[Air-L] quotations on line

Jeremy Hunsinger jhuns at vt.edu
Sat Sep 8 09:55:57 PDT 2007

On Sep 8, 2007, at 11:32 AM, Barry Wellman wrote:

> I yet again ran into frustration trying to find the source  
> (publication,
> date) for a quotation. Finding the quote is easy. In this case:
> Gene Fowler, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of
> paper until little drops of blood form on your forehead."*

of course, the problem with this... is that it is only attributed to  
him.  the first attribution in google books is from 1990 the speakers  
and toastmaster's handbook.
> But when was it uttered or written. The many quotation pages on the  
> web
> seem Never to give sources. (Methinks, many just copy from each  
> other.)

many times quotations were never spoken or written... of course, it  
is when they are respoken to the right audience with the right  
attribution that we get the attributed saying.
> They seem to be aimed at giving sound-bytes to speakers, bloggers,  
> etc.
> Barlett's QUotations was sterling on this in print days. Does it still
> exist?

yes it does, as do more specialized quotation dictionaries. i am fond  
of my Macmillan's Dictionary of social science quotations... even  
though it only goes up to the early 90's.

> Any other advice?
> *A cognitive psych research question: is writing easier with  
> screens and
> word processing than in the old days of blank pages, pens and  
> typewriters?

I'm not sure that is a cognitive psych question.   (and though i  
think i've shared this story here before)  I once was sitting next to  
an old gentleman on the plane that was flying back to notredame from  
milan.   he said, and i believe him that there is in his experience,  
and i have verified this in mine, a sense that the pen or pencil  
enables the faster flow of words and ideas onto the page.  writing  
with your right hand is using in his description, your left brain,  
your 'creative and language centers'  it is more of a direct  
connection than the perpetually negotiations between the sides to  
coordinate the skill of typing.  think of it this way... when you are  
typing very quickly, can you compose at the same time?  or must you  
be copying something.  composing while typing.... slows us down,  
whereas, i suspect that composing while writing might speed us up.   
that was his intuition, and mine too.  not that i write too much by  
>  Barry Wellman
> ______________________________________________________________________ 
> _
>   S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC              NetLab Director
>   Centre for Urban & Community Studies           University of Toronto
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>          Elvis wouldn't be singing "Return to Sender" these days
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Jeremy Hunsinger
Information Ethics Fellow, Center for Information Policy Research,  
School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee  

Words are things; and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a  
thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions,  
think. --Byron

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