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Quoting Out of Context
Subj:     Quoting Out of Context
Date:     12/7/2001 11:51:42 AM Central Standard Time
From:     Gypsycurse7
To:     mpls@mnforum.org
CC:     EubanksCrew@aol.com

In a message dated 12/6/2001 3:42:20 PM Central Standard Time, J palmer writes:
>
> ... I could go on [about my credentials], but that's not really my point. My point is let's deal with
> the issues.  I'm not certain if you're actually reading your notes Doug, but
> you keep taking quotes out of context and much of the statements are
> inflammatory.  
>  
>  For example, in your December 5th reply you said:
>  
>  "By implication, if your kid doesn't turn out fine, it's probably because
> the parents are falling down on the job."
>  
>  standing alone like that, one would assume that you were saying the same
> thing that you're accusing Lynnell of.
>  
>  More quotes:
>  
>  "Other kids are doing bad because of their lazy, shiftless parents."
>  "...the "academic achievement gap" between white and black students, for
> example, can be completely eliminated without also eliminating poverty and
> racism."
>  
>  These are all things that you've said, and when taken out of context as you
> seem to be doing with Lynnell and now my comments, they can portray you in a
> different light than someone who actually cares about the school system and
> is a lifetime member of the NAACP. [snip]

Is it wrong to express an opinion that Jonathan Palmer disagrees with?  That's what I think is behind all the harping about "quoting out of context."  

There is a difference between quoting out of context and citing an entire passage, two full paragraphs, from someone's writing.  One can snip out a sentence or a fragment of a sentence from another person's writing and misrepresent that as their view about some matter. JP gives some examples of how this could be done with things that I have written.  However, JP did not give as an example of "quoting out of context" a full paragraph or entire passage from something I wrote.  If he quoted entire passages rather than extracting from them isolated sentences or sentence fragments, he would not be quoting out of context.

I agree that "quoting out of context" as JP describes is improper.  It is certainly not good ettiquette. It's a tactic that clouds the issues and poisons the atmosphere.  

Jonathan Palmer says that I keep taking quotes out of context.  Where did I misrepresent LM's views by quoting out of context as JP describes above?  It's an unsubstantiated allegation.  If one is going to accuse me of quoting out context, one needs to offer evidence. Repeating an allegation over and over again doesn't make it true.

It is also noteworthy that JP directs a "quoting out of context" allegation is at me but pays no attention to the quoting out of context that is being done by others on the education threads.  

In another message on this thread, sent on 12/5/2001 4:51:24 PM Central Standard Time, J palmer writes:

>Specifically, though, when you state things like "in other words" or "the implication is", your stating your own interpretation however incorrect or correct it might be.  Which is fine, but when you draw conclusions or state that your interpretation is what things mean definitively it becomes wrong. [snip]

I quoted two passages from Lynnell Mickelsen's SW Journal column, and commented on those passages.  I did not summarize or paraphrase LMs views, then attack what I say her views are.  I did not present my interpretation of LM's views as LM's views. I did not put words in LM's mouth.

My crime is that my views on the issues that are being discussed in this forum do not conform closely enough to those of Jonathan Palmer.  
-Doug Mann, Kingfield

Doug Mann for School Board
<http:educationright.tripod.com>