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View Full Version : Is "traditional" publishing an offensive term?



Chiquita Banana
10-30-2012, 05:03 AM
I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers here - and I don't particularly use this term either. Just curious. Seems to me that trade publishing is the traditional way (at least for the last century or two) so it's pretty accurate, no?

I'm just wondering why some folks have a problem with it. It's nothing like people who equate "self publishing" with "vanity press". I've read that one too many times recently.*

*I'm laying the groundwork for a massive marketing blitz (or so I hope) seeking and finding ridiculous amounts of review blogs, reading the policies, seeing "no self-published vanity projects".

robertbevan
10-30-2012, 05:18 AM
here we go...

Chiquita Banana
10-30-2012, 05:22 AM
What? Like I said, I don't use it and I don't particularly want to use it. I'm just wondering. Sheesh.

robertbevan
10-30-2012, 05:24 AM
i'm sorry. i'm not judging you. i don't have a horse in this race. it's a bit of a touchy subject around here though.

thothguard51
10-30-2012, 05:27 AM
Define traditional, and to who.

Traditional publishing in the U.S?
Traditional publishing in Britain?
Traditional publishing in the E.U?
Traditional publishing in South America?
Traditional publishing for Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or Aliens...

Define Traditional first and then we can talk...

Amadan
10-30-2012, 05:30 AM
To be perfectly honest, I understand why Ye Proprietors are so insistent on trade publishing and not traditional publishing, but I think it's a lost cause, kind of like the popular usage of terms like "hacking" and "centrifugal force." Purists can argue for the correct definition all they like, but when everyone else in the world is using a more popular definition, the popular definition wins.

That said, the reason AW is trying to hold the line is because "traditional" publishing has traditionally been used by self-publishing evangelists to preach the Good Word of the coming death of said publishing industry and that's why you should all buy their Guide To Getting Rich As an Indie Publisher for just $11.99. :chaching:

shadowwalker
10-30-2012, 05:31 AM
"Traditional" is a term that's been coined by certain self-publishing gurus who hold trade publishers in high contempt, and persist in spreading a lot of misinformation, so basically, using it brushes the user as either a pompous ass or wet behind the ears. Personally, I've found that those who persist in using it (even after being politely informed of the correct terminology) are of the pompous ass variety.

Medievalist
10-30-2012, 05:33 AM
I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers here - and I don't particularly use this term either. Just curious. Seems to me that trade publishing is the traditional way (at least for the last century or two) so it's pretty accurate, no?

You might want to cast your eye over the Guidelines (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=249332) for this area; they make the issue clear, I think.

I've got this on my list of things to write up as an FAQ. I'm going to answer this here, briefly, in a couple of ways.

* It it often meant to be offensive; the context in which it is offensive typically includes words and phrases like "hide-bound", "dinosaur" etc. and it implies that the person or persons being referred to are out of step, incompetent, and out of touch with reality, as well as hopelessly old-fashioned.

* The phrase "traditional publishing" first gained considerable notoriety because it was used by the fake publisher PublishAmerica; the immediate connection to PublishAmerica's terminology implies that being referred to as a "traditional publisher" or "traditionally published" is another way of saying "you are a fake author/publisher."

* Traditionally published and traditional publisher are frequently used by zealots on either side of the transom; those who are self-publishing and think any other route is only used by incompetents who want to lose money, or those who are commercially / trade published, who have a stick up their butts and think that all self-published books are inferior. Both are false.

* It is, at the level of literal interpretation, silly. Publishing encompasses roughly 3000 years of traditions.

Publishing, that is the organized reproduction and distribution of written texts, goes back at least to the creation of the various Sumerian tablets, whether they were containing Gilgamesh, or accounting records. There were professionals engaged in creating copies of texts, mass producing them, and distributing them. This kind of organized, skilled, and very technologically astute publication continued, right through, from clay tablets, to papyrus scrolls, to paper (in Asia), to vellum/parchment, and then to the creation of the codex book, that is a bound roughly rectangular collection of texts/images, divided into fascilcles and pages c. 100 C.E., first on vellum/parchment, and then, on paper, and then, on paper mechanically printed using "cold type" à la Gutenberg, to various innovations in printing during the 19th and 20th centuries, none of which are really that big, to the creation of digital books in c. 1988/89. Traditionally publishing doesn't mean anything. What tradition?

