Fannish Accent? Minicon panel (LONG)

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Cally Soukup

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Apr 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/15/99
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This is my best effort at a summary of Karyn Ashburn's talk. I
promised to show it to her before I posted so she could make
corrections or additions. Since I emailed it to her sister Elise 10
days ago, I believe I've fulfilled that promise. I haven't heard
back from her yet, but should she reply, I'll be sure to post
whatever she has to say.

Minicon Panel Report (VERY long)

The best piece of programming I attended at Minicon was a panel, or rather a
lecture, by Karyn Ashburn, Elise Mattheson's sister. She is a speech
therapist, with lots of initials after her name, who works with adult
populations, many of whom are nonverbal or barely verbal, and she isn't a
member of fandom. As the sister of a member of fandom, however, she's had
an opportunity to observe us in one of our native habitats when meeting
Elise at conventions. And as a non-fan and a person passionately interested
in speech production, she's noticed some common features in the way fans
verbally communicate.

We were lucky in that she hadn't shown up for her panel at 5:00 on Saturday,
which would have been in a smallish function room and restricted to only an
hour. Instead she was rescheduled for after closing ceremonies in the
ballroom, so a large fraction of the convention members had a chance to hear
her. Because we wouldn't let her leave, her talk ended up being about 2 1/2
hours long, but she still left us with a lot of questions. I recommend her
as a speaker to any convention. The bare gist of what she said follows.

On those occasions when she showed up at a con to meet Elise, she saw lots
of fans in groups talking. To her they seemed angry and rude. To Elise
they seemed nothing of the sort. Observing them more closely, she realized
that they were using different social cues, different body language,
different eye contact, and even different ways of forming vowels than what
she jokingly called "my people", or what for convenience sake I'll call
mundanes. She hastened to say she doesn't have a theory, or even yet much
of a hypothesis for why this may be (or a large enough sample size across
populations to prove that this is so), but she does have a lot of questions.

She also seemed quite concerned that we would feel offended by what she had
to say, but what she told us was so interesting, and often so recognizably
true, that I don't think anyone was. Of course everything that I'm about to
say is an overgeneralization; different fans possess these traits to greater
or lesser degrees.

First, the mechanics of actual vocal production, especially vowels. The
phonemes in the words "him" and "meet" are produced with the tounge in
various positions, and the lips stretched back. The phonemes "uh" and "oh"
are produced with rounded lips. This, at any rate, is the case in mundania.
Fans, she has noticed, push the vowels forward; rounding the lips somewhat
even for "ee" and "ih". We use our lips a lot, but at the same time, we use
our cheeks and our chins not as often as would be expected. We stabilize
the cheeks and the chin, and we "prolabialize". (When, while sitting at a
table, I leaned my chin on my hands while talking to her, she became
uncomfortable. She can't do that easily; her chin moves more when she
speaks.)

Second, fans articulate more than mundanes. She had various of us stand up
and say things, and then repeated them in "mundane". When I said the phrase
"talk to", she pointed out that I had pronounced the "k" on the end of
"talk". Mundanes, she said, wouldn't. We pronounce more of the terminal
consonents in a phrase than a typical mundane does. We are more likely than
mundanes to pronounce the "h" in "where", and the "l" in "folk". (She
seemed to think it was rather charming; that we were preserving old
pronounciations, or reinventing them from the way words are spelled.)

We also speak in larger word groupings between breaths. This does not
necessarily mean that we speak faster; we just pause for a shorter time
between words -- except where there is punctuation. She pointed out that
when Teresa Nielsen Hayden said she came from Mesa, Arizona, Teresa actually
pronounced the comma by putting a slightly longer pause there, while most
mundanes would simply run the words together. Mundanes slur a lot of
consonents that we pronounce individually. We use punctuation in our spoken
utterances. Sometimes we even footnote.

What we say in those large word groupings is also different. We tend to use
complete sentences, and complex sentence structure. When we pause, or say
"uh", it tends to be towards the beginning of a statement, as we formulate
the complete thought. The "idea" or "information" portion of a statement is
paramount; emotional reassurance, the little social noises (mm-hmm) are
reduced or omitted. We get to the heart of what we want to say -- if
someone asks us how to do something we tell them, not leading up to it
gently with "have you tried doing it this way?"

This leads us to body language. Our body language is also different from
mundanes. We tend to not use eye contact nearly as often; when we do, it
often signifies that it's the other person's turn to speak now. This is
opposite of everyone else. In mundania, it's *breaking* eye contact that
signals turn-taking, not *making* eye contact. She demonstrated this on
DDB; breaking eye contact and turning slightly away, and he felt insulted.
On the other hand, his sudden staring at her eyes made her feel like a
professor had just said "justify yourself NOW". Mutual "rudeness"; mixed
signals.

We use our hands when we talk, but don't seem to know what to do with our
arms. When thinking how to put something we close our eyes or look to the
side and up, while making little "hang on just a second" gestures to show
that we're not finished talking. We interrupt each other to finish
sentences, and if the interrupter got it right, we know we've communicated
and let them speak; if they get it wrong we talk right over them. This is
not perceived as rude, or not very rude.

We accept corrections on matters of fact and of pronunciation; when I asked
her about whether fanspeak might be related to Asperger's Syndrome, and
mispronounced "Asperger's", I was corrected in mid-sentence by the man
sitting next to me, corrected myself, thanked him, and finished the
sentence. One Doesn't Do That in Mundania. Fans understand that
mispronouncing words one has only read is very common in fandom, and not
mortally embarrassing.

When we make a joke, we don't do a little laugh in the middle of a word to
signal that it's funny; we inhale and exhale a very fast, short breath at
the end of the sentence, rather like a suppressed beginning of a laugh, or a
kind of a gasp.

She didn't get much into why this is all the case (I think she was surprised
at the laughter when she suggested diffidently that we might be a bit under
socialized. No, really?? <grin>), and turned away questions about possible
pathology. While more comfortable with us now, I suspect she was probably
still worried about offending us. She did suggest that many of the common
features of fanspeak seem to be related to thinking in "written English".

The day before, while waiting for her sister to show up, Elise had suggested
that perhaps the overuse of the lips and underuse of cheeks and chin had
come from very small children wanting to communicate complex ideas to
grownups; the facial muscles still being underdeveloped, the easiest way to
articulate would be to concentrate on the lips, holding the cheeks and chin
still as a way to reduce the complexity of word formation.

I hope others who were at the panel can expand upon what I've
reported, especially the parts I may have ommited. It truly was the
most interesting lecture or panel I've ever attended, and I can't
recommend her too highly if you can convince her to speak at a
convention you're involved with. It would both give her more test
subjects and us more cool information <grin>.
--
"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend
to the death your right to say it." -- Beatrice Hall
Cally Soukup sou...@pobox.com

Tom Galloway

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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In article <7f5o9g$ft2$1...@wheel.two14.lan>,

Cally Soukup <sou...@pobox.com> wrote:
>most interesting lecture or panel I've ever attended, and I can't
>recommend her too highly if you can convince her to speak at a
>convention you're involved with. It would both give her more test
>subjects and us more cool information <grin>.

Where is she located? Not being part of the fan community, I'd suspect
she'd be fairly limited in the amount of distance/time she'd want to spend
to speak at a con (unless she does want to do research towards a paper,
and a potential followup on regional accents in fandom :-)).

tyg t...@netcom.com

Joel Rosenberg

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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>>>>> On Fri, 16 Apr 1999 04:13:57 GMT,
>>>>> Tom Galloway
>>>>> from the organization of Netcom
>>>>> who can be reached at: t...@netcom.com
>>>>> (whose comments are cited below with " Tyg> "),
>>>>> had this to say in article <tygFA9...@netcom.com>
>>>>> in newsgroups rec.arts.sf.fandom
>>>>> concerning the subject of Re: Fannish Accent? Minicon panel (LONG)
>>>>> (see <7f5o9g$ft2$1...@wheel.two14.lan> for more details)

Tyg> In article <7f5o9g$ft2$1...@wheel.two14.lan>, Cally Soukup


Tyg> <sou...@pobox.com> wrote:
>> most interesting lecture or panel I've ever attended, and I
>> can't recommend her too highly if you can convince her to speak
>> at a convention you're involved with. It would both give her
>> more test subjects and us more cool information <grin>.

Tyg> Where is she located? Not being part of the fan community,
Tyg> I'd suspect she'd be fairly limited in the amount of
Tyg> distance/time she'd want to spend to speak at a con (unless
Tyg> she does want to do research towards a paper, and a potential
Tyg> followup on regional accents in fandom :-)).

She's a Mpls area local, but given the width and breadth and
enthusiasm of her reception here, either

a) there's some drug in the water, or

b) it might well be worth a con's expense to pay her way.

Alter S. Reiss

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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On 15 Apr 1999, Cally Soukup wrote:

(. . .)

> Second, fans articulate more than mundanes. She had various of us stand up
> and say things, and then repeated them in "mundane". When I said the phrase
> "talk to", she pointed out that I had pronounced the "k" on the end of

> "talk". Mundanes, she said, wouldn't. (. . .)

Just a tangent here, but I'm wondering how people who live outside
of New York pronounce "talk". I mean, I always thought I had a pretty
whitebread, generic American sort of accent, but I pronounce it "tawk",
which matches what the steriotypical New Yawk accent is supposed to sound
like. Do people say "tallk"?
As I type this, I'm sitting in the computer lab muttering to
myself, so rather than confirm the fact that I'm a loon to the people
sitting around me, I'll stop trying alternatives now.

