Author Topic: Interesting Assumptions and EHell  (Read 17878 times)

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TychaBrahe

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2011, 04:29:50 PM »
I think "That's an interesting assumption," should be avoided on this board, because it's a conversation ender.

I was raised Jewish, although I'm now an atheist.  If someone unimportant to me, upon learning this, said, "Wow, you must be really good with money," I might choose this as a reply.  Because honestly, that's stereotyping and ignorance, but I may not want to expend the time and energy to combat stereotyping and ignorance at the moment.  I really don't care what this person thinks of me, and while I'd prefer no one in the world express such anti-Semitism, I'm not going to change my plans to be this person's source of truth and enlightenment.  I say my phrase; I walk away.

But on this board, we are supposed to be a community.  Maybe we don't all like each other, but we ought to treat each other with respect.  If someone unknowingly makes a similar statement, I am going to speak up.  Not in an accusatory "How dare you say that?!?" fashion, but in a kindly, educational "Perhaps you don't know that that statement is a stereotype, and that Jews find it offensive," fashion.  We've brought that up before with terms like "witch," "to gyp," and "to joo" (which the user did not understand was a misspelling of "to jew," but which they immediately recognized was offensive when spelled properly). 

"That's an interesting assumption," says that the person I'm saying it to isn't worth my time to try to correct them.  I would hope that I never feel that way about anyone on this board.
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shhh its me

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2011, 04:32:22 PM »
I am not sure which mod said it and I cannot find it, but I do recall a post by a mod saying that it is not to be used against other forum members.

Someone inappropriately scolding other posters is another thing to report the the mods. We are expected to self moderate to a point though, so I don't think it is inappropriate to comment on someone slightly crossing the line in a way that could help diffuse the situation.

I have a vague recollection of this also....not sure it was stated "don't use" but that it would be seen as a unduly snarky responce under most circumstances.

Hushabye

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2011, 04:38:19 PM »
I am not sure which mod said it and I cannot find it, but I do recall a post by a mod saying that it is not to be used against other forum members.

Someone inappropriately scolding other posters is another thing to report the the mods. We are expected to self moderate to a point though, so I don't think it is inappropriate to comment on someone slightly crossing the line in a way that could help diffuse the situation.

I have a vague recollection of this also....not sure it was stated "don't use" but that it would be seen as a unduly snarky responce under most circumstances.

I do, too, although I'll be darned if I can find it using the search function.  Bless its practically useless little heart.  :P

jmarvellous

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2011, 04:42:42 PM »
I thought it came across as condescending and snarky in the referenced thread, and I think that's usually the case unless it's something truly, offensively presumptive being deflected.

I don't know about any rule, but I think it's in keeping with the tenor of the board to avoid using it in reference to 99.9 percent of posts.

penelope2017

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2011, 06:15:51 PM »
Can someone link the thread mentioned in the OP?

Ligeia

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2011, 06:32:29 PM »
I despise the phrase simply because it's so often used in reply to ... something that isn't an assumption. Observations, feelings, and experiences are not assumptions. I can't think of any good, specific examples at the moment, but it does seem that some members who use it might want to look up the definition of "assumption." You can disagree with a person's feelings, and maybe say that they're *based* on unfounded assumptions, but it makes no sense to respond to "I don't like [whatever]" with "That's an interesting assumption!"

jimithing

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2011, 06:45:37 PM »
I despise the phrase simply because it's so often used in reply to ... something that isn't an assumption. Observations, feelings, and experiences are not assumptions. I can't think of any good, specific examples at the moment, but it does seem that some members who use it might want to look up the definition of "assumption." You can disagree with a person's feelings, and maybe say that they're *based* on unfounded assumptions, but it makes no sense to respond to "I don't like [whatever]" with "That's an interesting assumption!"

Excellent point. I've seen it used incorrectly on the board, several times, so that also lends to the feeling of snarkiness.

DottyG

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2011, 07:46:49 PM »
I despise the phrase simply because it's so often used in reply to ... something that isn't an assumption. Observations, feelings, and experiences are not assumptions. I can't think of any good, specific examples at the moment, but it does seem that some members who use it might want to look up the definition of "assumption." You can disagree with a person's feelings, and maybe say that they're *based* on unfounded assumptions, but it makes no sense to respond to "I don't like [whatever]" with "That's an interesting assumption!"

Excellent point. I've seen it used incorrectly on the board, several times, so that also lends to the feeling of snarkiness.

That kind of begs the question (that phrase "begs the question" is often used incorrectly as well - am I using it right?) of whether it's snarky in the real world, too.  I'm not saying it is or isn't, but I'm curious as to whether it's also seen as that elsewhere.

I know the immediate response to that question is that it's to shut down someone who's already asked a rude question or made an unkind assumption.  But is that, then, retaliatory rudeness?  If "interesting assumption" is snarky then why would it be used at all?  That would mean that we're (generic) just sinking to their rude level.  Correct?  But we have a whole section of the forum devoted to it, so it can't be rude.  Right?


(All this is just hypothetical and not intended to ruffle feathers at all.  I'm curious as to the feelings on the phrase itself since it is seen as snarky in the forum.  And I know we've talked about this phrase before and probably not come to any real conclusion that satisfies everyone.  I hope it's ok to discuss it here - possibly again.)

