17.412 cures for link anxiety?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Sat Nov 29 2003 - 03:36:42 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 412.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 08:22:15 +0000
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: link anxiety?

    I am wondering if anyone has written about what we might call "link
    anxiety" and the rhetorical preparations one might make to avoid it. I
    would like to find writings to use for or against the following
    proposition: within a scholarly argument, a link rather than a traditional
    citation is desirable from the author's perspective when it is to material
    of an evidential rather than argumentative kind. When I need for some
    reason to signal to the reader that another person's argument is relevant,
    I will tend not to want the reader to go off to that argument and engage
    with it, not at least right then. I would prefer, rather, to use a citation
    that signals the value I think the other argument has, e.g. "some think
    that..." (not saying who these clearly misguided individuals are); "Fish
    argues that..." (not saying in what book or essay, since if right it only
    backs up what I am saying, if wrong doesn't need to be considered, and we
    all know in any case what sort of thing he does); "Smith, Philological
    Studies in Ancient Accadian, vol. 2, pp. 361-5" (go here if you are REALLY
    interested, but if you absolutely needed to know, I would quote the text in
    full, so don't bother). Evidential material is, however, a different
    matter: a link into a lexicon or commentary would be fine; we all know what
    to expect and so are already prepared.

    Or is it a matter of the format of the material -- continuous prose (cite)
    vs brief chunks (link to)?


    Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
    Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
    7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk

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