--
Alter S. Reiss -------------------- http://www.geocities.com/Area51/2129

"Are you feeling stupid? I know I am!"
-- Homer J. Simpson


Peter Hentges

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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Cally Soukup wrote:

> On those occasions when she showed up at a con to meet Elise, she saw lots
> of fans in groups talking. To her they seemed angry and rude.

I heard "arrogant and rude."

> She also seemed quite concerned that we would feel offended by what she had
> to say, but what she told us was so interesting, and often so recognizably
> true, that I don't think anyone was.

She also reiterated several times that she wasn't interested in "curing"
us. Indeed, one the many favorable reactions people had to her talk was
that it would give us a way of translating to non-fen in social interactions.
Our way of speaking isn't "wrong," but knowing the differences can help
use communicate more effectively.

> Second, fans articulate more than mundanes. She had various of us stand up
> and say things, and then repeated them in "mundane". When I said the phrase
> "talk to", she pointed out that I had pronounced the "k" on the end of
> "talk". Mundanes, she said, wouldn't. We pronounce more of the terminal
> consonents in a phrase than a typical mundane does.

That is, where mundanes would speak a terminal hard consonant like a k
as more of a glottal stop, fans pronounce and release it; puffing a bit
of air after the consonant sound.

> I hope others who were at the panel can expand upon what I've
> reported, especially the parts I may have ommited. It truly was the
> most interesting lecture or panel I've ever attended, and I can't
> recommend her too highly if you can convince her to speak at a
> convention you're involved with. It would both give her more test
> subjects and us more cool information <grin>.

Thanks for gathering and reporting all of this, Cally. I agree that
her lecture was one of the most interesting I've attended. Certainly
one of the most interesting pieces of programming I've attended at
a con (though I have a small sample size, not generally being a
programming participant). I hope we can convince Karyn to return to
Minicon next year, reprise her talk, and add additional observations.

[O] Peter Hentges
[O] These tern, Peg
[O] JBRU

Dave Locke

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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Cally Soukup set words in phosphor:

> This is my best effort at a summary of Karyn Ashburn's talk.

Personally, I think this is one of the biggest truckloads of horseshit
to come off the farm in recent years. Too small a sample size, and
whatever it was that enthused people about her it certainly wasn't the
accuracy of localizations promoted to generalizations. If the
following is true, then she had the strangest gathering of fans I've
run across, not to mention that she must meet only the strangest
mundanes.

> ... they were using different social cues, different body language,


> different eye contact, and even different ways of forming vowels than what
> she jokingly called "my people", or what for convenience sake I'll call
> mundanes.

> First, the mechanics of actual vocal production, especially vowels. The


> phonemes in the words "him" and "meet" are produced with the tounge in
> various positions, and the lips stretched back. The phonemes "uh" and "oh"
> are produced with rounded lips. This, at any rate, is the case in mundania.
> Fans, she has noticed, push the vowels forward; rounding the lips somewhat
> even for "ee" and "ih". We use our lips a lot, but at the same time, we use
> our cheeks and our chins not as often as would be expected. We stabilize
> the cheeks and the chin, and we "prolabialize".

> She had various of us stand up and say things, and then repeated them in


> "mundane". When I said the phrase "talk to", she pointed out that I had
> pronounced the "k" on the end of "talk". Mundanes, she said, wouldn't.

> We also speak in larger word groupings between breaths. This does not


> necessarily mean that we speak faster; we just pause for a shorter time
> between words -- except where there is punctuation.

> This leads us to body language. Our body language is also different from


> mundanes. We tend to not use eye contact nearly as often; when we do, it
> often signifies that it's the other person's turn to speak now. This is
> opposite of everyone else. In mundania, it's *breaking* eye contact that
> signals turn-taking, not *making* eye contact.

> We use our hands when we talk, but don't seem to know what to do with our


> arms. When thinking how to put something we close our eyes or look to the
> side and up, while making little "hang on just a second" gestures to show
> that we're not finished talking. We interrupt each other to finish
> sentences, and if the interrupter got it right, we know we've communicated
> and let them speak; if they get it wrong we talk right over them. This is
> not perceived as rude, or not very rude.

> When we make a joke, we don't do a little laugh in the middle of a word to


> signal that it's funny; we inhale and exhale a very fast, short breath at
> the end of the sentence, rather like a suppressed beginning of a laugh, or a
> kind of a gasp.

Think about all this, the supposed facts (e.g. "little laugh in the
middle of a word"), the astonishing facts (e.g. that mundanes
pronounce "'uh' ... with rounded lips", all on the way to observations
of differences, and compare it to what you know about both fans and
mundanes.

Astonishing. Absolutely astonishing.

--
Dave | dave...@bigfoot.com | Dutch, Injun, Irish, Limey, Scotch
"Proud to be a mammal"

Karen E Cooper

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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Joel Rosenberg <jo...@winternet.com> writes:

>>>>>> On Fri, 16 Apr 1999 04:13:57 GMT,
>>>>>> Tom Galloway
>>>>>> from the organization of Netcom
>>>>>> who can be reached at: t...@netcom.com
>>>>>> (whose comments are cited below with " Tyg> "),
>>>>>> had this to say in article <tygFA9...@netcom.com>
>>>>>> in newsgroups rec.arts.sf.fandom
>>>>>> concerning the subject of Re: Fannish Accent? Minicon panel (LONG)
>>>>>> (see <7f5o9g$ft2$1...@wheel.two14.lan> for more details)

(Re: above: Joel what *are* you reading news with?)

About Elise's sister:

>She's a Mpls area local,

I thought Karyn lived closer to Madison. That's why she met up with Elise
at Wiscons and first heard fans conversing. Didn't she say this at the
beginning of her talk?

Karen.

Peter Hentges

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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Dave Locke wrote:
>
> Cally Soukup set words in phosphor:
>
> > This is my best effort at a summary of Karyn Ashburn's talk.
>
> Personally, I think this is one of the biggest truckloads of horseshit
> to come off the farm in recent years. Too small a sample size, and
> whatever it was that enthused people about her it certainly wasn't the
> accuracy of localizations promoted to generalizations.

Karyn went to great lengths to say that her talk was not based on any
kind of scientific study of the phenomenon. She had no theories, no
hypotheses, no facts. All she had was a few observations and a lot of
questions.

The gathered fans, however, seemed to more or less identify with the
observations. Some of that is certainly attributable to her being an
attractive, witty, engaging speaker. But given the diversity of fans
in attendance (hailing from NY, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, SF and
Seattle; and that's just the people I both knew and saw) the
identification we all had with her examples may mean more than that.

It certainly is absurd to say that all fans speak the same or even
that we share a similar accent. It is interesting, however, that an
outside observer could identify similarities in the ways we interact
socially.

If a linguist had this much to say to us about us, I'm dying to hear
what a cultural anthropologist would come up with.

Rachael M. Lininger

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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On 15 Apr 1999, Cally Soukup wrote:

>This leads us to body language. Our body language is also different from
>mundanes. We tend to not use eye contact nearly as often; when we do, it
>often signifies that it's the other person's turn to speak now. This is
>opposite of everyone else. In mundania, it's *breaking* eye contact that
>signals turn-taking, not *making* eye contact. She demonstrated this on
>DDB; breaking eye contact and turning slightly away, and he felt insulted.
>On the other hand, his sudden staring at her eyes made her feel like a
>professor had just said "justify yourself NOW". Mutual "rudeness"; mixed
>signals.

Oh, wow, that makes lots of sense of some things.

Hmm. Maybe faces were just too distracting to look at when we were
trying to articulate those complex thoughts, the same way trying to
move our faces was?

>We use our hands when we talk, but don't seem to know what to do with our
>arms. When thinking how to put something we close our eyes or look to the
>side and up, while making little "hang on just a second" gestures to show
>that we're not finished talking. We interrupt each other to finish
>sentences, and if the interrupter got it right, we know we've communicated
>and let them speak; if they get it wrong we talk right over them. This is
>not perceived as rude, or not very rude.

Hee. DDB has a couple pictures of me doing the hands thing. I never
thought of it. It's what you're supposed to do with hands.

>She didn't get much into why this is all the case (I think she was surprised
>at the laughter when she suggested diffidently that we might be a bit under
>socialized. No, really?? <grin>), and turned away questions about possible
>pathology. While more comfortable with us now, I suspect she was probably
>still worried about offending us. She did suggest that many of the common
>features of fanspeak seem to be related to thinking in "written English".

Of course. :)

This is really and truly neato.

--
Rachael M. Lininger | "Some causes of angst have not worn well."
lininger@ |
virtu.sar.usf.edu | Dr. A. McA. Miller


Dave Weingart

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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One day in Teletubbyland, "Rachael M. Lininger" <lini...@virtu.sar.usf.edu> said:
>Hmm. Maybe faces were just too distracting to look at when we were

No, we're just looking at cleavage.

I have permission to do so ;)
--
73 de Dave Weingart KA2ESK Powerpuff Nerds. Saving the
mailto:phyd...@liii.com Net before bedtime
http://www.liii.com/~phydeaux

Rachael M. Lininger

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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On 16 Apr 1999, Dave Weingart wrote:
>One day in Teletubbyland, "Rachael M. Lininger" <lini...@virtu.sar.usf.edu> said:
>>Hmm. Maybe faces were just too distracting to look at when we were
>
>No, we're just looking at cleavage.
>
>I have permission to do so ;)

Precocious, weren't you?

