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It's a joke, Dare. I don't think he would have interpreted it
in any way except to give it spin that generates hits. That's
the press in action. No one fails to get hits savaging MS.
MS is the Tallulah Bankhead of software.
On the other hand, Don could use annotative markup to go back
and do that. It may seem like "spin" but it could be explicit.
Given the ambiguities of our languages, the ways in which reuse
can foster misunderstanding, having an annotative intensional
system can be of value. Given the ubiquity of the web, it
might even be a dire necessity for luminaries. :-)
From: Dare Obasanjo [mailto:email@example.com]
How would HumanML have changed the meaning of the fact that the writer of the column decided to provide a direct quote without context? If the author wasn't bothered enough to add an adverb like 'jokingly', 'sardonically', 'ironically', 'humorously', etc before the quote what makes you think he'd take even more effort to write some markup to surround the quote and have it rendered with a smiley :) or some other similar visual clue that would then probably vary from browser to browser.