* The phrases "traditional publisher," and "traditionally published" consequently identify the user as an amateur, someone who is not cognizant of what it means to be published, how books are made, how they distributed, and how they are sold or what it is publishers do.

"Traditional publisher" doesn't really tell you anything about the publisher, in terms of the way books (printed or digital) are made and sold. Academic publishing (textbooks etc. sold primarily to distributors and bookstores who sell to schools and universities ) is not the same as consumer or commercial or trade publishing (books sold by publishers primarily to" the trade" that is, bookstores, wholesalers or distributors). Trade publishing/consumer/commercial publishing isn't the same as scholarly publishing (books sold primarily to libraries at academic institutions, scholars, and graduate students, usually with small print runs, and very high prices, with no advances or royalties, most of the time) etc.

When I've self-published, I've been proud to say I self-published. When I've been published by small independent publishers who may not have the best distribution but really know their markets, I've been proud to be independently published. When my scholarship is published, I grit my teeth and wait . . . for however many years it takes for the book to be available. When I've been commercially/trade/consumer published, I've been happy about the advance and the passive income. It's all publishing, of one sort or another, but they all are very different. Traditional is just a catch-all piece of jargon, that is either not well-meant, or suggests ignorance.

I favor being clear about how I use language; I'd think most writers would.

Chiquita Banana
10-30-2012, 05:37 AM
robertbevan - thanks. No worries. Seems odd to me that people find it offensive and I just thought it would be interesting to find out why.

thothguard51 - Well... the US and the UK, I suppose, but only because I can't say for certain how the industry works in the EU and South America, or with religious publishers. What I mean is this scenario: an author writes a book, it gets accepted. He/she gets an advance (maybe). Then the MS goes through a series of different types of edits, promotional copy is written, the cover is created [[[Lord, is this really necessary?]]] the book goes to print, the publisher starts marketing the book (maybe). Then the book goes on sale and the marketing intensifies (maybe).

Chiquita Banana
10-30-2012, 05:41 AM
Ah, thanks for the answers Amadan, Shadowwalker and Medievalist. I totally get it now. Makes sense. :)


Medievalist: did you type that whole thing just now? You must be quite a typist! Great idea to put it up as a FAQ.

Williebee
10-30-2012, 05:44 AM
I'm going to answer this here, briefly, in a couple of ways.

Yup, that was Medi, being... brief.

:)

(excellently stated, btw.)

James D. Macdonald
10-30-2012, 05:52 AM
Is "traditional" publishing an offensive term?

No, it's a meaningless term.

Medievalist
10-30-2012, 05:53 AM
Medievalist: did you type that whole thing just now? You must be quite a typist! Great idea to put it up as a FAQ.

I used to teach this stuff. It's ingrained now.

I was kidding about brief . . .

Haggis
10-30-2012, 05:54 AM
Yup, that was Medi, being... brief.

:)

(excellently stated, btw.)
Modern English too. I'm impressed. Usually we get some Sumerian in there. Or Visigoth.

Is there Visigoth writing?

Medievalist
10-30-2012, 05:59 AM
Modern English too. I'm impressed. Usually we get some Sumerian in there. Or Visigoth.

Is there Visigoth writing?

Yes, though not a lot of it. Some Bible texts, and names and short bits. More than we have of other related languages, less than, say, Old French or Old Irish.

It's totally bizarre too; see Gothic Language.

:D

calieber
10-30-2012, 06:19 AM
Isn't the notion of the writer, publisher, and bookseller typically being different people a relatively recent one, Victorian era or so? If so, "traditional" is of dubious accuracy at best.

calieber
10-30-2012, 06:21 AM
Yes, though not a lot of it. Some Bible texts, and names and short bits. More than we have of other related languages, less than, say, Old French or Old Irish.

It's totally bizarre too; see Gothic Language.

I just designed a tattoo I want to get, using the Gothic alphabet.

Medievalist
10-30-2012, 06:31 AM
Isn't the notion of the writer, publisher, and bookseller typically being different people a relatively recent one, Victorian era or so? If so, "traditional" is of dubious accuracy at best.

Sort of, but there were lots of variations. There were assembly-line sorts of medieval manuscripts in the late 1400-1600s.

You could look at sample books and pick out what you wanted. And there were booksellers who sold similar books, and had workshops providing them exclusively to them. We have tax records for them, and contracts with scribes and artists.

