File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 250

Date:         Fri, 10 Oct 2008 09:33:49 +0100
From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty-AT-MCCARTY.ORG.UK>
Subject: 22.261 e-suspicions
To: humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 261.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to:

   [1]   From:    Humanist Discussion Group                           47)
         Subject: e-matters, hyphens and all

   [2]   From:    Humanist Discussion Group                           23)
         Subject: Re: 22.258 e-suspicions

         Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2008 10:19:56 +0100
         From: Humanist Discussion Group <>
         Subject: e-matters, hyphens and all

Once upon a time I worked for a scholarly research project in the
capacities of indexer, copy-editor and, along with several subaltern
colleagues, general saver of the reputations of the title-page-named
editors. Matters such as the correctness of historical facts or the
cogency of arguments never much troubled us there below. What almost led
to the spilling of blood were commas, hyphens and that sort of thing.
Matters, in other words, of style small enough to slip past any
persuasive canons of rationality. I very much hope that no virtual blood
is spilled here over the hyphen in e-matters.

A googling for "poem on hyphens", to put the matter in proper
perspective, yields a rich catch. I offer the following from that catch,


The Hyphen

(Through the eyes of Martin Collis)

I read of a man who was asked to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone, the beginning and the end.
The first and the last days are markers in time.
But what do those days really mean?
What matters is not the birth or the death
But the hyphen which lies in between.
For the hyphen is time you spend on this earth.
Just a hyphen to show what a life's really worth.
And it isn't a house; it isn't a car,
And it isn't a 53 Gibson guitar.
It's not a position; it's not a possession
Or membership in a prestigious profession.
It's not in the labels on your clothes or your shoes
Or the places you've been or seen on a cruise.
We're human beings, not human doings
Who pursue money and fame and keep on pursuing
The words on the tombstones are kindness, and love,
Family, friendship and laughter.
These are the things that continue to ring
When your body has reached the hereafter.
Chose wisely and well when selecting the goals
That you chose to base your life on.
To miss the joy is to miss it all
And a terrible waste of a hyphen.


So, I conclude, in the matter of e-matters what matters is the interval
between the e(lectronic) and what it purports to be a version of,
which embarrassingly is precisely what I have been arguing for
all these many years. Yet again an annoyance becomes an occasion for
enlightenment and apology.


         Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 09:22:53 +0100
         From: Humanist Discussion Group <>
         Subject: Re: 22.258 e-suspicions
         In-Reply-To: <>

Dear Willard,

Totally agree with your feelings. But in fact that really hurts.

My department is called "e-Research", one of our flag ship products was
baptized "e-Laborate".

In both cases I think I can identify with certainty the community (in
the way Renata described it) that littered the work floor with these
monstrosities: it was management. I can't even begin to tell on how much
levels these names are wrong. Sure, like e-Research is something else
than just plain research (using different instrumentation) - duh! I
still would like to have a serious talk in a small and confined place
with the m*r*n who thought it would be a good idea to put the hyphen in
the URL for our e-Laborate product page.

Imho it's all to do with hypes reaching management level. We've had the
times that anything digital should have a name with an X (preferably) as
the first letter. Following Apple's iSuccess we've seen even project
names following that un(?)cameled style. Lately it has been "e" or "e-".
I guess it's just about a 23 year wait till we'll be rid of the problem.

Must go back to my iE-worX now...


PS Hyphens shouldn't be abandoned, just used in the right way. Then they
are actually beautiful!


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