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Old 10-29-2009, 12:37 AM   #1
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Could we benefit from a new word for "reading" on screens to usher in the Screen Age?

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Old 10-29-2009, 12:39 AM   #2
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:02 AM   #3
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The differences between reading a piece of paper and reading an electronic display are so trivial as to make a new term both pointless and silly. If you are unable to suspend your awareness of the medium on which you are reading something while concentrating on the something, then it is something that isn't worth reading.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:35 AM   #4
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:37 AM   #5
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No. We don't need another pointless blend to substitute for a flexible, easily compounded noun.

My water bottle is rectangular instead of round like traditional bottles, but I don't call it a squottle or rectottle...which sounds like something to look out for during a proctology exam.

The popular obsession with making blends for anything that doesn't strictly fit traditional convention is a bit over the top these days.

Whether I'm reading on a screen, a piece of paper, a stone tablet, a metal plate, a wood plaque, a silk embroidery, a concrete bathroom wall, or a skin tattoo, it's still reading. Distinctions can be made easily enough with compound nouns.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:38 AM   #6
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:43 AM   #7
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:49 AM   #8
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Read this interview with Dr Jeffrey Guterman at Barry University in Florida, for example:

http://zippy1300.blogspot.com/2009/1...e-reading.html
A lot of opinions there are based on anecdotal evidence only. There are many more things at work between reading media than the material the media is made of itself.

Typography, ambient light, surface angle, interaction and feedback, many things that are not necessarily innate to screen reading affect the reading experience. In my view, stripping things down and saying "screens are different from paper!" is a rather uneducated way of simplifying a nuanced topic into absolute A and B.

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This idea is not some popular obsession. It is my idea alone. I am not the public, and I represent no one but one lone blogger in Taiwan. It is my obession, not any popular obsession. The mainstream media and the public could care less about my "crusade" -- which is just ASKING A QUESTION, not mandating a new word.
Blends and contractions get proposed nearly daily. It's not so individual as you might assume...it's a rather significant subculture that wishes to exploit the malleability of English. I'm not meaning to suggest people are conspiring to "damage" the language, just that it's a very popular trend in the digital age.

Word evolution like that of "reading" in English is a very common thing. You're in Taiwan, so you no doubt know that the modern Chinese noun for "book" 書 used to be a verb, meaning "to write".

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Old 10-29-2009, 01:58 AM   #9
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Good points, and I agree, mostly. BUT ardeegee, the jury is still out on this, in terms of neuroscience.
Yes, the jury is indeed "still out" on scientific studies backing up a baseless assertion that you just now pulled out of your rear! Is there any evidence for what you are asserting, or are you just making a baseless claim and saying "prove that I'm wrong"? Because that isn't the way science works. Prove to us why you are right.


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But I have a hunch that the differences will be HUGE, not monumental, but huge.
And I have the hunch that your silly baseless assertion is a silly baseless assertion. Unless you have citations for peer-reviewed, double-blind studies showing difference degrees in data retention depending on by which means text is displayed?

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For pleasure reading, light reading, not important. But reading important material -- literature, poetry, oped columns, New York Sunday Times Magazine 8-page stories about ideas and history and politics and feelings, I think, my hunch tells me, that there might be a big difference.
Your "hunch" and (insert a single-digit number of dollars here, I donno, I don't drink coffee) will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. You are stating utterly subjective personal anecdotes and trying to dress them in the clothes of evidence. And what distinguishes "pleasure reading, light reading" from reading "literature, poetry"? What if one enjoys reading "literature" and poetry? Wouldn't that make it "pleasure reading"? And, assuming that "literature" means "fiction", and a separate category from "pleasure reading, light reading", then what do you conciser to be "pleasure reading, light reading" if it excludes fiction? Or are you going to assert a subjective opinion on what fiction should be called "pleasure reading, light reading" and which should be considered "literature"?

I'll reiterate my own subjective, unresearched opinion-- the idea that you retain data differently if you are looking at dies pressed into wood pulp vs. capsules of pigment sandwiched between two pieces of glass is silly bunk.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:02 AM   #10
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:08 AM   #11
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Read this interview with Dr Jeffrey Guterman at Barry University in Florida, for example:

http://zippy1300.blogspot.com/2009/1...e-reading.html
Having just read this, I can see that Dr. Jeffrey Guterman knows absolutely nothing about how the human brain functions.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:09 AM   #12
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:12 AM   #13
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Yes, the jury is indeed "still out" on scientific studies backing up a baseless assertion that you just now pulled out of your rear! Is there any evidence for what you are asserting, or are you just making a baseless claim and saying "prove that I'm wrong"? Because that isn't the way science works. Prove to us why you are right.

And I have the hunch that your silly baseless assertion is a silly baseless assertion. Unless you have citations for peer-reviewed, double-blind studies showing difference degrees in data retention depending on by which means text is displayed?
I don't think we need to reciprocate antagonism in order to make our points. I suspect there's similarly limited research that compares the cognitive response to printed text that is displayed vertically rather than horizontally, which seems to be one of the major sources of cognitive dissonance with regard to screen reading (of course, by presumption rather than research). I think it's worthy of investigation...but not worthy of special vocabulary to distinguish reading media.

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Your "hunch" and (insert a single-digit number of dollars here, I donno, I don't drink coffee) will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
He lives in Taiwan...a Venti Hazelnut Latte is 145NT
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:18 AM   #14
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But ardeegee, this is exactly what I am driving at: we need more studies, and we need more research, with citations. And let me be wrong. I want to be wrong. Sure. I don't mind be wrong on this.
You do not seem to understand my point-- you can't simply assert something for which there is no evidence and then demand that people do research on it. I could assert that ebooks cause hair to grow in alpaca but that does not mean that scientist should drop everything that they are doing, head down to Peru, and start rubbing kindles on camelids.

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And get this: TIME and NEWSWEEK magazines are now planning a major cover story on all this, from a neuroscience point of view, not from a gadgethead
I'm not talking about this from a "gadgethead" point of view and I take your use of the term as an attempt to cheapen my opinion. I say this from a reader point of view-- someone who has been reading for my entire life (okay, less the first few years) has read more books than I could start to estimate, and who has read hundreds-- yes hundreds-- of books on a PDA before getting a Sony Reader. And I say that, when you are into the material, the medium doesn't matter.

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Stay tuned. Stay very tuned.
Oh, I'll be waiting on the edge of my seat with baited breath and bells on.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:31 AM   #15
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.....I think it's worthy of investigation...but not worthy of special vocabulary to distinguish reading media. .......He lives in Taiwan...a Venti Hazelnut Latte is 145NT
LDB, good points. And yes, what's important here is to get more investigation and research on all this. No need for a special vocabulary to distinguish reading media, I agree also. But I do feel that a new word is coming down the information/digital/bloggy highway, and I have no idea when it will arrive or how, or whether it will arrive alive and kicking -- or perhaps stillborn -- I have no idea. But I got a feeling. That's all.

As for the NT$145 Hazelnut Latte at the local Starbucks just down the street from the local email cafe where I am doing my Internet chores this afternoon -- I do not own a computer, and never have -- I never go to Starbucks anymore, that coffee is wired with extra caffeine and it makes me shake all day afterwards. I prefer Taiwan Beer in a brown bottle, very cold, with some sidewalk noodles to wash it down. Hao tsu!
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