At this point, quite a few people have contacted me to ask who “ditto” is, because they like ditto’s quotations. I am rather surprised that so many people are unaware of what this word means. Although the ditto machines of my childhood have long since been replaced by standard copiers, I was under the impression that the word lingers on in common lexicon.
A ditto, basically, is a copy. Or, more specifically, it is defined in Merriam-Webster as “a thing mentioned previously or above—used to avoid repeating a word.” So if I provide a quote from, say, DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley's Lover, and it is followed by another quote from that same source, I won’t rewrite the author’s name and book title—I’ll simply write “ditto.” My habit of doing this harkens back from the days when my quotations collection was maintained entirely by hand in blank journals. I saved myself time and energy by writing “ditto” instead of rewriting the same attribution information over and over.
So, that being said, let’s get on with the show...
Welcome to my new and vastly improved quotations collection, with 25% less fat. The collection was officially begun in January 1993 (unofficially, I began gathering quotations as early as my junior high years in the ’80s, and I scribbled them in the margins of the many personal notebooks I kept).
This collection isn’t meant to be a new incarnation of, say, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. It’s not meant to be all-inclusive. Because it’s my private collection, and thus an extension of my personality and beliefs, it’s often (and unapologetically) biased and one-sided. I’m very liberal, areligious, independent, etc, so you’re not going to see any quotations screaming the virtues of conservative ideology, religious devotion, and so on. You’ll see quotations that: are feminist; celebrate non-conformity, solitude, nature, and vegetarianism; bash Dubya; and are hyper-critical of religion. You’ll see paradoxical quotations reflecting different sides of me. I’m saying this because I don’t want anybody to come here looking for a well-rounded, unbiased collection and being disappointed with what they find.
Many of the items in my collection were directly encountered by me through various means (books that I read, songs that I heard, words spoken and written to me, etc), and are therefore solidly cited. However, I also found many quotations through secondhand sources (online collections and in published anthologies), and if the quotes were cited incorrectly in those sources, then they are also cited incorrectly here. Please help me break this cycle! If you know that a quotation has been worded incorrectly and/or has been attributed to the wrong person, please take a moment to email me and let me know! Also, if you spot a quotation with a (?) behind it, and you know who originally spoke/wrote it, and/or know whereit originally appeared, please let me know!
Likewise, if I have provided the quoter’s name, but did not list the source in which the quotation first appeared, it means I don’t know the source. If you do know the source, please share! I’m trying to build as comprehensive a collection as possible, which means providing more than just the quoter’s name. So many quotation collections only provide a name and no further information. This annoys the crap out of me; I really want to break away from doing the same thing in my own collection. I appreciate your help!
Regarding those sources, I italicized book, TV, movie, CD, and play titles and used quotation marks for song, essay, short story, and poem titles.
I want to point out, too, that when it comes to quotes not originally written in English, different translators translate the quotations in different ways. So if I supply a quote from Rumi, it may appear slightly different than other versions you’ve seen, based on which translator produced which version.
In my collection there are multiple categories, but it is important to remember that some quotations sink into a gray area that touches multiple categories. For instance, some of the quotations:
There are many more examples. When encountering this problem, I placed the quotation in the category that seemed to fit it best and did not duplicate it in other relevant categories. So, you may want to check out multiple categories to make your search more comprehensive. Also, there are some fantastic, pertinent poems in my Poems section that reflect love, sex, death, depression, etc., so you may want to pop into that section if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a particular category.
Please also note that poem fragments are scattered throughout the collection. What you think may be an entire poem may, in fact, just be a fragment of a poem. Yes, I really need to do a better job of marking which poems are complete and which are fragments!
Also, regarding ellipses (...), if an ellipse appears at the beginning or end of a sentence, it means I’m only quoting part of the sentence. If it appears in the middle of a sentence and doesn’t have spaces before and after it, it means that it was part of the original quote. If you see spaces before and after the ellipse, it means I’m withholding part of the quote, be it a word or two or a full sentence.
If you spot any typos (and I am sure there are quite a few of them, because I can be sloppy when I’m in a hurry) or any other problems, please feel free to email me and let me know! Many thanks for helping my collection become better than ever!