Etiquette Hell

Forum Administration => Forum Announcements => Topic started by: Pinky830 on September 18, 2010, 04:10:33 PM

Title: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Pinky830 on September 18, 2010, 04:10:33 PM
Am I the only one who gets irked when people ask this?

If somebody posts a topic that should probably go in Coffee Break in another folder, it's not the end of the world. There's something about posting that question that just seems, I dunno, unnecessarily snippy.

Just ask a mod to move it already, if it really bothers you that much.

Or maybe it's just me...
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: lovestoread on September 18, 2010, 04:21:17 PM
No, i'm with you on this one!!

I can understand why people get annoyed with things being in the wrong folders, but i think that phrasing it that way can be a bit snarky!!
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Hillia on September 18, 2010, 04:22:54 PM
POD
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Shoo on September 18, 2010, 04:23:34 PM
And not every post needs to contain an actual question.  Sometimes just telling a story prompts a lively discussion.  I find the, "Is there an etiquette question here?" question to be rather condescending.

Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: MDefarge on September 18, 2010, 04:31:15 PM
And not every post needs to contain an actual question.  Sometimes just telling a story prompts a lively discussion.  I find the, "Is there an etiquette question here?" question to be rather condescending.



seriously I've never seen that asked in a way that didn't come off as know it all and rude - which is more than a bit ironic.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Scuba_Dog on September 18, 2010, 05:15:55 PM
For me, it depends on if it's a rant/vent disguised as a "story."  Or, if a story just turns into pages and pages of mocking the person in the OPost that made an etiquette blunder.  That seems out of place here.

I *do* happen to think that posts in the etiquette section of the forum should have some sort of etiquette question in them.  I think it's ok to ask the OP what the etiquette dilemma is and if there isn't one, suggest the thread me moved.  Of course, this should be done with as much kindness as possible.  I've only once seen it done in a rude way and it was done by a very new member, who may not have known better.  JMO, YMMV.  :)

eta:  I think I understand now a bit more specifically.  When someone has made a simple posting mistake, it's probably best to just PM them instead of posting in the thread at all. 
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: AprilRenee on September 18, 2010, 05:19:35 PM
THis is why I started putting "No question, just a story" on top of some of my posts. Because sometimes I really don't have a question, I just want to relate something I had witnessed. I think when you insist on a question, that's when you get the ever popular 'did I do ok?' or 'what would you have done' in a post where the OP knows they did well, they just want to avoid the "Whats the question" line.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: M-theory on September 18, 2010, 05:19:59 PM
No, it's not just you. That phrasing is very snotty.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Scuba_Dog on September 18, 2010, 05:20:51 PM
THis is why I started putting "No question, just a story" on top of some of my posts. Because sometimes I really don't have a question, I just want to relate something I had witnessed. I think when you insist on a question, that's when you get the ever popular 'did I do ok?' or 'what would you have done' in a post where the OP knows they did well, they just want to avoid the "Whats the question" line.

I like that idea.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Shores on September 18, 2010, 05:22:52 PM
For me, it depends on if it's a rant/vent disguised as a "story."  Or, if a story just turns into pages and pages of mocking the person in the OPost that made an etiquette blunder.  That seems out of place here.

I *do* happen to think that posts in the etiquette section of the forum should have some sort of etiquette question in them.  I think it's ok to ask the OP what the etiquette dilemma is and if there isn't one, suggest the thread me moved.  Of course, this should be done with as much kindness as possible.  I've only once seen it done in a rude way and it was done by a very new member, who may not have known better.  JMO, YMMV.  :)
ITA with this. I get really tired of the thinly veiled rants that pop up on occasion. I believe I've asked this question 2, maybe 3 times in the 4 years I've been posting on this forum and every time it was a "story" that was really just the OP mocking some example of "rudeness" that they'd seen in real life. I realize that examples of rudeness can start discussions, but overly superior-sounding "Can you BELIEVE someone would do this?!??!" posts are just obnoxious. Usually, I just report posts, but if I think an OP is just ranting, I will ask what the point of the post is.

Telling a "story" with no dilemma and an overly obvious etiquette blunder does not start discussions, just trash-talking. I don't really see the point of "No question, just a story" posts. Why not post them in the off-topic folders instead of the areas specifically designed for advice?
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: AprilRenee on September 18, 2010, 05:26:46 PM


Telling a "story" with no dilemma and an overly obvious etiquette blunder does not start discussions, just trash-talking. I don't really see the point of "No question, just a story" posts. Why not post them in the off-topic folders instead of the areas specifically designed for advice?
I went looking at the main board pages and descriptions. No where, anywhere does it say the ettiquete portions of the boards are only for asking advice. But the off topic folder, the coffee break does say:
Time For a Coffee Break!
A cozy folder for non-etiquette related, get-to-know-you discussions
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Shores on September 18, 2010, 05:30:34 PM


Telling a "story" with no dilemma and an overly obvious etiquette blunder does not start discussions, just trash-talking. I don't really see the point of "No question, just a story" posts. Why not post them in the off-topic folders instead of the areas specifically designed for advice?
I went looking at the main board pages and descriptions. No where, anywhere does it say the ettiquete portions of the boards are only for asking advice. But the off topic folder, the coffee break does say:
Time For a Coffee Break!
A cozy folder for non-etiquette related, get-to-know-you discussions
Fair enough. I guess the only point I was really trying to make is that the few posts that I have seen people ask "what's the question here?" were obvious rants. I haven't honestly seen it asked in any thread where I didn't believe it was justified (not that I read every thread, ofc). I always saw the question as giving the poster a chance to make it fit within the site's rules, rather than simply reporting them for the rant that it usually is. I'd have to see an example of it being used "unfairly" before I'd agree that people shouldn't have the right to question the OP about it. Stories that serve no purpose but to mock someone that the OP has encountered in real life are rants, IMO, not "discussion-starters."
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Wendy Moira Angela Pan on September 18, 2010, 06:04:08 PM
I agree with Shores. I can only recall having seen the question in threads that were more about ranting than a productive discussion. For the people who think it sounds snotty, is there another phrasing that sounds more polite?
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: M-theory on September 18, 2010, 06:07:07 PM
I agree with Shores. I can only recall having seen the question in threads that were more about ranting than a productive discussion. For the people who think it sounds snotty, is there another phrasing that sounds more polite?

"This doesn't seem to be an etiquette issue, so I think it would be better categorized in the off-topic folder."
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Pinky830 on September 18, 2010, 08:21:57 PM
I agree with Shores. I can only recall having seen the question in threads that were more about ranting than a productive discussion. For the people who think it sounds snotty, is there another phrasing that sounds more polite?

I'm referring to posts that were honest questions, just not etiquette ones, and should have been in Coffee Break. I remember once it was a person who had made a pie that hadn't set up right and was asking how to firm it up.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Wendy Moira Angela Pan on September 18, 2010, 08:56:00 PM
I agree with Shores. I can only recall having seen the question in threads that were more about ranting than a productive discussion. For the people who think it sounds snotty, is there another phrasing that sounds more polite?

I'm referring to posts that were honest questions, just not etiquette ones, and should have been in Coffee Break. I remember once it was a person who had made a pie that hadn't set up right and was asking how to firm it up.

