Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 582. Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London <http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/> <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/> Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2001 11:22:10 +0000 From: "David L. Gants" <email@example.com> Subject: A Teleprompto? >> From: "Jim Marchand" <firstname.lastname@example.org> A New Kind of Error? As a humanistic philologist, I spend a great deal of time listening and watching for `errors', such as the recent use of _livid_ to mean, not purple, but `quite angry', or such things as the hyperurbanism `between you and I' (and others of the kind). Each new invention brings with it its own types, as the stylus and the clay, the chisel and the stone, the brush and the papyrus, the pen and the parchment, etc. brought us the scribal error, the typewriter the typo. We had the mixup of the idiot boards in one of Reagan's speeches (bothered him not at all). Each of these required special skills on the part of the philologer, and we have books on how to recover the original. Now comes a new invention: the teleprompter (and the see-through teleprompter). Those who watched both conventions, with speakers changing their positions to accomodate cameras and teleprompters know what I mean. In one of his speeches Bush referred to people `filing out their forms'. Here, one cannot be sure whether this was his error or that of the teleprompter typist. Just this morning, I heard a senator speak of `Britian's role', and I feel sure that must have been the teleprompter, since I know of no one who says Britian for Britain (spelling is a whole nother thing). Those who watched the Supreme Court recently on TV and saw how badly the court reporter spelled can be sure that teleprompter typists are likely to do so also. Thus, there may spring up a new task for the philologist. I am sure that in the future we will see people claiming that World War III was started by a misreading of a teleprompter by some great official, just as that everyone knows that World War II was started by the mistranslation of a Japanese word. Perhaps awareness will mitigate (I saw that recently, too) against this.
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