[Humanist] 24.775 on grammarotology (Hogart & Hanley)

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Mar 13 08:06:00 CET 2011

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 775.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 22:50:25 +0000
        From: Peter Batke <batke_p at hotmail.com>
        Subject: Hoggart and Hanley, a grammarotological (not grammatological) visit

Dear Willard, (I understand if you delete after the first paragraph,
or earlier) cheers, Peter

This part is optional:

> What needs bleeding out in our case is not sentimentality.
> What our lot needs freedom from is not the same as for those whom Hoggart
> had and Hanley has in mind. But these words apply with force to one of
> Humanist's founding missions, perhaps its central one.

 The difficulty in the sentence arises form the attempt to differentiate
the past Hoggart from the present Hanley. The distinction is quite
superfluous. For those who know H&H, "...Hoggart and Handley had
in mind" is quite sufficient. For those who don't know H&H, such as I,
a clear sentence is more important than overly accurate information
that is hard to parse. I realize the time difference and the difference
in stature makes it awkward to link the two with an and. An "in their
respective time" might have been a solution.

It will be assumed that at some point in the past, last year, Hanley had
something in mind, which she may have in mind still, but who cares,
the cat is out of the bag, so the imperfect is fine.

Hoggart, I presume, is writing in 1957 and obviously "had" something
in mind at some time in the past, and if he still has it, who cares,
the cat has been out of the bag even longer, so the imperfect is fine.

A past perfect constructions is not really required; it might have helped the
initial sentence since it would have alerted the reader in a way than the
use of "had" and "has" did not, at least not for me. Of course you could
be suggesting that Hoggart no longer has that something in mind,
a dicey call, better not to bring up.

Of course, "...Hoggart and Hanley have in mind" could also be an elegant
solution, if we are talking about the working class in the 50's.

Clearly this is not something to consider in the morning with only
London coffee to sustain one.

So I would suggest:

In our case, sentimentality does not need to be bled out. Our need for
freedom is different than the need for freedom of those Hoggart and
Hanley had in mind; yet, those words apply with force to
one of Humanist's founding missions, perhaps its central one:
to provide a forum for discussion of intellectual, scholarly, pedagogical,
and social issues and for exchange of information among participants
in nicely formatted electronic postings that do not have to be
mucked about with by the editor, me, early in the morning, when I
really have better things to do than to serve as formatting wet-nurse
to a lot of thoughtless, heedless, careless left-thumbed ninnies who
think they can write any old thing on their smartphone in the tube,
or stuck in traffic on the freeway, slap it in Humanist and expect me
to fix it all up for them, nice and pretty, you lazy inconsiderate lot of
indolent sluggards.

The part in italics merely extends the thought in one possible direction.

I am still jetlagged west to east and the nights are still long.

cheers, Peter

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