boring e-mails

A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Wed Jun 2 17:05:07 UTC 1999

Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM wrote:
> David Barnhart <ADS-L at HIGHLANDS.COM> writes:
> >>>
> Why do some folks think it so important to show up the other fellow
> when he or she in haste slips in a misspelling?  I wonder if it's one
> way of saying I'm smarter than you.  Is this not supposed to be a
> learned group, theoretically above that sort of thing?  MY SUGGESTION
> is that if so moved to e-mail someone about an error in spelling do it
> quietly and directly without embarrassing anyone.  You just might get
> more good will that way.
> Sorry, but I just had to get this off my mind.
> <<<
> Although he's good enough to name no names, I suspect that he's talking about
> Andrea's and my pouncing on Barry for using the wrong /piyk/. Speaking only for
> myself, I meant that as a friendly tease.
> When I first subscribed to this list, almost the first thing I saw was what
> seemed to be a vitriolic flamewar between, IIRC, Salikoko Mufwene, Ron Butters,
> and one or two others (whom I now know to be regulars). Shocked, I asked if it
> couldn't be taken off-line, as it seemed totally out of place in what I had
> thought to be a collegial and scholarly group. I was gently told that the cut
> and thrust was pure stage play, or horseplay, between colleagues and friends,
> neither meant nor taken as what it had seemed to be.
> Public correction of people who really do have trouble with the appalling
> spelling of the English language is rude, and I try to avoid it. I wouldn't have
> mentioned Barry's slip publicly if it were at all typical of him, or if I
> thought for a moment that he'd be upset by my doing so; and if he is, I hereby
> apologize to him! But Barry's voluminous and valuable posts are normally
> error-free (I speak here only of what he posts as his own words, but I assume
> that his typed-in quotations of sources are as carefully copied as his own text
> is composed). I found his slip both understandable and funny, and I guess Andrea
> did too.

I fully concur with Dr. Whom's explanation.  I was just trying to make a
humorous jab at Barry, who not only is notoriously accurate, but also passionate
thereabout.  If anyone was offended, I apologize for not including a ;-}
(winking smirk).

In addition, this _is_ a linguistic list.  People quote from items posted on
this list, or pass them on to colleagues, friends, or students.  As the American
Dialect Society discussion list is referenced when quoting, folks reading the
quotations tend to put some stock into the prose (I hope?).  And so, I
personally believe we are that much more obligated to put out the sort of text
we'd like to see all around us.

Or something like that.  Clear as mud.
Back to our latest release - coming soon to a server near you!
Andrea Vine
Sun Internet Mail Server i18n architect
avine at
Romanes eunt domus.

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