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How to Quote? Different Ways of Using Quotations

Updated on May 28, 2015
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A Software Developer, who loves to design eCards and write poetry in her free time. It's wonderful to help others express their feelings.

Innovation while quoting
Innovation while quoting

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Most of us get our first introduction with the fascinating world of quotations in School. We used to have a quote selected as the "Thought for the Day" - then this thought would be written on the blackboard of the Assembly Hall. A new thought for a new day, a new thing to ponder upon.

After some time, it was taught how to use quotations in writing or while speaking to make the expression more effective. For this the quotation was generally included in the writing or speech where it could support the idea or belief being expressed.

But off late, I observed a few people using the quotations in quite different manners than merely making the quotation inline in the expression. The usage was different and subtly effective along with being interesting. I'm categorizing the usage of quotations in four different ways

Inclusion with Same perspective

This is the most common way of quoting a meaningful saying. It is simply included along with the citation (author name, year, book/movie etc.) before or after the expression which it can support.

Inclusion with new perspective

This kind of inclusion is not something I've seen too often. But I was very impressed by it. Sometimes a statement is made in reference to particular context. Thus, it is not generic - it could be a dialogue of a character of a fantasy, or it could belong to a completely different domain. But due to its usage in the current context, it dons a new meaning - an intent different from the original one.

An example of this kind of usage is - One of my friends was writing something related to a close person whose near one had recently died. The deceased was in a way one of the last persons who belonged to a particular era of the effected person's life.

My friend used a dialogue from Twilight -

"Everybody you know is dead in a few decades" ~ Edward Cullen, Eclipse (Twilight Saga)

Edward Cullen, the famous good vampire of the Twilight Saga actually made this remark with a different intent. The immortal vampires whose life span is indefinitely longer than those of humans, have a different perspective of time indeed. However, the dialogue by Edward Cullen simply donned a new meaning in our mortal world.

In her article, my friend simply wanted to express the feeling of loss of a dear one enhanced by the sense of disconnection from an era of life - a span of time which you shared with some people.

Everybody you know is dead in a few decades

— Edward Cullen, Eclipse (Twilight Saga)

Start the show - building brick

Sometimes the quotation is not supportive block of the expression, it is the building block in writeup/speech which actually is responsible for starting the whole show. The following statements simply revolve around the quotation. An example could be a long caption for a photograph which starts from a quote, or simply views expressed about a quote.

I've used this form a couple of times in my hubs like -

Well Said - Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore and Sorting Hat

Quote extension - The Poetic Beauty

This is the usage I found most interesting along with the second one above. Here the quote is not just a passive supporter, not just a building block either - it is both - and more. The quotation is extended by writer, by addition of another statement - which is a subtle and meaningful. It's the poetic beauty of this usage which makes it intriguing. The extension could make the original quotation now co-relate to a new domain, a new world or simply a new context. This form is quite complex, requires a lot of creative skills - after all one is attempting to add something to a statement worthy of being quoted, worthy of being called a quotation. Effectively influencing something which already exists with poetic beauty is off course not easily achieved.

The form can be used for anything - one of my friend regularly does this to express herself at a social networking website - Extended quotations are often her status messages.

Priyanka's Extended Quotes

My Friend was generous and kind to allow me to quote her. Here are two quotations by her. Her blog is Violet Flowers

"It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations" ~ Kahlil Gibran

The next time you doubt a bond because it's too new, or trust another because it's pretty old, think again..


‎"Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable" ~ Oscar Wilde

Sometimes, it just takes one small doubt to turn you into an incurable sceptic..

Don't beware of all doubts because doubts help you learn and be sane - just beware of the ones which stop you from unlearning !!!

"Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable" ~ Oscar Wilde

Sometimes, it just takes one small doubt to turn you into an incurable sceptic. Don't beware of all doubts because doubts help you learn and be sane - just beware of the ones which stop you from unlearning !!!

— Priyanka, Violet Flowers

Conclusion - Quote a Quotation

Sometimes they'll help you proceed when you're stuck, sometimes they might help you end something effectively - And Quotations can be used in so many ways. If you have used them differently, please share in the comments.

"Quoting" the Readers

How do you use the Quotes?

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Found anything new? Liked it?

Did you come across a new kind of usage here? Would you use it?

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    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 6 years ago from Delhi, India

      @ Anirudh: Thanks for reading and commenting, and I'm so glad you find the stuff useful and will be able to apply some of the ways in your presentations.

      @ Himanshu: It's amazing how different perspectives can bring new life to already existing ways. Even I find them very intriguing. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      @ Giselle: This is an old hub, and I must confess, your comment was being missed :).

      To be honest before I wrote this, I was a little skeptic, as I felt it's something rather complicated and I wasn't sure I'll be able to present itself with clarity. Actually less people find such intricate matters of language interesting - and thus comprehensible.

      So your comment on this means a lot, thank you for taking time to read and appreciate :)

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      Giselle Maine 6 years ago

      This is an awesome hub! I really felt I got a lot out of this, as I had never before considered the different approaches of using quotes. I totally agree with everything the previously commenters Anirudh and Himanshu said.

      I actually don't use quotes myself very much (except for Inclusion with Same Perspective - and I only use that 'journalistically' for extra evidence/support as opposed to creative impact). So your article made me think that I should start paying attention to using quotes in other ways! I always seem to learn so much from your articles, I enjoy them a lot.

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      Himanshu 6 years ago

      Nice work Anusha :)

      This is a very interesting categorization of quotes. It analyses at them from a very different perspective, one which is quite intriguing to me. Very nicely done :)


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      Anirudh 6 years ago


      I have used loads of quotes in my college and office presentations but never looked at them with this perspective... Thank you so much Anusha to give us such an undeniably true view.

      Also, the extensions to the quotes is something I never realised can be so wonderful... Next time when I am making a presentation or a public speech, I will keep this in mind :)

      Thank you so much!!