Quoting is all around us. But do we really know what it means? How do people actually quote today, and how did our present systems come about? This book brings together a down-to-earth account of contemporary quoting with an examination of the comparative and historical background that lies behind it and the characteristic way that quoting links past and present, the far and the near. Drawing from anthropology, cultural history, folklore, cultural studies, sociolinguistics, literary studies and the ethnography of speaking, Ruth Finnegan’s fascinating study sets our present conventions into cross-cultural and historical perspective. She traces the curious history of quotation marks, examines the long tradition of quotation collections with their remarkable recycling across the centuries, and explores the uses of quotation in literary, visual and oral traditions. The book tracks the changing definitions and control of quoting over the millennia and in doing so throws new light on ideas such as 'imitation', 'allusion', 'authorship', 'originality' and 'plagiarism'.
This is a rich and engaging work of outstanding scholarship. Scholars in sociolinguistics, literature, and folklore will recognize the importance of the book for their fields. General readers will find it just plain interesting.
Professor Amy Shuman
Ohio State University
Ruth Finnegan discusses Open Access and the future of academic publishing on Open University's Platform. She predicts that "the long reign of the weighty academic tome is nearing its end".
1. Prelude: a dip in quoting’s ocean
2. Tastes of the present: the here and now of quoting
3. Putting others’ words on stage: arts and ambiguities of today’s quoting
4. Quotation marks present, past, and future
5. Harvesting others’ words: the long tradition of quotation collections
6. Quotation in sight and sound
7. Arts and rites of quoting
8. Controlling quotation: the regulation of others’ words and voices
9. What is quotation and why do we do it?
Appendix 1: Quoting the academics
Appendix 2. List of the Mass Observation writers