[Milton-L] One post per day?

Nancy Charlton nbcharlton at comcast.net
Mon Dec 20 12:48:56 EST 2010

General note:  I just snipped either four or five generations of 
quoted emails, all with their quoted headers and footers. I'm not 
sure just how many: it gets too byzantine to follow.  This kind 
of compilation makes a nightmare for digest readers.  So I would 
ask, when we reply to a post, take a second or two to scroll down 
and find the beginning of the quoted messages, park the cursor, 
go Ctrl-Shift, down arrow or End ( which will hilight everything 
starting at the cursor point), then Delete.  Digest readers will 
thank you, especially if they are receiving on smartphones.

I don't think anyone has noted that Nairba's vituperations may be 
begun in reaction to the lack of response to his 
self-advertisement of his PL performances.  There is a difference 
between self-promotion (particularly of a service or product 
advertised for purchase) and announcing an accomplishment (such 
as the books heralded in recent weeks).  This is not the place 
for the former, and I would include Terrance Lindall's efforts in 
this as well as Nairba's.  In fact, this latest brouhaha may have 
all started with TL's "Christmas Card," which to many readers was 
indeed "tasteless."
Now both Lindall and Nairba are skillful: they know their craft.  
This doesn't, however, guarantee either judgment or scholarship 
in any depth.  Milton scholarship is the purpose of this list, 
but given this author's work, it branches out and must of 
necessity "...expatiate free, o'er all this scene of man."  If at 
times this means we come up with a dud, we usually manage to 
correct it, and all with an air of cordiality and generosity of 
experts towards tyros.  But never has the tyro become a tyrant or 
a terror, only to descend into the screaming we've seen this past 
week from Nairba.  His flaming of Carol Barton was inexcusable 
morally and perhaps slanderous legally.  What it accomplished was 
to set himself up to.appear a son of perdition.

So I would say, let self-promotion be confined to no more than a 
modest link appended to the email signature, or when appropriate 
to the subject, a modest announcement.  Keep to third person 
rather than first person verbs and pronouns where possible.  
Clearly differentiate between impersonal fact and "my" opinion.  
Don't we try to instill this in students-and reward their efforts 
per their accomplishing it?

So let's be merciful.  Forward to him digests of these posts, 
longsuffering Kevin Creamer and Louis Schwartz, and if he can 
convince you that he understands the consequences of his breach 
of decency, let him come back so long as he accepts these 

    * No self-promotion
    * No screaming or flaming
    * No more than one post a day

This is not censorship.  It is the correction of irresponsible 
speech that travesties free speech.

Nancy Charlton
Milton aficionada and aspiring scholar

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