[b-hebrew] Sign Your Messages Please

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Mon Aug 6 06:42:05 EDT 2007

On 06/08/2007 00:41, Bill Rea wrote:
> ...
> I haven't seen an official answer so I'll explain the issue as I
> see it. On this list professional Hebrew scholars co-exist with
> amateurs. In order for the reader to make some sort of informed
> decision on what weight to place on individual's postings it is
> helpful to know who they are, what, if any, institutional affiliations
> they may have, and what qualifications they may hold. A number of
> residents have views which are well out of the mainstream.
> As an example of when such information may be helpful is when
> one of these non-standard views are advanced. One may choose
> to place more weight on a view which comes from a tenured
> academic with a Ph.D. than an amateur who refuses to buy or
> read standard reference works. Of course, you are also free
> to disregard all such information.
The problem with this is that we have people on the list who present 
themselves, presumably accurately, with a respectable academic 
affiliation. Some, like you, make it clear that this is nothing to do 
with Hebrew. Others do not make this so clear, but in fact their 
academic field is unrelated to Hebrew. When such people present their 
"views which are well out of the mainstream" they appear to be giving 
these views some professional authority which they do not have. I would 
suggest that the policy should be amended to discourage use of 
affiliations irrelevant to Hebrew, because they are nothing to do with 
language, biblical studies etc. - at least unless this irrelevance is 
clearly specified.

Indeed I would expect the academic institutions in question to be upset 
that their name is being put to "views which are well out of the 

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://www.qaya.org/blog/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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