Rachael

Graydon

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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Dave Locke <dave...@bigfoot.com> writes:
> Cally Soukup set words in phosphor:
> > This is my best effort at a summary of Karyn Ashburn's talk.
>
> Personally, I think this is one of the biggest truckloads of horseshit
> to come off the farm in recent years. Too small a sample size, and
> whatever it was that enthused people about her it certainly wasn't the
> accuracy of localizations promoted to generalizations. If the
> following is true, then she had the strangest gathering of fans I've
> run across, not to mention that she must meet only the strangest
> mundanes.

I think it did an excellent job of explaining to me why I con
conversations give me a persistent feeling of committing some sort of
low level social attrocity.
--
graydon@ | Hige sceal şe heardra, heorte şe cenre,
lara.on.ca | mod sceal şe mare şe ure maegen lytlağ.
| -- Beorhtwold, "The Battle of Maldon"

Cally Soukup

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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Alter S. Reiss <asr...@ymail.yu.edu> wrote:
> On 15 Apr 1999, Cally Soukup wrote:

> (. . .)

>> Second, fans articulate more than mundanes. She had various of us stand up
>> and say things, and then repeated them in "mundane". When I said the phrase
>> "talk to", she pointed out that I had pronounced the "k" on the end of

>> "talk". Mundanes, she said, wouldn't. (. . .)

> Just a tangent here, but I'm wondering how people who live outside
> of New York pronounce "talk". I mean, I always thought I had a pretty
> whitebread, generic American sort of accent, but I pronounce it "tawk",
> which matches what the steriotypical New Yawk accent is supposed to sound
> like. Do people say "tallk"?

Perhaps some people do; in the Midwest we generally say "Tawk",
sometimes with the barest hint of an "l".

Cally Soukup

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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> About Elise's sister:

During the worried time when we were waiting for Karyn and hadn't
heard yet that she had thought the panel was on Sunday Elise said
something about her living in a Minneapolis suburb. Possibly a south
suburb. Not that any Minneapolis suburb is very far from any
other....

Cally Soukup

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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Peter Hentges <peter_...@adc.com> wrote:

> Thanks for gathering and reporting all of this, Cally. I agree that
> her lecture was one of the most interesting I've attended. Certainly
> one of the most interesting pieces of programming I've attended at
> a con (though I have a small sample size, not generally being a
> programming participant). I hope we can convince Karyn to return to
> Minicon next year, reprise her talk, and add additional observations.

Thanks for the corrections. I believe you're right.

And I certainly hope she comes back next year. And maybe to Wiscon,
too.

Joel Rosenberg

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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Karen E Cooper <keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu> wrote:
> (Re: above: Joel what *are* you reading news with?)

gnus. I've gotten tired of more modern, sensible newsreaders, and
have decided to go with something with more power and much less
comfort. I think, though, that I've got supercite properly
disciplined so that the excessive information dump in Follow messages
should be gone.

I think.

--

-------------------------------------
This is my signature file. There are
many like it, but this one is mine.
-------------------------------------


P Nielsen Hayden

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
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Dave Locke <dave...@bigfoot.com> wrote in
<37175d1b...@news.megsinet.net>:

>Cally Soukup set words in phosphor:
>

>> This is my best effort at a summary of Karyn Ashburn's talk.
>

>Personally, I think this is one of the biggest truckloads of horseshit
>to come off the farm in recent years. Too small a sample size, and
>whatever it was that enthused people about her it certainly wasn't the
>accuracy of localizations promoted to generalizations. If the
>following is true, then she had the strangest gathering of fans I've
>run across, not to mention that she must meet only the strangest
>mundanes.

Our interest in having Karyn Ashburn come and speak to a Minicon audience
began some time ago, when Teresa had a fascinating conversation with Karyn
at a Wiscon where Karyn had dropped in to see Elise, and Karyn volunteered
a few speculations along these lines. A year or two later, Teresa had a
longer conversation with her, in Karyn's sister Elise Matthesen's living
room in Minneapolis. That was when Teresa first broached the idea of such
a program item.

At the time, Karyn kind of demurred. But we kept the idea alive. I was
the one who, a couple of weeks before Minicon, finally called her up and
got her to solidly commit.

What must be said here is that Karyn Ashburn is, above all, a believer in
science. Her biggest concern, when I asked her to come to Minicon and
talk about these things, was that the program description not present her
as having a "theory" or even a "hypothesis." "This is nothing but
speculation," she said. "All my evidence is anecdotal." I said that this
would be fine, and that we understood. Nonetheless, she returned to this
theme several times.

She was similarly forceful during the talk. She kept emphasizing that this
was a conversation in pursuit of speculations which might become hypotheses
-- nothing more. And she repeatedly made it clear that her speculations
were based on limited experience, mostly with her sister and with her
sister's friends. She even told a story that undermined some of her own
generalizations, about finding a systems-support person at her workplace
who displayed many of the same speech habits but, when queried, turned out
to have no interest in or knowledge of SF or fandom.

This is the kind of intellectual integrity, of unwillingness to generalize,
of careful tracking of information's pedigree, that Dave Locke is
apostrophizing as "truckloads of horseshit." Far from needing to be
lectured about small sample sizes, Karyn Ashburn had to be drawn out _by
us_, starting with my phone conversation with her and continuing at the
program item itself.

She may be wrong -- she talked more than once about the ways she may be
wrong -- but she is clearly devoted to the straight and narrow path of the
scientific method. And while the Minicon brainstorming session was fun, my
impression of Karyn is that she'd be the first to agree that it's easy to
get a subject group to agree to generalizations about itself, and that
rigorous double-blind studies would be needed to raise her speculations to
the level of actual theory. Where the integrity of theory and evidence is
concerned, Karyn Ashburn showed herself to be a class act.

I have a better opinion of Dave Locke than this, and I'd like to think that
when he came into this with both guns blazing, he was just having a bad
day. I don't mind the suggestion that Karyn is dead wrong -- a real theory
would have to defend itself against that. I mind the abuse ("horseshit"),
which is ugly and unnecessary; and I very much mind the idea that Karyn
Ashburn, of all people, needs to be lectured about "sample sizes" and other
matters of intellectual integrity.


--
Patrick Nielsen Hayden : p...@panix.com : http://www.panix.com/~pnh

Dave Locke

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
P Nielsen Hayden set words in phosphor:

> I have a better opinion of Dave Locke than this, and I'd like to think that
> when he came into this with both guns blazing, he was just having a bad
> day.

I guess you just had to be there. From what was presented in print,
it looks like horseshit to me.

Vicki Rosenzweig

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
On Fri, 16 Apr 1999 16:08:13 GMT, dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke)
wrote:

>Cally Soukup set words in phosphor:
>

>> This is my best effort at a summary of Karyn Ashburn's talk.
>

>Personally, I think this is one of the biggest truckloads of horseshit
>to come off the farm in recent years. Too small a sample size, and
>whatever it was that enthused people about her it certainly wasn't the
>accuracy of localizations promoted to generalizations. If the
>following is true, then she had the strangest gathering of fans I've
>run across, not to mention that she must meet only the strangest
>mundanes.

As has already been noted, she didn't say this was a scientific
sample--it was based on the friends of Elise's whom she's met.
One thing I did wonder about was whether what she was saying
would apply as well to non-Midwestern fans. On the other hand,
one of her examples was Teresa, who isn't a Midwesterner.

You know, Dave, you seem to be fond, lately, of blithely
saying "you're completely wrong" to people without offering
any evidence. I didn't find it particulary impressive when
you applied it to me, and I certainly don't find it impressive
now.

One datum that is worth investigating is that many fans
often have difficulty communicating with non-fans. We enjoy
socializing with each other, and have friendly, cheerful
conversations within our group. And then have trouble doing
the same with co-workers, neighbors, sometimes even relatives.

Karyn Ashburn may be at least partly wrong about what's behind
that--but she's at least looking at related questions.

<snip>


>
>> She had various of us stand up and say things, and then repeated them in
>> "mundane". When I said the phrase "talk to", she pointed out that I had
>> pronounced the "k" on the end of "talk". Mundanes, she said, wouldn't.
>

>> We also speak in larger word groupings between breaths. This does not
>> necessarily mean that we speak faster; we just pause for a shorter time
>> between words -- except where there is punctuation.
>

>> This leads us to body language. Our body language is also different from
>> mundanes. We tend to not use eye contact nearly as often; when we do, it
>> often signifies that it's the other person's turn to speak now. This is
>> opposite of everyone else. In mundania, it's *breaking* eye contact that
>> signals turn-taking, not *making* eye contact.
>

>> We use our hands when we talk, but don't seem to know what to do with our
>> arms. When thinking how to put something we close our eyes or look to the
>> side and up, while making little "hang on just a second" gestures to show
>> that we're not finished talking. We interrupt each other to finish
>> sentences, and if the interrupter got it right, we know we've communicated
>> and let them speak; if they get it wrong we talk right over them. This is
>> not perceived as rude, or not very rude.
>

>> When we make a joke, we don't do a little laugh in the middle of a word to
>> signal that it's funny; we inhale and exhale a very fast, short breath at
>> the end of the sentence, rather like a suppressed beginning of a laugh, or a
>> kind of a gasp.
>

>Think about all this, the supposed facts (e.g. "little laugh in the
>middle of a word"), the astonishing facts (e.g. that mundanes
>pronounce "'uh' ... with rounded lips", all on the way to observations
>of differences, and compare it to what you know about both fans and
>mundanes.
>
>Astonishing. Absolutely astonishing.

