About

What is the purpose of this website? This website records the investigatory work of Garson O’Toole who diligently seeks the truth about quotations. Who really said what? This question often cannot be answered with complete finality, but approximate solutions can be iteratively improved over time.

Who uses this website? Articles on the Quote Investigator® website have been cited by journalists and writers at The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Economist, The Washington Post, Slate, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, Real Clear Politics, The Jacksonville Times-Union, NPR, A Way With Words (Public Radio Program), ABC Television News, ABC (Australia), and more.

People are sharing what they have discovered on the website via multiple social media channels including: Twitter, Reddit, Google+, YCombinator News, Quora, StumbleUpon, FaceBook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Slashdot, and Metafilter.

Can you give some examples of media coverage that references QI research? Many examples are presented on the webpage about “Media Coverage”. Click here to visit the page.

Will you answer my quotation question? QI greatly enjoys receiving requests from website visitors, and he has been able to help many people. However, QI is unable to research all queries because there are far too many, and a single quotation may require hours of research time. QI maintains more than three thousand open files representing partial investigations many of which are ongoing. New requests arrive every day. Nevertheless, your request might jump to the top of the queue. The contact address to send your request is given further below.

How popular is the Quote Investigator® website? There are more than 4.6 million users per year according to Google Analytics. The number of “sessions” and “pageviews” was substantially larger. Visitors come from around the globe. The United States, the United Kingdom, India, and Canada typically provide the largest percentages of visitors.

How big is the website? As measured on February 8, 2018 more than 1.46 million words were written in the posts on the website. This figure included the bibliographic notes. The number was calculated using a WordPress plug-in. On the date specified above there were 906 posts.

How can I double-check the accuracy of Quote Investigator® articles? Numeric citations are provided with each article. The numbers are clickable. Citations are listed at the end of the article. The parenthetical information at the end of a citation indicates how it was verified. For example, the phrase “verified with hardcopy” means QI obtained the book or periodical and checked the citation. The term ProQuest means the citation was checked via the ProQuest database. The term Newspapers_com means the citation was checked via the Newspapers.com database. QI uses a wide variety of databases. Many citations before 1923 contain the word “link” which is clickable. The link leads to a database containing an electronic copy of the citation document. If a rectangular excerpt is displayed then click it to see the full page.

How can I effectively search the Quote Investigator® website? Here are three techniques for searching the website:

1) Scroll down and look below the advertisements on the right. Enter your query into the search box on the right.

2) Click on a name within the list on the right to see the set of quotations associated with a particular person

3) Use the google search engine by adding a special site restriction to your query. Specifically, the following term will search within the QI website – site: quoteinvestigator.com. Here are two examples:

Query A: “glint of light” site:quoteinvestigator.com
Query B: hydrogen site:quoteinvestigator.com

Do you have presence in social media? The website is the primary avenue for communication, but social media is used to provide auxiliary communication:
1) The Twitter account is called @QuoteResearch. Previous tweets here.
2) The Facebook page for Quote Investigator® is located here.
3) The Google Plus page is located here.

Where do the questions come from? Most questions are written or rewritten by QI. Most questions are based on queries from the general public received via email. In addition, some questions are from face-to-face encounters between QI and inquisitive friends and family members. Also, many questions are constructed from scratch by QI for entertainment purposes.

How should I cite articles on the website? Citation styles vary in different disciplines. Here is the key data: Website name: Quote Investigator®. Website address: quoteinvestigator.com. Article title: Specified at the beginning of the article. Article author: All articles are written by Garson O’Toole. Article address: Specify the full address of the link, e.g., https://quoteinvestigator.com/2018/01/12/lifetime/

Article date: The article creation date is embedded in the website address. Also, the date is listed at the bottom of the article. If the article has been updated there should be a section called “Update History” at the end of the article. In addition, the “Internet Archive Wayback Machine” is useful for tracking changes. See https://archive.org/web/

How should I cite the book? Title: Hemingway Didn’t Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations. Author: Garson O’Toole. Date: April 2017. Publisher: Little A, New York: An Imprint of Amazon Publishing.

Does the Quote Investigator® website have an RSS feed? The website uses WordPress software which automatically implements some built-in feeds. This webpage has a discussion. Here is a link to a basic feed.

What is Dr O’Toole’s background? Garson O’Toole has a doctorate from Yale University, and exploring quotations is one of his avocations.

Thanks: Bob Rosenberg kindly told QI about some typos he spotted.

How do I contact Garson O’Toole? To send an email message please delete the spaces in this name “garson o toole” and use the gmail domain.