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"Memorable Quotes" guidelines?

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I've noticed that practically every episode summary has a "Memorable Quotes" section. I was wondering if there were any unwritten rules about what makes a quote sufficiently "memorable". When is it appropriate to remove a quote that I feel is a poor choice, or to add one that I feel would enhance the article? Any thoughts? Tired_ 23:26, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

There is no real guideline that I know of. Personally, if you think it is a good one, add it. Technically, you could just remove one if you think it not a good one (although you would still have to leave an explanation in the edit summary, or someone like me might revert you, me being evil and all that). I personally think a better way to go about removing one is to first bring it up on the talk page, see what others think. There may be a reason for having it that you are missing, or everyone might agree and want it gone, but at least it is discussed first and there is no edit war over it. I hate edit wars. --OuroborosCobra talk 23:31, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
While this would probably be impossible to establish, and equally impossible for anyone to actually care enough to read, but it think we should at least establish minimal guidelines for this, for example "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" has 15 quotes, several quite large in length. Others with minimal context lose a lot of their meaning, and almost make the quote pointless. [1]
Just a thought. --Alan 23:39, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. In some articles the memorable quotes are taking over a bit. Guidelines please.
My own view: less is definitely more. For example, one of the most powerful quotes ever (IMHO) in Star Trek is the assertion "There are four lights!". However, without knowing the background, the quote is almost meaningless.
I also think that, where possible, quotes should be arranged in the order that they appear during the episode. Vivienne marcus 11:27, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
You know what, everyone? I don't agree that establishing the "context" of memorable quotes is necessary, desirable, or sensible. The memorable quote is "There are four lights". If you have to pad that off with lines of dialogue establishing that he's being tortured, then setting up the contradiction about how many lights he's supposed to say there are, THEN finally denouing with "There are four lights", then you've completely obscured the actual memorable part, actually making it LESS memorable, and you've made the problem described above worse. One 15-line "quote" is as bad as 15 one-liners. Wait, no, it's worse, because you've taken up space that could have been used for actual memorable quotes. But, sorry, we're out of time. The right way to establish context is in the attribution, where, after you say who said the line(s), you can describe the circumstance. Far, far more economical, and avoids dilution of the actual quote. A good example is this:
"Assimilate THIS!"
- Worf, before blowing up the interplexing beacon floating off the Enterprise's deflector dish
instead of
"look, the borg thingy. they must be stopped"
"i dont want them to get away"
"shoot it"
"assimilate this"
- Picard and Worf
The reason I'm pointing out the RIGHT way and the WRONG way (my own opinion) to establish context is that lately I've seen some edits to existing good memorable quotes that made me cringe [2], [3], . And the reason I say that I don't even think context is automatically good, especially if we have to jump through tortured hoops to establish it, is that if the quote is memorable, it should stand on its own two feet, and also, if a reader doesn't remember the quote (they either never saw/heard it or they did but still don't remember) then it's not MA's job to paint them a picture, if our ham-fisted fingerprints ruin it. Anybody see "Workforce"? Remember how Tuvok wrecked Jaffen's story? "Yes, well, when you explain it like that, it's not funny at all." Let's not be a crippled Tuvok. --TribbleFurSuit 03:32, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Here here Mr. FurSuit. I completely agree with your statement about surrounding quotes. The most recent one I've seen is here. The first version was entirely adequate and made the point. The additions just ruined the initial memorable quote. – Morder 03:36, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Amen, brother. It's memorable quotes, not memorable scenes. --TribbleFurSuit
You both seem to agree that to attempt to set the scene for a memorable quote is a pointless and unhelpful exercise.
By their nature, memorable quotes are subjective. I do not think they are encyclopaedic. I think episodes should speak for themselves. We all already know the truly memorable quotes- that's why they are memorable. There seems no need to point them out for the benefit of people who (1) haven't seen that episode or (2) don't think that particular quote is brilliant.
I think most of Star Trek is good. I think some of it is very good, and a very small amount is truly exceptional and outstanding (while a small amount is utter piffle). I think that if we are to put anything in MA, it should be the exceptional quotes (of which, IMHO, there are on average less than one per episode). The volume of quotes we have is already way too high for these to be the exceptional ones.Vivienne marcus 13:18, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I propose a limit on the number of memorable quotes allowed on each episode's page. How about no more than five memorable quotes per page. 5 may be an arbitrary number, and maybe a different number should be decided on, but I do think having a solid limit is a good idea. Certainly there are some episodes with more than 5 worth quotes, in this case, 1 or 2 quotes over the limit could be added, with a discussion board approval. — Vince47 06:38, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I understand the desire for a limit, but I think such a thing could result in needless edit wars over which quotes should be allowed and which shouldn't be. In the Jean-Luc Picard article there was a massive debate over one single quote, which was only settled by ending the debate and leaving the article quoteless.
Instead of having a hard and fast limit maybe some standards could be set. We have some informally already, here's some just off the top of my head.
  • No memorable scenes/exchanges. If you can't recapture the memory in one or two quotes, it's not too memorable.
  • A quote shouldn't just point out something that is funny or interesting. There should be something behind it.
  • The space for quotes shouldn't be as long or longer than the summary.--31dot 12:14, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Request for commentsMorder 02:12, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Again, maybe 5 wasn't the right number, but I do think some kind of "soft, rule of thumb" guideline for the number of quotes is in order. You have to draw the line somewhere.— Vince47 04:46, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

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