So, NO altering of quotes, even if just for purely humorous effect, is allowed either?

Mod note

Just want clarification (since it was just a note-hey I got a note! I’m somebody now!). I am well aware of the various discussions here about said issue, but in those it was invariably seen as an attack on the original quote/position, a deliberate often snide or subtle distortion of the other person’s position. I merely exagerrated said figure for comic effect-in the Pit, too, note (and if the original quotee had any objection he didn’t raise it-he might even presumably chuckle a bit under his breath at my alteration). Is that verboten now too, as in zero tolerance for ANY such change no matter what the intent might have been or how the original quoted person might feel?

I don’t think there’s ever been a question about this - no altering of quotes except for deletion or emphasis. It’s a pretty easy rule to implement and moderate. Changing words is pretty much the definition of altering a quote, regardless of intent.

If by “now” you mean “for the past 12 years,” yeah.

Y’all should remove the “in order to cast him/her in a bad light” part, then.

I think this was a relatively harmless instance, since 1) it was not intended as an attack on the quotee (typically of the “you really meant something else” variety) and 2) it was very clear what the original quote was and what the revision was.

That said, if the mods want a bright line on this, I can’t fault them. For the most part poster complaints about the rules are that they’re too ambiguous, not that they’re not subjective enough.

I think alterations of this sort should be allowed. We’re a comedic group, and we should be allowed to alter quotes for purely comedic (i.e., not as an ‘attack’ or ‘distortion of a position’) reasons. Making the same joke while at the same time abiding by the ‘bright line’ rules can make it cumbersome.

Like John DiFool, I understand why the rule is there. But there are times when I feel like saying, ‘Lighten up, Francis!’ IMO.

amusing alteration of bolded text goes here

That’s what I’ve done on occasion.


This is one of those rules that resulted when a poster decided to “spoil it for the rest of us” by threatening legal action because someone changed his quote. Since then we’ve taken a zero-tolerance approach to such alterations. We feel that maintaining a bright line is more important than making a joke a little easier.

As long as I have been here it has been one of the cast iron, clear as day rules of the board, that you do not ever modify another persons quote in any shape or fashion whatsoever. I’m surprised to see this question even being asked to be honest.

It would be abused, as sure as night follows day. The usual people will try to push the boundaries and then there will be drama over what changes were ok and what weren’t. Why even bother to go near that rabbit hole when the rule is already is so well known and accepted?

Not being privy to Miller’s thoughts, my WAG would be that it got a moderator response because it IS a bright line, but that it got only a note because it was about as harmless an instance as one could come up with of crossing this particular line. Seems reasonable to me.

When I’ve wanted to make fun of something/make a joke/be funny/etc., I’ll quote the target post accurately with no alteration (as per the rules), and then immediately after it, post the funny thing I want to post.

Thank you for the explanation. ISTR that altering quotes to some degree was permitted when I joined. When did the zero-tolerance approach take effect?

[ul][li]Is it permitted to highlight text within the quote box?[/li][li]Is it permitted to elide text within a quote in order to shorten it without changing the meaning? (e.g., ‘[A] poster decided to “spoil it for the rest of us”… Since then we’ve taken a zero-tolerance approach to such alterations.’)[/ul][/li]
In my observations over the years, those things are permitted and are often useful or necessary in a discussion.

I think it’s a great rule. There are other message boards I frequent where this is allowed, and it’s common to have ones words altered in a quote. Followed by something like “Fixed it for you.”

It’s incredibly infuriating.

Let’s change that last sentence to Why even bother to go near that asshole when the rule is already is so well known and accepted?

Certainly more Pit-worthy without breaking the rule concerning altering the text within the quote box …

Indeed. This particular case is even less sympathetic because the joke is pretty lame.

As bright-line rules go, I’m just fine with this one. If you want to challenge or enhance something written by someone else, work with what you’re given and add your contribution. How are we supposed to evolve comedically as a group if we’re able to pretend the past was something else?

I like the bright line with regard to the box. If you want to do FTFY satire, it doesn’t dilute it to quote the original in the box, and mess around with it outside the box, such as the way running coach suggested.

I had a PM discussion with **Tomndebb **a while back about this specific thing.

Tom clarified the rule for me, and perhaps, I should share it.

The rules regarding the use of the Quote tags focus on removal or modification of text. However, they also note that " Normal editorial rules apply." Had he changed a font size, bolding, or underscore that you had used to make a point, he would have been out of line. However, simply bolding or underscoring a passage to call attention to it, when it does not really change your statement, has been permitted since the rule was instituted. It is pretty obvious that he was simply calling attention to that portion of your post and was not attempting to change your meaning.

I think if you add highlighting to draw attention to it, it is good form to say “[my bold]” or whatever after the quote.

Bolding Mine.