In that case, asking if there is an etiquette question comes off as disingenuous, and it would be more polite to outright state that there is a folder for these types of questions.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: penelope2017 on September 18, 2010, 09:02:03 PM
Well, I may have time at some point, but I'm pretty sure I've seen a post(s) from Ehell Dame encouraging longer-term posters to ask this question to keep posts on target. Maybe not for a pie question, but definitely for posts that just seem to complain rather than ask a question. That's why I have felt comfortable asking it in a polite manner.

If I get time, I'll search for it, but I know it exists, because people have argued or said asking this was not necessary before, and I've looked it up before and posted it before.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Lisbeth on September 18, 2010, 09:53:59 PM
There are reasons to post in the etiquette folders besides asking questions.  I'd really prefer that the question not be asked-it does come off as rather snotty and condescending, or at the very least as something that doesn't add anything positive to the thread.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Scritzy on September 18, 2010, 10:31:34 PM
If you think that the post is nothing but a rant/vent, you can always report it.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: AngelicGamer on September 19, 2010, 01:43:04 AM
There are two reasons why I don't post outside of Entertainment sub board and one of them is the question that this thread is being made of.  I think about posting an interesting story and then go "wait - where's my question?".  So the story doesn't get posted and I search for other posts with the same jist that was in my story with no question (first reason I don't post - most of my questions have findable answers). 

I remember the same as another poster about EDame asking about older members to ask about where the question is.  However, it doesn't come up as warming and I'm most of a lurker because of it.  Maybe if it was sandwiched between two nice statements, it might come off better. 

Then again, I don't mind reporting posts that need to be reported to mods.  The mods and EDame do rock.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Amava on September 19, 2010, 02:02:02 AM
Sometimes it really comes off as scolding, condescending and unwelcoming, especially if someone posts merely that one sentence: "I don't see an etiquette question here" or, even worse: "I thought this was an etiquette forum."

If someone actually posts a longer post, trying to be helpful, but at the same time adding "but in my opinion, this is not really an etiquette matter, but a matter of xyz"; or for example "I think this goes beyond etiquette, this is violent behaviour and you don't have to put up with it!" then I think it's good. A poster can express their doubts about something being an etiquette matter without being totally dismissive of the original poster of a topic.

I think, if you have really *nothing* nice to say, don't post. If you have something nice to say + a critical remark that you can make in a polite way, that's fine.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on September 19, 2010, 05:38:36 AM
There are reasons to post in the etiquette folders besides asking questions.  I'd really prefer that the question not be asked-it does come off as rather snotty and condescending, or at the very least as something that doesn't add anything positive to the thread.

I must agree with this. There's no rule that says every post has to have a question. Often, I've noticed, someone will post something and someone will ask that question when it is obvious what the etiquette issue is. If the etiquette issue is obvious, asking "What's the etiquette question?" just makes the asker look like a jerk, or worse, stupid for not noticing what the issue is.

Yes, rants are not allowed. But posting about etiquette blunders and having discussions has never been disallowed. I see a lot of threads that don't relate directly to etiquette but they fall within the bounds of acceptable/unacceptable behaviour, so I leave them alone instead of asking where the question is or reporting them.

Honestly, do some people have nothing better to do than go through the topics and appoint themselves the question police?
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: penelope2017 on September 19, 2010, 07:53:27 AM
If you think that the post is nothing but a rant/vent, you can always report it.

Right - definitely. But if I'm remembering the gist of that post from EhellDame it was that people politely guiding a thread toward an actual question or encouraging posters to seek out an etiquette issue or question in the OP helps the mods out - which is why she said she encouraged long-timers to do that. I'll find it at some point, but it does exist.

I guess I don't see a poster can't ask it politely, or I've even seen some really polite responses in which a poster will say, "To answer what might be your etiquette question..." and then respond.



Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: penelope2017 on September 19, 2010, 08:30:26 AM

Here's part of a post from EhellDame from this thread (bolding mine):

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=22841.msg533987#msg533987

Every folder in the main section is an advice requested folder. Everyone should be posting with the intent to gain advice on how to deal with the etiquette faux pas of not just others but themselves. 

I think people need to understand that Etiquette Hell forum is about etiquette and manners and civility.  It is not a therapy or counseling session and it would be arrogant of us to assume any of us has the education, credentials and knowledge to address these kinds of non-etiquette problems.  We cannot be all things to all people.


This tells me that every post should have some sort of question or inquiry about the situation at hand to gain advice rather than just sharing a story in the main part of the board - other parts of it can be for simply sharing.

Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: BettyDraper on September 19, 2010, 08:53:35 AM
Also keep in mind that "question" can be meant in the rhetorical sense, as in -- "Is there an actual point of etiquette to be discussed here?" -- not just "Does this post include an actual query with a question mark at the end of the sentence?" 

Many posts on the main boards are thinly disguised rants on off-topic issues -- laments about interpersonal matters, commercial transactions or even mental health matters where social etiquette has no purview.  Tacking on the hollow "So, was I rude?" or "So who was rude in this situation?" to disguise the rant doesn't change the off-topic nature of the post.

Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Wavicle on September 19, 2010, 08:57:00 AM
Also keep in mind that "question" can be meant in the rhetorical sense, as in -- "Is there an actual point of etiquette to be discussed here?" -- not just "Does this post include an actual query with a question mark at the end of the sentence?" 

Many posts on the main boards are thinly disguised rants on off-topic issues -- laments about interpersonal matters, commercial transactions or even mental health matters where social etiquette has no purview.  Tacking on the hollow "So, was I rude?" or "So who was rude in this situation?" to disguise the rant doesn't change the off-topic nature of the post.



I think sometimes these threads can be salvaged by asking what the etiquette issue is. I can see how the statement could be snarky, but sometimes the OP may get frustrated an not clarify what they are looking for. I have seen people rethink the issue once its all out and come out with a more concise question that can be interesting to discuss.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Lisbeth on September 19, 2010, 03:50:02 PM
But the presence or absence of any clear etiquette question should not be an excuse to snark.

As noted above, asking questions is not the only reason why someone might post a thread-and other reasons are valid.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Brentwood on September 19, 2010, 05:05:49 PM
But the presence or absence of any clear etiquette question should not be an excuse to snark.

As noted above, asking questions is not the only reason why someone might post a thread-and other reasons are valid.

I'm inclined to agree, and I did see a recent example that put me off. The OP had quite obviously posted in the wrong folder inadvertently (I can't remember the subject, but it was definitely off-topic and correct for the Coffee Break folder but had been posted elsewhere), and there was a "What is the etiquette question here?" post. In that particular instance, it came off as snarky and unhelpful; if the poster felt the need to comment, a simple, "I believe this topic would be better suited to the Coffee Break folder" would have been kinder.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Pinky830 on September 19, 2010, 07:19:43 PM
But the presence or absence of any clear etiquette question should not be an excuse to snark.

As noted above, asking questions is not the only reason why someone might post a thread-and other reasons are valid.

