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Humanist Archives: July 25, 2019, 7:06 a.m. Humanist 33.152 - an editorial: getting the word out

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 152.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-07-24 06:50:02+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty 
        Subject: getting the word out

The basic argument I would advance this London morning is that typography 
and layout of postings should matter to the sender -- if, that is, the 
sender actually wishes them to be read with interest, or at all.

Many messages come to Humanist so poorly formatted that were I to send
them out as is not only would they not be read but also, I fear,
Humanist would so disappoint its members that it would quickly cease to
exist. Safe Links and its kind are only part of the problem;
monolingually conceived software mechanisms also contribute (still, in
2019!). The biggest part, however, is due to thoughtless cut-and-paste 
or forwarding of messages containing graphics, which in general do not 
survive well. Frustrating for me are over-linked messages, in which, 
it often seems, every other reference to anything is hyperlinked -- as 
if the intent were to make sure that reading of the posted words never 
happens. It seems that early enthusiasm for hypertext has settled into a 
chronic ailment.

So, I would urge everyone to go for the lowest common denominator of
encoding so that as messages thread their way through the various
systems they suffer the least amount of damage, encourage the greatest 
amount of reading -- and cause me the least amount of work.

To be entirely fair, however, it should be noted that, in Summer, temperatures 
do rise and patience (even of your Editor) evaporates. Londoners are currently 
suffering in a heat-wave; today, temperatures may set an historical record. 
I do not enjoy air-conditioning. :-( 


Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/),
Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
(www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org)

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Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
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