By "supposed facts," I take it you mean that, in your
observation, fans don't do the things Karyn reports. Does
"astonishing facts" mean "but everyone knows that" and
"it's not important," or is this another refutation by
blatant assertion?

I'm by no means an expert on any of this, but I do know that
"s/he talks funny" is one of the things that marks someone
as an outsider and can lead to mistrust and dislike. If fans
and non-fans tend to perceive each other as "talking funny,"
that's worth knowing. And it's generally accepted by people
who've looked at this (linguists, anthropologists, speech
therapists, teachers of public speaking...) that nonverbal
communication is at least as important as speech, and that
even within speech, tone of voice is a significant factor.
It's possible that all those experts are wrong, but it's going
to take more than you disagreeing with them, without offering
evidence, to convince me, or them. I rather wish this weren't
so--I have more conscious control over my words than over my
tone of voice, my speed, or the way I stand--but the universe
is not always as I would like it to be.

I don't remember--were you at Karyn's talk?
--
Vicki Rosenzweig | v...@interport.net
r.a.sf.f faq at http://www.users.interport.net/~vr/rassef-faq.html
"I get by with a little help from my friends." -- Lennon/McCartney

Dave Locke

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Vicki Rosenzweig set words in phosphor:

> dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke) wrote:
>
> One datum that is worth investigating is that many fans
> often have difficulty communicating with non-fans. We enjoy
> socializing with each other, and have friendly, cheerful
> conversations within our group. And then have trouble doing
> the same with co-workers, neighbors, sometimes even relatives.

I don't find that to be true with most fans of my close acquaintance.
I can't speak for fans everywhere, and some people are more
self-confident than others, but I have never encountered a circle
where this kind of a view was put forth. Until now.



> >> She had various of us stand up and say things, and then repeated them in
> >> "mundane". When I said the phrase "talk to", she pointed out that I had
> >> pronounced the "k" on the end of "talk". Mundanes, she said, wouldn't.

Who do you know who doesn't pronounce the "k" on the end of "talk"?

> >> This leads us to body language. Our body language is also different from
> >> mundanes. We tend to not use eye contact nearly as often; when we do, it
> >> often signifies that it's the other person's turn to speak now. This is
> >> opposite of everyone else. In mundania, it's *breaking* eye contact that
> >> signals turn-taking, not *making* eye contact.

I don't buy these standards for fans and mundanes. For that matter, I
don't find that the switching on and off of eye contact signals that
it's someone else's turn to talk.

> >> We interrupt each other to finish sentences, and if the interrupter got
> >> it right, we know we've communicated and let them speak; if they get it
> >> wrong we talk right over them. This is not perceived as rude, or not very
> >> rude.

This is rude regardless of who does it, and I don't see that fans or
mundanes do it more often. Certainly I don't generally see fans
finishing each other's sentences like some bizarre couple that's been
married for 200 years.

> >> When we make a joke, we don't do a little laugh in the middle of a word to
> >> signal that it's funny; we inhale and exhale a very fast, short breath at
> >> the end of the sentence, rather like a suppressed beginning of a laugh, or a
> >> kind of a gasp.

A laugh in the middle of a word to signal that it's funny? How many
people anywhere do you know who do this?

> >Think about all this, the supposed facts (e.g. "little laugh in the
> >middle of a word"), the astonishing facts (e.g. that mundanes
> >pronounce "'uh' ... with rounded lips", all on the way to observations
> >of differences, and compare it to what you know about both fans and
> >mundanes.
> >
> >Astonishing. Absolutely astonishing.
>
> By "supposed facts," I take it you mean that, in your
> observation, fans don't do the things Karyn reports. Does
> "astonishing facts" mean "but everyone knows that" and
> "it's not important," or is this another refutation by
> blatant assertion?

It's nonsense. Go ahead, try and pronounce "'uh' ... with rounded
lips".


> I'm by no means an expert on any of this, but I do know that
> "s/he talks funny" is one of the things that marks someone
> as an outsider and can lead to mistrust and dislike. If fans
> and non-fans tend to perceive each other as "talking funny,"
> that's worth knowing.

I must have cruised through the wrong areas of fandom the past 40
years. I don't see fans and non-fans perceiving each other as talking
funny. Or maybe I've been lucky and cruised through the right areas.

> I don't remember--were you at Karyn's talk?

I wasn't at the convention; I don't go to that one. Must have been
one helluvan act.

Dave Locke

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Michael R Weholt set words in phosphor:

> I dunno. I don't have a Theory That Isn't A Theory, either, but when
> I drifted into this fandom nightmare (just kidding) a couple of years
> ago and then actually met some fans in person, the strongest, most
> lasting impression I got from them, one that I still have, in fact, is
> that an inordinate number of them sure do talk funny. There seem to
> be a number of mannerisms They share, and an even larger number of
> mannerisms that seem like variations on various themes. I don't
> really analyze these sorts of things, nor do I comment aloud on them
> much, but my ear certainly takes notice of them. It may just be that
> some people are more sensitive to these sorts of things than others.
>
> And, I do not say "all fans"; I say "enough to cause comment betwixt
> my ears."

You've certainly got my attention. On the other hand, you're trying
to be circumspect and I don't know how far you can go with this.

Are you much familiar with fans beyond the NYok City area (please,
don't anyone jump to conclusions; I think it's a legitimate question
for a relatively new fan who might not have traveled in fandom all
that much)?

P Nielsen Hayden

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Dave Locke <dave...@bigfoot.com> wrote in
<3737ef8b...@news.megsinet.net>:

>P Nielsen Hayden set words in phosphor:
>
>> I have a better opinion of Dave Locke than this, and I'd like to think
>> that when he came into this with both guns blazing, he was just having
>> a bad day.
>
>I guess you just had to be there. From what was presented in print,
>it looks like horseshit to me.

You have no comment about the several paragraphs I typed about Karyn's
attitude toward science, falsifiability, intellectual integrity, etc., as
epitomized in her actual talk?

As opposed, of course, to Cally Soukup's report on it. Which was quite
good, but left out some stuff. (Any report of such an event is going to
leave out some stuff.) Based on Cally's report, you were personally
abusive.

Now I've gone to some trouble to fill in some stuff Cally left out -- but
it appears that all you have to say in response is a defense and a
repetition of your previous abuse.

As I said before, I don't have a problem with you asserting that Karyn
Ashburn is wrong. I'm not sure she's entirely right myself. I have a
major problem with your gratuitous abuse and namecalling, and with the
imputation that there's something wrong with Karyn Ashburn's intellectual

Dave Locke

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
P Nielsen Hayden set words in phosphor:

> Dave Locke <dave...@bigfoot.com> wrote


>
> >P Nielsen Hayden set words in phosphor:
> >
> >> I have a better opinion of Dave Locke than this, and I'd like to think
> >> that when he came into this with both guns blazing, he was just having
> >> a bad day.
> >
> >I guess you just had to be there. From what was presented in print,
> >it looks like horseshit to me.
>
> You have no comment about the several paragraphs I typed about Karyn's
> attitude toward science, falsifiability, intellectual integrity, etc., as
> epitomized in her actual talk?

I didn't find anything particularly out of whack with that in the
first place, though in *here* there seemed to be more weight given to
this presentation than by Karyn herself.

I just don't see the actual *data* presented as being true. About
either the fans *or* the mundanes.

And that's what I was focusing on.

Karen E Cooper

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke) writes, uh, following Cally, I think:

>> >> We interrupt each other to finish sentences, and if the interrupter got
>> >> it right, we know we've communicated and let them speak; if they get it
>> >> wrong we talk right over them. This is not perceived as rude, or not very
>> >> rude.

>This is rude regardless of who does it, and I don't see that fans or


>mundanes do it more often. Certainly I don't generally see fans
>finishing each other's sentences like some bizarre couple that's been
>married for 200 years.

I gotta agree here. I have a significant hatred for being interrupted,
and for people finishing my sentences.

Karen. [seems like it happens all the time, too]

Bob Berlien

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Michael R Weholt wrote:
>
> In article <371800b...@news.megsinet.net>,

> dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke) wrote:
>
> >I must have cruised through the wrong areas of fandom the past 40
> >years. I don't see fans and non-fans perceiving each other as talking
> >funny. Or maybe I've been lucky and cruised through the right areas.
>
> I dunno. I don't have a Theory That Isn't A Theory, either, but when
> I drifted into this fandom nightmare (just kidding) a couple of years
> ago and then actually met some fans in person, the strongest, most
> lasting impression I got from them, one that I still have, in fact, is
> that an inordinate number of them sure do talk funny. There seem to
> be a number of mannerisms They share, and an even larger number of
> mannerisms that seem like variations on various themes. I don't
> really analyze these sorts of things, nor do I comment aloud on them
> much, but my ear certainly takes notice of them. It may just be that
> some people are more sensitive to these sorts of things than others.
>
> And, I do not say "all fans"; I say "enough to cause comment betwixt
> my ears."

To what Michael said, I'll add that the folks who do The Simpsons must
know there's something going on: the comic book shop owner has own of
the over-the-top fannish accents I've ever heard. And I don't know about
anyone else, but my hit rate on recognizing the "fan on the street",
based on accent/demeanor is about 80%. Last time it happened was at
seder the night before I left for Minicon.