I'm inclined to agree, and I did see a recent example that put me off. The OP had quite obviously posted in the wrong folder inadvertently (I can't remember the subject, but it was definitely off-topic and correct for the Coffee Break folder but had been posted elsewhere), and there was a "What is the etiquette question here?" post. In that particular instance, it came off as snarky and unhelpful; if the poster felt the need to comment, a simple, "I believe this topic would be better suited to the Coffee Break folder" would have been kinder.

I think you and I saw the same post. That is exactly the type of thing I am referring to.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Jander on September 20, 2010, 09:32:16 AM
The Wedding Etiquette folder subheading states "Discussions on proper wedding etiquette, stories of bad etiquette" I assumed that it was fine to just post a story without asking a specific question. If not, subheading is a little misleading.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: think2x on September 20, 2010, 10:26:08 AM
It has annoyed me to see it; but, most recently, on the 'comfortable shoe' thread where OP clearly posted in the wrong folder by mistake, to read it after such helpful replies was so abrupt that I was really taken aback. I thought it was really rude and unnecessary. Felt like a glass of cold water in the face.

Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Morticia on September 26, 2010, 11:05:32 AM
Personally, I would feel comfortable if that question was only ever asked by mods. If you think something is a rant, shouldn't you let them decide? After all, aren't they the question police? I think if one wishes the question asked, one should press the report button and let the PTBs decide.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Wendy Moira Angela Pan on September 28, 2010, 04:01:37 PM
The mods are the arbiters of what is acceptable, but they expect us to gently remind people of the rules when we see them broken.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: C0mputerGeek on September 28, 2010, 08:19:39 PM
I agree with Shores. I can only recall having seen the question in threads that were more about ranting than a productive discussion. For the people who think it sounds snotty, is there another phrasing that sounds more polite?

Oh, I have totally seen this question raised in threads where the OP posted a situational example that was clearly not a rant. I remember because the "is there a question," was phrased so rudely that I reported the person who did it.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: GoldenGemini on September 28, 2010, 08:48:14 PM
I agree with Shores. I can only recall having seen the question in threads that were more about ranting than a productive discussion. For the people who think it sounds snotty, is there another phrasing that sounds more polite?

Oh, I have totally seen this question raised in threads where the OP posted a situational example that was clearly not a rant. I remember because the "is there a question," was phrased so rudely that I reported the person who did it.

Me too.  I haven't actually seen it used in a ranty thread, but maybe it was phrased differently and went over my head! 

When I have seen it used, in the Coffee Break folder, it totally came off as snotty.  Someone had asked a question about something to do with kids or fitness equipment I think, and the first response was this. Exactly as phrased in the heading.  No other words on the post.  That did sound off, I'm afraid.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: C0mputerGeek on September 28, 2010, 11:01:46 PM
Telling a "story" with no dilemma and an overly obvious etiquette blunder does not start discussions, just trash-talking. I don't really see the point of "No question, just a story" posts. Why not post them in the off-topic folders instead of the areas specifically designed for advice?

Here are several threads that I created. They have no question, but are most certainly not rants or trash-talking:
Pushed Aside (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=36766.0)
Talking smack at the bank (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=71497.0)
Bus and Train Happenings (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=68644.0)
Strangeness in the Elevator (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=72476.0)
Next Time, I Know to Ask (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=28367.0)

They were not posted in the off-topic folder because they are not off-topic.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Shores on September 29, 2010, 07:50:43 AM
Telling a "story" with no dilemma and an overly obvious etiquette blunder does not start discussions, just trash-talking. I don't really see the point of "No question, just a story" posts. Why not post them in the off-topic folders instead of the areas specifically designed for advice?

Here are several threads that I created. They have no question, but are most certainly not rants or trash-talking:
Pushed Aside (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=36766.0)
Talking smack at the bank (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=71497.0)
Bus and Train Happenings (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=68644.0)
Strangeness in the Elevator (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=72476.0)
Next Time, I Know to Ask (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=28367.0)

They were not posted in the off-topic folder because they are not off-topic.
Yes, I see them. Did you want my personal opinion on each thread? I made my opinion clear. I don't see the value of in these types of threads and I do see posting JUST to point out some random person's bad behaviour is slightly "trash-talking." Generally, I just skip these or if I find them particularly off, I report them and go on my merry way. But obviously, I did not feel the need to ask what your question was in any of these threads, although I didn't read enough to see if anyone else did.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Adios on September 29, 2010, 07:47:10 PM
Telling a "story" with no dilemma and an overly obvious etiquette blunder does not start discussions, just trash-talking. I don't really see the point of "No question, just a story" posts. Why not post them in the off-topic folders instead of the areas specifically designed for advice?

Here are several threads that I created. They have no question, but are most certainly not rants or trash-talking:
Pushed Aside (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=36766.0)
Talking smack at the bank (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=71497.0)
Bus and Train Happenings (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=68644.0)
Strangeness in the Elevator (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=72476.0)
Next Time, I Know to Ask (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=28367.0)

They were not posted in the off-topic folder because they are not off-topic.
Yes, I see them. Did you want my personal opinion on each thread? I made my opinion clear. I don't see the value of in these types of threads and I do see posting JUST to point out some random person's bad behaviour is slightly "trash-talking." Generally, I just skip these or if I find them particularly off, I report them and go on my merry way. But obviously, I did not feel the need to ask what your question was in any of these threads, although I didn't read enough to see if anyone else did.

I think other e-hell users found them interesting though as some of the discussions went on for a few pages.  I find that an open discussion about points of etiquette that do (or don't) happen in our day to day life equip me with skills to handle them.  I enjoy both the stories and the question related stories - both always have something to teach me.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: cass2591 on September 29, 2010, 07:55:07 PM
Quote
Yes, I see them. Did you want my personal opinion on each thread? I made my opinion clear. I don't see the value of in these types of threads and I do see posting JUST to point out some random person's bad behaviour is slightly "trash-talking." Generally, I just skip these or if I find them particularly off, I report them and go on my merry way. But obviously, I did not feel the need to ask what your question was in any of these threads, although I didn't read enough to see if anyone else did. 

I think your last sentence was rather mean. You essentially told her they were uninteresting to you, which I don't really think is necessary. You made your point, why the dig?
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: SiotehCat on September 29, 2010, 07:58:20 PM
Telling a "story" with no dilemma and an overly obvious etiquette blunder does not start discussions, just trash-talking. I don't really see the point of "No question, just a story" posts. Why not post them in the off-topic folders instead of the areas specifically designed for advice?

Here are several threads that I created. They have no question, but are most certainly not rants or trash-talking:
Pushed Aside (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=36766.0)
Talking smack at the bank (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=71497.0)
Bus and Train Happenings (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=68644.0)
Strangeness in the Elevator (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=72476.0)
Next Time, I Know to Ask (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=28367.0)

They were not posted in the off-topic folder because they are not off-topic.
Yes, I see them. Did you want my personal opinion on each thread? I made my opinion clear. I don't see the value of in these types of threads and I do see posting JUST to point out some random person's bad behaviour is slightly "trash-talking." Generally, I just skip these or if I find them particularly off, I report them and go on my merry way. But obviously, I did not feel the need to ask what your question was in any of these threads, although I didn't read enough to see if anyone else did.

