Things are humming along ricki-ticki here at WIST Central. You may have noticed I’ve recently gone to 5 quotes a day, rather than 3. Thereby hangs a tale.
In addition to adding new quotations to the database, I am in a continuing effort to clean up existing entries — generally meaning sourcing them. Resources online for this sort of thing have grown tremendously in the years since I’ve started this effort, with three elements being of particular value in sourcing attributions:
- Bartleby.com: Has some classic quotation books online.
- Wikiquote: An ever-growing adjunct to Wikipedia, with user donated/vetted quotation collections.
- Google Books: Google’s efforts to scan the libraries of the world have led to a lot of primary sources for quotes being put online and searchable. It fills me with joy to find a quote that is unattibuted anywhere in its original form and in context.
My re-research has tended to be alphabetical, going through the listings. I’m currently in the S’s (and, when done, will wrap again around to the A’s). This research, in addition to cleaning up entries (note anywhere the original and last-modified date are different), has two major outcomes:
- I tend to find a lot of other quotes by that author. This leads me to a quote “surplus,” which means I don’t have to spend any research time each day, but can just grab five (or more, but five at the moment) from the ever-growing raw materials text file I keep.
- I face a challenge in keeping the names all mixed up. Sure, I could have “Bertrand Russell” day (and, hey, that’s actually an interesting idea for birthdays and the like), but I’d rather provide a variety each day, both by person, and thematically, and even by alphabet clusters. I’d just as soon a given day didn’t have everyone whose last name begins with “R.” Still, observant observers will observe that some names come up with some frequency, until I go through the quotes I’ve grabbed for those names.
So, that’s what’s going on in the world of WIST. Hope you’re finding it all (except for those occasional bits of administrivia) entertaining, thought-provoking, and interesting.