21.406 more on the editorial plea

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 07:00:15 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 21, No. 406.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 06:54:00 +0000
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: more on the editorial plea

Dear colleagues,

Joe Raben reasonably asks in the following what would help in the
processing of Humanist messages. I think the answer is (at the risk
of saying something that is imprecise) PLAIN TEXT, by which I mean
unformatted text in any language using the Roman alphabet. Since
almost all text in Humanist is in English anyhow, the only common
enhancement comes via names, about which I am of course not
complaining. My only complaint is with formatting, the source of
which, I'd guess, is in 99.99...% of the cases due to Microsoft Word.
If I am in any doubt about text I am using in composing a message, I
run it through a plain-text-only editor first. My favourite editor is
the Programmer's File Editor, a simple, fast and elegant piece of
work, but it is no longer supported, so I can hardly recommend it.
Perhaps others here will have recommendations for editors that show
more or less exactly what one is getting?


>It would be helpful, Willard, if in addition to explaining why our
>formatting creates problems, you also gave more specific directions
>on what would help you.
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Humanist Discussion Group (by
>way of Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>)"
>To: <humanist_at_Princeton.EDU>
>Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 4:17 AM
>> Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 21, No. 404.
>> Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
>> www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/humanities/cch/research/publications/humanist.html
>> www.princeton.edu/humanist/
>> Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu
>> Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:49:59 +0000
>> From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
>> Subject: an editorial plea
>>Dear colleagues,
>>This is a plea from your editor, who for noble reasons hereby puts on
>>the robe of the long-suffering, self-sacrificing public servant. (I
>>do not in fact suffer. Rather I get annoyed. And I'd hardly say that
>>editing Humanist is an act of self-sacrifice, though some of my time
>>goes to the care of Humanist that might be spent drinking coffee and
>>checking out my neighbours, or whatever. But please assume for now
>>that I am wearing said robe, play along with me and see what emotions
>>and consequent actions result.)
>>Some contributors to Humanist, whose identities will not be revealed,
>>compose their postings in a wordprocessor, using all the glories of
>>its formatting options (bullet-points, proper quotation marks &c &c),
>>and then paste the result directly into their e-mail client and send
>>it off. What said individuals apparently do not realise is that in
>>doing so they paste in all sorts of proprietary formatting codes that
>>my software doesn't like, i.e. these codes become visible nonsense to
>>me. I then have to take the content of each of these messages,
>>massage it with a text-editor, then paste the corrected content back
>>into my e-mail client for the actual posting. Sometimes several
>>search-and-replace operations are involved. Frankly it's a hassle.
>>Now while I admit that suffering this hassle may improve my soul,
>>teach me patience and love for my fellow human beings great
>>enough to surmount considerable annoyance with them, I'd rather not
>>be improved in such ways early each morning. As I'm sure everyone
>>knows, ordinary life comes up with quite enough improving tests of
that sort.
>>Rumour has it that improved software for Humanist will come along
>>someday soon. Perhaps then I will be shielded from the slings and
>>arrows of outrageous formatting. I will let you know when I feel thus
>>protected, and then you can try your worst. But meanwhile, please,
>>take care with your special effects. Such care will be felt, and
>>this, I think, will work marvellous improvements to my ability to
>>maintain emotional equilibrium. Who knows, joy might even follow.
>>Willard McCarty | Professor of Humanities Computing | Centre for
>>Computing in the Humanities | King's College London |
>>http://staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/. Et sic in infinitum (Fludd
>>1617, p. 26).

Willard McCarty | Professor of Humanities Computing | Centre for
Computing in the Humanities | King's College London |
http://staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/. Et sic in infinitum (Fludd 1617, p. 26).
Received on Wed Dec 12 2007 - 03:44:46 EST

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