There were also truly what we'd call self-published writers. John Lydgate appears to have been very much interested in creating and selling manuscripts of his works. It looks like the really famous Canterbury Tales manuscript may have been if not commissioned at least overseen by Chaucer in terms of its production. Christine de Pizan very much was involved in the production of her works as finished and beautifully made manuscripts, right down to picking the illuminators.

By the time of the printing press being common, you had printers like Samuel Richardson who allowed certain booksellers to sell his books, as well as letting people buy them directly from him. And there were businesses that specialized in binding unbound folios, too, so you you could get your fancy-schmancy leather bound book, or you "cheap" buckram . . .

Haggis
10-30-2012, 06:32 AM
I just designed a tattoo I want to get, using the Gothic alphabet.
Nice, but you spelled "Chihuahua" wrong. :)

Laer Carroll
10-30-2012, 06:43 AM
I switched over to "trade publishing" as soon as I realized it's alternative was inaccurate. But most of the posts I've seen over the years who used "traditional publishing" did not strike me as their posters meaning to be insulting. They were just ignorant of the correct terminology.

I suggest many of you are being overly sensitive. Just politely correct the offenders and go on to more important matters - such as working on your books.

Medievalist
10-30-2012, 07:10 AM
Isn't the notion of the writer, publisher, and bookseller typically being different people a relatively recent one, Victorian era or so? If so, "traditional" is of dubious accuracy at best.

It occurred to me after the fact that I should note that copyright is very much the right to copy, that is to print and distribute a work.

And it's an old problem. The earliest editions of Shakespeare's individual plays, and his Sonnets, were "bootleg."

A printer got access, probably for money, to an actor's prompt copy of a play, or two actors, even, and illegally without permission from Shakespeare or the theater that "owned" the plays, printed them and sold them.

The crown got involved, not so much because of concerns about artists being cheated, but because often such works weren't licensed (the crown got no money) or were thins that possibly the crown would rather weren't printed.

I'm skipping about 280 years of history here, so be warned.

Williebee
10-30-2012, 07:41 AM
I suggest many of you are being overly sensitive. Just politely correct the offenders and go on to more important matters - such as working on your books.

It's pretty easy to forgive the "overly sensitive" responses, once you look at how the term has been used by the morally bankrupt to use and abuse beginning and uninformed writers (see any of the neverending PublishAmerica threads. (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153982&highlight=PAMB))

Stacia Kane
10-30-2012, 07:57 AM
I suggest many of you are being overly sensitive. Just politely correct the offenders and go on to more important matters - such as working on your books.


http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y153/sidgirl/patronizing2.jpg





You know, it's a good thing that so many of us here waste time on unimportant matters, like helping others, because if we all followed your advice there wouldn't be much of a forum here, would there?

But next time you have a question, I'll remember that you think I should be doing important things like working on my books, instead of helping you, and will behave accordingly.

MacAllister
10-30-2012, 08:27 AM
I suggest many of you are being overly sensitive. Just politely correct the offenders and go on to more important matters - such as working on your books.

You know, I still remember this exchange where you WERE politely corrected (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7603360), simply and without a lot of handwaving -- what was that, a month ago? Two? Quite the well-traveled sage, there, aren't ya, that you're going to dispense advice from on high.

If you try really hard, I bet you can sound like an even bigger doofus.

Go for it.

We'll just stand off to one side, hold your beer, and watch, m'kay?

Medievalist
10-30-2012, 09:50 AM
I just designed a tattoo I want to get, using the Gothic alphabet.

Careful.

It's starts with a simple tattoo, and then you're in the middle of a Ph.D. and 70K in hock . . .

Old Hack
10-30-2012, 11:16 AM
thothguard51 - Well... the US and the UK, I suppose, but only because I can't say for certain how the industry works in the EU and South America

The UK is part of the EU. Just so you know.


I switched over to "trade publishing" as soon as I realized it's alternative was inaccurate. But most of the posts I've seen over the years who used "traditional publishing" did not strike me as their posters meaning to be insulting. They were just ignorant of the correct terminology.

I prefer writers to use the term "trade publishing" for all sorts of reasons. One of those reasons is that if they want a trade publishing deal they're going to have to deal with lots of people who work in trade publishing, most of whom will be completely flummoxed when presented with the term "traditional publishing". I know that some agents and editors who blog use the term quite happily now: but most agents and editors do not blog, and have no idea what the term means.

