ozarque (ozarque) wrote,
ozarque
ozarque

This journal has been placed in memorial status. New entries cannot be posted to it.

The Ellen Goodman essay about civility; afternote...

Thank you for your comments about Ellen Goodman's "Imus furor a long-overdue setback for incivility" [at http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/178122 ], which I recommended yesterday and suggested discussing.

There were four things in the essay that especially caught my attention....

1. Goodman started her essay on civility with two sentences that -- depending on the tune the words would have been set to if she'd been speaking them instead of writing them -- might be examples of one of the English Verbal Attack Patterns. Without knowing what her tone of voice and intonation would have been like, there's no way to tell what those two sentences really mean, and -- like all "at least" sentences -- they're a tad baffling. [I realize that this particular item isn't likely to be very interesting to anyone but Me The Linguist, but I mention it here for the sake of full disclosure.] I wondered why she chose that structure for her opening.

2. I was really struck by the proposal (left anonymous in the essay) that "Civility is for face to face." I wondered whether there is a sizable portion of the online population that subscribes to that idea; I wondered what the idea was based on and how it is ordinarily defended by those who believe it to be true.

3. I found the suggested "Blogger's Code of Conduct" and "Golden Rule of Civility" [which should be "Golden Rule of E-Civility," or some such thing] bemusary, and was able instantly to think of a whole array of justifiable exceptions and problems and complications.

4. Finally, I was intrigued by Coleman's "Civility is for face to face? Then let's uphold a face-to-face standard." Which assumes that some recognized face-to-face consensus standard of civility already exists.


Items 2-4, it seems to me, are of great interest in the context of building communities online, in a time when online communities are becoming ever more important and ever more necessary. For many people, because of the isolated busy lives they have to live, online communities may be the only ones they have access to. If they have to constantly and rigorously self-censor their communication, can they build and maintain communities? I don't know.
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  • Wednesday; "Gone With The Wind"...

    I just want to mention something here, in case you're not already aware of it. I want to mention the extraordinary craftsmanship that's demonstrated…

  • Saturday; the new novel...

    I have to re-write the new novel, in longhand, from start to finish -- which will take a while. It does have to be done in longhand, and there's no…

  • Monday; the new novel...

    I'm pleased to report that the writer's block has come to an end. Apparently, all it took was a blogpost to the Magic Live Journal, and I was…