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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: June ::
The Rhetoric of the SHAKSPER List; Shakespeare's
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0415.  Wednesday, 5 June 1996.

(1)     From:   Michael Best <
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        Date:   Monday, 3 Jun 1996 08:38:56 -0700
        Subj:   The Rhetoric of the SHAKSPER List

(2)     From:   Susan Mather <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 4 Jun 1996 14:11:46 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0410  Re: Shakespeare's Hebrew: Farewell


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <
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Date:           Monday, 3 Jun 1996 08:38:56 -0700
Subject:        The Rhetoric of the SHAKSPER List

Recent postings by and about Hebrew and Shakespeare have been another reminder
that one subscriber's cheerful joke/irony is another's insult. (Linda Hutcheon
has written intelligently about communities of irony in Essays in Canadian
Irony). The point is that our list (Shakespeare's fault of course) is unusual
in two ways: it has attracted very wide participation from different countries
and vocations (each of which will have its own community of irony); and (as
that last very formal semicolon shows) those who participate tend to put on
jacket and tie before writing. The normal rhetoric of email allows (even
enjoys) finger fumbles and typos, and relies on the informality of dashes and
sentence fragments. Most postings on SHAKSPER in contrast seem to have been put
through the spell check first, and we are all conscious of the beady eyes of
all those academic proofreaders combing through our comments checking the
commas. In fairness, however, we should take credit from the fact that as a
group there has been relatively little flaming. We are more likely to be bored
(doused?) by those who won't let go of a topic than inflamed by those who
become intemperate.

Perhaps one way of anticipating the real embarrassment of those who find that
they are (or seem to be) the subject of intemperance/irony would be for Hardy
to create a warning label on the bottle (we North Americans are very keen on
them). In the material that each new subscriber gets, there could be a
prominent statement requesting temperance and tolerance, and pointing out that
the range of the list means that one writer's humour may be another's bad
taste.

In this suggestion there is buried a plea: don't lose humour. Whether we
indulge in intellectual discourse at the highest levels or post a query about
Elizabethan travelling flea circuses, let's remember that the list will only
survive if we enjoy reading. And let's keep our expectations of correctness
(grammatical, political) under control.

Michael Best
Department of English, University of Victoria,

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan Mather <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 4 Jun 1996 14:11:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0410  Re: Shakespeare's Hebrew: Farewell
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0410  Re: Shakespeare's Hebrew: Farewell

I just wanted to say--I will miss Florence Amit.  Good Luck!
 

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