In other words, if you want to look like you know what you're talking about, don't use the term "traditional publishing".


I suggest many of you are being overly sensitive. Just politely correct the offenders and go on to more important matters - such as working on your books.

So long as I see the term used in this part of AW I will correct it.

It's not a matter of being overly sensitive: but if people can't be bothered to be courteous enough to follow the guidelines, then perhaps they shouldn't be granted the privilege of posting here.


And it's an old problem. The earliest editions of Shakespeare's individual plays, and his Sonnets, were "bootleg."

A printer got access, probably for money, to an actor's prompt copy of a play, or two actors, even, and illegally without permission from Shakespeare or the theater that "owned" the plays, printed them and sold them.

Didn't Shakespeare make his money by having his plays performed? The print editions of the time, such as they were, were almost an afterthought, I thought.

Medievalist
10-30-2012, 12:17 PM
Didn't Shakespeare make his money by having his plays performed? The print editions of the time, such as they were, were almost an afterthought, I thought.

With the possible exception of The Sonnets, he likely didn't get a dime from the printed versions, any of them.

In fact, it's increasingly looking like the sonnets 1609 version were not only bootleg, but that Shakespeare may have attempted to stop their publication (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104317503).

Joemassaro
10-30-2012, 09:09 PM
I don't know. It all seems semantic: Trade, traditional. Personally, the word for me is published followed by the word paid. :) I really don't care where or how I'm published as long as people are reading my books and I'm making my idea of an ok living from it. That said, it probably is best to know the terminology of the industry you want to work in. If most publishing houses and agents use the word "trade" then it's probably best to use that word if you're dealing with them. Then, when you get your cushy book deal, you can come back here and tell everyone you just secured a great "traditional" publishing deal. :)
Joe

fadeaccompli
10-30-2012, 09:20 PM
I don't know. It all seems semantic: Trade, traditional.

...but...

We're writers.

Semantics are what we care about.

If someone writes a book full of sentences like "And then the puerile offspring catchified the lighting bug in his graspy digits, all blubbery winsome in his oddment raiment," I'm not going to shrug and go, well, semantics. Words mean things, or what's the point in writing?

benbradley
10-30-2012, 11:38 PM
Much of the derision of the use of the phrase "traditional publisher" is toward a certain "publisher" that uses it, claiming "We're a TRADITIONAL publisher because we pay our authors an ADVANCE!" I don't even know if they/it still does that anymore, but I'd rather be paid thousands of dollars for an advance rather than the one dollar this "publisher" pays/paid, while claiming to "make your book available" to the public, yet the author ends up buying virtually all copies sold. Look at the subforums under "Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check" to see the big glaring (but not only) example of this.

Calling the business trade publishing works, but the word commercial publishing is also widely used. These are the publishers whose books are in bookstores and on the best sellers lists, and if you want to make the most money with your books and to be the most widely read, these "trade" or "commercial" publishers are the ones you go with.

Joemassaro
10-30-2012, 11:39 PM
...but...

We're writers.

Semantics are what we care about.

If someone writes a book full of sentences like "And then the puerile offspring catchified the lighting bug in his graspy digits, all blubbery winsome in his oddment raiment," I'm not going to shrug and go, well, semantics. Words mean things, or what's the point in writing?

Words do mean things, but in this case is it really the meaning of the words or just arguing over their meaning for the sake of arguing? Just seems pointless to me, but I'm not much for arguing over what I see as largely splitting hairs.
Joe

Old Hack
10-30-2012, 11:48 PM
There's a specific meaning to the term "trade publishing".

There is not a specific meaning to the term "traditional publishing".

Read the thread back carefully. Read the guidelines for the Self Publishing room, and the links provided therein. Then you might begin to understand.

merrihiatt
10-30-2012, 11:53 PM
Having been sucked in by my naïveté, lack of knowledge and the words "traditional publisher," I can tell you from personal experience it matters. As a writer, every word matters. What may seem like splitting hairs is clear communication and mutual understanding to me.

