The website of a Dutch ministry has been tested for compliance with the Web Guidelines. I have been asked to supply a second opinion, which I'm currently writing. I came across a complicated semantic point that I'm not quite sure of; hence I'd like to ask your opinion.
One page contains a short interview with the minister. The report said that the minister's answers should be marked up as
<blockquote>s. I'm wondering if that's true.
BLOCKQUOTE is for long quotations (block-level content)
The Web Guidelines have copied this definition.
I do not question the validity of this definition, but I'm wondering if interview answers count as quotations. After all, they are almost never direct, literal quotations of the interviewed person. Instead, the journalist usually changes the texts a little bit to remove the erms and such, and to create grammatically correct, readable sentences.
Besides, during my history studies I've learned to define quotations as bits of text taken literally from a certain source. To me, interview answers are not quotations because they're not taken literally from any source. In the case of a well known person being interviewed, I hesitate to count him or her as a source; but maybe that's my historical background speaking.
So the question for today is: should interview answers be marked up as
<blockquote>s? I don't think they should, but I'm willing to listen to arguments in favour.
If you agree that
<blockquote>s are incorrect, what would be the correct markup? A plain
<p>? Maybe a
Due to time constraints on the second opinion report I'm writing, this entry will close on Friday.
I’m speaking at the following conferences:
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