Saturday, 25 October 2008

mini stylistic rant

I had my PhD viva recently. I passed, with corrections. This is a good thing.
I have a list of corrections that I need to make to the document, provided by the two examiners.
I've started making these changes, and there's one that's taking a while.

The examiners had issue with the use of quote marks in the text, which weren't not direct quotations. They refered to these as scare quotes and have asked me to remove them. There's a lot of them. I'm diligently removing them all, and its taking me a while.

But, there's a reason they're there. My research looks at discourse. Now there are two ways to produce an analysis of discourse. One involves attaching every quote to a specific author. However, there are many regularities in discourses, which are spotted by the analysis, but come straight from multiple points in the discourse. They recur so frequently, that attaching them to a specific author is actually not representing the full spread of the mentality.

So if a sentence was talking about 'identity' in a discourse, the intention would be to show that this was the way a specific concept was being utilised in a specific group's discourse, rather than giving credibility to the statement. The attempt is to put a caveat around the use of the term.

Also there are times when you just need to say 'this is how people say something' but it's not true, that's not the way the world is. The one I just deleted was talking about 'clean' identities. Clean is a metaphor. Somebodies identity can't really be clean.

or am I just dragging back a realist ontology and epistemology into my thinking?

through punctuation?

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