Re: Lovers and Fools and Seething Brains

Cynthia Haynes (
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 13:39:22 -0600

Latisha writes:

>But when I have a sense that words are being used to impress rather than
>to mean, to exclude rather than to fascinate or attract, I leave.


>But when I think of the countless readings I've heard, I suspect, mainly
>from people's dissertations, which make me feel like litmus paper for a
>dissertation committee, those readings whre it seems that the reader,
>him/herself is no longer interested in the topic, those readings filled
>with words-to-impress rather than words-to-mean...

Latisha (and others),

It's interesting to find myself defending something here that I haven't
done myself (ie read a formal paper) at CCCC in the past 2 conferences. At
the conference in Washington (1995) I did read a formal paper that was
originally a short section of a chapter of my dissertation...but one part
that I wanted to improve, extend to article length...I wanted to test the
ideas in it at CCCC. Over the past 2 years with the help of others who
reviewed that paper, it has hopefully improved. And, it is to be included
in a collection of essays due out sometime soon. I tell you this to say
that a) I am still interested very much in the topic, and was at the time
I read the paper, and b) No word I included was meant to impress.

How can we ever truly know either of these things about a speaker's
motives? Why do we make that generalization first? That is the heart of
the matter, I believe. I'm with Jeanne on not making assumptions about why
people leave a presentation...and I think the same should hold true for
assumptions we make about the presentation and the speaker.


_____Lingua MOO_____http://lingua.utdallas.edu______
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