About the Book : 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 cycling across the centuries, and explores the uses of quotation in literary, visual and oral traditions. The book tracks the changing defi nitions and control of quoting over the millennia and in doing so throws new light on ideas such as ‘imitation’, ‘allusion’, ‘authorship’, ‘originality’ and ‘plagiarism’.
My Say : Have you ever wondered that why it’s so easy to quote anything from other’s saying to explain yourself? ‘Why Do We Quote by Ruth Finnegan’ talks about this quotation and it’s history. This book is like a textbook and talks about the history of quoting in a comprehensive timeline. The text is quite easy to read. Finnegan’s book proves that people quote self-consciously, unconsciously, deliberately and joyfully. She knows her limits and tries to extend them here as she points to what has been better said or better documented elsewhere! She also states her preferences (Bakhtin, Goffman, Grafton, Erasmus). In 343 pages she surveys quotation cultures from Britain to Sumeria, from cradle to grave, from calligraphy to incised stone & also from scripture. On almost every page she answers the question of her title and that was astonishing. This book proves itself to be a wonderful companion piece for any student who may be researching this area as well as informational for an average person to learn more. If you are looking for education and a better understanding of how language works, This is a great piece to add to your collection. This comprehensive history of quoting complete with illustrations is a great book to add to any student’s library.
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