What a disappointing situation with the 17mm lens! Why?

Started Sep 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
texinwien Veteran Member • Posts: 3,326
Re: quoting versus paraphrasing

Paul De Bra wrote:

I don't know why we are discussing language issues here. I thought the discussion was about lenses.

A discussion about anything relies, on its foundation, on language and common, agreed-upon linguistic conventions, does it not?

Quotation marks (") are not only used to literally quote something that was said earlier but also to paraphrase (say essentially the same but with other words) something that was said earlier.

I am not familiar with that convention. On the contrary, I was under the distinct impression that it was improper to use quotation marks to paraphrase someone else's words. You're either quoting, or you're paraphrasing, and quotation marks should (especially in a discussion that's at all contentious) only be used to actually and literally quote something someone else said.

Otherwise, it's simply too easy to set up a straw man argument that's then easy to defeat, wouldn't you agree?

So when it was said that it should have been possible to make the 17mm lens better (given that Olympus makes a 12mm that is better and that the Panasonic 20mm is better) I paraphrased the opinion about the 17mm lens as that it was "not that good". It's not a literal quote. This is done all the time.

This is not done all the time, Paul, not by people who are serious about the use of language and the arguments they are making. If you disagree, I'd invite you to provide some evidence for your contention that it's acceptable practice to place quotation marks around your own paraphrase of someone else's words.

From the Purdue Online Writing Lab: How to Use Quotation Marks

The primary function of quotation marks is to set off and represent exact language (either spoken or written) that has come from somebody else.

Indirect quotations are not exact wordings but rather rephrasings or summaries of another person's words. In this case, it is not necessary to use quotation marks.

Use an indirect quotation (or paraphrase) when you merely need to summarize key incidents or details of the text.

I don't know why this discussion is deteriorating so quickly. Apparently some people feel their toes being stepped on and I don't see what is doing that.

I believe it deteriorated all too quickly when a cadre of posters came in, each to defend his or her own precious choice of lens, acting as though Sergey had attacked him or her personally.

This discussion continued to deteriorate as a number of people jumped on the bandwagon, complaining about 'numbers' and trumpeting the primacy of subjective opinion over the results of controlled tests performed by experienced, trained experts.

That's my take, any way.

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