oops-misquote (maybe)

Subject: oops-misquote (maybe)
From: Anatole Wilson <awilson -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 08:54:20 PDT

In response to Tom Kohn's post:

First of all, my statement was that if we were writing in SGML so that
computers could understand our structure, then we were writing to
accommodate our tools, and as I said, "the medium controls the message."
No attempt to quote anyone.

As for the quotation I *did* use, my source was, indeed, _Bartlett's_
_Familiar_Quotations_. When I quoted, I was thinking of the entire quote
it cites:

"A foolish consistency os the hobgoblin of little minds, adored
by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency
a great soul has simply nothing to do...Speak what you think today
in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words
again, though it contradict everything you said today."

I probably *did* misquote by not saying "a *foolish* consistency is the
hobgoblin of little minds," but I think I retained the *essence* of the
meaning. Still, I promise to look up all quotations in the future, since
someone who quoted *me* quoting Emerson would almost certainly take the
quote out of context.

My biggest regret, however, is that the Emerson quote--which I used in
an attempt to excuse my wishy-washiness on the SGML issue, and not to make a
point of any great signifigance--garnered all
the attention, while the main content of my message was ignored.

Here's hoping this doesn't start a thread on using quotations that
subsumes more meaningful commentary on SGML...

Anatole Wilson "An invasion of armies can
Sr. Assoc. Information Developer be resisted, but not an idea
IBM, Santa Teresa Labs whose time has come."
awilson -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com --Victor Hugo
all company disclaimers apply

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