[globaloutlookDH-l] When citing emails, do people silently correct typos?

Daniel O'Donnell daniel.odonnell at uleth.ca
Mon Feb 3 09:18:54 MST 2014


Hi Ernesto,

I'm really not sure about your privacy paragraph. It seems to me 
difficult to believe that anybody posting to a publicly archived list 
with an open membership could understand what they are saying as 
anything but meant for public consumption. Does that mean, for example, 
that Humanist is not a public record since it doesn't explicitly say it 
is? That seems hard to believe, since a lot of important things happen 
there. I'd have thought the same of this list.

Moreover, it isn't a question of the "list owner" having special 
privileges. Since the records are publicly available to anybody on the 
web, and were distributed to all members of the list, anybody in the 
world can cite anything sent to a public email list. There's no 
additional level of access that the owner has on a public list.

I can see a couple of places where there might be an expectation of 
privacy or where good manner might cede privacy to a public posting.

Listservs with a closed archive, for example, might be considered prima 
facie private, especially if the membership is restricted and known. It 
is dangerous for a writer to assume that something posted to such a list 
will remain private. But I can certainly see how one might be ethically 
obliged to confirm with the poster before citation. Even there, however, 
the lists I'm on that are really /meant/ to be private indicate it: our 
department list, for example, has a header on every message that says 
the contents of the list are to be considered confidential and not to be 
redistributed without prior permission.

Even on an open list, it seems to me to be good manners not to cite 
clearly accidental postings--e.g. the kind of private messages that 
people sometimes send to a list in error. I don't think the sender can 
have any expectation that a publicly archived message-sent-in-error like 
that will not be cited by anybody; but it seems to me that the citer has 
a duty in that case to check.

But for most things on a public list, it seems to me that the whole 
point of the list is to build a kind of gray scholarly literature: a lot 
of our discussions on this list, for example, contain discussions that 
are clearly meant to be generalisable and influence debate (like this 
conversation here, for example); others, like announcements, cfps, job 
ads, etc., are clearly meant to be redistributed.

Because it exists in a border area between the formal and the informal 
(it is like formal publication in that it is available to the 
community--and probably more widely read--but unlike it in that there is 
no editorial process), I think we owe a duty of respect to the people we 
cite, meaning not to be too critical of word choice or minor 
inconsistencies. But I know I've never thought my participation on any 
public scholarly email list (e.g. tei-l, humanist, dm-l, 
digitalclassicist, globaloutlookdh-l) was private.

Do others feel that the default for contributions to public scholarly 
listservs is that they should be considered private? I confess that had 
never occurred to me before.

