"slang" and "informal" as dict labels

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Feb 18 16:15:15 UTC 2003

At 6:09 PM -0500 2/17/03, Mark A Mandel wrote:
>         [James A. Landau]
>#>Now every literary form has its share of dreck (SF writer Theodore Sturgeon
>#>coined "Sturgeon's Law: Ninety percent of everything is crap") and SF is no
>#>exception.  However, partially due to the influence of John W. Campbell,
>         [Larry Horn]
>#wasn't that a riposte to Edmund Wilson's sneering claim that 90% of
>#science fiction was crap?
>See http://glinda.lrsm.upenn.edu/~weeks/misc/faq.html#slaw
But that discussion--in particular, the relevant part that goes
"I repeat Sturgeon's Revelation, which was wrung out of me after
twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks
of people who used the worst examples of the field
        for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent
of sf is crud.

        "The Revelation: Ninety percent of everything is crud.
--doesn't confirm or disconfirm my recollection that the immediate
trigger for The Revelation, as it appears here, was a claim by Edmund
Wilson as the "attacker" in question.  It's hard to imagine that
there were a number of anti-sf critics who independently came up with
that 90% figure, and I doubt Sturgeon computed the mean of various
percentile assessments.


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