The Appeal of Quotations

Quotations were once something that I underlined and tried to slip into an essay, tore off the office calendar, or filled in a small forgotten section of Facebook. Since the advent of internet memes which have become incredibly popular over the last five years, they seem to have had somewhat of a renaissance. So, what is their appeal and why do certain strings of words resonate with swathes of people when others fail to hit the same spot?

Margaret Mead Quote

A good quotation must have the ability to stand alone, to be understood without the words that precede it. Perhaps, following those words the impact of the quotation neatly and satisfyingly wraps up the prose, but it is the sentence itself that must hold its own. Good wordsmithing is essential to accurately sum up a feeling common to a wide group of people yet retain a certain level of kudos. A quotation from a classic or cult book carries more weight. Indeed, the choice of quotation can be seen to be very much a reflection of a person.

Tolkien quote


Many quotations are motivational or aspirational.

Nelson Mandela Quote
Thomas Edison Quote

Both provide a little bit of coaching to keep going, often to hang in there when times are tough, or be a balm to help acceptance of difficult times. Most are from highly respected people.

Franklin Roosevelt Quote
Confucius quote

Whichever way, the act of choosing or sharing a quotation is not one to be taken lightly.


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