[Ads-l] "man" avoidance

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 26 09:36:06 EDT 2016


A further weirdness stems from our prior knowledge that they were all
"people," not space aliens, armadillos, etc.

It's like the middle-schooler who writes, _Ulysses_ is a book by a man
named James Joyce."

"A man named" adds nothing to the sentence and (to a grownup) sounds
silly.  Similarly, "people" adds nothing to the article or to our
understanding.

So it may not be "man" avoidance, or gender avoidance. It may be poor focus
than more anything else.

JL


On Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 9:03 AM, Robin Hamilton <
robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com> wrote:

> I entirely agree (and I'm aware at this point that I seem to have stuck my
> nose into the middle of a conversation where I missed the beginning -- I
> only began to notice it when the term "erasure" popped up.  With that
> caveat ...)
>
> My own feeling, when it comes to TMI, is more is better -- you can always
> ignore extraneous stuff, filter it out, or whatever, but you can't replace
> missing links.
>
> (As, for instance, at the moment I could quite happily murder whoever it
> was connected with the Old Bailey Online who decided to omit the names of
> the printers, frequently the last line of the text, when it came to
> publishing on-line transcripts.)
>
> But there is a flip side, the information/noise ratio.  You can suppress
> information by omitting it (Too Little Information), but you can
> *also* conceal it by drowning it in noise -- TMI.
>
> The most usual case where this occurs is probably slipping riders, totally
> unconnected with the substance of the Act, into otherwise unrelated bills,
> on the assumption that no one reads to the end -- TMI!
>
> So I'm mostly singing from the same songsheet as you here, Jon, with that
> caveat.
>
> (Though this may simply because you're a nicer person than me, and never
> succeeded in slipping a useful item through a staff meeting by simply
> droning on and on and on for so long that no one noticed what was happening
> by the end.  Sort of like a filibuster for Evil Academics.  Works too.  I
> especially loved the expression of some of my colleagues faces when they
> woke up one morning, read the minutes, and realised that instead of, as
> they'd intended, eliminating Shakespeare from the undergraduate syllabus,
> they'd signed off on increasing the number of texts from three to five.
>
>           "Did we really agree to that?"
>
>           "Well, it's there in the minutes, so I suppose ..."    )
>
> 'Nuff -- time I retired my hobbyhorse to the land that time forgot.
>
> Robin
>
> On 26 September 2016 at 13:17 Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> wrote:
>
>
> Part of the weirdness of "people" in this context is that the article is
> focused almost entirely on the pilots.
>
> So it would have been clearer and better (IMO) to have said (e.g.), "about
> a hundred pilots and some two hundred medical and support personnel,
> including two female nurses."
>
> TMI? I don't think so. None of this information is common knowledge. That
> makes it interesting.
>
> JL
>
>
>
> On Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 3:59 AM, Robin Hamilton <
> robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com> wrote:
>
> > ... to add to the [current] confusion, you'all still stick to letter and
> > folio
> > sizes [as in England in 1700], while the rest of the world has sensibly
> > moved on
> > to the A0-A6 fold-it-in-half-and-it's-exactly-half-size version of
> paper.
> >
> > Not to speak of the old style/new style dating that's an issue at this
> > point in
> > time, around 1700 ... Fortunately, the Norris murder happened during the
> > summer
> > months.
> >
> > Back to the Norris Murder. It's like watching a slow-motion train-wreck
> > -- it's
> > perfectly bloody obvious that the Dutch innkeeper and his wife were
> > innocent,
> > and it's equally obvious, even without the benefit of
> > three-hundred-years-later-we-know-the-end-already hindsight, that
> they're
> > going
> > to swing.
> >
> > What is *really* unnerving is watching the Establishment Machine swing
> into
> > action to revise the narrative and ensure their conviction. I used to
> > admire
> > Elizabeth Mallet, who was a fairly feisty lady, and still do admire her
> > deceased
> > husband David, but jeezus, in this case ... Talk about selling out.
> >
> > All of which is why I screamed with delight when Flourish brought up the
> > issue
> > of erasure (in its non-Derridan sense).
> >
> > Justice for the Van Burghs! (even if it *is* 300 years too late)
> >
> > Robin
> >
> > > On 26 September 2016 at 07:49 Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > On Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 1:50 AM, Robin Hamilton
> > > <robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com mailto:robin.hamilton3@
> virginmedia.com
> > >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > > 1 sheet ([2]p.
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > Apparently, that's not Empire-wide. When I was in grad school in the
> > > '70's, an Aussie classmate was sneeringly surprised to discover that,
> > here in
> > > The World, one side of a sheet of paper is regarded as equal to one
> > page, so
> > > that, e.g. a "25-page paper due over the weekend" consists of a mere 25
> > > *sides* and not of an actual 25 *pages* and is, therefore, nothing to
> > worry
> > > about before Sunday night.
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > -Wilson
> > > -----
> > > All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
> > to
> > > come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> > > -Mark Twain
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> >
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
>


-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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


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