I have to agree with this.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Wordgeek on September 29, 2010, 08:38:05 PM
Ehell is a big place.  To expect every single posting to be of personal interest and meet your personal approval is pretty self-centered. 

As for etiquette questions, the on-topic area is meant to be on topic.  Sometimes a germane post will have a specific question, sometimes it'll raise an interesting issue.  A rant is when someone is posting merely to vent frustration rather than to discuss the situation.  And when someone responds in a less than stellar way (as in the above *I* don't see the value blah blah blah), use your judgment.  Respond yourself or report it to the mods, whichever is more appropriate.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Shores on September 29, 2010, 09:09:15 PM
Quote
Yes, I see them. Did you want my personal opinion on each thread? I made my opinion clear. I don't see the value of in these types of threads and I do see posting JUST to point out some random person's bad behaviour is slightly "trash-talking." Generally, I just skip these or if I find them particularly off, I report them and go on my merry way. But obviously, I did not feel the need to ask what your question was in any of these threads, although I didn't read enough to see if anyone else did. 

I think your last sentence was rather mean. You essentially told her they were uninteresting to you, which I don't really think is necessary. You made your point, why the dig?
I do apologize if it came off as a dig; it was not intended to do so. As I was posting that I had not felt the need to point out that there was no question, it occurred to me that someone could respond "yes, but another poster did on page 4" or something to that effect. I was merely trying to throw in a disclaimer that I could not speak to what anyone else did in response to the threads as I did not have time to look through them all at that moment.

And in my defense, it is not that I find these threads "uninteresting" persay; it's that I personally find threads that simply relate other people's rudeness to be just this side of mean. It's fine that other people don't; that's why we can choose what to read. But I don't find them boring, just not in the spirit in which I personally enjoy E-hell.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: rose red on September 30, 2010, 09:02:29 AM
I don't like that question either, especially if it's posted by newcomers who seemed to sign up just to scold.  When I first discovered Ehell, there were lots of stories without questions but nowadays, I noticed many people seem afraid to post without one.  A lot of the questions seem tacked on to make it seem "legitimate."  Like "Oh yeah, by the way my question is..."
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Scuba_Dog on September 30, 2010, 09:22:43 AM
Why do we assume the worst about someone who is asking what the etiquette question is?  How can any of us know, without hearing tone, if the person asking the question is being snarky? 

How can we be certain that the person asking really doesn't see the etiquette question and is just asking what it is, so they could also offer advice and participate in the discussion from that angle? 

Wouldn't it be more polite to assume the best of the person and offer assistance in finding their answer or simply saying it was just the sharing of a story?

I think it's pretty uncharitable to automatically label the person who asks what the etiquette question is, as being rude, snarky or the reason that apparently some people don't post in the question threads anymore.

I always thought that the folders in the General Etiquette section were for etiquette questions & advice seeking for etiquette dilemmas.  I thought the main site was where people submitted stories for review and discussion. 

I'm not saying people shouldn't post stories in these areas but I *do* think it's understandable when someone asks what the question is or if there is one, especially if it's in those folders.  Why not just assume the best, answer the question and move on? 

Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Perfect Circle on September 30, 2010, 09:51:06 AM
Why do we assume the worst about someone who is asking what the etiquette question is?  How can any of us know, without hearing tone, if the person asking the question is being snarky? 

How can we be certain that the person asking really doesn't see the etiquette question and is just asking what it is, so they could also offer advice and participate in the discussion from that angle? 

Wouldn't it be more polite to assume the best of the person and offer assistance in finding their answer or simply saying it was just the sharing of a story?

I think it's pretty uncharitable to automatically label the person who asks what the etiquette question is, as being rude, snarky or the reason that apparently some people don't post in the question threads anymore.

I always thought that the folders in the General Etiquette section were for etiquette questions & advice seeking for etiquette dilemmas.  I thought the main site was where people submitted stories for review and discussion. 

I'm not saying people shouldn't post stories in these areas but I *do* think it's understandable when someone asks what the question is or if there is one, especially if it's in those folders.  Why not just assume the best, answer the question and move on? 



I agree with you in that questioning isn't wrong, but I do think there is a way to word the question nicely without being or sounding snarky.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Scuba_Dog on September 30, 2010, 10:00:17 AM
Why do we assume the worst about someone who is asking what the etiquette question is?  How can any of us know, without hearing tone, if the person asking the question is being snarky? 

How can we be certain that the person asking really doesn't see the etiquette question and is just asking what it is, so they could also offer advice and participate in the discussion from that angle? 

Wouldn't it be more polite to assume the best of the person and offer assistance in finding their answer or simply saying it was just the sharing of a story?

I think it's pretty uncharitable to automatically label the person who asks what the etiquette question is, as being rude, snarky or the reason that apparently some people don't post in the question threads anymore.

I always thought that the folders in the General Etiquette section were for etiquette questions & advice seeking for etiquette dilemmas.  I thought the main site was where people submitted stories for review and discussion. 

I'm not saying people shouldn't post stories in these areas but I *do* think it's understandable when someone asks what the question is or if there is one, especially if it's in those folders.  Why not just assume the best, answer the question and move on? 



I agree with you in that questioning isn't wrong, but I do think there is a way to word the question nicely without being or sounding snarky.

There probably is a way to do it, the problem is, that not everyone is going to interpret the question the same way.  I, personally, don't find the simple asking of the question to be rude or snarky.  I sometimes find that when people add a bunch of niceness to a simple question, it comes off as sarcastic and condescending.

IMO, the best way to handle the question, is to answer it.  That way, if the person asking it *was* trying to be rude, the wind will be taken out of their sails after receiving a polite response.  If they meant no snark, they get an answer that will help them to participate in the discussion.

Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Granny Takes a Trip on September 30, 2010, 03:18:45 PM


I'm very firmly on the side that says this is a snarky, rude question. I appreciate the rules about venting, but I would find this place very dull if we were never were allowed to have a bit of a laugh at the rude and the clueless. I also dislike the whole 'holding e-hellions to higher standards' thingm which can becaome ludicrous as 'devil's advocate' posters search harder and harder fo reasons why an OP was rude, even when this was fairly clearly not the case. I hate seeing this done to OP's, and I am unrepentantly snippy when it is done to me.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: whatsanenigma on September 30, 2010, 04:13:33 PM
I think it's much better when this issue is addressed by a mod. When another member brings up the "is there a question" or "this is off topic" thing, it always strikes me as a little bit stepping over a line. The more established members can get away with it but still, it just doesn't sit quite exactly right with me.

I do realize, however, that the mods, as wonderful as they are (whenever I have had to contact them, the response has always been pleasantly prompt) cannot be everywhere all the time. If we want to keep this forum operating smoothly, with the rules and guidelines we have all agreed to (because, I assume, that's how we want the place to be) then some "self policing" can be very valuable.

So, I would say that I'm okay with other members doing this as long as they are polite about it and assume the best of people when they do it. The ideal situation would be if any member with a doubt about a thread could just let the mods know and the mods would quickly make a ruling and post it, but for that we would need way more mods than there are volunteers.   ;) So we can all just do our best to keep our area the way we like it!
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Lisbeth on September 30, 2010, 04:21:25 PM
Wouldn't it be more polite to assume the best of the person and offer assistance in finding their answer or simply saying it was just the sharing of a story?

