have quotations in the second category, but we have a limited amount of time for tracking down quotation sources.

Incidentally, you would be pleased to know that there is also a "verified" flag in our database, which will indicate quotations with a verified attribution. This will become visible when we update the site in a month or two.

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 Post subject: I greatly approve....
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:40 am 
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Michael,

Thank you for the thorough and helpful explanation.

I would suggest that this reply be posted as a FAQ under:

"What exactly does 'attributed' mean anyway?"

(or some such, in keeping with your rather flippant tone in the FAQs).

I think the approach taken on the Voltaire quote is exactly correct - informative, useful, fact-checkable.

I might also suggest a "footnote" on each quote that is marked simply "attributed" (use the database or a server-side include or something) - stating simply:

"We have a strong suspicion that this quote is wrongly attributed and is not really the work of the quoted author but it is commonly, if incorrectly, attributed to him/her. For more information, see 'attributed' in our FAQs."

The word "attributed" being a link to the FAQ.

This would cover you on this point.

As it stands, there is no indication that "attributed" has a negative connotation on your site, as far as the veracity of a quote is concerned.

I think your site does fine work and fulfills a needed function for the general public.

Thank you,

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Kip Hansen

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:36 am 
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Kip,

thanks for your input. Making the word attributed a link to a footnote or FAQ is an excellent idea, I will definitely do that.

Michael

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