Who's a Dummy?

Subject: Who's a Dummy?
From: Patricia Carmel/IL/3Com <Patricia_Carmel/IL/3Com%3COM -at- 3MAIL -dot- 3COM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 19:48:17 EDT

Re Dummies - If I'd ever articulated my feelings about a"for Dummies" series,
I would have said: Ha, a book has been written that even a dummy can
understand; as I perceive myself as being on a higher level than 'dummy", I'll
have no trouble grasping the principles I need to learn - How comforting!" On
reflection, however, and despite the fact that my gut reaction is to find
reassurance in what I assume is a tongue-in-cheek title, the term "dummy" does
indicate condescension. It suggests that whoever doesn't know what I (or more
accurately, the authors of the book) know, is stupid. In my previous job, I
frequently heard disparaging comments about users whose range of experience did
not expose them to what to us seemed overwhelmingly obvious. I wonder if this
is true in fields other than computers where professionals assume such an air
of superiority over those "who do not understand!"

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