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On defining "network":

The first published definition of "network" was, I believe, Samuel Johnson's, in his Dictionary of the English Language (1755):  "Any thing reticulated or decussated, at equal distances, with interstices between the intersections."

In his own Dictionary of Quotations, 20th Century philologist Bergen Evans said of this definition:  "This remains one of the best definitions of network we have.... Of all Johnson's definitions, this excited most ridicule.  But the obvious is not easy to define; of necessity, the simplest must be defined in terms less simple" (1968:483).

--Alvin Wolfe

-----Original Message-----
From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Cassidy, Erin
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 2:59 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: wikipedia vs. simple wikipedia


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Joshua,

I agree with you. I just wanted to point out that this was not their comprehensive site.

Cheers!

Erin Cassidy
tel/tél: 990-9272 | fax/télécopieur: 941-0986 [log in to unmask] Planning and Performance Management | Planification et gestion du rendement National Research Council Canada | M58, 1200 Montreal RoadConseil national de recherches Canada | M58 1200, chemin Montréal Ottawa, Canada K1A 0R6

-----Original Message-----
From: Joshua O'Madadhain [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: January 4, 2005 2:53 PM
To: Cassidy, Erin
Cc: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SOCNET] wikipedia vs. simple wikipedia

On 4 Jan 2005, at 9:57, Cassidy, Erin wrote:

> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
> A humbly submitted clarification regarding wikipedia's inaccurate
> description of SNA. The previous email referred to the definition at
> this
> URL:
> http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network
>
> The simple in the URL indicates that this is not the standard
> Wikipedia. Simple English uses fewer words and easier grammar than the
> original English Wikipedia. It is focused on readers who tend to be
> quite different
> people with different needs: students, children, and translators. From:
> http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Simple_English_Wikipedia
>
> Wikipedia's "real" article can be found here:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network

Erin:

Thanks for clarifying the distinction.  However, simplicity doesn't have to imply inaccuracy.  (Imprecision, perhaps.)

As a side note, if there are any educators that want to take a stab at the Simple version, neither its language nor its vocabulary strike me as being particularly well-suited to (younger) students or children. (How many children will recognize "contagion", "analytically", "diffusion", or "affect"?)

Regards,

Joshua O'Madadhain

jmadden@ics.uci.edu...Obscurium Per Obscurius...www.ics.uci.edu/~jmadden
Joshua O'Madadhain: Information Scientist, Musician, and Philosopher-At-Tall
   It's that moment of dawning comprehension that I live for--Bill Watterson
   My opinions are too rational and insightful to be those of any organization.

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