Medievalist
10-30-2012, 11:58 PM
Words do mean things, but in this case is it really the meaning of the words or just arguing over their meaning for the sake of arguing? Just seems pointless to me, but I'm not much for arguing over what I see as largely splitting hairs.
Joe

How very odd. That rather reminds me of this:


'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'
'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. 'They've a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they're the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'
'Would you tell me please,' said Alice, 'what that means?'
'Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. 'I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'
'That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.
'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I always pay it extra.'
'Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.
'Ah, you should see 'em come round me of a Saturday night,' Humpty Dumpty went on, wagging his head gravely from side to side, 'for to get their wages, you know.'
(Alice didn't venture to ask what he paid them with; and so you see I can't tell you.)

Joemassaro
10-31-2012, 12:20 AM
There's a specific meaning to the term "trade publishing".

There is not a specific meaning to the term "traditional publishing".

Read the thread back carefully. Read the guidelines for the Self Publishing room, and the links provided therein. Then you might begin to understand.

I understand. I just don't care enough to argue one way or another. It's a non issue to me. As I said, to me it's splitting hairs. I'm ok with either term. For those who feel passionate about it, they can argue the merits. Me...meh. Just don't see anything worth arguing over and neither side is likely to convince the other.
Joe

Old Hack
10-31-2012, 12:43 AM
I understand. I just don't care enough to argue one way or another. It's a non issue to me. As I said, to me it's splitting hairs. I'm ok with either term. For those who feel passionate about it, they can argue the merits. Me...meh. Just don't see anything worth arguing over and neither side is likely to convince the other.
Joe

Mr Massaro, let me introduce you to Ms Accompli. I think you missed her earlier entrance.


...but...

We're writers.

Semantics are what we care about.

If someone writes a book full of sentences like "And then the puerile offspring catchified the lighting bug in his graspy digits, all blubbery winsome in his oddment raiment," I'm not going to shrug and go, well, semantics. Words mean things, or what's the point in writing?

You're welcome.

Joemassaro
10-31-2012, 12:55 AM
Mr Massaro, let me introduce you to Ms Accompli. I think you missed her earlier entrance.



You're welcome.


I didn't miss it. In fact, I responded directly to the post. I just didn't agree. As I said, in my opinion (and that is what it is) this is being made into more than it need be. I didn't join this forum to argue over book publishing terminology and have no intention of doing so. Particularly since I do not have any strong feelings over the terms being discussed. I respect your right to hold a differing opinion. Please respect my right to do the same.
Joe

benbradley
10-31-2012, 01:04 AM
All together now... :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

evilrooster
10-31-2012, 01:16 AM
As I said, in my opinion (and that is what it is) this is being made into more than it need be. I didn't join this forum to argue over book publishing terminology and have no intention of doing so. Particularly since I do not have any strong feelings over the terms being discussed. I respect your right to hold a differing opinion. Please respect my right to do the same.
Joe

The person currently doing the making much of it is you. Whatever reason you had for joining the forum, what you're currently doing in it is arguing over book publishing terminology. If that's not what you want to do, the solution lies entirely in your power. Simply find another thread and join another conversation. It's not like we're short of discussions here.

And of course you can feel free to hold the opinion that this vocabulary doesn't matter. That will make it less trouble for you to follow the guidelines of this community.

There. That was simple.

AW Admin
10-31-2012, 02:21 AM
I respect your right to hold a differing opinion. Please respect my right to do the same.
Joe

Mr. Massaro

You seem to be struggling here.

Let me point you to the stickie regarding the guidelines (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=249332) for this area, already linked to.

Let me also point out, since you're really not catching on, that when the moderator politely points out you're engaging in unacceptable behavior, it makes me cranky when you continue it.

It is not advisable to continue in this vein.

Old Hack
10-31-2012, 02:53 AM
I didn't miss it. In fact, I responded directly to the post. I just didn't agree. As I said, in my opinion (and that is what it is) this is being made into more than it need be. I didn't join this forum to argue over book publishing terminology and have no intention of doing so. Particularly since I do not have any strong feelings over the terms being discussed. I respect your right to hold a differing opinion. Please respect my right to do the same.
Joe

I do respect your right to hold opinions which differ from mine.

I just am incredulous that someone who spends time on a writers' forum thinks that the precise use of words isn't important.

Kriven
11-01-2012, 02:37 AM
http://rivertems.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/popular_opinion.jpg

MorganMarshall
11-09-2012, 04:10 AM
What an interesting discussion. I honestly have always used "traditional" as an honoring label. To me, "traditional" reminds me of all the great authors who came before us, who set the standards of literature. They were traditional. Why would that ever be a bad thing?