I find that there is a lot of "Shouldn't we just assume the best of people?" in this forum.  Trying to find every possible loophole that someone's action wasn't rude does ignore the possibility, often very strong, that they were rude and that the rudeness was not justified by their intentions.  I'd rather not make assumptions about believing the best of people without evidence that they were acting for the best.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Granny Takes a Trip on September 30, 2010, 04:52:16 PM
Wouldn't it be more polite to assume the best of the person and offer assistance in finding their answer or simply saying it was just the sharing of a story?

I find that there is a lot of "Shouldn't we just assume the best of people?" in this forum.  Trying to find every possible loophole that someone's action wasn't rude does ignore the possibility, often very strong, that they were rude and that the rudeness was not justified by their intentions.  I'd rather not make assumptions about believing the best of people without evidence that they were acting for the best.

The biggest POD ever to this post. The 'shoudn't we assume the best' really, really grinds my gears. It gets incredibly old, sometimes. This is exactly what I have meant, in the past, when I was complaining about 'doormattery' being seen as a virtue around here. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one to have noticed it!
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Bibliophile on September 30, 2010, 04:57:58 PM
Can it just be that the person who says it is doing it because that's what they thought we're supposed to do?  I've been on this forum since 2007 and I've gotten that comment tons of times so if I used it on anyone who got offended by it, I'm sorry, but I thought it was the "norm"...  I have also notified the mods on some posts where I don't feel commenting would be the best option so it's probably and even mix....
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Scuba_Dog on September 30, 2010, 07:50:38 PM
Wouldn't it be more polite to assume the best of the person and offer assistance in finding their answer or simply saying it was just the sharing of a story?

I find that there is a lot of "Shouldn't we just assume the best of people?" in this forum.  Trying to find every possible loophole that someone's action wasn't rude does ignore the possibility, often very strong, that they were rude and that the rudeness was not justified by their intentions.  I'd rather not make assumptions about believing the best of people without evidence that they were acting for the best.

And, I'd rather not look for evidence in a simple sentence, that they intended to be rude.  I think it's polite to assume the best until you can prove the opposite.

Instead of trying to read rudeness in a question, or censor what phrases people can use, why not just assume that the person asking the question is not doing it to be rude?  What harm is there in that?  It's *not* trying to find a loophole, it's about not looking to be offended. 

It's quicker to answer the question and move on then it is to debate what people can and can't say, how they can or can't say it, whether they meant harm or not, whether they were being snarky or not. 

Why not just answer?  "The etiquette question is this."  or "There really is no etiquette question, it's just a situation I thought was worth discussing."  Boom, that's it.  If a MOD thinks the discussion should be locked, they'll lock it, if they think it needs to be moved, they'll move it. 

Can it just be that the person who says it is doing it because that's what they thought we're supposed to do?  I've been on this forum since 2007 and I've gotten that comment tons of times so if I used it on anyone who got offended by it, I'm sorry, but I thought it was the "norm"...  I have also notified the mods on some posts where I don't feel commenting would be the best option so it's probably and even mix....

I think the bolded makes a great point and I agree that it very well *could* be that the person thinks that is what they are supposed to do.  After all, those sections of the forum are mainly filled with threads that have etiquette questions. 

Why assume malice?  Even if you do, why not just ignore it, answer the question politely and move on?  I find that when people are intentionally trying to be rude, that a polite, civil response often takes the wind right out of their sails.


Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: jimithing on September 30, 2010, 07:54:25 PM
Wouldn't it be more polite to assume the best of the person and offer assistance in finding their answer or simply saying it was just the sharing of a story?

I find that there is a lot of "Shouldn't we just assume the best of people?" in this forum.  Trying to find every possible loophole that someone's action wasn't rude does ignore the possibility, often very strong, that they were rude and that the rudeness was not justified by their intentions.  I'd rather not make assumptions about believing the best of people without evidence that they were acting for the best.

And, I'd rather not look for evidence in a simple sentence, that they intended to be rude.  I think it's polite to assume the best until you can prove the opposite.

Instead of trying to read rudeness in a question, or censor what phrases people can use, why not just assume that the person asking the question is not doing it to be rude?  What harm is there in that?  It's *not* trying to find a loophole, it's about not looking to be offended. 

It's quicker to answer the question and move on then it is to debate what people can and can't say, how they can or can't say it, whether they meant harm or not, whether they were being snarky or not. 

Why not just answer?  "The etiquette question is this."  or "There really is no etiquette question, it's just a situation I thought was worth discussing."  Boom, that's it.  If a MOD thinks the discussion should be locked, they'll lock it, if they think it needs to be moved, they'll move it. 

Can it just be that the person who says it is doing it because that's what they thought we're supposed to do?  I've been on this forum since 2007 and I've gotten that comment tons of times so if I used it on anyone who got offended by it, I'm sorry, but I thought it was the "norm"...  I have also notified the mods on some posts where I don't feel commenting would be the best option so it's probably and even mix....

I think the bolded makes a great point and I agree that it very well *could* be that the person thinks that is what they are supposed to do.  After all, those sections of the forum are mainly filled with threads that have etiquette questions. 

Why assume malice?  Even if you do, why not just ignore it, answer the question politely and move on?  I find that when people are intentionally trying to be rude, that a polite, civil response often takes the wind right out of their sails.




I think it goes some way, sometimes. I really try to give the benefit of the doubt, when possible. If we have no knowledge of a history of malice or wrongdoing, I will give that person the benefit of the doubt.

On the other side of the coin, I have seen threads where someone will post about someone doing something that is pretty clearly rude, and posters will immediately jump in with the "They could have a disability!", types of responses. Sometimes, people are just rude. There doesn't always have to be some type of explanation for their behavior.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Scuba_Dog on September 30, 2010, 08:17:47 PM
I think it goes some way, sometimes. I really try to give the benefit of the doubt, when possible. If we have no knowledge of a history of malice or wrongdoing, I will give that person the benefit of the doubt.

On the other side of the coin, I have seen threads where someone will post about someone doing something that is pretty clearly rude, and posters will immediately jump in with the "They could have a disability!", types of responses. Sometimes, people are just rude. There doesn't always have to be some type of explanation for their behavior.

I've seen that too but I think it's different than this.  IMO, "Is there an etiquette question here?" is a perfectly legitimate question in the section of the forum that is primarily filled with threads that have questions.  It's not out of place.  And, while some might find the simple wording of the question too blunt, or even offensive, others might prefer it.

I guess I just feel like the best response to the "Is there an etiquette question here?" is a factual answer.  It serves not only to set a polite example but to stop any (intended or unintended) rudeness in its tracks. 

I just don't know that we need a rule that defines how someone can ask a question, or if they can even ask it at all.   

That's just how I see it, YMMV.

Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on October 01, 2010, 01:15:27 AM
I have seen threads where someone will post about someone doing something that is pretty clearly rude, and posters will immediately jump in with the "They could have a disability!", types of responses. Sometimes, people are just rude. There doesn't always have to be some type of explanation for their behavior.

