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In case you need an example of not inserting words in someone else's quotes

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by inthesuburbs, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. inthesuburbs

    inthesuburbs Member

    Here's a decent, short Q&A with writer Leigh Montville, on Sherman Report:

    Montville is asked why he likes writing books. He says, in part:

    "With a book, if you’ve read five books (about the subject) and talked to 200 people, you have a real feeling what the person is like."

    Gee, thanks for the "(about the subject)," because without that interruption we would never have known what he meant. We certainly would have thought he meant, read 200 books on any subject in his lifetime.

    Shouldn't the writer also say "and talked to 200 people (about the subject)"? And "you have a real feeling what the person (whom you are writing about) is like"?

    Quotes are sacred. And they're often the best parts. If a quote is good enough to use, don't step on it. One of the reasons bloggers need editors, to stop them from putting their words inside someone else's quote marks.
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Um. This seems like a shaggy dog story intended to contrast bloggers with their far superior counterparts in the legacy media. Which is a shame, because you make a fine point about the use and abuse of parentheticals in quotes. The AP,which I presume still has a few editors about, does this all the time in its intended-for-dead-trees editorial report. I lay down the law for time to time when it gets to be a problem, like spraying in the spring for pests.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Quotes are tinkered with way too often.

    It's a (pet) peeve of mine.
  4. inthesuburbs

    inthesuburbs Member

    I agree with you, HH. I stepped on the point by mentioning bloggers. All of us need editors. More should be refusing to insert words in quotes.
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