Re: When the reader enters the digital space for writing, he participates in the unending ballet between characters and glyphs

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2012 22:58:26 -0800

On 12/23/2012 3:55 PM, Joó Ádám wrote:
> Roger, thank you for sharing this excerpt, I truly enjoyed it. You
> drew my attention to a book I should definitely have a look at.

It's definitely a nice way to introduce people or remind them of this
book. I'm sure, some misguided publishers would like if one got
permission to even quote the endorsements from the cover text, but I
find that attitude silly and, frankly, counter-productive.

If anything, the combination of this particular excerpt and source
should help to generate more interest in people to obtain the book if
they don't have a copy yet. It was not as if Roger gave away the plot,
or pulled out the only memorable part of the book.

> I must agree with Karl: I was suprised by Jukka’s reaction, since this
> kind of quotation is both legally and ethically unquestionable here,
> in the very center of Europe...

Glad to hear that.

I also agree with the points that Karl had raised.

> I am not willing to be silent when what I perceive to be bullying is
> expressed on this list. This should be a safe place for any newbie to
> post. I found an unwarranted aggressiveness in Jukka's response to
> Roger's apparently well-intentioned post.
> is based in the USA. As another poster said, this
> quotation would be considered fair use under USA law. Quoting like
> this is extremely common in USA writings.
> The post uses only US-ASCII. I'm sure that Jukka knows that US-ASCII
> does not have an EM dash. The standard I was taught in school (in the
> USA) was to represent an EM dash in such situations precisely as the
> original post does, as a sequence of two hyphen-minuses.
> I do not believe that either the EM dash nor the miscapitalization of
> a word constitute "distorting the text", and I find it difficult to
> believe that Jukka really does either. Therefore I believe that Jukka
> was not being honest in his response to the post; it appears to me
> that he concealed the real reason he objects to it.
> I could be wrong, and perhaps there are cultural differences between
> the USA and Finland that are being unconsciously expressed here. But
> I can tell you that as a native USA English speaker, I found nothing
> wrong with the original post. And I found Jukka's response
> objectionable.

There are cultural differences in the way users on online forums (and
lists) "correct" each others spelling and punctuation. I'm thinking of a
few examples, but even the more relaxed ones will try to encourage some
minimal standards, like avoiding ALL CAPS, reduce the use of totally
random spelling, or introducing minimal number of paragraph breaks. Some
of these things just grate on peoples "ears" and there's always someone
who says "enough" and posts some suggestions for the newbie. Usually,
the tone of such messages fits the style of the list. There are cultural
differences there as well (culture of the group, that is).

The fact that Roger's post was a quote wasn't clear to me until I
reached the attribution at the very end. Had I stopped reading half-way
through, I would have attributed the clever words to him. I'm sure. that
was not his intention. Because of that, though, there's a reason that
the reader may find the use of the quote subconsciously more
questionable, then if Roger had given the source up front (and perhaps
included a sentence or two of his own whether he can recommend the book
and why).

Sometimes a post can rub somebody else the wrong way. Something that may
have less to do with what's in the post, but with the state the reader
is in when he comes across it.

Received on Mon Dec 24 2012 - 01:05:38 CST

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