I need a quote from or about the Christmas Truce of 1914. I asked on History SE and have so far not gotten any reasonable bites. Is it possible to reframe this to post on ELU? (I would of course delete the question over there first.) Is asking for quotations on topic on ELU? (I would have thought yes, since asking for idioms is allowed....) Any specific reframing advice?

  • 4
    It could be on-topic if the quotation had become idiomatic in English since then, for instance, otherwise on what basis should I chose a quote from the Christmas Truce?
    – user66974
    Dec 27, 2016 at 19:20
  • These questions are not on-topic here. Try Wikiquote, or even Wikipedia has a few quotes. Dec 27, 2016 at 23:47
  • If you run a Google Books search for "Christmas truce" you'll find previews of several books with some quotes mixed in, including Terri Crocker, The Christmas Truce and Stanley Weintraub, Silent Night.
    – Sven Yargs
    Dec 29, 2016 at 1:27
  • Also, Matthew Kirby, Truce 1914 has a couple of nice quotations from British soldiers, including this one: "... if we had been left to ourselves there would have never been another shot fired. For a fortnight that truce went on we were on the most friendly terms, and it was only the fact that we were being controlled by others that made it necessary to start trying to shoot one another again."
    – Sven Yargs
    Dec 29, 2016 at 1:34
  • @SvenYargs Nice quote! But it doesn't work for a punchy ending to a document that isn't really about World War I; the mention of trench warfare was just a, what do you call it, simile? I always get those things mixed up. // I decided to quote the beginning of Silent Night, and I simplified things and said it was in Belgium. I mentioned candles -- I still don't know if that's exactly right either, but I decided to take my chances. I gave a literal translation of the beginning of "Silent Night," which fit really well with the theme of the document (special education advocacy). Dec 29, 2016 at 3:56

1 Answer 1


Sorry, I don't think there is any way to make this kind of question a good fit for this site.

For a good idiom request, the criteria are generally only partially subjective, such as "the idiom should convey this meaning" or "the idiom should be formal (or informal)". There can be disagreement about things like this, but in general, people should be able to come to an agreement about whether or not a suggested idiom meets criteria like these.

But your question seems to have very subjective criteria: you want a quote that is emblematic or inspiring. Opinions on this are likely to vary a lot between different people.

In addition, the most important objective criterion seems to be establishing the historical accuracy of a specific quote. I don't think questions about this are on-topic here, although maybe there are some that I just have never noticed. A question like "was this expression used in this time period" seems to me to fall within the scope of this site, but asking things like "did this particular person say this particular quote" doesn't.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .