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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Re: "What's in a name?"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1783  Wednesday, 18 July 2001

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 17 Jul 2001 08:23:14 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1763 Re: "What's in a name?"

[2]     From:   Stuart Taylor <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Jul 2001 00:58:37 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1763 Re: "What's in a name?"

[3]     From:   Nancy Charlton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 17 Jul 2001 22:17:18 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1763 Re: "What's in a name?"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 17 Jul 2001 08:23:14 -0700
Subject: 12.1763 Re: "What's in a name?"
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1763 Re: "What's in a name?"

In my role of cheerleader it is time to praise Sean Lawrence, Mari
Bonomi, and Karen Peterson for hanging targets on their backs.

Considering the incidence of nasty comments that Robin Hamilton, Stevie
Gamble, and myself have endured, and the fact that our posts have been
quoted out of context then used to embarrass us, the three of you risk
receiving the same treatment.  This takes courage, and I praise you for
it.

Without, I hope, slighting the others, I particularly want to praise
Karen Peterson's contribution, posted Tuesday.  Karen, thank you for
stepping in to defend me, particularly in pointing out that I was quoted
out of context.  It reads defensively when I say it, even though it is
true, so I value that it came from another.

You are also to be commended is the gentleness of your approach.  You
really tried to be fair to everyone, but still called it as you see it.
Even better, you got it right.

The analogy with paleontology is good, but not perfect, of course.
Isn't that always the problem with analogies?  They usually break down
at some point.  Mr. Taylor has quite rightly pointed out an analog in
some Indo-European languages with the Greek word "Petros" as a euphemism
for "penis."  No precedents in English of course, that being the point,
but precedents in other languages have been pointed out.  The place the
analogy breaks down is that there is no similar analog with homo-erectus
in paleontology, so someone who is not inclined to be persuaded can use
this as a cop out for rejecting your point.

I actually tried to think of analogies to make the point, and could not
come up with one that was tight enough, or for that matter one that was
as good as yours.  That is why I now think of this as something you
either grasp, or don't grasp.  I can't explain this to anyone who
doesn't grasp it anymore than I can explain that 2+2=4 to someone who
doesn't grasp it.  If you don't get it, I don't know what else to say. I
hope your analogy, and the messages of Sean and Mari finally work, but
of course I and others have said the same thing in our own ways, and we
were not effective.

Still, your analogy was a valiant effort, and actually correct, but
perhaps not as persuasive as we both might hope.

You wrote to my antagonist,

>you seem to have chosen the path of hurling personal
>insults.  This is not productive.  This is not useful. This discourages
>others from participating in the debate.

It does, but I'm glad it did not discourage Sean, Mari, and you from
participating.  Thank you. We have some pretty smart people on this
list.  If the three of you are insulted or quoted out of context, most
readers will figure it out.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Taylor <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Jul 2001 00:58:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 12.1763 Re: "What's in a name?"
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1763 Re: "What's in a name?"

What Robin Hamilton refers to as "selective quotation" and Karen
Peterson-Kranz refers to as "quoting out of context" has been the rule
on this thread, and has been utilized by all parties.   The strategy
becomes particularly noticeable when written texts are exchanged, but it
is arguably the rule in any kind of conversation.  I believe "selective
quotation" is also in some ways the topic of this thread: ie, with
respect to RJ passages here (and other passages), I have argued that
"context" is a choice, not a given.

For example, with all due respect to her, I believe Karen Peterson-Kranz
has selected out from the text of this discussion my recent remarks, and
has omitted (what I consider to be) crucial elements of context.  Indeed
I did suggest that Robin Hamilton

 

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