This is one phenomenon that really does make me feel "a bit stabby". Yes, it could be that the person has some kind of medical condition or something that makes them act that way - but Occam's razor will tell you that the chances of that are very low and in fact the person is just probably rude.

On the old version of the forum people did it so much that eventually the mods (I think it was; it was years and years ago) asked people NOT to come up with all kinds of possible medical explanations when the likelihood was simply that the person was rude. It had gotten to the stage that, when someone would post a medical excuse, I'd post, "Well, maybe aliens took over their mind and made them act that way!" Because frankly, aliens were usually about as likely as the person having a medical excuse. Sometimes people are just rude. And thank goodness we don't see medical excuses offered so much anymore, because that would make me feel a LOT stabby!
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Granny Takes a Trip on October 01, 2010, 02:20:51 AM
I have seen threads where someone will post about someone doing something that is pretty clearly rude, and posters will immediately jump in with the "They could have a disability!", types of responses. Sometimes, people are just rude. There doesn't always have to be some type of explanation for their behavior.

This is one phenomenon that really does make me feel "a bit stabby". Yes, it could be that the person has some kind of medical condition or something that makes them act that way - but Occam's razor will tell you that the chances of that are very low and in fact the person is just probably rude.

On the old version of the forum people did it so much that eventually the mods (I think it was; it was years and years ago) asked people NOT to come up with all kinds of possible medical explanations when the likelihood was simply that the person was rude. It had gotten to the stage that, when someone would post a medical excuse, I'd post, "Well, maybe aliens took over their mind and made them act that way!" Because frankly, aliens were usually about as likely as the person having a medical excuse. Sometimes people are just rude. And thank goodness we don't see medical excuses offered so much anymore, because that would make me feel a LOT stabby!

I was never on the old board, but I'm really glad the mods weighed in! I think that even now, there is still a very irritating tendency to make all kinds of excuces for the people we have not seen, rather than the OP. While I don't believe in siding with the OP when they were clearly in the wrong, I have seen it go far,far too far the other way. The excuses made are not medical, now, but it's astonishing what people can can come up with. I was the OP in one of these threads a few weeks back, and I thought my head was going to explode! I can accept that I was perhaps not entirely in the right (though I still think I was pretty OK. ettiquette wise) but the 'you should cut them slack' posters drove me up the wall.

Here's the thing-I do not see 'etiquette' as being about being nice to people, cutting them slack if they're horrible, and generally being a doormat. I see it as dealing with rude people without being rude oneself, or at least as little rude as one can help. Big, huge difference there. I sometimes think people get confused as to the difference-hence all the 'was I rude to stand up to toxic MIL' type questions. I feel that if I set good boundaries, and am (poiltely) tough with the people I need to be tough with, I have energy for the deserving in my life. YMMV.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Lisbeth on October 01, 2010, 09:19:01 AM
I think it goes some way, sometimes. I really try to give the benefit of the doubt, when possible. If we have no knowledge of a history of malice or wrongdoing, I will give that person the benefit of the doubt.

On the other side of the coin, I have seen threads where someone will post about someone doing something that is pretty clearly rude, and posters will immediately jump in with the "They could have a disability!", types of responses. Sometimes, people are just rude. There doesn't always have to be some type of explanation for their behavior.

I've seen that too but I think it's different than this.  IMO, "Is there an etiquette question here?" is a perfectly legitimate question in the section of the forum that is primarily filled with threads that have questions.  It's not out of place.  And, while some might find the simple wording of the question too blunt, or even offensive, others might prefer it.

I guess I just feel like the best response to the "Is there an etiquette question here?" is a factual answer.  It serves not only to set a polite example but to stop any (intended or unintended) rudeness in its tracks. 

I just don't know that we need a rule that defines how someone can ask a question, or if they can even ask it at all.   

That's just how I see it, YMMV.

Since mileage may vary, I will say that I don't see that this particular question is necessary or helpful.

There are instances where the etiquette question may be very subtle, but it's understood that this is an etiquette forum and that threads posted in the etiquette folders have a built-in etiquette situation (not necessarily a question, but a point).  Not every thread needs to ask a question.

Ehelldame's saying that this forum is not for therapy is, I think, a request that we not try to give professional psychological diagnoses, not a request that everything posted in the etiquette folders be of a strictly question and answer nature.  We are allowed to commiserate with each other when hearing of rude treatment; we are allowed to discuss how etiquette situations affect us (within reasonable limits) and so on.  But I do not see what this question contributes to the discussion other than making the OP uncomfortable.  If one can't figure out the purpose of the discussion, surely one could ask about the subject matter rather than "Is there an etiquette question here?"  I have yet to see this question asked in any situation in this forum where it was not a put-down of the OP.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: gollymolly2 on October 01, 2010, 10:13:44 AM
Re: making a lot of excuses for the other party. 

I try not to come up with anything really unlikely to make excuses for the other party (maybe a disability, maybe having a bad day, etc.).  But, when I see a mixture of rudeness between the OP and the person they're writing about, I sometimes do give the other person more of the benefit of the doubt and try to point out the OP's rudeness, because I figure that the OP is the one who is here and whose behavior or attitude can be modified.

If we all just agree "that other person is rude!!" then nothing really is accomplished.  But if we can examine our own behavior in the process or point out "well, here's a way that you made the situation worse and here's what you could do differently next time" then we actually are making each other (and the world ;)) more polite.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: gollymolly2 on October 01, 2010, 10:17:29 AM
Re: Is there an etiquette question here?

I've seen it used really snarkily but I've also seen it used in a way that seemed like the poster is attempting to be helpful. 

I once saw the same poster write four or five rants in a one week period, each of which got locked.  I saw the poster make a new rant.  I figured she clearly hadn't figured out why her other posts would be locked.  So I thought about posting "This just seems like a rant."  Then I thought maybe it would be nicer to write "Is there an etiquette question here?"  In the end I decided not to write anything.  But I could certainly see (and I have seen) situations where the post either has nothing to do with etiquette, whatsoever, or it's just a rant, and the question is posed to try to help the OP save her thread from getting locked.

I've also seen it used very snarkily, so it's a tough situation.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Scuba_Dog on October 01, 2010, 10:18:17 AM
I think it goes some way, sometimes. I really try to give the benefit of the doubt, when possible. If we have no knowledge of a history of malice or wrongdoing, I will give that person the benefit of the doubt.

On the other side of the coin, I have seen threads where someone will post about someone doing something that is pretty clearly rude, and posters will immediately jump in with the "They could have a disability!", types of responses. Sometimes, people are just rude. There doesn't always have to be some type of explanation for their behavior.

I've seen that too but I think it's different than this.  IMO, "Is there an etiquette question here?" is a perfectly legitimate question in the section of the forum that is primarily filled with threads that have questions.  It's not out of place.  And, while some might find the simple wording of the question too blunt, or even offensive, others might prefer it.

I guess I just feel like the best response to the "Is there an etiquette question here?" is a factual answer.  It serves not only to set a polite example but to stop any (intended or unintended) rudeness in its tracks. 

I just don't know that we need a rule that defines how someone can ask a question, or if they can even ask it at all.   

That's just how I see it, YMMV.

Since mileage may vary, I will say that I don't see that this particular question is necessary or helpful.

