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Humanist Archives: Jan. 25, 2019, 6:31 a.m. Humanist 32.380 - humour?

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 380.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2019-01-24 19:49:16+00:00
        From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: The Place of Humour in Humanities Computing


I have been trawling through the literature on overlapping hierarchies and
have repeatedly come across puns and other forms of humour. One of the
outstanding examples comes from Steve deRose

This model, originally named HORSE (Hierarchy-Obfuscating Really Spiffy
Encoding) may seem wooden at first, but soon it comes to look quite
natural. With its spartan syntax it should be attractive; but its name
seems less so, and clearly a Muse meant us to rename this model


because of its heavy use of point events scattered throughout the text or
data stream: click, clicks, clix.

The acronym in itself is funny but even more humorous given that it is
part of an extended conceit playing with a name: "This approach, which
after Troy [Griffiths] is called 'Trojan milestones'".  From "Markup
Overlap: A Review and a Horse" (2004)

Quite apart from the pleasure of sharing such delightful wordplay, I am
intrigued about the general question about the place of humour in the
exchanges between scholars (one is reminded of Erasmus's play on the name
of More in The Praise of Folly) and, in a more contemporary view, its
place in particular in the making of humanities computing. Keen on
learning more about any jokes that cross linguistic boundaries.

Francois Lachance

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