Very often we like to quote what other people said in our posts. And we quote for various reasons. One major use of quotes is that the person is an authority and what he said is important or makes sense. The famous quote of Lord Acton is being used daily in cyberspace, ‘Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.’
When people make this quote, they are agreeing completely with the author. Absolute power corrupts, a fact. But people may make this quote and then explains why they agree or even disagree. And they will explain why they disagree, sometimes by writing a whole book on it.
Some may misquote or quote it partially by saying power corrupts, and power corrupts absolutely, which has a slightly different meaning. It needs not be absolute power to corrupt absolutely. But the person who quoted is happy that as long as it is power, needs not be absolute, it can still corrupt absolutely. Other wise there is no point in making the reference. He believes that power alone can corrupt absolutely.
This is different from Acton’s original intent or idea. Acton only pronounced that in order for power to corrupt absolutely, it must be absolute power. His criteria is more demanding, not anyhow power, little power, small power, as long as it is power, it corrupts absolutely.
When someone quotes, it is quite easy to understand his intent or thinking, his values, what he subscribes to, what he agrees or disagrees, or what he believes in what he quoted.
‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ Anyone making this quote must agree with the saying or enjoys the brevity of making a profound expression with so few words. This is an artistic reason for making a quote.