There are instances where the etiquette question may be very subtle, but it's understood that this is an etiquette forum and that threads posted in the etiquette folders have a built-in etiquette situation (not necessarily a question, but a point).  Not every thread needs to ask a question.

Ehelldame's saying that this forum is not for therapy is, I think, a request that we not try to give professional psychological diagnoses, not a request that everything posted in the etiquette folders be of a strictly question and answer nature.  We are allowed to commiserate with each other when hearing of rude treatment; we are allowed to discuss how etiquette situations affect us (within reasonable limits) and so on.  But I do not see what this question contributes to the discussion other than making the OP uncomfortable.  If one can't figure out the purpose of the discussion, surely one could ask about the subject matter rather than "Is there an etiquette question here?"  I have yet to see this question asked in any situation in this forum where it was not a put-down of the OP.

I understand what you are saying and I can see why you might view it that way.  I guess we just see it differently, I would have to hear tone in order to determine if the question was a put-down of the OP.  Nothing wrong with your view or mine, we just have to agree to disagree.   ;)

I wonder though, what is the desired solution here?  Do those who think the phrase is rude want to see it banned from use here?
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Lisbeth on October 01, 2010, 10:29:47 AM
Well, I personally think it would be more polite if it were limited to moderators and not regular members.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Morticia on October 01, 2010, 10:38:02 AM
Well, I personally think it would be more polite if it were limited to moderators and not regular members.

As I posted upthread, I totally POD  you. I think the report button is, among other things, to get a ruling on whether or not a poster is out of bounds.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Brentwood on October 01, 2010, 07:33:41 PM

I wonder though, what is the desired solution here?  Do those who think the phrase is rude want to see it banned from use here?


I think there are some middle ground solutions other than banning a phrase (which I certainly would not be in favor of) or always getting the mods involved (tiresome to them, no doubt). I see nothing wrong with a thread like this asking people to be mindful of what they are saying and ways in which it could be interpreted.

In the case I noticed and cited somewhere upthread, the subject was very clearly off-topic and obviously posted in the wrong folder by mistake. In that case, "What is the etiquette question here?" came off as snarky, whether intended that way or not. It would have been better to say something like, "It looks like you meant to post this in the off-topic section. Could you move it to the Coffee Break folder?"

If a person is asking because they are genuinely confused about what the etiquette problem is, I don't see that as wrong; in some cases it certainly looks as if they are trying to be superior or overly board-police about the whole thing.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: PeasNCues on October 01, 2010, 07:51:38 PM
I've seen it posted when there wasn't much discussion and assumed it was asked in order to get conversation going. I know sometimes I've read threads and thought, "What is the poster looking for here?" I think, "Is there a question here" is actually a nicer way of putting this.  :)
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Wordgeek on October 01, 2010, 11:23:45 PM
Quote
Well, I personally think it would be more polite if it were limited to moderators and not regular members.

The problem with this is that when a mod makes the comments, it has a smackdown feeling to it.  Sometimes a smack is what's needed, and sometimes the give-and-take of the forum community is more effective.  It depends on the situation.  Often I check out a report, see the offending post, see that one or more members have addressed the issue well, and because of that, say nothing myself.  This is especially true if the members addressing the issue are well-respected. 

Ehell is never going to be a place where there is a itty bitty rule for every itty bitty situation.  Members are expected to use their judgment. 
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: cass2591 on October 02, 2010, 02:54:17 AM
I have to ditto Wordgeek's post.

It "does my heart good" when I check out a violation report only to see that the issue was resolved by the posters involved. Because I don't necessarily live by my computer, I don't see the initial report and by the time I do, all is well.

We do our best to stay away until it's pretty obvious things are escalating. That, and sometimes I just come across posts/threads that are, well, not right for various reasons. Doesn't happen all that often, but I will step in with the equivalent of "whoa there."
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Lisbeth on October 02, 2010, 09:38:09 AM
Quote
Well, I personally think it would be more polite if it were limited to moderators and not regular members.

The problem with this is that when a mod makes the comments, it has a smackdown feeling to it.  Sometimes a smack is what's needed, and sometimes the give-and-take of the forum community is more effective.  It depends on the situation.  Often I check out a report, see the offending post, see that one or more members have addressed the issue well, and because of that, say nothing myself.  This is especially true if the members addressing the issue are well-respected.  

Ehell is never going to be a place where there is a itty bitty rule for every itty bitty situation.  Members are expected to use their judgment.  

With respect to you and cass2591, I've never seen the phrase used as anything but a smackdown.

And it's one thing for posters to disagree with each other and say so, but I try to deal with it by suggesting agreement to disagree or something like that-it doesn't come off as a smack. For non-moderators to deliver smacks doesn't strike me as "using their judgment" but as being snotty and sometimes even bullying.  I've never seen snottiness by non-moderators accomplish anything in any situation except hostility, hurt feelings, alienation from each other, and sometimes even retaliation.  Our forum has split several times before, and I think lack of a policy on this has been part of the cause.  

I truly believe that only moderators should deliver smacks-not fellow members.  Presumably moderators have been selected because they do have reputations for good judgment, know the ropes of the forum, and don't bully others or act as though their feelings don't count.  This is not necessarily the case for other members of the forum.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Shoo on October 02, 2010, 09:42:11 AM
I find this phrase particularly annoying when it comes after there is already a pretty lively discussion going.  I mean, look, if someone posts something and multiple people are responding and having a great discussion, someone jumping in and asking, "Is there an etiquette question here?" is kind of insulting to all the posters who are participating in the thread.  It feels very "high and mighty" to me, especially when it comes from someone who hasn't been here very long, or whose posts are almost always mean spirited.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Wordgeek on October 02, 2010, 11:59:11 AM
With respect to you, Keenreader, this is where using your judgment comes in.

Members are not to smack each other; that wasn't my point.  My point was that members, especially long-term members such as yourself, are expected to handle a certain amount of responsibility.  That includes responding appropriately even when provoked.  From the forum rules, "The moderating team expects to treat the members like adults and that means not dumbing down the rules to the lowest common denominator explaining why basic civility is important to the health and well-being of this forum."  Also, "Mods are not here to play Mother to people who will not exercise self control in mentally ignoring irritating people."

Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Granny Takes a Trip on October 03, 2010, 04:56:16 AM
I find this phrase particularly annoying when it comes after there is already a pretty lively discussion going.  I mean, look, if someone posts something and multiple people are responding and having a great discussion, someone jumping in and asking, "Is there an etiquette question here?" is kind of insulting to all the posters who are participating in the thread.  It feels very "high and mighty" to me, especially when it comes from someone who hasn't been here very long, or whose posts are almost always mean spirited.

POD. The only place where I differ from you is the bolded. To me, how long someone has been here is not relevant, and I believe the mods feel the same way-people are not given preferential treatment based on post count. That last is one of the very best things about e-hell: other forums have a very hierarchical system. E-hell doesn't : which I think is what Cass and Wordgeek are getting at about us being allowed to self-moderate, at least to a certain extent. All that said, I still agree with you that I hate that phrase, even though it has never been asked of me. If it were ever asked of me, and others were joining in the discussion (ie there was a situation like the one you outlined) I would just ignore the questioner, and not respond to their post.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Lisbeth on October 03, 2010, 01:52:09 PM
With respect to you, Keenreader, this is where using your judgment comes in.

