Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You got it right, Mr Katz

A prediction about quotes from 16 years ago — back when quotation sites on the Web were few and the modern option was using collections on CD‑ROM — has come true. How exciting the possibilities for and realities of sharing brilliant words on the internet, and at the same time how sad that we are more and more abandoning real books! Coincidentally, the year this book was published was the same year I put The Quote Garden online. Here is Mr Katz’s forecast:

“The one promise of the digital data base is that eventually all quotations will be available online.... The problems are numerous, from copyright clearance to authentication of quotations, but it is possible, even probable that in a short time it will no longer be necessary to go from quotation book to quotation book in quest of the lost words of a great or near great. A few key words at a computer keyboard will bring the ubiquitous needle in the quotation haystack to the monitor. Obviously more efficient; yet something will be lost. Gone will be the days of the delights of wending through quote after quote, the thoughtful pause, the joy of discovery.” ~Bill Katz, “Commonplace Books to Books of Quotations,” Cuneiform to Computer: A History of Reference Sources, 1998