"the apocryphal HDAS III"

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Thu Aug 5 03:12:40 UTC 2010

What Sturgeon actually said, accordint to Fred Shapiro's wonderful,
ground-breaking tome, is

"Ninety percent of Science Fiction is Crud."

Extrapolations invited.

Sam Clements

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Mandel" <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 23:06
Subject: Re: "the apocryphal HDAS III"

> Sturgeon's Law: 98% of everything is crap.
> m a m
> On Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 9:23 PM, Alice Faber <faber at haskins.yale.edu>
> wrote:
>> On 8/3/10 6:27 PM, Dave Wilton wrote:
>> > There may be a sample bias here.
>> >
>> > An American is more likely to encounter an English writer who makes
>> > their
>> living off writing--novelists, essayists, etc., but will typically
>> encounter
>> a much broader range of American writers, including business people,
>> doctors, lawyers, politicians, etc. Creative and witty writing is not
>> necessarily rewarded in these other field. (Nor should it be, especially;
>> I'd rather have an ironclad contract written in impenetrable jargon than
>> one
>> with clauses of dubious legality that is a wonder to read).
>> >
>> > As to my experience in negotiations, I'd give my American colleagues
>> higher marks for wit, creativity, nonconformity, and argumentation any
>> day.
>> But then I only dealt with a single British diplomat on a regular basis,
>> so
>> I wouldn't judge the entire British diplomatic corps on that one example.
>> (I'm not saying he wasn't competent, just not a sterling example of
>> rhetorical and literary expertise.) Plus, I knew a bunch of zeroes on the
>> American side, too--including one who, in a very late night of
>> negotiations
>> lost it and called the Israeli delegate a "liar." (Not the most shining
>> moment of American diplomacy.)
>> Indeed. Back in the 80s, PBS stations in the US regularly aired various
>> British sitcoms. These were much wittier than the comparable American
>> comedies. In the winter of 1985 (or so), I went to England for a
>> conference at Oxford. One of the things I was looking forward to was a
>> chance to see more British sitcoms. Well...then I saw the ones that PBS
>> hadn't picked up...All I can say is ouch.
>> --
>> ========================================================================
>> Alice Faber                                       faber at haskins.yale.edu
>> Haskins Laboratories                            tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
>> New Haven, CT 06511 USA                               fax (203) 865-8963
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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