Members are not to smack each other; that wasn't my point.  My point was that members, especially long-term members such as yourself, are expected to handle a certain amount of responsibility.  That includes responding appropriately even when provoked.  From the forum rules, "The moderating team expects to treat the members like adults and that means not dumbing down the rules to the lowest common denominator explaining why basic civility is important to the health and well-being of this forum."  Also, "Mods are not here to play Mother to people who will not exercise self control in mentally ignoring irritating people."



True, but I've seen newer members (and even some who have been around for a while) using this phrase and others like it to deliver smacks and lecture others that "this is an etiquette forum." 

Unfortunately, it does feel like being baited and I try to ignore it, but it's not easy to ignore (I can't speak for other members of the forum).  I know that you'd prefer members to use their judgment, but I'm not sure about newer members who do this-it sometimes seems to me that they're exercising poor judgment when they smack others down by using these types of phrases.  When the moderators aren't willing to step in, it does feel like these people are bullying other members.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: gollymolly2 on October 03, 2010, 03:15:02 PM
<snip>
It sometimes seems to me that they're exercising poor judgment when they smack others down by using these types of phrases.  When the moderators aren't willing to step in, it does feel like these people are bullying other members.

I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to use this quote because it sums up something a lot of people have said that feels odd to me. 

This is an etiquette discussion website.  It's fun, and I spend a lot of time on it (more time than I should ;)), but we shouldn't elevate it to something more serious than it is.  When someone disagrees with us, or says something in a way that is unnecessarily snarky, it feels like an overreaction to me to call it "bullying" or a "smack down." People should avoid saying "Is there an etiquette question here" if they're only asking to be snarky, because this is an etiquette website and we should endeavor to treat each other politely.  But people should also try to avoid reading "is there an etiquette question here" as a personal attack or bullying because it's just a comment reflecting one person's opinion.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Lisbeth on October 03, 2010, 03:20:28 PM
<snip>
It sometimes seems to me that they're exercising poor judgment when they smack others down by using these types of phrases.  When the moderators aren't willing to step in, it does feel like these people are bullying other members.

When someone disagrees with us, or says something in a way that is unnecessarily snarky, it feels like an overreaction to me to call it "bullying" or a "smack down." People should avoid saying "Is there an etiquette question here" if they're only asking to be snarky, because this is an etiquette website and we should endeavor to treat each other politely.  But people should also try to avoid reading "is there an etiquette question here" as a personal attack or bullying because it's just a comment reflecting one person's opinion.

I agree in principle, but I also have to disagree to some extent because the use of the phrases is situational.

Sometimes people are deliberately being snarky to smack another member down; sometimes not.  Sometimes their intent really is the same as bullying or smacking down, and I think it's not appropriate in that case to call someone else who thinks so "overreacting" for saying so.

And, as mentioned upthread, someone in another thread did use the phrase "Is there an etiquette question here?" in a very snarky way that felt like a personal attack to the person reading it.  I do think members do need to take into consideration the fact that what they mean to say may well not be perceived that way and not just brush off other people's opinions as "overreaction" or "looking for offense."  I can't know what's in another poster's mind, but they can't know what's in mine.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Ceallach on October 03, 2010, 08:37:21 PM
I've been following this thread for awhile, and I've finally realised why this phrase bothers me.  It seems that the only time somebody says "Is there an etiquette question here?" is when they definitely think there isn't a question.  So it comes across a little PA.  If they were more direct and said "I'm not sure what your question is, could you clarify?" or "I don't think there's really an etiquette question here at all so I'm concerned this is just a rant" I don't think it would bother people as much.

Because really, when somebody is asking that question, there are only two possible scenarios I can think of:

a) They really believe that the thread doesn't have an etiquette question or is somehow inappropriate for the forum, in which case they should report to the mods so it can be locked. (Or if simply off-topic, suggest to the poster where they might like to move their post to - coffee break folder for instance).

OR

b) They don't understand the post and want to find out what the poster is asking or gently guide the poster towards clarifying their post to be more appropriate to the forum. In which case instead of saying "is there a question" it would probably be better to be clearer about what they want clarified.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Wordgeek on October 03, 2010, 09:10:49 PM
Summary: Report the thread if you think it needs reporting.  The mods will act if action is merited.

Many times members can handle a situation well, due to intelligence, maturity, experience, grace, or whatever.  I'd say the Ehell community as a whole knows which members they like and esteem, and whose judgment they respect.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on October 03, 2010, 11:46:53 PM
I've been following this thread for awhile, and I've finally realised why this phrase bothers me.  It seems that the only time somebody says "Is there an etiquette question here?" is when they definitely think there isn't a question.  So it comes across a little PA.  If they were more direct and said "I'm not sure what your question is, could you clarify?" or "I don't think there's really an etiquette question here at all so I'm concerned this is just a rant" I don't think it would bother people as much.

BUT - and this was a point I made earlier (or in another thread?) there doesn't HAVE to be an etiquette question with every single post. Discussions can be held just fine without a "question and answer" dynamic. So what you suggest is fine IF the post is coming off as a rant. But if it's just someone posting about an etiquette-related situation without asking a question, that is fine too. And someone asking whether there is an etiquette question in that context is usually just being obnoxious. That's when I start feeling a bit stabby.
Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Ceallach on October 04, 2010, 01:00:52 AM
I've been following this thread for awhile, and I've finally realised why this phrase bothers me.  It seems that the only time somebody says "Is there an etiquette question here?" is when they definitely think there isn't a question.  So it comes across a little PA.  If they were more direct and said "I'm not sure what your question is, could you clarify?" or "I don't think there's really an etiquette question here at all so I'm concerned this is just a rant" I don't think it would bother people as much.

BUT - and this was a point I made earlier (or in another thread?) there doesn't HAVE to be an etiquette question with every single post. Discussions can be held just fine without a "question and answer" dynamic. So what you suggest is fine IF the post is coming off as a rant. But if it's just someone posting about an etiquette-related situation without asking a question, that is fine too. And someone asking whether there is an etiquette question in that context is usually just being obnoxious. That's when I start feeling a bit stabby.

I absolutely agree about there not always needing to be a direct etiquette question - that's why I don't think we can make rules about these things. Every situation is unique.  I can't imagine there ever being a rule against asking this question (because it isn't really something to ban people for!) and realistically, there are always going to be some posters who phrase things in a way that upsets people from time to time. It's up to all of us to resolve those situations as pleasantly as possible.  Which I believe is what our mods are pointing out.  Even if everybody here agreed that the question is rude (which they don't appear to) I don't think that would change anything. We just have to deal as maturely as possible with situations as they arise arise.

Title: Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
Post by: Wordgeek on October 04, 2010, 01:28:28 AM
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We just have to deal as maturely as possible with situations as they arise.

Yes, exactly.  I'm a bit puzzled as to why this thread has gone on for so many pages.  If, in your judgment, a post or thread is "off", use the report violation button and add a note saying what you think the problem is.  The mods will act as necessary.

I don't know that there's anything else to add...