File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 247


Date:         Wed, 8 Oct 2008 08:34:20 +0100
From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty-AT-MCCARTY.ORG.UK>
Subject: 22.256 very suspicious, writing's on the screen / very suspicious, ladders bout' to fall...
To: humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU


               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 256.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
  www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/humanities/cch/research/publications/humanist.html
                        www.princeton.edu/humanist/
                     Submit to: humanist-AT-princeton.edu



         Date: Wed, 08 Oct 2008 08:28:14 +0100
         From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk>
         Subject: e-annoyances and e-suspicions

What is it about the preface "e-" affixed to nouns designating objects,
activities or perhaps even people that (as the British say) GETS UP MY
NOSE? Why is it I suspect that the utterances in which such e-words are
found are carriers more of ignorance than of knowledge or even of
genuine curiosity? Yesterday I found myself remarking to a colleague
that anything which bore the e-designation immediately aroused my
suspicions. Then this morning I received an invitation to be an editor
of e-books or e-journals boastingly endorsed by a gaggle of Nobel Prize
winners. This invitation lost me the millisecond I saw the e-whatever.

Language is such a subtle instrument, even when used by unsubtle people.
Text-analytic techniques would, I'm sure, not tell me by themselves why
it is that on reading the invitation subsequently, though lost to its
charms, I could sense only confirmation that my silent NO was wise and
would be even if I were not already an editor several times over.

Ok, I am entitled and en-aged and dis-economized to be grumpy. But, I 
plead in my own defense, grumpiness can be a pre-existing condition, but 
it can also be brought on by manifest wrongs and evils. It can be
RIGHTEOUS. I assert here that in this instance we have something on
which to apply Clifford Geertz's "intellectual weed-control".

For an illuminating contrast, see www.openbookpublishers.com/. If
I were invited by them I'd find it hard to say no. No e-suspicions
there. But, why no open-suspicions?

Yours,
WM

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