[APG Public List] Genealogy Program Specifications

eshown at comcast.net eshown at comcast.net
Fri Nov 12 10:49:12 MST 2010

Jacqueline wrote:
>John, I m on another list (not genie) and was told to put my sig line on my
You raise a point that makes a valuable lesson for many of our colleagues
who aren't formally a member of academia.
If I correctly recall an earlier post you made about this, wasn't that other
non-genealogical list a list heavily populated by academic historians? If
so, we have to consider the different "cultures" involved and the criteria
that underpins those cultures. 
On academic lists, institutional affiliations are usually cited. Degrees and
other "resume-type" things are not-except for the distinction of being a
student. The first two lines you used in your "sig line" for this list (at
bottom of this message) would be commonplace. The email address would be
unobjectionable, but might trigger idle curiosity. The last four lines,
however, would ill-serve you in an academic environment-for at least three
1.     The traditional divide between genealogists and historians still
exists. It has been narrowed in some areas; but the chasm is immensely wide
in others. 
2.     Academic historians look askance at individuals without history
degrees (preferably advanced degrees) who call themselves "historians."
3.     In the English language (as per CMS, MLA, xyz, etc.), occupations are
not capitalized unless they are are part of a formal title. If we describe
ourselves as an indexer or a genealogist, the word that describes our
occupation would not be capitalized, unless the word is part of an official
designation or title, as in 
-       Mary Doe, member, American Society of Indexing
-       Mary Doe, Certified Genealogist, Accredited Genealogist
In your own signature line, on a genealogy list:
-       "IASPR Newsletter Editor" should be entirely appropriate, because
(I'm guessing) it is an official appointment-as with, say, Melinde Sanborn,
NGSQ Coeditor.
-       "Deputy Sheriff for Publications of the Chicago Corral of the
Westerners" would be appropriate in the same vein that "Julie Potter Miller,
Vice President, National Genealogical Society" appropriately adheres to CMS,
MLA, xyz, and etc.
On any genealogical or historical list,
-       "Masters student, Dept. US Military History, American Military List"
satisfies Miss Thistlebottom and academia.
But, on a list heavily populated by academics of any type (or in making
presentations at academic forums), if we take an occupational category and
capitalize it as though it were an official appointment, it is viewed as
"puffery" and our own image suffers.
Elizabeth Shown Mills, B.A., CG, CGL, FASG
A former and sometime editor, but not Editor J
A history major who publishes in academic history journals, but not a
Historian J
And a poster who would not use those smiley faces on an academic list <g>  
Jacqueline Wilson  
Evanston, IL
Masters Student,  Dept. US Military History
American Military University
wilssearch at gmail.com
Professional Indexer, Historian, and Genealogist
Deputy Sheriff for Publications of the Chicago Corral of the Westerners
IASPR Newsletter Editor
"Wilssearch - your service of choice for the indexing challenged
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