--
Bob Berlien

"He whistled e=mc2 all year long." -- John Brockman, about James Lee
Byars

Bob Berlien

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Karen E Cooper wrote:
>
> dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke) writes, uh, following Cally, I think:
>
> >> >> We interrupt each other to finish sentences, and if the interrupter got
> >> >> it right, we know we've communicated and let them speak; if they get it
> >> >> wrong we talk right over them. This is not perceived as rude, or not very
> >> >> rude.
>
> >This is rude regardless of who does it, and I don't see that fans or
> >mundanes do it more often. Certainly I don't generally see fans
> >finishing each other's sentences like some bizarre couple that's been
> >married for 200 years.
>
> I gotta agree here. I have a significant hatred for being interrupted,
> and for people finishing my sentences.
>
> Karen. [seems like it happens all the time, too]

Yeah, 'cause you hang with all those fen.

Beth Haddrell

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to

On Sat, 17 Apr 1999, Dave Locke wrote:

> P Nielsen Hayden set words in phosphor:
>
> > Dave Locke <dave...@bigfoot.com> wrote
> >
> > >P Nielsen Hayden set words in phosphor:
> > >
> > >> I have a better opinion of Dave Locke than this, and I'd like to think
> > >> that when he came into this with both guns blazing, he was just having
> > >> a bad day.
> > >
> > >I guess you just had to be there. From what was presented in print,
> > >it looks like horseshit to me.
> >
> > You have no comment about the several paragraphs I typed about Karyn's
> > attitude toward science, falsifiability, intellectual integrity, etc., as
> > epitomized in her actual talk?
>
> I didn't find anything particularly out of whack with that in the
> first place, though in *here* there seemed to be more weight given to
> this presentation than by Karyn herself.
>
> I just don't see the actual *data* presented as being true. About
> either the fans *or* the mundanes.
>
> And that's what I was focusing on.

I'd like to comment on this even though I was neither at the con, nor
do I have particularly extensive experience in fannish circles (yet).
However, I *did* find Cally's report extremely interesting, and I don't
think she was trying to hide the fact that this was a subjective
report about what was her favorite panel.

It just seems to me that the veracity of the "data" isn't really the
question here. As I read the report, it appears that Cally is quite
careful about how she present Karyn's comments: "she noticed," "she
observed," etc. It looked like Karyn was speaking only of what she
herself has *seen* in what she admits is an incredibly small sampling of
people...and in comparison to her own personal observations of the
mun...nope, not gonna say it...the non-fannish world.

However, what might be more important than what Karyn did or said in the
context of *this* discussion is the response of the fans who *were*
there (not all of whom are from the midwest *or* New York). From what
people have been writing, there seems to have been quite a lot of,
what?...recognition...of many of the points Karyn was making, and *that*
goes some way toward suggesting a certain amount of accuracy in her
observations, at least as far as many people are concerned.

This doesn't mean that what Karyn noted was going to apply to all fans,
and from what you say, it evidently isn't true for you or your own
friends (and personally, I don't see how anyone can say "uh" with rounded
lips, either), but...

-Beth


Doug Wickstrom

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
On 17 Apr 1999 01:06:53 -0500, keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu (Karen E
Cooper) caught my attention by saying:

>dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke) writes, uh, following Cally, I think:
>

>>> >> We interrupt each other to finish sentences, and if the interrupter got
>>> >> it right, we know we've communicated and let them speak; if they get it
>>> >> wrong we talk right over them. This is not perceived as rude, or not very
>>> >> rude.
>

>>This is rude regardless of who does it, and I don't see that fans or
>>mundanes do it more often. Certainly I don't generally see fans
>>finishing each other's sentences like some bizarre couple that's been
>>married for 200 years.
>
>I gotta agree here. I have a significant hatred for being interrupted,
>and for people finishing my sentences.
>
>Karen. [seems like it happens all the time, too]

Spending too much time with fans? :)

--
Doug Wickstrom
"I know, indeed, the evil of that I purpose; but my inclination gets
the better of my judgement." --Euripides


Mike Scott

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
On 17 Apr 1999 01:35:48 GMT, P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote:

>She even told a story that undermined some of her own
>generalizations, about finding a systems-support person at her workplace
>who displayed many of the same speech habits but, when queried, turned out
>to have no interest in or knowledge of SF or fandom.

Oddly enough, my first thought when I read Cally's notes was to wonder
if Karyn had tried observing some of the other "geek cultures" (I don't
intend that term to be pejorative; I am, after all, a geek myself) such
as comic fans, RPGers and hackers. I actually think that this *supports*
a rather wider application of her observations.

--
Mike Scott
mi...@moose.demon.co.uk
PNN has frequently updated news & comment for SF fandom
http://www.plokta.com/pnn/

Hal O'Brien

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Dave Locke (dave...@bigfoot.com) was kind enough to say...

Cally wrote, but Vicki quoted:


> > >> She had various of us stand up and say things, and then repeated them in
> > >> "mundane". When I said the phrase "talk to", she pointed out that I had
> > >> pronounced the "k" on the end of "talk". Mundanes, she said, wouldn't.
>

> Who do you know who doesn't pronounce the "k" on the end of "talk"?

Standalone? Not too many.

In the specific phrase, "talk to"? Lots. It frequently comes out as
"taw'two" (for lack of a better phonetization) -- as opposed to two
very separate words, "talk" "to".

Compare, for example, "whoudja taw'two?" to "who'd you talk to?" (or
even, "who *did*chu talk to?").

It's that emphasis of two discrete hard sounds, rather than
unconsciously editing down to one, that I think was Karyn's point...
Not anything about the word "talk", per se.

But that is solely my interpretation, of course.

-- Hal

Hal O'Brien

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Rachael M. Lininger (lini...@virtu.sar.usf.edu) was kind enough to
say...
>
> On 16 Apr 1999, Dave Weingart wrote:
> >One day in Teletubbyland, "Rachael M. Lininger" <lini...@virtu.sar.usf.edu> said:
> >>Hmm. Maybe faces were just too distracting to look at when we were
> >
> >No, we're just looking at cleavage.
> >
> >I have permission to do so ;)
>
> Precocious, weren't you?

Not any *more* I'm not, no... <sniff>

-- Hal


Dave Locke

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Hal O'Brien set words in phosphor:

> Dave Locke (dave...@bigfoot.com) was kind enough to say...
>
> Cally wrote, but Vicki quoted:

> > > >> She had various of us stand up and say things, and then repeated them
> > > >> in "mundane". When I said the phrase "talk to", she pointed out that I
> > > >> had pronounced the "k" on the end of "talk". Mundanes, she said,
> > > >> wouldn't.
> >

> > Who do you know who doesn't pronounce the "k" on the end of "talk"?
>
> Standalone? Not too many.
>
> In the specific phrase, "talk to"? Lots. It frequently comes out as
> "taw'two" (for lack of a better phonetization) -- as opposed to two
> very separate words, "talk" "to".
>
> Compare, for example, "whoudja taw'two?" to "who'd you talk to?" (or
> even, "who *did*chu talk to?").
>
> It's that emphasis of two discrete hard sounds, rather than
> unconsciously editing down to one, that I think was Karyn's point...
> Not anything about the word "talk", per se.
>
> But that is solely my interpretation, of course.

I can't even imagine how "taw'two" would be pronounced. I've been
sitting here trying to vocalize some manner of "talk to" which doesn't
involve the "k" sound. I can't do it, and I don't recall ever hearing
it even in the rawest street dialect. I've heard it corrupted, but
the "k" sound is always there.

Dave Romm

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
In case it's not clear from the header, this is Dave Romm HERE posting
from a Completely Different Connection, intermittantly at best.

In article <3737ef8b...@news.megsinet.net>, dave...@bigfoot.com
(Dave Locke) wrote:

>I guess you just had to be there. From what was presented in print,
>it looks like horseshit to me.

Cally's summary was incomplete, as befitting a few paragraphs describing a
2+ hour talk. I was there, and whatever you might want to say about the
event, it wasn't 'horseshit'. As a writer of radio plays, I found here
observation of fandom's talking to be on the mark. We aspirate consonents
(even fans from NYC say 'Long Island' instead of the notorious 'Lon
Gisland'), and pronounce the puncuation and the phrasing. This is not
confined to fans, and not all fans talk like this, but it's a valid
generalization for fandom. I find that a sentence I've written is easily
read by a fan but sometimes hard for a mundane (or a neo); that's because
I'll write a clause or a phrase where the punctuation is important. (I'm
away from my files so can't pull up examples.)

Fans, indeed, speak in sentences and paragraphs and (alas) sometimes in
trilogies. But we take turns, and have cues for 'my turn to talk', some
of which are respected by individuals more than others.

At one family gathering last week (one of the reasons I'm in NYC), five
women were engaged in a conversation; at times, all of them were talking
_all at once_. I found this fascinating, all the moreso because I could
follow the thread of the topic. They were supporting each other and
stroking their agreement verbally. A few others (including me) were just
hanging out on the periphery, enjoying the show. At one point, when they
commented on the silence of the few of us, I smiled and mentioned that we
weren't saying anything because we couldn't get a word in edgewise. They
were slightly embarrassed and asked if we had anything to say. We didn't,
so the group took off again. By my observation, this was entirely
different from how fans would have conducted a conversation on the same
topic.

