There must be a catch-phrase or soundbite to describe this scenario, but so far, I've been unsuccessful locating that term, and my efforts to answer this question have been flat as well. I added terms like "hearsay", "tertiary source", and "third party" in various combination to my Google query, but again, no love.
Here is a situational example to set the stage for my quesiton and to hopefully remove any ambiguity from what I am asking:
Bob Johnson: Billy Ray Brown said he was walking home when all of a sudden he saw an angel in the sky!
Bob Johnson: And then Billy Ray said "Dude! I can't believe this!"
Bob Johnson: Bill Ray told me that his mother told him when he younger "Always be a good boy and honor the Lord."
The three examples are all slightly different, but they have one thing in common: to quote the speaker to the reader (without workarounds like summarizing and paraphrasing) requires quoting a third-party who you don't know if they said what the speaker is saying they said or not. Thus, for accuracy (and avoiding libel suits), it is important to know how to correctly quote third parties.
WHAT I'VE TRIED SO FAR
What my instinct leads me to feel is right in the third example (since it is the most complicated) is something like this:
"Bily Ray told me", said Johnson, "that his mother told him when he was yonger 'Always be a good boy and honor the Lord'."
But that's my guess. I've found lots of quides on quoting style, but haven't seemed to find a section that deals with what seems like a fairly obvious and common phenomenon one would have when interviewing somebody about what somebody else said.
- How do I quote a third-party/hearsay source?
- If it's not called third-party/hearsay source, what is the term I should Google for next time?
Any help is appreciated.