Sunday, 21 August 2011


Can't you just compromise?

Dear Mr Gallileo,

We know that you have been having a spot of bother with the Flat Earth people.

Might we suggest that you work towards some sort of mutually acceptible compromise. After all, surely we all of us want the same thing – and you do want to be part of the team, don't you. And none us want to scare away supporters with the slightest whiff of 'controversy'.

So how's this as a position for negotiating a compromise deal? Drop all this 'the Earth is round' nonsense and suggest instead that it is might be hemispherical. Then you can propose that we all live on the flat top, and maybe then in return the Flat Earthers might even come some way towards agreeing that the heavens and all that lie therein rotate around us.

Sounds win-win to us here in PR, management and governance. Something there for everyone. What does all this theoretical stuff matter anyway?

If negotiations do get a bit sticky along the way, just to sweeten things up you might throw in that Rome should be regarded at standing at the very centre of the flat bit.

There you have it.  Easy-peasy, honour satified all round. No need for anyone to be all stiff-necked about things and upset people, especially in these so-competitive times  in which, we repeat, nobody wants to stand out by being associated with anything that is even mildly controversial.

Yes, we know, if you had taken this easy line from the outset the world might still be stuck back in the Middle Ages but, hey, think about how much easier a time you personally would have had at the hands of the Inquisition.

We do hope that we shall not have to write to you again on this matter. 

Yours etc.

The PR Department



Anonymous Andrew said...

I gather that the intention of this letter may not have been altogether clear. This letter is a spoof, indicating that people who hold to truths within Conductive Education should stick to their guns, personally uncomfortable though this can be, avoid the siren calls for compromise, and resist the pressures from those who can not (these being particular target here).

Burt seriously, folks (irony), maybe I should use a 'sarcmark' to indicate ironical intent:

I have wondered about this before, concluding –

I am all for punctuation to help convey the meaning of a text (ask the students whom I used to persecute over this), but the sarcmark, despite its claim is not, I think, a punctuation mark in its proper sense. It is rather a prop (a 'support') that teaches the audience to be passive recipients of information presented. It robs them of the possibility of active agency within this transaction (sound familiar?). It closes down on their ability to learn, and that would surely never do.
Not in Conductive Education, of all places.

The idea of 'irony punctuation' is far from new. In English it goes back to the sixteenth century (though its use did not persist) and the idea is not peculiar to English.

To create one of these on my computer would be too much of a problem, and I doubt anyway that, even if I were successful in this, it would be possible to transfer the result to Blogger or Facebook. Even if I could, however, hardly anybody would understand it. That surely would be ironical.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011 at 09:24:00 BST  
Blogger Susie Mallett said...

Andrew, Thank you so much for explaining this posting.

I realised without needing the "sarcmark" that you were being ironic but I had understood your irony quite differently, believing that you meant that people who stick to their guns, "personally uncomfortable though this can be", should compromise. Although I it found it hard to believe that I would read this here.

I am very glad to read that I was wrong.
Thank you again for making it clear to me.


Tuesday, 23 August 2011 at 14:56:00 BST  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Sorry to be so obscure.I was brought up in a world in which Galileo was an unquestionable hero of intellectual enlightement and human advancement. Galileo stuck to his guns, a was a martyr in the battle for progress. Those modernist days are gone, at least as social consensus. Perhaps I should retreat into the comfort zone of the pages of The Oldie, where I can find the diminishing band of survivors of my tribe.

Hard to believe that I ahould criticise those who stick to their guns over central tenets of CE? I should hope so!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011 at 22:57:00 BST  
Blogger Susie Mallett said...

Yes, Galileo did stick to his guns and I thought you were telling him, in this letter, that it would be much better all round if he no longer did so.

It was where the irony was directed that I did not understand, not what Galileo stood up for.

Again thanks for putting me right.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011 at 23:26:00 BST  

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