One of the hardest thing we did was convince Karyn that we wanted examples
and wouldn't be offended if she used people from the audience. Fans are
High Self Monitors, which (again) is not unique to fandom and not all fans
are like this, but is certainly typical. We like talking about ourselves.

Fans are slans, and knowing the characteristics of slans is fascinating to us.

My e-mail address is da...@romm.org but I won't be back home for more than
a week.

Ulrika

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Locke) writes:

>I guess you just had to be there. From what was presented in print,
>it looks like horseshit to me.

Lately I've begun to see what was so charming about
you during the TAFF wars. Thank you for this revealing
insight, Dave. I am enlightened.


"Yes, indeed, the Lord is a shoving leopard." -- Rev. W.A. Spooner
** Ulrika O'Brien-...@aol.com**

Ulrika

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
In article <371800b...@news.megsinet.net>, dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave
Locke) writes:

>I wasn't at the convention; I don't go to that one. Must have been
>one helluvan act.

I've come to the provisional hypothesis that something in the description of
Karyn's talk has hit a very deep emotional hot
button with you. That is how your reaction reads to me, anyway,
especially with your repeated insistence on unprovoked
pejoration. I find it difficult to believe that you have actually,
specifically made careful, objective, and focused observations
on all the suggested possible behavioral differences
that you now so very hotly deny. Not a very scientific response,
really. (In some cases, you seem to be flatly wrong in your
claimed observations, in fact. I for instance, can certainly make
an 'uh' sound with rounded lips -- it doesn't seem the least bit
unnatural to me, either, unlike speaking while smiling broadly,
which feels very awkward to me. [Another of Karyn's
observations about fans is that we seem to smile while
talking a lot less than mundanes; I was watching for this at
the airports on the way home, and dang if I wasn't seeing a
lot of people smiling all the while they talk.) Indeed, this seems
like an emotional reaction, to me.

In my experience, the sorts of things that Karyn
observes about are ones that you frequently simply don't pay
any conscious, focused attention to, but usually require
an outsider pointing at them before you even can notice
them consistently, and begin to notice differences or similarities.
I for one haven't had the time to make enough observations
of other people talking in fannish and in non-fannish contexts,
in light of the particular traits Karyn mentions, to draw any
conclusions about whether these preliminary hunches are
accurate or not. I find them really interesting though. And in
other experiences of mine about coming to notice how I do
things, I do find it takes time before I can get the observational
focus to take note of them. For instance, I've been making
Swedish vowel sounds all my life, but it took several linguists
at different times to make me aware that 1) these vowels are
made at the extremities of the mouth, and thus require more
facial movement than American-English vowels do, and
that 2) a number of the vowels that I think of as pure, single
vowels (because they are indicated by a single letter, in
written Swedish -- there's that thinking in written language
business again) are actually rather complex dipthongs.
I had to have this pointed out to me, I had to get used to the
idea, and then I had to observe myself for a while before I
could fully confirm that these claims were true.

On the whole, you're not very convincing, Dave. You
can certainly believe what you like, of course, but you'll
have to calm down a bit, and offer a much better argument,
if you're wanting anyone else to believe along with you.

Ulrika

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
In article <Pine.SOL.4.10.99041...@hejira.hunter.cuny.edu>,
Beth Haddrell <ehad...@hejira.Hunter.CUNY.EDU> writes:

>I don't see how anyone can say "uh" with rounded
>lips, either

Lip shape has almost nothing to do with producing the
schwa sound. An 'uh' is just an 'ah' with the jaw mostly
closed -- it's a sound produced in the middle of the mouth,
not at the lips--so that you can do all sorts of things with
your lips, if you like, and it doesn't substantially affect the
sound produced.

Ulrika

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
In article <3718736d...@news.megsinet.net>, dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave
Locke) writes:

>I can't even imagine how "taw'two" would be pronounced. I've been
>sitting here trying to vocalize some manner of "talk to" which doesn't
>involve the "k" sound. I can't do it, and I don't recall ever hearing
>it even in the rawest street dialect. I've heard it corrupted, but
>the "k" sound is always there.

With all due respect, I must question your ability to transcend
what you know "must" be there to observe the sounds actually
produced. This is not a put down. A lot of people, especially
those who are monolingual and literate, cannot distinguish
between between what they know, orthographically, must be the
case, and what sounds are actually produced. A trained ear
is no trivial thing. I certainly don't have one, not really, as proven
by the fact that I wasn't hearing the diphthongs in my Swedish
vowels -- they're there, I just didn't notice. Initially argued they
weren't there, in fact. (Indeed it's interesting how often human
observation generally is impaired by the mediation of cognition.)

That you don't recall ever hearing "talk to" pronounced in
this way doesn't necessarily mean that you *haven't* heard
it pronounced this way; it may just mean that you never
noticed it. But, then, when was the last time you observed a
conversation with the specific intention of checking for the
substitution of glottal stops for fricatives and plosives? For
that matter, have you ever noticed that the only real difference
between a glottal stop and a 'k' is whether you do that little
exploded puff of air after (and from) the glottal? (I *think* this is
still called a plosive, even though it isn't labial, --unvoiced
glottal plosive, does that sound right? -- but my linguistics
text is buried in a box.)

I first noticed how rare that plosive actually is in spoken English
when I realized how much is added to the eerie, percussive
atmosphere of Peter Gabriel's song, "Intruder" by the fact that
Gabriel enunciates all his hard 'k' sounds, especially the terminals
in "like" and "dark". The clear pronounciation of the k's was very
noticable, disturbing, even, in concert with all the other discordant
percussion Gabriel uses, which suggested to me even then, that
most people *don't* pronounce their 'k' sound distinctly. Otherwise
it wouldn't have been jarring.

Now, maybe in your part of the country, people really do all go
around pronouncing the plosive terminal in their 'k' sounds.
But it seems as likely to me, especially in the age of radio and
television, that you just aren't trained to notice whether they do
or not.

P Nielsen Hayden

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Dave Romm <da...@romm.org> wrote in <dave-1704991156450001@user-
2ive1hs.dialup.mindspring.com>:

>Fans are slans, and knowing the characteristics of slans is fascinating
>to us.

If I had to guess, I would say that one of things in which Dave Locke's
overrreaction is rooted is a sensible dislike of the notion that "fans are
slans."

Fans are certainly not slans. There may be some characteristics which are
statistically more pronounced over large groups of SF fans, and if so, it
would be interesting to know what they are. But asserting that "fans are
slans" doesn't add a lot of reason and good sense to any discussion.

James Nicoll

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
In article <371827E6...@flash.net>,

Bob Berlien <kat...@flash.net> wrote:
>
>To what Michael said, I'll add that the folks who do The Simpsons must
>know there's something going on: the comic book shop owner has own of
>the over-the-top fannish accents I've ever heard. And I don't know about
>anyone else, but my hit rate on recognizing the "fan on the street",
>based on accent/demeanor is about 80%. Last time it happened was at
>seder the night before I left for Minicon.

Hmmph. I've had people comment mockingly on the alleged similarity
between that fellow and me. Don't see it myself.

--
"The initial over-all composition, purporting to traverse the
nation, deliberately overlooked a large piece of the nation--Chicago
to Cheyenne. [...] For more than a billion years, little to nothing
had happened there." _Annals of the Former World_, John McPhee

Dave Locke

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Ulrika set words in phosphor:

> Beth Haddrell <ehad...@hejira.Hunter.CUNY.EDU> writes:
>
> >I don't see how anyone can say "uh" with rounded lips, either
>
> Lip shape has almost nothing to do with producing the
> schwa sound. An 'uh' is just an 'ah' with the jaw mostly
> closed -- it's a sound produced in the middle of the mouth,
> not at the lips--so that you can do all sorts of things with
> your lips, if you like, and it doesn't substantially affect the
> sound produced.

That's about the way I look at it. Reportedly Karyn indicated the
"uh" sound is something which mundanes "produced with rounded lips".

Dave Locke

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Ulrika set words in phosphor:

> dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke) writes:
>
> >I guess you just had to be there. From what was presented in print,
> >it looks like horseshit to me.
>
> Lately I've begun to see what was so charming about you during the
> TAFF wars. Thank you for this revealing insight, Dave. I am enlightened.

Apparently anything but, if that's what it pops into your mind to say
as a result of this discussion to date.

Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
da...@romm.org (Dave Romm) writes:

>Cally's summary was incomplete, as befitting a few paragraphs describing a
>2+ hour talk. I was there, and whatever you might want to say about the
>event, it wasn't 'horseshit'. As a writer of radio plays, I found here
>observation of fandom's talking to be on the mark. We aspirate consonents
>(even fans from NYC say 'Long Island' instead of the notorious 'Lon
>Gisland'), and pronounce the puncuation and the phrasing.

And that was another of my favorite moments. Karyn got Teresa Neilsen
Hayden to say "I'm from Mesa, Arizona," and then Karyn said it
herself. Karen ran the two a's of Mesa and Arizona together; Teresa
pronounced both and separated them with a pause. From the audience,
after this observation was made, Teresa's voice called strongly,
"There's a *comma* in there!"

--

Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet (pd...@ddb.com)
"There is no shortage of frustrating blue perennials."
--Eleanor Perenyi

Dave Locke

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Ulrika set words in phosphor:

> You can certainly believe what you like, of course, but you'll


> have to calm down a bit, and offer a much better argument,
> if you're wanting anyone else to believe along with you.

