10.0648 computers and writing style

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Tue, 4 Feb 1997 00:07:01 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 648.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Domenico Fiormonte <ITADFP@srv0.arts.ed.ac.uk> (63)
Subject: computers & writing style

[2] From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@mdah.state.ms.us> (7)
Subject: Re: 10.0645 computers & writing style?

[3] From: Emily Rose <erose@phoenix.Princeton.EDU> (5)
Subject: Re: 10.0645 computers & writing style?

[4] From: "Dr. Joel Goldfield" <joel@funrsc.fairfield.edu> (13)
Subject: Re: 10.0645 computers & writing style?

Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 22:33:16 +0000
From: Domenico Fiormonte <ITADFP@srv0.arts.ed.ac.uk>
Subject: computers & writing style

[The following is a copy to Humanist of a note sent to the Montreal
journalist who enquired about the effects of the computer on writing
style. I have not passed on to Humanist Dr. Fiormonte's additional
material, which I presume he would be willing to share with anyone who
might write to him directly. --WM]

I have been studying the influence of computer on literary writing
since 1990, and I wrote my "laurea" thesis at the University of Rome
on this subject. ("The Influence of Computer on Literary Writing:
Case Studies of Three Italian Authors", Rome, April 19 1994).
Unfortunately, all my 4 publications are written in Italian --though
I studied the phenomenon of computer
writing broadly, interviewing authors from Italy, Spain, USA, and now
UK. I spent last year at Michigan Tech University, where I focused
on the rhetoric of the electronic text (Cindy Selfe),
the history of literary production and literary tools (Bill Powers),
etc. This summer I won a Spanish government scholarship on
Computers, Linguistics and Literature, and I had the unique
opportuniy to interview some of the best Spanish contemporary
Currently, my PhD project at U. of Edinburgh consists in
building a digital archive of textual variants from contemporary
Spanish and Italian writers.

I'll do two things for you:
1) I'll e-mail you my latest Italian paper (whose significant title
is "The Electronic Writing Anthology (and Archeology): Three
Stages of a Work in Progress")

In spite of the fact that it is written in Italian, there are a number of
long quotes in English (Kurt Vonnegut, etc.), Spanish, French, etc.
and an International bibliography which could be helpful.

2) I'll send you a DRAFT of an English version of my first published piece
"Case Studies of Computerized Writers" (be pitiful with this, it's
just a draft!)

IMPORTANT: BOTH files are written in Winword 2, and I am sending them
through Basic-Mime encoding -- let me know if this works.

Besides, you can visit my home page, where you can find also an ENGLISH
(feeew!) abstract of my thesis:

[this the abstract]

Best wishes

Domenico Fiormonte
University of Edinburgh, Dept. of Italian
David Hume Tower, George Square
EH8 9JX -- United Kingdom

Fax: 131-650-6536
E-mail: itadfp@srv0.arts.ed.ac.uk

<<Si Dios no fuese Dios, seria el Rey
de las Espanas, y el Rey de Francia su cocinero>>

Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 08:48:00 -0500
From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@mdah.state.ms.us>
Subject: Re: 10.0645 computers & writing style?

Some fifteen years ago I had the opportunity to wire Barry Hannah as
he made the transition from typewriter to word processor, with the
idea of capturing every keystroke and watching to see if his style
changed. Alas, nobody was interested in funding such a project, and
now it's too late. But wouldn't the literature on the teaching of
composition with computers be relevant to this question?

Pat Galloway
Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 22:29:32 -0500 (EST)
From: Emily Rose <erose@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Re: 10.0645 computers & writing style?

I recall reading an article years ago in the Wall Street Journal about
exactly the issue of writing style and computers (I think it even
addressed the question of MAcs versus PCs) I clipped it, but then lost
it. It dealt with students and the stylistic changes of first
drafts composed on a word processor rather than longhand - not email.

Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 11:28:45 -0500
From: "Dr. Joel Goldfield" <joel@funrsc.fairfield.edu>
Subject: Re: 10.0645 computers & writing style?

Perhaps Ms. Bergerson could contact Donald Ross since he has a specialty
area in composition & computers as does Cynthia Selfe, who
just won an MLA/EDUCOM award. I don't have my MLA directory
handy to check on Prof. Selfe's e-mail address. The last e-address I have
for Donald Ross (U. of Minnesota) is: umcomp@ux.acs.umn.edu.
She might also check with John F. Burrows who
probably has the fullest database and set of studies on gender and
national differences among woman writers of English. He may have
also looked at the impact of word-processing and the like on writing.
His address is: LCJFB@cc.newcastle.edu.au.
Joel Goldfield
Fairfield University
Fairfield, CT USA