Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 22:51:40 -0500

From: "H Stephen STRAIGHT (Binghamton University,


Subject: Re: Unauth Index to "American Tongues" - Improvements Invited

Dear Terry,

I'm finally getting on to you! You're not a nasty after all,

even though you present yourself as one.

Now that I see the entire exchange between you and Bethany and you

and me, your point appears to be that Bethany had needlessly and

amateurishly (though uncompensatedly) duplicated the (presumably

compensated) efforts of Walt Wolfram, whose work she would certainly have

been aware of if she had acquired "American Tongues" as an "authorized

purchase". Moral: we should note (and condemn) the (implied) breech of


Nice point! You're absolutely correct about this, however much we

may inveigh against budgetary and other impediments to proper behavior on

the part of many hard-pressed and/or ethically lax colleagues.

I only wish you'd spelled out the basis of your objection. Your

initial response came across as smug and pedantic. Specifically, I wish

you'd mentioned that Walt's outline came with the tapes (as opposed to

having been published in a refereed journal), because as it happens my own

program has ended up with TWO "authorized purchase" originals (as opposed

to copies?, English fails me here) of this tape -- due to professors'

failure to communicate with each other about their mutual interest -- and

we still lack adequate supplementary materials (despite Walt's efforts, I


Furthermore, we should consider the possibility that Bethany's

original lacks Walt's guide because Bethany's colleagues have lost or

misplaced it rather than because she or they copied the program

illegally. Why didn't you ask her and other interested parties to obtain

the material supplied with the tape rather than leave us wondering where

Wolfram's comments could be found?

Maybe this is the point where I should admit that your response to

Bethany struck me at the outset as a hostile and unreasonable attack. In

retrospect, though, I see that you clearly have VERY important things to

convey to all of us, even if your angle of approach may lead many to

misconstrue both the intent and the content of your messages. Too bad!

In any case, though, I'll now be (tentatively) a TLI defender.

However tempted I may be to continue to dismiss your messages as

'Net-induced flames, I'll now at least read them twice before doing so.

Thanks for the lesson in tolerance, even if it came with a

TLI-inflicted wound I'll wear forever.


On Thu, 14 Dec 1995, Terry Lynn Irons wrote:

Try interlibrary loan.

Best. 'Bye. Steve

H Stephen STRAIGHT Binghamton University (SUNY)

Anthropology & Linguistics LxC Box 6000, Binghamton NY 13902-6000

Dir, Langs Across the Curric VOX: 607-777-2824; FAX: 607-777-2889

sstraigh[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] ["sstraigh", not "sstraight"!]