People will believe, or not, from their own experience and
observation. I don't speak on the subject from the standpoint of
"wanting anyone else to believe", because if you don't buy this to
begin with you'd have to be shown this strange Other Fandom which is
being described or you could talk for ten thousand years and fail to
be convinced.

Someone asks for examples, I give examples. This is the response that
comes back. I guess using "horseshit" means I'm excited...

I don't see a lot of people lining up to declare "-Oh, yeah, that's
us! We end each other's sentences. We have more trouble than usual
getting along with coworkers, neighbors, and relatives. We don't use
eye contact like other people do. We gasp at the punchline when
telling jokes, instead of doing "a little laugh in the middle of a
word" like normal folks. Mundanes perceive us as talking funny. Our
body language isn't like regular people's. Oh yes, that's us, that's
us!-"

Oh, sure, there are people a bit unusual in here, and there are people
like that in mundania and in any Other Fandom. As a collective
description of Us, I don't think so. Not in any value of Us that I
recognize from the tenure of my own fan experience.

Maybe I just haven't gotten into the choice areas of fandom where this
description *is* operative. It's possible. I doubt it, but it's
possible.

As Patrick says, fans ain't Slans, but as a group it's No Sale when it
comes to portraying fans as being *this* much different in such
astonishing ways.

Ulrika

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
In article <3719b778...@news.megsinet.net>, dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave
Locke) writes:

>Ulrika set words in phosphor:
>

>> Beth Haddrell <ehad...@hejira.Hunter.CUNY.EDU> writes:
>>
>> >I don't see how anyone can say "uh" with rounded lips, either
>>
>> Lip shape has almost nothing to do with producing the
>> schwa sound. An 'uh' is just an 'ah' with the jaw mostly
>> closed -- it's a sound produced in the middle of the mouth,
>> not at the lips--so that you can do all sorts of things with
>> your lips, if you like, and it doesn't substantially affect the
>> sound produced.
>
>That's about the way I look at it. Reportedly Karyn indicated the
>"uh" sound is something which mundanes "produced with rounded >lips."

Doesn't mean she's wrong. Since the sound can be pronounced
with rounded lips or without, because the sound isn't created
at the lips, it's perfectly plausible that some speakers will have
a variant that involves rounding the lips. You still get the same
sound, but it involves more facial movement. Speaking while
smiling also involves more facial movement. It's not crucial
to producing the correct sounds, but it is an option, and one
that creates certain social cues.

Vicki Rosenzweig

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
On Sat, 17 Apr 1999 17:13:22 GMT, dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke)
wrote:

>Ulrika set words in phosphor:
>

>> You can certainly believe what you like, of course, but you'll
>> have to calm down a bit, and offer a much better argument,
>> if you're wanting anyone else to believe along with you.
>
>People will believe, or not, from their own experience and
>observation. I don't speak on the subject from the standpoint of
>"wanting anyone else to believe", because if you don't buy this to
>begin with you'd have to be shown this strange Other Fandom which is
>being described or you could talk for ten thousand years and fail to
>be convinced.
>
>Someone asks for examples, I give examples. This is the response that
>comes back. I guess using "horseshit" means I'm excited...
>
>I don't see a lot of people lining up to declare "-Oh, yeah, that's
>us! We end each other's sentences. We have more trouble than usual
>getting along with coworkers, neighbors, and relatives. We don't use
>eye contact like other people do. We gasp at the punchline when
>telling jokes, instead of doing "a little laugh in the middle of a
>word" like normal folks. Mundanes perceive us as talking funny. Our
>body language isn't like regular people's. Oh yes, that's us, that's
>us!-"
>

Okay. In words of one syllable, as much as I can.
What I said about "fans" in a recent post in this
thread was in fact things that I felt, for the most
part, are true of me, and of fans I know. I wasn't
saying "you guys are like this," I was saying "Some
of us are like this, and I'm like some of it."

I don't know whether non-fans consciously think I
"talk funny." I do know that, when I try to talk more
like they do, I get along with them better. Is that
an interesting anecdotal datum, now that I've made
it explicit that I'm offering myself as an example,
or do I not count as a relevant member of the category
"fan" for these purposes?


>Oh, sure, there are people a bit unusual in here, and there are people
>like that in mundania and in any Other Fandom. As a collective
>description of Us, I don't think so. Not in any value of Us that I
>recognize from the tenure of my own fan experience.
>
>Maybe I just haven't gotten into the choice areas of fandom where this
>description *is* operative. It's possible. I doubt it, but it's
>possible.
>
>As Patrick says, fans ain't Slans, but as a group it's No Sale when it
>comes to portraying fans as being *this* much different in such
>astonishing ways.

I take it "as a group it's No Sale" means you still aren't
convinced. Because a middle-sized group of fans at Minicon
did seem prepared to at least put a deposit on the idea, if
not buy the whole thing outright.

The other thing worth noting is that most people, most of
the time, aren't conscious of subtle differences like this.
And if we do notice that someone is making more or less
eye contact than we expect, we're not likely to file that
as a kind of "accent." We may dismiss it, or we may draw
conclusions about the person's motivations, personality, or
even honesty.

Another level of example: I see the New York accent spelled
as "tawk" and think "well, how else would you pronounce it?"
because the only times I've heard someone pronounce the "l"
in "talk" as a consonant has been as deliberate and humorous
exaggeration. (And I've talked to a fair number of non-New
Yorkers.) But that's partly because, as far as I can tell,
I tend to subconsciously smooth accents out in my head. For
example, when I was in the UK for Intersection, lots of my
friends (not all of them Americans) commented on the thick
Glaswegian accent. I literally never noticed an accent: I
just talked to waiters, cab drivers, and a local who came
over for our fireworks show. They may have noticed my accent,
of course.
--
Vicki Rosenzweig | v...@interport.net
r.a.sf.f faq at http://www.users.interport.net/~vr/rassef-faq.html
"I get by with a little help from my friends." -- Lennon/McCartney

Ulrika

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
In article <8DAB7AA...@news.panix.com>, P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com>
writes:

>If I had to guess, I would say that one of things in which Dave
>Locke's overrreaction is rooted is a sensible dislike of the
>notion that "fans are slans."

Good point. I think we've probably all had unfortunate run-ins
with the irrationally self-congratulatory sort of fan, just
as we've had our share of being slammed for being a 'bunch
of geeks' by outsiders. Superiority dances aren't very pretty,
wherever you find them.

>Fans are certainly not slans. There may be some characteristics >which are
statistically more pronounced over large groups of
>SF fans, and if so, it would be interesting to know what they are.

I think it's incontrovertible that there are such characteristics.
I think it's also highly probable, as someone mentioned, that
these may be shared with other geek cohorts that aren't
specifically fannish.



>But asserting that "fans are slans" doesn't add a lot of reason
>and good sense to any discussion.

No, but it is a good example of argument by slogan, which some
of us are a little too prone to, perhaps.

Rev. Jihad Frenzy

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
In article <9243648...@watserv4.uwaterloo.ca>,
jam...@ece.uwaterloo.ca (James Nicoll) wrote:

> In article <371827E6...@flash.net>,
> Bob Berlien <kat...@flash.net> wrote:
> >
> >To what Michael said, I'll add that the folks who do The Simpsons must
> >know there's something going on: the comic book shop owner has own of
> >the over-the-top fannish accents I've ever heard. And I don't know about
> >anyone else, but my hit rate on recognizing the "fan on the street",
> >based on accent/demeanor is about 80%. Last time it happened was at
> >seder the night before I left for Minicon.
>
> Hmmph. I've had people comment mockingly on the alleged similarity
> between that fellow and me. Don't see it myself.
>

So you immediately went on the Internet to register your objection.

--
"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human
history, with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila." -- Mitch
Ratcliffe, Technology Review, April 1992
<http://www.gis.net/~cht>

Avram Grumer

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
(Dave Locke) wrote:

> I guess you just had to be there. From what was presented in print,
> it looks like horseshit to me.

I wasn't there, but when I heard about the panel from people who were, I
immediately thought of examples from my own life that fit in with Karyn's
observations.

--
Avram Grumer | av...@bigfoot.com | http://www.bigfoot.com/~avram/

If music be the food of love, then some of it be the Twinkies of
dysfunctional relationships.

Avram Grumer

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
In article <371800b...@news.megsinet.net>, dave...@bigfoot.com
(Dave Locke) wrote:

> > >> We interrupt each other to finish sentences, and if the interrupter
> > >> got it right, we know we've communicated and let them speak; if
> > >> they get it wrong we talk right over them. This is not perceived
> > >> as rude, or not very rude.
>
> This is rude regardless of who does it, and I don't see that fans or
> mundanes do it more often.

My friends and I did this with each other all through high school. This
was The Bronx High School of Science, where many of the students could be
expected to possess a number of characteristics that the stereotypical fan
also possesses.

I also see this happening among my current set of friends, who are pretty
much all SF fans.

> Certainly I don't generally see fans finishing each other's sentences
> like some bizarre couple that's been married for 200 years.

Don't you have any old friends, Dave? I've got a friend I've known for 20
years, since we were teenagers, and every so often I read her mind.

Dave Locke

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Avram Grumer set words in phosphor:

> dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke) wrote:
>
> > > >> We interrupt each other to finish sentences, and if the interrupter
> > > >> got it right, we know we've communicated and let them speak; if
> > > >> they get it wrong we talk right over them. This is not perceived
> > > >> as rude, or not very rude.
> >
> > This is rude regardless of who does it, and I don't see that fans or
> > mundanes do it more often.
>
> My friends and I did this with each other all through high school. This
> was The Bronx High School of Science, where many of the students could be
> expected to possess a number of characteristics that the stereotypical fan
> also possesses.

