Do you know who said [strange quote]? I just can't seem to figure it out!
Well, the first thing you need to do before you try to identify the quote is realize that you probably don't have the wording exactly right. In fact, only one of the times that someone asked me to identify a quote did the person have the wording right. Knowing this, do a search (above) for one of the more important words in the quote. You might find your answer right there. If the search engine didn't give results, try directing your question at the good folks who frequent the Quotations Forum or the ones in alt.quotations on the Usenet. If this doesn't help, it may be a quote whose citation was lost through the ages. If this is the case, the best you can do is cite it to "Anon".
What you can search for, and how
The search engine not only looks at the quotation for matches, but it also looks at the citation. So if you search for Lincoln, any quotes by Lincoln or about Lincoln will be matched.
Using the wildcard
The wildcard character (%) will match any letter. Thus, if you were to search for b%tter, it would match anything containing bitter, batter, butter, better, or anything else following that pattern.
Checking for quotation accuracy
Remember, the search engine isn't just for finding quotes that have a certain word in them. By searching for the primary word in your favorite quotation, you can find out if you have the wording right, and also get the citation for it.
(BTW: If you're document's almost due and you're asking me now, you should probably stop procrastinating. If you figure out how to stop procrastinating tell me how to do it.)
Who is Anon, and why does he say all those strange things?
"Anon" is short for "anonymous." This could mean that the quote came off of a bumper sticker or T-shirt; it was an expression, proverb or fable; its attributor did not want to be connected to the quotation; or the attribution is unknown.
Here's a trade secret among scholars: when in doubt, create a fudge factor. In physics, it's "friction." In quotations, it is "anonymous." In programming, it's "platform incompatibility." :-)
Only a couple Shakespeare? Only a couple Thoreau? What kind of quote page is this?
I have received many, many complaints and even flames about this. Read this page's mission statement again. Our purpose is not to repeat "the classics" over and over and over, it's to get useful, on-topic, quotes for people's work. To satisfy those itching to read the oldies, however, we are adding a new section soon: literary quotes!
You don't address my question in this FAQ!
I have addressed every question that's frequently asked. This is a FAQ. I answer frequently asked questions. If you ask a question I feel needs to be addressed here, I'll post it.
Why quotes? What are you trying to do?
I don't know, I just thought I'd do a quotes page. I thought that making an exceptional reference page would create world peace, feed the hungry, solve Fermat's last theorem, create a cure for cancer, help usher in the information age, and impress women. Like those quixotic painter who made all the rectangles, you know?