I think the distinction is useful; I think of it
as follows (mirroring what Dan said):
--<q> represents a character in the text speaking or thinking
--<quote> represents a quotation from some written source outside the text.
These two things are very different when you
describe them this way; in the texts I'm familiar
with it is almost always clear from context when
something is direct speech or thought. It may be
less clear whether something is a quotation from
outside the text, but I think that's not a
problem with the category but rather a problem
with unclarity in the source. One can come up
with difficult boundary cases but I think these
are rare and usually involve situations where
both are involved, for instance:
1. Cases where a character within the text is quoting a written source, e.g.:
John stopped for a moment, and then burst out
cheerfully "'To be or not to be'--isn't that what
you're thinking of?"
which could be represented accurately by nesting
<quote> within <q>. Those inner quotation marks
might not be there in most cases to make the
boundary clear, but the structure of the
information is evident nonetheless.
2. Cases where a written source contains direct speech, e.g.:
Note the passage in Pride and Prejudice where
Mrs. Bennett says "'Have you heard that
Netherfield Hall is to let?'".
which could be represented accurately (if
pedantically!) by nesting <q> within <quote>.
3. Cases where a quotation from a non-written
source contains direct speech, e.g.:
Rhett Butler is never more maddening than when he
says "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn".
which one might or might not want to represent using <q> nested within <quote>.
Does this help at all?
>I am currently translating into Spanish the remaining markup mnemonics
>(element and attribute names, and attribute values) and also all the brief
>documentation descriptions associated to them.
>When I got to "q", "quote" and "quotation", I've realized it was not easy
>to come up with so many differentiated translations in Spanish, since
>"cita" (the Spanish equivalent) has only four letters. You can imagine the
>result: "c", "cit", "cita", very much alike, and these are supposed to be
>mnemonics (i.e. reminders), with all the functionality that this conveys.
>What's worse, I found that the difference between "q" and "quote" is very
>subtle. This is not only difficult to translate, but may be difficult to
>apply while encoding, I thought.
>It is clear that "quotation" is something apart (metadata stuff):
>"specifies editorial practice adopted with respect to quotation marks in
>But the difference between the other two is so subtle that I wouldn't know
>how to choose among them in many cases.
>q: "contains a quotation or apparent quotation ˇ a representation of
>speech or thought marked as being quoted from someone else (whether in
>fact quoted or not); in narrative, the words are usually those of a
>character or speaker; in dictionaries, q may be used to mark
>real or contrived examples of usage."
>quote: "contains a phrase or passage attributed by the narrator or
>author to some agency external to the text."
>Is there really a need for these two to coexist?
>(IMHO) Shouldn't we suppress one of them (say "quote") in P5, for the sake
>of brevity, simplicity of use and consistency of markup?
>Shouldn't we also rename "quotation" to something like "quotPractice", for
>ALEJANDRO G. BIA
>e-mail: [log in to unmask]
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