An interesting blog. I always worry when I quote someone in my books that I might be taking the quote out of context. However, in the example used in this blog of Reagan quoting Burke, I don’t necessarily think a quote needs to be applied to the same situation. A single quote can be appropriate in multiple situation. I do believe that the original context should be noted if the quote is being used in a different way.

Millard Fillmore's Bathtub

Commenter SBH put me on to this interesting set of principles from a mathematician, on bogus quotes, and how to determine that they are bogus, and most important, how to avoid creating a bogus quote by stripping context or altering the text.

‘After all, a study I once read said something like 86% of all statistics cited in speeches are made up on the spot.’*

I looked up Martin Porter.  What are his principles of quotations?  Who is he, and why should we listen to him?

Mathematician Martin Porter, in the 21st century. Mathematician Martin Porter, in the 21st century. Self portrait.

Turns out he’s a mathematician who works in algorithms to study language, and a founder of Grapeshot.  Along the way, he grew intrigued with trying to source a very famous quotation attributed to Edmund Burke (confess, you don’t really know enough about Burke to describe who he was, or why that quote might not be…

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