Okay, I'll bite. Why would this be expected?



> I also see this happening among my current set of friends, who are pretty
> much all SF fans.
>
> > Certainly I don't generally see fans finishing each other's sentences
> > like some bizarre couple that's been married for 200 years.
>
> Don't you have any old friends, Dave? I've got a friend I've known for 20
> years, since we were teenagers, and every so often I read her mind.

It happens from time to time. Not, to my experience, any more often
with fan friends than with mundane friends. What I'm finding amazing
here is the notion that fans, as a group, have a penchant to
"interrupt each other to finish sentences".

I dinna think so, Keptin, though maybe there are enclaves where that's
the case.

P Nielsen Hayden

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Dave Locke <dave...@bigfoot.com> wrote in
<3727f4fb...@news.megsinet.net>:

Well, over nearly a quarter of a century, I've been a fan in "enclaves"
located in:

Phoenix
Toronto
East Lansing
San Francisco
Seattle
New York City

...with regular visits to other "enclaves" in:

Minneapolis
Boston
Washington, DC
London, England

...and occasional forays to other far-flung places such as:

Austin, Texas
Portland, Oregon
Scotland
Los Angeles
Northern Ireland
Vancouver
Winnipeg
Chicago

By what must be merely an amazing coincidence, Karyn's speculations ring
true to me, based on my experiences of fans and mundanes in all of those
places.

But I'm sure it's just a statistical fluke.

Dave Locke

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
P Nielsen Hayden set words in phosphor:

> Dave Locke <dave...@bigfoot.com> wrote

I lived in the LArea for 12 years. You're telling me that it's a
distinguishing difference between fans and mundanes there that the
fans will "interrupt each other to finish sentences"?

Some Toronto fans are very good friends of mine, though I haven't met
them on their home turf. I also have some good acquaintances from
Toronto who are mundanes. You're saying that it's a measure of the
difference between Toronto fans and mundanes that the fans will
"interrupt each other to finish sentences"?

Is this correct?

Graydon

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Joel Rosenberg <jo...@winternet.com> writes:
> Karen E Cooper <keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu> wrote:
> > (Re: above: Joel what *are* you reading news with?)
>
> gnus. I've gotten tired of more modern, sensible newsreaders, and
> have decided to go with something with more power and much less
> comfort. I think, though, that I've got supercite properly
> disciplined so that the excessive information dump in Follow messages
> should be gone.

You have beaten supercite into sufficnet submission on the basis of
this post.
--
graydon@ | Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre,
lara.on.ca | mod sceal þe mare þe ure maegen lytlað.
| -- Beorhtwold, "The Battle of Maldon"

Cally Soukup

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Dave Locke <dave...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
> Vicki Rosenzweig set words in phosphor:

>> dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke) wrote:
>>
>> One datum that is worth investigating is that many fans
>> often have difficulty communicating with non-fans. We enjoy
>> socializing with each other, and have friendly, cheerful
>> conversations within our group. And then have trouble doing
>> the same with co-workers, neighbors, sometimes even relatives.

> I don't find that to be true with most fans of my close acquaintance.
> I can't speak for fans everywhere, and some people are more
> self-confident than others, but I have never encountered a circle
> where this kind of a view was put forth. Until now.


>
>> >> She had various of us stand up and say things, and then repeated them in
>> >> "mundane". When I said the phrase "talk to", she pointed out that I had
>> >> pronounced the "k" on the end of "talk". Mundanes, she said, wouldn't.

> Who do you know who doesn't pronounce the "k" on the end of "talk"?

In the specific phrase "talk to", actually, quite a few. I heard my
boss say that phrase yesterday -- the "k" was mostly unvoiced. When
I said it to Karyn Ashburn, she pointed out that my "k" was entirely
voiced.

>> >> This leads us to body language. Our body language is also different from
>> >> mundanes. We tend to not use eye contact nearly as often; when we do, it
>> >> often signifies that it's the other person's turn to speak now. This is
>> >> opposite of everyone else. In mundania, it's *breaking* eye contact that
>> >> signals turn-taking, not *making* eye contact.

> I don't buy these standards for fans and mundanes. For that matter, I
> don't find that the switching on and off of eye contact signals that
> it's someone else's turn to talk.

>> >> We interrupt each other to finish sentences, and if the interrupter got
>> >> it right, we know we've communicated and let them speak; if they get it
>> >> wrong we talk right over them. This is not perceived as rude, or not very
>> >> rude.

> This is rude regardless of who does it, and I don't see that fans or

> mundanes do it more often. Certainly I don't generally see fans


> finishing each other's sentences like some bizarre couple that's been
> married for 200 years.

We obviously are in different parts of fandom -- that Sunday night I
spent a lot of time listening to fannish groups, and there was quite
a lot of interruption going on.

>> >> When we make a joke, we don't do a little laugh in the middle of a word to
>> >> signal that it's funny; we inhale and exhale a very fast, short breath at
>> >> the end of the sentence, rather like a suppressed beginning of a laugh, or a
>> >> kind of a gasp.

> A laugh in the middle of a word to signal that it's funny? How many
> people anywhere do you know who do this?

Not a laugh, exactly, but a small laughing sound. And yes, I do hear
people do this. It always struck me as "valley girl", but it is out
there.

>> >Think about all this, the supposed facts (e.g. "little laugh in the
>> >middle of a word"), the astonishing facts (e.g. that mundanes
>> >pronounce "'uh' ... with rounded lips", all on the way to observations
>> >of differences, and compare it to what you know about both fans and
>> >mundanes.
>> >
>> >Astonishing. Absolutely astonishing.
>>
>> By "supposed facts," I take it you mean that, in your
>> observation, fans don't do the things Karyn reports. Does
>> "astonishing facts" mean "but everyone knows that" and
>> "it's not important," or is this another refutation by
>> blatant assertion?

> It's nonsense. Go ahead, try and pronounce "'uh' ... with rounded
> lips".

I may have mistyped earlier. She didn't say we pronounced "ee" and
"uh" with rounded lips, exactly. She said we pronounce them with
*more* rounded lips, and less drawing back of the corners of the
mouth into the cheeks. Given that there is a word for this,
prolabialization, it can't be entirely unknown.


>> I'm by no means an expert on any of this, but I do know that
>> "s/he talks funny" is one of the things that marks someone
>> as an outsider and can lead to mistrust and dislike. If fans
>> and non-fans tend to perceive each other as "talking funny,"
>> that's worth knowing.

> I must have cruised through the wrong areas of fandom the past 40
> years. I don't see fans and non-fans perceiving each other as talking
> funny. Or maybe I've been lucky and cruised through the right areas.

>> I don't remember--were you at Karyn's talk?

> I wasn't at the convention; I don't go to that one. Must have been
> one helluvan act.

That it was. I only regret that my reporting skills were evidently
not up to it.

--
"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend
to the death your right to say it." -- Beatrice Hall
Cally Soukup sou...@pobox.com

Vicki Rosenzweig

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
On Sat, 17 Apr 1999 22:41:23 GMT, dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke)
wrote:

>P Nielsen Hayden set words in phosphor:
>
>> Dave Locke <dave...@bigfoot.com> wrote
>>
>> >Avram Grumer set words in phosphor:


>> >
>> >> dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke) wrote:
>> >>
>> >> > Certainly I don't generally see fans finishing each other's
>> >> > sentences like some bizarre couple that's been married for 200
>> >> > years.
>> >>


What Karyn actually said is that fans are unusual in that
we generally don't mind when someone finishes our sentences
for us, *if that person gets it right.* My mother and I
used to do something similar--she'd start to ask a question,
I'd answer it after half a sentence, and we'd do two or three
in a row like that before my father interrupted to ask what
we were talking about.

Which led me, at one point during Karyn's talk, to think "I'm
like that, but I got it from my family."

Karyn's take on this--which, as she said, is not even a
hypothesis, let alone a theory, just a guess we can bat
around--is that when fans have that specific interaction, of
someone interrupting us in a way that makes it clear that they
get it, we interpret it not as rudeness (he won't let me
finish, she's bored by what I'm saying....) but as successful
communication.

Does this make sense to you? Am I, in fact, making a
distinction that you recognize as a distinction?
it as successful communication

P Nielsen Hayden

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Vicki Rosenzweig <v...@interport.net> wrote in
<371d1959...@news.interport.net>:

>On Sat, 17 Apr 1999 22:41:23 GMT, dave...@bigfoot.com (Dave Locke)
>wrote:

>>I lived in the LArea for 12 years. You're telling me that it's a


I'm pretty much giving up. What I'm seeing is:

Karyn Ashburn gave a nuanced and interesting talk, consisting of a lot of
speculation clearly marked as such.

Responding to repeated requests that someone do so, Cally Soukup wrote a
very rough description of it.

Dave Locke tore into Cally's description, got hold of some very simplified
notions of what Karyn was asserting, ignored repeated explanations of how
carefully Karyn was hedging her speculations, and is determined to
challenge anyone who says positive things about Karyn's talk. See the bit
quoted above: "You're saying...?" "You're telling me...?" "Is that it?"

It's prosecutorial. It's unpleasant. Frankly, it's Farberish.

Karyn may be right or she may be wrong. That question is worth discussing.
But it's not worth discussing like this. Life is, you know, short.