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5.2 What Dictionaries of Quotations exist? DoQs p1




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This article is from the Quotations FAQ, by Sir Hans dok@fwi.uva.nl Jason Newquist jrnewquist@ucdavis.edu with numerous contributions by others.

5.2 What Dictionaries of Quotations exist? DoQs p1


Il buono, il bruto, il cattivo. [The good, the bad,
and the ugly.]
Age Scarpelli,
Luciano Vincenzoni (1926-),
and Sergio Leone (1921-)
Title of film (1966)

This is a bibliography of the DoQs in our possession. Entries
marked with [Michael] have been written by the former FAQ maintainer
Michael Moncur, with some merely ornamental editing by me (Sir Hans).
[SH] should be obvious. If you have a favorite DoQ, or any at all, and
can add to this list, please send e-mail to dok@fwi.uva.nl (Sir Hans)
or jrnewquist@ucdavis.edu (Jason Newquist). See below for more
specific instructions.

[JS] Jeff Shepherd (jeff@trg.saic.com)
[MM] Michael Moncur (mgm@xmission.com)
[PF] Patrick Faricy (patrick@usa.net)
[RS] Roger Scowen (rss@ditc.npl.co.uk)
[SH] Sir Hans

21st Century Dictionary of Quotations
Published: 1993
Publisher: Laurel Books
Editor: ``The Princeton Language Institute''
Scope: Subject-based quotations
Number of quotations: 6000
ISBN: 0-440-21447-5
Well. If there's any DoQ which can lay a claim on being a worthy
contender in the ``Big Two'' class, this is it. Not. This DoQ must
surely rank as one of the most shockingly bad yet produced. For
starters, there are no sources at all, misquotations abound, and once
more it is demonstrated that ``experts comprising of linguists,
lexicographers, writers, teachers, and businesspeople'' can have the
utmost trouble discerning Samuel Butler and Samuel Butler or Thomas
Fuller and Thomas Fuller, besides having looked a little too
extensively in "The International Thesaurus of Quotations". Also worth
a mention is the debilitating ``unique conceptual index to facilitate
access to related ideas.'' If this is truly the level of ``21st
century reference'' I think I'll go and kill myself come December 31,
Sigh. Not recommended. [SH]

The 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
Published: 1982
Publisher: Fawcett Crest / Ballantine (Random House)
Editor: Robert Byrne
Scope: Chosen by author.
Robert Byrne has compiled a volume of quotations which he finds to
possess ``insight, surprise, wit, pith, or punch.'' No attempt is made
to be comprehensive. The quotations are arranged in ``sequential''
order, meaning that they vaguely relate to the ones around them. It
does include an index by author and subject, though. This book, and
its sequels, are my personal favorite collections. [MM]

The Other 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
Published: 1984
Publisher: Ballantine (Random House)
Editor: Robert Byrne
Scope: Chosen by author
Sequel to the above work. Same concept, new quotations. [MM]

The Third-and Possibly the Best-637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
Published: 1986
Publisher: Ballantine (Random House)
Editor: Robert Byrne
Scope: Chosen by author
Yet another 637. [MM]

The Fourth-and by far the Most Recent-637 Best Things Anybody Ever
Said
Published: 1990
Publisher: Atheneum/Macmillan Publishing Company
Editor: Robert Byrne
Scope: Chosen by author
The cover says that Robert Byrne ``Just can't seem to stop'', which
seems true. It's been three years, though--Let's hope there's a fifth
volume coming. All four of these are of equal value in my opinion.
[MM]

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (16th edition)
Published: 1992 (1st edition 1855)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Editor: Justin Kaplan
Scope: All quotations, choice based on familiarity.
Number of quotations: 20000
ISBN: 0-316-08277-5
This is the first of the ``Big Two''. It has a few thousand more
quotations, and is more fun to leaf through than "Oxford", probably
because the authors are organized on year of birth, making the whole
slightly more coherent and giving an interesting insight when comparing
authors. The disadvantage of this approach is of course that it
becomes slightly more difficult to locate a certain person (can you
remember off-hand when Antigonus or Archibald MacLeish was born?)
Unfortunately, often only translations are given from foreign
quotations, and the references could have been more exact, just giving
``Last words'' is not very helpful. The index is very good, and about
600 pages (twice as large as the one in "Oxford"). Anyway, it's fun,
looks gorgeous, has the most quotations of any DoQ I know of, and you
can spend a lot of money on it (the last has not been universally
recognized as an advantage). [SH]

Bloomsbury Dictionary of Quotations (2nd edition)
Published: 1991 (1st edition 1987)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Editor: John Daintith et al.
Scope: Quotations, based on interestingness
Number of quotations: 10500
ISBN: 0-7475-0997-2
Well, well, well... Don't you all just love "The Little, Brown
Book of Anecdotes"? So do the Bloomsbury people apparently, for quite
a few of the quotations in this DoQ have been ripped from that work.
Otherwise there are good descriptions of the quotees, okay indexes and
some original quotes, though some are rather stupid, and seem to be
included merely to have more and different authors than anybody else.
[SH]

 

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