Re: Pedantic behaviour

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;>
Date: 02/03/04-04:53:33 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Mon, 2 Feb 2004, David J. Greiner Jr. wrote:

David Dear,

> I find it disturbing that someone who has been so concerned with their
> comments being taken out of context is so quick to take mine and use
> them to their advantage.

Well, I do thank you for saying that somehow what I said was "to my
advantage."..I know you mean well with that, but I wasn't actually looking
for "advantage." Simply for clarity. And I trust I may point out without
further acrimony that we assume folks will correct my/ your/their errors
in chemistry or process. Why then, when the clarity of a point of theory
or an idea is at issue, is not language equally relevant?

I never correct such fingernail-up--the-blackboard usage as "that" for
"who" etc, of which there were at least 87 just today when I logged on, or
"you're" for "your" (often simply typos) or "it's" for "its" which is now
practically standard English --- but in this case, "less" and "fewer"
seemed to me to add obfuscation, and I thought no clarification could
hurt. I may have been wrong about that... I'm not ALWAYS right (or
theoretically not !).

And I am not by any means extreme in the matter of diction... I think of
the charming Brit book, "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" sent to me by friend -- to
me, THAT author is extreme... tho that gets off topic. On topic:

> You insulted the reading comprehension of those involved in a topic of
> discussion and then turned around and spent the rest of your message
> giving use your interpretation on what the author of the website is
> implying . To quote your message: "but what he's probably claiming is
> that....".

Actually, if you combed through my message(s) written in haste in the wee
hours (as you seem to have) and the worst you can find is an attempt to
define someone's meaning with a "probably"... I'd say I probably deserve a
medal, a halo, an honorary degree and a Pulitzer prize.

There is NO written word (probably no spoken word, for that matter), that
leaves NOTHING to interpretation, or that is absolutely concrete in every
particular and implication, which of course is why we have an entire
literature (several literatures in fact ) of interpretation, even "Against
Interpretation," as per Susan Sontag, among others.

And that of course is where a good deal of meaning is generated... I find
for instance in editing (over some 30 years), I usually have at least a
few, often many, questions, and VERY OFTEN, the question leads the writer
to either rethink, revisit, or at least clarify a significant point, not
previously focussed on. (In alt, it sometimes leads them back to the lab,
and a major revision... sigh.)

> > Now I personally think Coke tastes better than Pepsi, but I wouldn't
> accuse someone of having an unrefined palate and that they should have
> flunked HomeEc because they disagreed.

Sorry David, this is irrelevant.. What does a preference in soft drink
taste have to do with an unrefined palate and how, even in a fluke, could
the subject come up in a Home Ec course, and if it did... what in the
world does that have to do with my stating what I THOUGHT someone was

My hunch is that if gastronomy is the issue, coke and pepsi are comparable
(tho if I recall correctly, coke has a few fewer calories). But you seem
to think that pastiche is some kind of analogy to my saying a person
"probably" meant this or that....

It isn't.

Received on Tue Feb 3 16:54:12 2004

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