[ih] Any suggestions for first uses of "e-mail" or "email"?

Andrew Russell arussell at stevens.edu
Tue Aug 4 11:56:12 PDT 2015

> On Aug 4, 2015, at 2:26 PM, John Klensin <jklensin at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 2:02 PM, Andrew Russell <arussell at stevens.edu> wrote:
>> No, we haven’t.  I (and several co-authors) made this exact point in:
>> ...
>> … and I’m sure I’m forgetting many more similar analyses by historians, published and not, by me and by others.
>> I would like to think that journalists and their readers would understand (or at least try to understand) that a technology can be “invented” or “developed” by one community, but a popular name for that technology can be “coined” by someone else; that priority in coinage is not necessarily causality in invention and usage (we don’t use “email" *because* Shiva A called it that in the late 70s); and that invention and innovation are not the most significant or interesting aspects of technological and social change.  But you’ll forgive me for thinking that I’m fighting a losing battle along multiple fronts.
> Sorry Andy.  I've read a few of those papers and others and obviously
> agree.  I construed Jack's remark as more of a reminder to those of us
> who tend to focused on the Internet about the importance of looking
> more broadly when some of these questions come up rather than as a
> criticism of the historical community and responded on that basis.
> No disrespect or implication that you folks had not been doing your
> jobs intended.
>    john

Thanks - no apology necessary - upon re-reading it, my tone had more huff than I intended.  I read Jack’s email when my blood pressure hadn’t settled after watching the CBS/Henry Ford segment on the invention of email at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9od6oIqHDH0.  

In any case, I think we all agree that there is plenty of research that we (historians and our allies) need to do.  And, we can always do more to get more accurate and more nuanced stories into public view, even if we’re frustrated by the results.  



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