Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 624. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2020-02-21 05:39:14+00:00 From: Willard McCarty
Subject: an editor's plea Dear colleagues, My editorial preferences doubtless began to be formed when I was editor of my high school newspaper and learned principles for the composition of a printed newspaper page from an experienced hand. How to attract the eye and then lead it from one story to another was the main lesson, I recall. This happened in the late 1950s. So it is also doubtless that these are old principles, which I persist in carrying over into the digital medium of Humanist. In other words, I am prepared to be told that the following is Old Hat. BUT: it does seem clear as day or a bell that someone who writes a note and actually wants to communicate by means of it will not be surprised by the meta-principle that all impediments to an untroubled reading should be avoided wherever possible. (Medieval manuscript annotation is another story; here is about readers in the tradition loudly proclaimed by Thomas Sprat in the 17th Century.) One massive impediment to untroubled prose is the URL helpful in the intention, I have no doubt, that the writer inserts into the text so that the reader may be better informed. But informed about what, exactly, and why of interest, is impeded if not obscured by the URL's violation of the syntax of the sentence it interrupts. This is why the footnote was invented, I suppose: to be helpful but not derail reading. Yes, some notes to Humanist originate in software that embeds each URL in a hidden link -- you know, bluing and underscoring the text it 'footnotes' -- a nightmare of design, it seems to me. But in any case, Humanist's software is graphically quiet by design, so that technique does not work. Thus, in conclusion, my editor's ink-stained plea to send continuous rather than URL'd prose to Humanist, to consider how many URLs are actually needed and where they would best be placed with the reader in mind. Many thanks, indeed, many! Yours, WM -- Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org) _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: email@example.com List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
Software designer: Malgosia Askanas (Mind-Crafts)
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