Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 14:45:25 -0600


Subject: Re: Re[2]: At Their Web Site

Well, yes email can be ephemeral, but no more so than hard mail, I think.

There are email messages which I still have after many years--some on disk,

some as hard copies. And I dispose of a lot of junk hard mail every day

without even opening it--how ephemeral is that?

I find that I dwell over many of the messages I write, choosing my words

very carefully for precision and impact.

I would also disagree with the blanket claim about email being (1) flow of

consciousness and (2) relatively thoughtless. The messages on this list,

for example, are often thoughtful and they are frequently fairly

structured--at least to a greater extent than simple

stream-of-consciousness freewriting would usually be.

I would hesitate to consider email as producing a renaissance in writing

for two reasons: first, few of us save our email for posterity. It is a

very ephemeral communication, with only slightly more permanence than a

phone call. Second, because we know that it is an ephemeral format, we

tend not to dwell over it. The writers of the past would ponder over which

words best conveyed their intended meaning, and would strive for impact in

their words. Modern email is much more nearly flow of consciousness

writing, with little thought behind it.

Denis Anson, MS, OTR/L | Author of

Computer Access Specialist | Alternative Computer Access:

College Misericordia | Making Appropriate Selections

301 Lake Street | Published by

Dallas, PA 18612-1098 | FA Davis

Gregory J. Pulliam

Illinois Institute of Technology

Lewis Department of Humanities

Chicago, IL 60616