Modifying Class Object
steve at REMOVE-THIS-cybersource.com.au
Wed Feb 10 15:16:46 CET 2010
On Wed, 10 Feb 2010 09:13:22 +0100, Alf P. Steinbach wrote:
>> dismissed at least one of my arguments with a simple hand-waving of,
>> "That's invalid, cuz."
> That is not a quote of me. It is a lie.
Alf, although your English in this forum has been excellent so far, I
understand you are Norwegian, so it is possible that you aren't a native
English speaker and possibly unaware that quotation marks are sometimes
ambiguous in English.
While it is true that quoted text is officially meant to indicate a
direct quote, it is also commonly used in informal text to indicate a
paraphrase. (There are other uses as well, but they don't concern us now.)
Unfortunately, this means that in informal discussions like this it is
sometimes difficult to distinguish a direct quote from a paraphrase,
except by context. In context, as a native speaker, I can assure you that
Stephen Hansen's use of quotation marks is a paraphrase and not meant to
be read as a direct quote.
As a paraphrase, it's not a *lie* -- it should be read as Stephen's
*opinion* of your actions, not a direct quote. Stephen might, or might
not, be *mistaken*, but it's unlikely he's actively lying. Arguing
pedantically that you didn't write those exact words won't win you any
friends or supporters.
You can choose to defend yourself against a gross misrepresentation of
what you actually said; or you can accept that it captures the spirit
(but not the letter) of your words; or you can choose a middle position,
and accept that even if it is not a 100% accurate representation of your
statements, perhaps it is 90% accurate, or 10%, or 50%. The exact amount
doesn't really matter, and will be subjective, and frankly I don't care.
But whatever degree you choose to accept, it is obvious that a number of
people are not just being annoyed by your behaviour, but they are annoyed
enough to publicly chastise you for it. That includes Steve Holden, who
is usually far more even-tempered than (e.g.) me.
Without necessarily suggesting that you are 100% to blame for the
antagonism, its unlikely that so many disparate individuals are all 100%
mistaken. As you say, the public record is there for anyone who wishes to
read the history.
Believe me Alf, the fact that people are taking the time to try to argue
with you instead of just kill-filing you is a compliment.
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