Rick's right (why am I not surprised?):
> Traditionally title pages of papers were not numbered--just as you
> wouldn't number the title page of a book. But the style is changing,
> I think. One reason is that computers rule, and a lot of users
> wouldn't know how to tell their wordprocessors to number as page one
> what the software counts as the 2nd page of of the document. In
> short, there are two ways of looking at this: one makes sense to the
> human mind which is capable of perceiving the title page as not a
> real page; the other makes sense to the software, which has not been
> programmed for such subtlety.
But (and Rick won't be surprised that I have a "but" [no snickers,
please]) . . .
Sure, this is made harder by puters -- who hasn't been tacked off by a
*.pdf file which numbers its pages from the first screen, regardless
of actual page numbers, so what _says_ "page 7" at the bottom is
identified by the program as "p. 11" or something?
This really underlines the point I made, though: what I think we
should be doing is equipping our students to navigate these issues as
they change, and continue to change; to understand why they are the
way they are (how many of your students know that the hoary tradition
of double spacing papers comes from the need for editors to have space
to instruct typesetters?) and seeing what's important about them, in
terms of gaining effective entry to the discourse communities you want
to be part of.
Department of English
St. Thomas University
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