Alessandra Kelley
11-09-2012, 04:39 AM
What an interesting discussion. I honestly have always used "traditional" as an honoring label. To me, "traditional" reminds me of all the great authors who came before us, who set the standards of literature. They were traditional. Why would that ever be a bad thing?

I suppose part of the difficulty is whenever you "honor" someone with a name or title they do not recognize, did not choose, have no voice in, and do not like, they may not take it in the spirit in which you apparently intended.

This, I believe, holds true whatever the people you are so "honoring" are.

fadeaccompli
11-09-2012, 04:43 AM
I think that calling trade publishing "traditional publishing" is a bit like referring to universities as "big kid schools". Technically accurate in some respects, and possibly even used as a term of approval, but highly indicative of a speaker who's not very familiar with what they're discussing.

Medievalist
11-09-2012, 04:46 AM
What an interesting discussion. I honestly have always used "traditional" as an honoring label. To me, "traditional" reminds me of all the great authors who came before us, who set the standards of literature. They were traditional. Why would that ever be a bad thing?

Because it's vague and frequently has less than positive connotations.

Moreover, the phrase "traditional publishing" has no context and thus makes the user sound at best amateurish, and quite possibly, profoundly ignorant.

MorganMarshall
11-09-2012, 04:53 AM
Well, that's definitely a point of view issue, then. These kinds of things are always hard, as everyone has a different filter between what they hear and what they take from it. Maybe a good lesson to take from this (besides "be careful how you word things, even when you mean to be complimentary"), is not to automatically jump to conclusions about people based on terminology they use? On both sides, I mean.

Medievalist
11-09-2012, 05:14 AM
Well, that's definitely a point of view issue, then. These kinds of things are always hard, as everyone has a different filter between what they hear and what they take from it. Maybe a good lesson to take from this (besides "be careful how you word things, even when you mean to be complimentary"), is not to automatically jump to conclusions about people based on terminology they use? On both sides, I mean.

There's another lesson as well.

Read the stickies (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=249332).

MorganMarshall
11-09-2012, 05:19 AM
Duly noted. However, considering that this thread is about the particular use of this word ("traditional"), I don't see how discussing the choices people make in word usage is out of the realm of the subject.

RichardGarfinkle
11-09-2012, 05:21 AM
Well, that's definitely a point of view issue, then. These kinds of things are always hard, as everyone has a different filter between what they hear and what they take from it. Maybe a good lesson to take from this (besides "be careful how you word things, even when you mean to be complimentary"), is not to automatically jump to conclusions about people based on terminology they use? On both sides, I mean.

Symmetry really doesn't apply here. People (and groups) have a right to say what they prefer to be called. You may choose to call them other than that. But if you consider the practice of imposing nicknames on people and non-complimentary terms used for groups, you will, presumably, see that one is not obliged to accept another person's term for oneself or one's group.

MorganMarshall
11-09-2012, 05:23 AM
So the assumption, then, is that I am not a part of this group myself? I honestly have never heard of the term being offensive before this, and I have been in the writing "game" for a very long time. I know many professional writers, both through networking and SCBWI, and again, I have never heard this. I apologize if it is offensive, but my point is not knowing that it is to some does not automatically make the one using it rude, crass, or otherwise negatively-meaning.

Alessandra Kelley
11-09-2012, 05:37 AM
So the assumption, then, is that I am not a part of this group myself? I honestly have never heard of the term being offensive before this, and I have been in the writing "game" for a very long time. I know many professional writers, both through networking and SCBWI, and again, I have never heard this. I apologize if it is offensive, but my point is not knowing that it is to some does not automatically make the one using it rude, crass, or otherwise negatively-meaning.

Except now you have been told this, again and again, by numerous people, several of whom are very experienced and prominent in the publishing world. That you had not heard it before is no longer relevant.

You may not have meant rudeness when you came into this discussion.

Now that you have heard from many different people that that term is ignorant, at best, and offensive, at worst, the rudeness of your behavior can be judged by whether you cease to use it or you try to defend it.

MorganMarshall
11-09-2012, 05:46 AM
I am aware that it is offensive now, thank you. I am not defending anyone's right to continue using a word they know is offensive, including mine. That is not a right I believe in, myself. What I am saying is, be gentle to those who might not know. In many cases, they aren't trying to offend. Jumping to conclusions that they are is not productive to anything or anyone.

