Quote as a noun

I was taught that "quote" is a verb and "quotation" is the corresponding noun. Of course, "quote" is often used as a noun, but to me this has always been incorrect.
But https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/quote suggests that it is acceptable to use "quote" as a noun and gives several examples (which don't look correct to me). Has the usage changed, or have I been mistaken for all these years?


  • When I was a grad student in literature, we used the noun "quotation" and the verb "quote".
    When I was an instructor, and "quote" popped up in my students' essays, I encouraged them to use "quotation" instead.
    By the time I retired, I had given up.

    From the OED:
    1888 Pall Mall Gaz. 12 Dec. 11/2 Stodgy ‘quotes’ from the ancients?

  • @JohnNW

    I was taught that "quote" is a verb and "quotation" is the corresponding noun.

    Well yes, there has always been a lot of groundless dogma in school teaching.

    By contrast, dictionaries — and now some grammar books also — are based on evidence. That Oxford Dictionaries Online page links to twenty examples taken from actual texts — not made up examples to prove a point. All twenty strike me as completely natural. The term 'correct' has no relevance here.

    There's a tiny kernel of truth to the dogma. Available evidence suggests that quotation as a noun was available far earlier than quote. But, as Mary says, the OED has found evidence of a growing acceptance of quote as a noun. OK, in 1888 they put quotation marks around it as a sort of apology for the novelty. But by 1922 no less a figure than TS Eliot writing to no less a figure than Ezra Pound is using it as a term to describe the workings of their trade:

    Do you mean not use the Conrad quote or simply not put Conrad's name to it?

    One of the example sentences grabbed my interest

    ‘Schoolchildren are required to learn vast amounts of quotations by heart, and allusions and quotes are sprinkled throughout everyday speech.’

    It seems that for some writers some of the time there can be a nuanced difference. A quotation may tend to the meaning 'something often repeated', whereas a quote may tend to the meaning 'one citation on one occasion'.

  • Interesting, thanks for the replies! I'll have to adjust my internal alarm bells...

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