A Conversation for Hoover the Talking Seal

but is it really speech?

Post 1

Charli*Wolf

I'm not denying this is a fascinating entry, nor that i enjoyed reading it. But can it be called 'talking'? He was imitating human speech, sure, but he didnt know what he was saying...or did he? I may be wrong, but I call that mimicking not speaking. The accuracy is astonishing in its own right, but speech it surely aint.
smiley - erm


but is it really speech?

Post 2

Researcher 1300304

he appeared in readers digest. so it is all totally accurate.


but is it really speech?

Post 3

laconian

I agree the speech is really just the sound, and that the seal could not actually communicate through the sounds he made. I've tried to be quite sparing with the word 'speech' in the entry for this reason. smiley - erm Do you think the distinction is clear enough?


but is it really speech?

Post 4

Researcher 1300304

bit thin on references.


but is it really speech?

Post 5

laconian

Well, I don't think h2g2 is quite like Wikipedia. It doesn't require an exhaustive list of references. If you'd pick out some of the bits you think need more detail or an explanatory link (or anything really) I'll see what I can do smiley - smiley.


but is it really speech?

Post 6

Researcher 1300304

just that since you criticised a source a little while back i figured you would be diligent about the matter yourself. i wasn't expecting an 'exhaustive' list of references...this has zero.

other than that the piece seems to have no established facts in it whatever. i appreciate you intended it as some sort of humour, but should things be edited entries when it is indistinguishable from fiction?


but is it really speech?

Post 7

laconian

I don't remember criticising a source but I presume you're referring to the Greenpeace thread. I thought that was dead and buried.

I still don't really know what you mean. Could you give some examples of a lack of established facts? I intended it as a light piece, and there is humour in it, though I didn't push that point too much. I think this is distinguishable from fiction, as did the reviewers in Peer Review. However, as I said, any constructive comments will be much appreciated.


but is it really speech?

Post 8

Researcher 1300304

'constructive criticism' is a euphemism for compliments perhaps? smiley - smiley


since the thing is up already it's a bit late for the 'constructive' part of criticism. i was merely adding to the obvious question posed by the header post 'is it really speech?'. i expect almost everyone reading the entry will ask themselves the same question. it is a pity it wasn't treated properly in the entry with appropriate support or at least pointing to a place where it was treated properly.

i was referring to your wiki reference in an above post. arguing that it isn't supposed to be like wiki (agreed) rather beggars the question. what is it supposed to be like? i don't think this means guide entries have to be entirely without references.

i'm not saying you did, but for all i know you could have just made all this up.


but is it really speech?

Post 9

laconian

No, I'm not fishing for compliments. It's just there's little I can change based on the comments you have given me thus far, except perhaps saying that whether Hoover really spoke rather depends on how one defines speech.

The Guide has improved in terms of the updating process of late, so if I think it's necessary I can have changes made without too much fuss. I think one of the key things about h2g2 is the conversation fora attached to the Entries. They are an important part of the entry, so I see this discussion as forming part of the text.

I did use the word 'speech' sparingly (and used quotation marks), though. Perhaps I should have made more of a point of it, though.

As for what h2g2 is supposed to be like, I would argue it's not supposed to be like anything. It's just supposed to be. A while ago there was a series of entries on the subject of h2g2's place in 'Internet-land'. There have also been several talking points along similar lines, the most recent being A29268390. You will find people have wildly differing opinions on what h2g2 is for.


but is it really speech?

Post 10

Researcher 1300304

odd reply since it was you said it wasn't supposed to be like wiki. that rather implies that you do think it is supposed to have a particular form. unless the law of identity changed when i wasn't looking. (philosophy pun intended) smiley - smiley

as for the other stuff, i have been here for 3 years now and managed to navigate my way around the place and the issues to which you refer. but the link will stand as useful for newcomers i guess.

i agree with the header post. it isn't speech. and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, any entry which entertains the possibility that it is, enters the realm of fiction. i would say the same about similarly open and uncited entries on martians or astral travelling.


but is it really speech?

Post 11

laconian

Agreed. Do you think that point is got across in the entry? I only use the word 'speech' four times. One is on Hoover *imitating* speech. Another is in inverted commas and another refers to the '*sounds* of speech'. The exception is

"Interestingly, all his speech was delivered with a strong New England accent"

Which perhaps could be changed smiley - erm.


but is it really speech?

Post 12

Researcher 1300304

this stuff on the front page doesn't help.

'Hoover the Talking Seal - As unbelievable as it sounds, this is a true-to-life account of a seal that spoke to the humans.'


i mean. it's in the title. 'talking seal'

and let's be blunt, if it isn't actually talking there isn't anything to write an entry about. unless the entry were about scientific or commercial fraud of some sort.




but is it really speech?

Post 13

laconian

Since we're being blunt. I do wonder why you decided to pick out this particular entry in the Guide. I think it's written in a way common to many entries. I suppose that's rhetorical, because I have more than an inkling why.

I think you're missing the point here. The title says 'talking seal'. It's a tag. Rather better than 'vocalising seal'. It's obviously not talking. There's plenty to talk about, because it's not exactly commonplace for seals to be able to vocalise. Now, if you've quite finished picking holes in this entry as a result as a disagreement in another conversation, I think we'll end this here.


but is it really speech?

Post 14

Researcher 1300304

i am not picking on you at all. i didn't raise the question, merely supported it.

as the header post said, it's an interesting read...but.


likewise, the stuff about wiki compasrisons etc was raised by you, not me. you can hardly raise an issue and then fault me for continuing a conversation out of what is really no more than a courtesy.


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