It is almost trivial to implement \quote{this}, but do you really expect that it
will be used by the authors, typing a LaTeX script?

Compare: "this"

in length, sophistication, and error checking.

IMO, the Knuthian commands are just right -- not too long and not shortened
into cryptical acronyms. LaTeX2e is already on the way to go overboard on
command length, I am not very fond of all the commands prefixed by \text...

Too long commands encourage the authors to come up with their own, incompatible
abbreviations. It makes processing LaTeX documents on a large scale more

--J"org Knappen