-dan




On 14-02-03 07:14 AM, Ernesto Priego wrote:
>  It is an interesting question. I suppose some minor typos resulting 
> form typing too fast could be correced "silently". I do these typing 
> mistakes all the time; especially when replying form a mobile phone.
>
> As for citing emails I would think a related question is equally 
> important, that of privacy. Even for listservs, I assume we are saying 
> some things "in confidence", i.e. we write and send certain things 
> because we are writing them for and sending them to a particuar list 
> which means particular receivers, even when we sometimes don't know 
> who are all the members. It's not the same as when posting openly on 
> Twitter for example, when one assumes it's all public and anyone can 
> read and therefore cite.
>
> So before citing anything anyone said via email I would check with the 
> sender if it's OK to cite them, unless there are some terms and 
> conditions somewhere that say the owner of the list is entitled to 
> cite any messages sent to the list.
>
> Best,
>
> e
>
> *
> *
> *
> Dr Ernesto Priego
> *Lecturer in Library Science
> Acting Course Director, MSc/MA Electronic Publishing, City University 
> London *
> *
> City University London offers a wide range of postgraduate courses 
> delivered by world-leading academics. Register for our Open Evening 
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>
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>
>
> On Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 10:20 PM, Daniel O'Donnell 
> <daniel.odonnell at uleth.ca <mailto:daniel.odonnell at uleth.ca>> wrote:
>
>     It really is pretty cool, eh?
>
>
>
>     On 14-02-01 02:43 PM, Yasmín S. Portales Machado wrote:
>>     ¡Me encanta esta lista!
>>
>>     Yasmín S. Portales Machado
>>
>>     --------------------------------------
>>
>>     Marxista, Feminista y Bloguera
>>
>>     Twitter: @nimlothdecuba
>>
>>     Facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663817529
>>
>>     Mi blog: http://yasminsilvia.blogspot.com/
>>
>>     Parte de Proyecto Arcoiris
>>
>>     Colectivo LGBT, anticapitalista e independiente, de Cuba
>>
>>     http://proyectoarcoiris.cubava.cu/
>>
>>     Parte de Observatorio Crítico de Cuba
>>
>>     ¡A la izquierda, pero por la izquierda!
>>
>>     http://observatoriocriticodesdecuba.wordpress.com/
>>
>>     "El feminismo ha puesto en evidencia, mejor que ninguna otra
>>     corriente de pensamiento, tanto la arbitrariedad del
>>     psicoanálisis como la insuficiencia del marxismo, es decir, ha
>>     cuestionado los dos grandes modelos totalizadores del siglo XX."
>>
>>     Carlo Frabetti
>>
>>     *De:*globaloutlookdh-l
>>     [mailto:globaloutlookdh-l-bounces at uleth.ca] *En nombre de *Daniel
>>     O'Donnell
>>     *Enviado el:* Saturday, February 1, 2014 1:47 PM
>>     *Para:* globaloutlookdh-l at uleth.ca
>>     <mailto:globaloutlookdh-l at uleth.ca>
>>     *Asunto:* Re: [globaloutlookDH-l] When citing emails, do people
>>     silently correct typos?
>>
>>     I like that idea for 3), though I think I'll leave the
>>     explanation in now, because it needs to go through a press and
>>     editors. I confess, I don't even like the idea of correcting
>>     them: that is what email is.
>>
>>     On 14-02-01 11:34 AM, Nishant Shah wrote:
>>
>>         Hey Dan,
>>         This is a great question, and one that a lot of us working
>>         with online transcripts and with non-standard Englishes
>>         constantly face.
>>         With a collection I was editing, working with writers from
>>         Asia, Africa and Latin America, where the writers were not
>>         native speakers and also not professionally used to writing,
>>         we faced a similar dilemma which eventually, we resolved in
>>         the following ways:
>>         1. Except for when the syntax was so irregular that the
>>         citation was unintelligible, we contacted the sources and
>>         checked if they want to re-write it, or if our corrections
>>         were still representing what they meant.
>>         2. Like in oral ethnography projects, we retained the
>>         irregularities of 'written speech', and we used that as a
>>         precedence for retaining these 'errors'.
>>         3. With different registers in the language, we retained them
>>         without even high-lighting or italicising or pointing out
>>         those irregularities, because that is a judgment call we did
>>         not want to make, and we also thought that the onus of bias
>>         was on the reader.
>>         Hope this helps resolve some of your queries,
>>         Warm regards
>>         Nishant
>>         On 01-02-2014 19:21, Daniel O'Donnell wrote:
>>
>>             I have a question for advice from this group that might
>>             have political implications.
>>
>>             In an article I'm about to submit, I cite a number of
>>             discussions on this list and humanist about the use of
>>             language, especially English. The authors are both native
>>             English speakers and non-native speakers and, as is
>>             typical in emails, there are a number of small typos.
>>             solecisms, and the like.
>>
>>             Currently, I have a note at the first citation indicating
>>             that "as is normal in as conversational a medium as email
>>             correspondence, the quoted passages have small
>>             typographical errors and other solecisms. These have not
>>             been corrected or otherwise noted." My reason for this is
>>             that I don't want to put in a lot of sic or corrections
>>             in square brackets. Although I'm a terrible typo offender
>>             myself, the case can be more politicised it seems to me
>>             when dealing with non-native speakers. I'm uncomfortable
>>             acting either as judge or, worse, in my case, calling
>>             attention to "errors"--especially since I think they are
>>             really more issues of register than actual errors.
>>
>>             I could silently correct them, of course, as well, but I
>>             don't like that either, in case what I think is an
>>             obvious correction turns out to misrepresent something.
>>
>>             What do other people think? I've seen /sic/ used before
>>             as a form of ad hominem attack and so I generally really
>>             hate using it if I can avoid it. But since it also seems
>>             nuts to pepper the correspondence with square brackets
>>             (and since that could have the same effect as a lot of
>>             sics), I don't want to do that either.
>>
>>             Is there a better solution than simply flagging the
>>             register difference, as I currently do?
>>
>>             -- 
>>
>>             ---
>>
>>             Daniel Paul O'Donnell
>>
>>             Professor of English
>>
>>             University of Lethbridge
>>
>>             Lethbridge AB T1K 3M4
>>
>>             Canada
>>
>>               
>>
>>             +1 403 393-2539  <tel:%2B1%20403%20393-2539>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>>         -- 
>>         *Dr. Nishant Shah *(Ph.D. Cultural Studies)
>>         *International Tandem Partner *, Centre for Digital Cultures
>>         <http://www.leuphana.de/en/zentren/cdc.html>Lüneburg, Germany
>>         *Director Research *, The Centre for Internet & Society,
>>         Bangalore <http://cis-india.org>
>>         *Phone*: India: +91-974-007-4884 <tel:%2B91-974-007-4884>;
>>         Germany: +49-176-841-660-87 <tel:%2B49-176-841-660-87>
>>
>>
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>>
>>
>>     -- 
>>     ---
>>     Daniel Paul O'Donnell
>>     Professor of English
>>     University of Lethbridge
>>     Lethbridge AB T1K 3M4
>>     Canada
>>       
>>     +1 403 393-2539  <tel:%2B1%20403%20393-2539>
>
>     -- 
>     ---
>     Daniel Paul O'Donnell
>     Professor of English
>     University of Lethbridge
>     Lethbridge AB T1K 3M4
>     Canada
>
>     +1 403 393-2539  <tel:%2B1%20403%20393-2539>
>
>
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-- 
---
Daniel Paul O'Donnell
Professor of English
University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge AB T1K 3M4
Canada

+1 403 393-2539

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