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Subject: Stone sculpture

Stone sculpture

From: Barbara Appelbaum <aandh>
Date: Monday, October 5, 1998
Based on the recent interchange on the stone sculpture, whatever the
individual's interpretation of it, I think we have to think a bit
more clearly about the content of queries to this List.  There was a
while ago, I believe, a short group of comments about the uses of
the list, for conservators and non- that was beginning to look at
different types of queries and their appropriate handling. I think
this matter merits further discussion.

There is no question that anyone contemplating responding to an
inquiry judges whether he or she will respond and the technical
level of the response on the exact content and wording of the query.
They are responding to both the content and the tone of the
question.  Among other things, this means that those asking
questions must be clear in the information they include and how it
is worded.  It also means that anyone who does not get an answer
should reconsider exactly what they said, rephrase it, and try
again.  When readers don't know how to answer a query it may not
mean they don't "know" the answer.  It may mean that they don't have
a reliable sense of what kind of answer would be appropriate.  In
other words, the better the question, the better the answer.

    **** Moderator's comments: I agree with Barbara, but want to
    make it clear that simply rephrased questions (or any other
    reposting that is not substantively different from the original)
    will not be accepted. If your query did not get a response,
    you're going to have to do some pretty serious rethinking of the
    question (which I think is what Barbara is getting at).

    Note also in the interest of clarity, and in hope of cutting off
    miscommunications before they start, I frequently edit postings
    for clarity (as is noted in the welcome material). I most
    frequently do this in the case of people whose native language
    is not English, which can have the unfortunate side-effect of
    disguising language complexities. It's a difficult trade-off and
    I haven't undertaken it lightly, but am convinced that on
    balance the discourse benefits from this intervention. Without
    question, the practice complicates matters in some cases. Please
    keep this in mind as you consider responding to a posting.

Using the DistList is not an exact science, but it would work better
if more people joined in.  A range of responses produces much more
fruitful answers.

B. Appelbaum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:35
                 Distributed: Thursday, October 8, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-35-002
Received on Monday, 5 October, 1998

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