5.0179 Qs: Male/Female Speech; CAW etc.; Law&Order Topos (3/111)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 24 Jun 91 21:45:01 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0179. Monday, 24 Jun 1991.

(1) Date: Mon, 24 Jun 91 8:21:02 edt (14 lines)
From: "Van Doren, Frederick L." <VANDOREN@DICKINSN.Bitnet>
Subject: Men's Speech - Women's Speech

(2) Date: Sun, 23 Jun 1991 22:32:01 EDT (78 lines)
From: hmcook@boe00.minc.umd.edu (Hardy M. Cook)
Subject: Grammar Checkers, CAW, and CAI Question

(3) Date: Mon, 24 Jun 91 10:03:14 +0200 (19 lines)
Subject: Law and order topos

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 91 8:21:02 edt
From: "Van Doren, Frederick L." <VANDOREN@DICKINSN.Bitnet>
Subject: Men's Speech - Women's Speech

I am putting together a reading list for a Freshman Seminar on Men's and
Women's Speech. I've already selected a number of sociolinguistic
texts, both scholarly and popular (Tannen's "You just don't understand").

I need suggestions for short, *literary* works appropriate for Freshman.
What I'm looking for are texts that include a) typical "feminine"
speech, b) typical "masculine" speech, or something that can be
construed as masculine or feminine "style".

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------83----
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 1991 22:32:01 EDT
From: hmcook@boe00.minc.umd.edu (Hardy M. Cook)
Subject: Grammar Checkers, CAW, and CAI Question

I have spent the past two years investigating, writing specifications,
soliciting bids, supervising the construction, and working out the bugs
for a computer-supported writing center. Throughout, my primary
interest has been in computer-assisted writing (CAW) rather than
computer-assisted instruction (CAI). In the fall our center will be
fully operational; we're giving it trial run this summer.

My philosophy from the start has been a democratic one: I wanted a
network with ALL the software available to all students. To that end, we
purchased a 20-station network of IBM compatible workstations with a 386
fileserver, and a teacher's station. The network was designed from the
beginning to run Novell 386.

For word processing, we chose WordPerfect 5.1 (even though I'm still a
loyal WordStar user). I have never been much of a fan of RightWriter,
but I did work in my office with Grammatik IV with students as did many
of my colleagues; however, we simple gave up on Grammatik--there were
far too many false-positives. Also Grammatik IV is a pattern checking
program. I have found Correct Grammar 3.0 much more to my liking.
Correct Grammar was designed by computational linguists and works by
sentence parsing rather than by pattern matching. I've had wonderful
experiences with students' using it, and after several demonstrations my
colleagues agreed with me. Correct Grammar, like Grammatik, can be set
up to use a hot key to leave a WordPerfect document, go directly to
Correct Grammar, and return to WordPerfect. One of its features that
most appeals to me is that it has built in tutorials students can refer
to if they want more information than what is provide with the

We also purchased Writer's Helper, Stage II. Writer's Helper is an
umbrella program for 39 other prewriting and revising programs--it has
won several awards and conceptually looks interesting, but I have not
used it with students yet.

Our final and most sophisticated program is Editor, now being marketed
through the MLA. One begins Editor by running a utility program that
numbers the lines in the text, either by creating another file on disk or
by sending a copy of the file with line numbers to the printer. One next
invokes the Usage program to generate a list of suggestions keyed to the
numbered lines, again with the option of creating a file on disk or
sending the output to a printer. The Usage program's dictionaries
analyze diction, punctuation, mechanics, wordiness, trite expressions,
cliches, slang, jargon, colloquialisms, awkward expressions, and
commonly misused words.

The writer then goes through the list making appropriate changes on the
line-numbered draft before transferring those changes to the original
draft. The authors of Editor firmly believe editing is done more
accurately on paper than on a computer screen, and their program
encourages that approach.

Writer's Helper and Editor have the additional advantage of being
modifiable. I also purchased LANSchool, a program that allows the
instructor to take over the network to do demonstrations for the students
at the workstations. When the wrokstation is returned to the student,
the instructor can use a PEEK command to see what is going on at any
of the workstations.

I'm very excited about the fall to see what difference this
writing-center will make. Students in the courses in all our
composition sequence will be required to work one hour a week at the
center, but my hunch is that once we get fully operational students will
be lining up outside the door.

As I mentioned at the beginning, my principal interest has been in CAW;
however, some of my colleagues also wish to include CAI for our
developmental students. Are there any commercial software packages that
any of you know of that drill students in grammar, punctuation,
mechanics, and so on?
Hardy M. Cook
Bowie State University

(3) --------------------------------------------------------------33----
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 91 10:03:14 +0200
Subject: Law and order topos

I am currently working on medieval highway robbery, and have
become interested in the topos "the king's strong rule creates
such peace that ..." a merchant may travel unarmed with a bag of
gold at his belt/a woman may travel with her baby etc. etc., and
none of these kinds of persons particularly at risk from
malefactors comes to any harm. I have a number of medieval
examples, mostly drawn from historiographical sources,
particularly English ones (Bede, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle), but have
begun to wonder whether the topos has its origins in classical
panegyric, or whether it has parallels in other cultures (Islam,
China, etc.). Any parallels or precedents (or medieval European
examples, especially from literary rather than historical sources)
would be gratefully received and duly acknowledged.

Timothy Reuter MGH Munich