A bit off topic, but … maybe not….
- Familiar (Mis)Quotation, by Hollis Robbins, Inside Higher Ed. (April 8, 2011)
Every academic by now knows the routine. You come across a pithy quote by a famous author that doesn’t sound quite right. No source text is given. A general web search yields ten pages of links to self-help sites or quote-a-day webpages. A Google Books or Google Scholar search will offer links to published self-help books or articles going back to the 1980s. None of the sites will offer a full citation or even gesture toward a source text. You sadly conclude that the quote is bogus. Such is academic life in the age of the search engine.
- Have You Hugged a Fact Checker Today?, By Andrew Furman, Chronicle of Higher Education “The Chronicle Review,” (April 3, 2011) [subscription required].
A talented, trained fleet of fact checkers has probably never been more crucial to our writing and reading culture than it is now, in our post-James Frey, Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass, and Margaret B. Jones era, in our Internet age so drenched with specious information that it sometimes pollutes even our best intentions.