WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Testimonial quotes and how to mark them up


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Dec 30, 2014 2:07AM

2014-12-30, 10:44, Lynn Holdsworth wrote:

> Do any of you have any thoughts on how to mark up short testimonial
> quotes using HTML5? I want some way to associate the quote and the
> name of the person who made it,

The common practice is to mention the name before or after the quoted
text, which is put in quotation marks. Long quotations are often set as
blocks, with the name mentioned before it or after it on a separate
credits line. Both quotation marks and setting as a block may fail to
convey the idea completely, especially in speech rendering, but usually
the context helps to understand where the quotation ends.

> but <blockquote> seems like overkill

In practice, it is just an indentation device. In theory, it should only
be used for quotations extracted from an external source, not for
original statements. A testimonial might be construed as a quotation of
spoken words, in principle. Anyway, the semantics of <blockquote> is
really just, well, “semantics.”

> and the <q> tag doesn't have any attributes to hook it to the quoter's
> name.

The <q> markup might now be appropriate for adding quotation marks,
since browsers that completely ignore it have become rare. Yet, it
normally offers no benefits over the use of quotation marks as
characters. Using the latter, you can make sure that the correct marks
are used.

It seems that you are looking for a way to associate quoted text with
the name of the quoted person (or other source) in markup. That’s an
interesting idea in principle, but mostly pointless. What matters is
whether a flow of words as such makes it clear to the reader or listener
that some part of the flow is quoted, where the quote starts, where it
ends, and who is being quoted (and, quite often, where the quote is from).

Theoretically, both <blockquote> and <q> may have the cite attribute,
with a URL value, but it is supposed to refer to the source of the
quotation, not the quoted person. The source could have markup of its
own to indicate its author, but I don’t think this is what you are
looking for.