How to make something quotable…

The worst thorns are the ones that spring from my imagination and the roses.

-Hppo

I, and you, need a quick guide to creating quotes. But that resource didn’t exist. So I’ll make it myself.

This article will be laid out as follows. First the types of quotes and how they are used for social credit. Second getting your quote properly attributed to you because “anonymous” is not going to drive any traffic your way.

Types of quotes

  1. Asides

  2. Heart strings

  3. Pith/wit

  4. Truism

  5. Guiding

  6. Intelligence

  7. Context

Asides – are the “family guy” type quotes.

Come on. Let’s go. Fox is running one of those new reality shows at 8:00. Fast animals, Slow children.”

  • Peter Griffen

or one of the many

“That reminds me of the time ____” type format

Asides are typically self contained jokes or references that require no context or attribution. The users of these quotes have a handful of these loaded in their brains like bullets to fire whenever the situation is primed for it. The quoter is attempting to score social points by whipping on of these out because if the audience does not no the source material then the quoter gets credit for wit. If the audience knows and enjoys the source material then the quoter gets points for being “hip”, “fleek”, “relevant”, or whatever jargon best describes being “in on it”.

For quoters – Their is a danger of use these types of quotes to often, one quote to many times, or one source of these quotes. Like yesteryear’s fashion you need to stay up to date and keep changing out your handful of quotes to stay relevant.

For writers – These quotes have a short shelf life and by nature they will not drive traffic to you. Because the quoter is not trying to make an “appeal to authority” but instead gain social currency.

Heart Strings- are quick to hit the emotional core of a person

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”

  • Shakespeare (Sonnet 18)

“Every puppy should have a boy.”

  • Erma Bombeck

“You shall not pass!”

-Gandolf the grey

Heart string quotes do not need to be self contained like asides. These quotes are best received when the source reference is understood and the more points if the source reference was enjoyed. These types of can be repurposed for humor, wit, or a show of intelligence but the reason they have stuck in the mind of a quoter and his audience’s mind is because they pull at the heart strings.

For quoters – these types of quotes will be good in all seasons. You’ll get double points for using the quote for the scenario it was originally intended. But re-purposing the quote for humor or for helping an argument through an appeal to authority will still gain social currency.

For writers – These quotes need a lot of space, time, and care in creating. In LOTR there are very few lines of dialogue surrounding. In sonnet 18 this line sums up the whole poem. And the Erma quote can perform in a vacuum but plays more on the memories and feelings that the audience brings into the work … rather than having to craft an original emotional arc for the audience to experience.

Pith/wit quotes are just that a display by the quoter that they are witty.

“To be or not to be…”

Hamlet

“And now for something completely different”

-John Cleese

“The internet is just a world passing notes in a classroom.”

-Jon Stewart

These like Asides are self contained but the are based in a higher form of humor than brass and self-evident jokes. The quoters are using these for the purpose of making a joke but also to gain intelligence points on their social score card.

For quoters – If you find that your pith quotes are not landing because the audience does not have the same background experience to enjoy a python or daily show reference. Then attribution before the quote will help it land.

For writers – These quotes typically become quotable because they have been repeated so many times. For instance the Hamlet quote is Pith and not Intelligence because it is well understood that the quoter has not read, watched, or understood the play from which it is pulled. The same may be true for the python-ism.

Truisms – are true enough and sum up complex situations into something short and concise.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

-Mike Tyson

“Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.”

-Laurence J. Peter

“You don’t get to choose not to pay a price, you only get to choose which price you pay.”

-Jordan B. Peterson

A good truism is concise and does not need any context surrounding it other than the audiences own life experience. These are supported by empirical evidence alone.

For quoters – These quotes will help in gaining “wisdom” points.

For writers – These quotes are often stolen, repurposed or wrongly attributed. So in your journey I hope you can be content with your truism being blatantly stolen because someone else has far more social credit or fame or authority than you. But if you have to steal a truism, go ahead you have my permission, for no one person can own the truth.

Guiding quotes

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

-Robert Frost

“Ours is not to question why, ours is to do and die.”

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

“What would Jesus do?”

-Charles Spurgeon

“WWJD” modernized

“Write like a Mother Fucker.”
Cheryl Strayed

I’ve provided three examples all in a similar vain as to guiding one’s actions. These quotes can also be labeled “Inspirational”,”Motivational”, etc, etc. They exist because they help people make decisions or take action. People remember these quotes not because they are well written self contained but because it is a piece of advice that they would like to give themselves or others in the future.

For quoters – These quotes are great to short hand the decision process behind making a choice. Knowing your audience is important to have these quotes land. Don’t need to ask an atheist what would Jesus do or tell a rebel not to ask why. These quotes when used properly will can you the “wisdom” perk among you social crowd. And they are useful for giving advice while distancing yourself from both the impact of the advice itself and ire from if the advice is received poorly.

-If you are using these quotes but you are no longer finding that they actually have an impact on decisions you make you need to scuttle them and replace them with qoutes that do. Or you may find that you’ve become a Preacher who does not Practice.

For writers – These stay in your audiences mind because they are concise, they contain truism, and they have found them useful.

Intelligence quotes are for blowing your own horn. Making an argument from authority or for demonstrating that you are well read, well informed, and thus intelligent.

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

-Mark Twain

“If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls…”

-Socrates on the written word

These quotes become quotes because the source of the quote is considered intelligent and therefore the quoter is correlating their own intelligence to the intelligence of the source.

For quoters – These quotes only gain social credit during small talk. Any conversation or relationship longer than thirty minutes these quotes can actually detract from your intelligence score in the mind of your audience. Because the audience knows what your intelligence level is and over use of these types of quotes only shows that you have not made your own decisions but instead are only swayed by authorities.

For writers – Once you have gained fame associated with intelligence than your words will be taken as quotes of intelligence.

Context- carry the full weight of the source behind the quote.

“One does not simply walk into Mordor.”

-Lord of the Rings

“We’re not in Kansas anymore”

-Wizard of Oz

“D’oh”

-The Simpsons

These quotes are a concise summary of the source material and are applicable in many situations to score social credits.

For quoters – These are great as long as the reference is shared and the situation calls for the quote.

For writers – These are chosen by the audience and any attempt to craft one of these as a quote will make it bland/blunt and without the nuance that it needs to have a life cycle as a quote.

Now that you understand some of the types of quotes here are some tips for getting your quotes properly attributed.

First repetition. “As I’ve said before … [quote]”, “I’ve remarked … [quote]”, “I’ve always thought … [quote]”

Second using them for promotional taglines.

“In a world…”

-Movie trailer guy

Third false attribution these will make you seem humble as well. Say someone else with greater credentials or expertise came up with the quote. If your called out then take credit.

“Well I guess it’s mine now..”

Last understand the audience that is likely to quote you. You need to first be an authority so when they make the argument with an appeal to authority that you are cited. Second be really famous then attribution is not required as the quoter and their audience both know you are the source.

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