That said, I still don't understand WHY it is considered offensive. That doesn't mean I don't knowledge that it is, or that I think anyone is wrong in being offended by it, it just means I don't understand why it would be considered offensive myself. It's possible, too, that I'm not the only one. ;)

Alessandra Kelley
11-09-2012, 05:53 AM
I am aware that it is offensive now, thank you. I am not defending anyone's right to continue using a word they know is offensive, including mine. That is not a right I believe in, myself. What I am saying is, be gentle to those who might not know. In many cases, they aren't trying to offend. Jumping to conclusions that they are is not productive to anything or anyone.

What has this entire thread been except being gentle to those who might not know?

Many members here have explained, carefully and in great detail, why the term is offensive and why people should not use it.

At no point did they begin with the assumption that anyone here was being wilfully offensive.

Whom are you arguing against and where are their arguments? You are scolding people for doing something they have not done.

MorganMarshall
11-09-2012, 05:57 AM
I'm not scolding. I am simply stating that everyone should be understanding to others. I'm also not saying people aren't. I am simply stating my own thoughts on the subject.

Polenth
11-09-2012, 05:57 AM
So the assumption, then, is that I am not a part of this group myself? I honestly have never heard of the term being offensive before this, and I have been in the writing "game" for a very long time. I know many professional writers, both through networking and SCBWI, and again, I have never heard this. I apologize if it is offensive, but my point is not knowing that it is to some does not automatically make the one using it rude, crass, or otherwise negatively-meaning.

I'm indifferent about traditional versus trade, but this also isn't my space. It belongs to the moderators (loosely speaking), and they've stated they find traditional hurtful and don't want it used. I don't have to understand it to respect that. And I've never felt a need to argue about the use either, because the thing with indifference is it's a "okay then" not a "but why not!!"

The issue with the way you've approached things in a number of threads now, you're going for aggressive right from the first post. It's as though you're looking for a fight, but then you're surprised when the fight finds you. I don't know if you're just hurt from rejections or something else is going on, but whatever it is, remember it's not the fault of people here. They shouldn't have to don the riot gear before replying to you.

MorganMarshall
11-09-2012, 06:08 AM
you're going for aggressive right from the first post. It's as though you're looking for a fight, but then you're surprised when the fight finds you.

Wow. That's... eye-opening. I seriously, honestly, and sincerely have not intended to come off as aggressive at all. (Save one post which I have already apologized vehemently for.) Wow. I had no idea I was coming off as aggressive. My first post in this thread was aggressive? I would like to ask how. NOT to argue the point, but to see where everyone else's points of view on this are, so I can possibly not seem aggressive anymore?

Alessandra Kelley
11-09-2012, 06:08 AM
That said, I still don't understand WHY it is considered offensive. That doesn't mean I don't knowledge that it is, or that I think anyone is wrong in being offended by it, it just means I don't understand why it would be considered offensive myself. It's possible, too, that I'm not the only one. ;)

As for your second, amended point, please read this thread. It states everything pretty clearly.

J. Tanner
11-09-2012, 06:46 AM
That said, I still don't understand WHY it is considered offensive.

You missed this post I guess. Pretty much says it all.
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7709713&postcount=8

Kriven
11-09-2012, 11:43 PM
Symmetry really doesn't apply here. People (and groups) have a right to say what they prefer to be called. You may choose to call them other than that. But if you consider the practice of imposing nicknames on people and non-complimentary terms used for groups, you will, presumably, see that one is not obliged to accept another person's term for oneself or one's group.

So if self-published authors want to be called Indie Authors, they're to be called Indie Authors, right?

Because that's the logic at work here.

Medievalist
11-09-2012, 11:47 PM
So if self-published authors want to be called Indie Authors, they're to be called Indie Authors, right?

Because that's the logic at work here.

Sure they can.

And if I want to call myself an astrophysicist, I can.

That still doesn't me an astrophysicist.

MacAllister
11-09-2012, 11:48 PM
I am SO done with this.

There's an expected level of discourse on these forums. That includes using industry terminology correctly, for the sake of clarity. Those definitions have been provided, over and over again.

None of you are stupid. None of you are incapable of parsing meaning. We're all here to write.

So knock off the bullshit. This is verging on trolling, at this point. Stop it.

The end.