Edited to fix punctuation
 

 
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 07:49:15 PM by DottyG »

jimithing

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2011, 08:07:11 PM »
I despise the phrase simply because it's so often used in reply to ... something that isn't an assumption. Observations, feelings, and experiences are not assumptions. I can't think of any good, specific examples at the moment, but it does seem that some members who use it might want to look up the definition of "assumption." You can disagree with a person's feelings, and maybe say that they're *based* on unfounded assumptions, but it makes no sense to respond to "I don't like [whatever]" with "That's an interesting assumption!"

Excellent point. I've seen it used incorrectly on the board, several times, so that also lends to the feeling of snarkiness.

That kind of begs the question (that phrase "begs the question" is often used incorrectly as well - am I using it right?) of whether it's snarky in the real world, too.  I'm not saying it is or isn't, but I'm curious as to whether it's also seen as that elsewhere.

I know the immediate response to that question is that it's to shut down someone who's already asked a rude question or made an unkind assumption.  But is that, then, retaliatory rudeness?  If "interesting assumption" is snarky then why would it be used at all?  That would mean that we're (generic) just sinking to their rude level.  Correct?  But we have a whole section of the forum devoted to it, so it can't be rude.  Right?


(All this is just hypothetical and not intended to ruffle feathers at all.  I'm curious as to the feelings on the phrase itself since it is seen as snarky in the forum.  And I know we've talked about this phrase before and probably not come to any real conclusion that satisfies everyone.  I hope it's ok to discuss it here - possibly again.)

Edited to fix punctuation

I don't think it's retaliatory rudeness, but it is a very short, terse, cold response, meant to stop the person who said the rude statement, dead in their tracks.

I would have no issue with it being used on the board for statements like:

"Well, OP, you obviously hate children, and unicorns, and all things wonderful."
"You have clearly never been around a vegetarian/Pastafarian/unicorn."

But I've seen it used in response to things that are someone's opinion or their own personal experience.

"IME, unicorns sometimes need antidepressants."
"What an interesting assumption."

To me, there's a difference in tone and what it's trying to accomplish.

DottyG

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2011, 08:17:30 PM »
I can see your point there, j.


KimberlyRose

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2011, 09:57:58 PM »
I don't know Dotty, but I have noticed a few people throwing around "we" a lot in regards to how other people should be posting and I haven't noticed any visible mod stars under their name or actual rule violations in regards to such directives.

I couldn't agree more, there seems to be a lot of people trying to dictate how others post.

Very true.

WRT "interesting assumption," most people here don't use it correctly on the board.  There've been many times when I've seen someone pull out "that's an interesting assumption," when what they appear to mean is "you're very close to the truth, but I don't like the truth, so I'm going to be snotty with you instead."  Other times, it's not an interesting assumption being made, it's a reasonable conclusion drawn based on information that's been presented on the board.  Rather than pull an attitude, it's better to clarify/provide more information.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 09:59:42 PM by KimberlyRose »

Dindrane

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #41 on: August 16, 2011, 11:05:50 PM »
I think there are phrases and expressions that might be perfectly acceptable in one venue, but kind of snarky or off-putting in another.  "Interesting assumption" is one such phrase.

In its intended venue, i.e. face-to-face interactions, it can be snarky, but I don't think it is inherently.  If a person restricts it to situations in which the assumption made is so grossly unwarranted that it cannot really be corrected, the person making the assumption is not well-known, and there is no way to simply leave the conversation gracefully, then it's fine.  The more you stray from that general outline, the more likely it is to sound snarky.

On this board, however, I think it is more inherently snarky simply because the circumstances are different.  For one, everyone on this board is a presumed stranger, but a presumed stranger that you are interested in talking to.  Otherwise, you wouldn't be here.  In addition to that, there is pretty much never a situation where you can't leave the conversation gracefully -- all you have to do is stop responding and/or stop reading.  Finally, in situations where a person has made an assumption that is so grossly unwarranted that it cannot be corrected, a much more efficient way of addressing it is to simply report it.  I can't report people in real life to the friendly moderating team, but I can on this message board. :)

I don't particularly like the use of "we" in statements like that one, but I do think it can be challenging to explain to someone a general board culture type of thing without using that particular pronoun.  Because I, too, remember a thread awhile back in which the topic of "interesting assumption" used among members came up, and I'm pretty sure a mod weighed in and said it wasn't terribly appropriate here.


jimithing

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #42 on: August 16, 2011, 11:27:02 PM »
One of the other issues I have with The Line, is that often times it is thrown out for any assumption. There have been many times when I have posted about assumptions that I think are pretty reasonable. Just because it's an assumption, doesn't always mean that it's unreasonable or completely out of line.

If I saw someone in a hospital, wearing a white coat, with a stethoscope on, I would assume he was a doctor. An assumption, but a fairly reasonable one. And yet, I've seen The Line thrown out in situations like that.

Shores

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #43 on: August 16, 2011, 11:37:53 PM »
I see it as a conversation ender. It tells me that the person who said it has no interest in educated debate or to hear someone else's opinion. Unless it is said in response to something BLATANTLY rude/ out of line, it very much diminishes my opinion of the poster and makes me write them off as unwilling to discuss things maturely. I get very tired of seeing it mis-used or even worse, used to combat a perfectly logical, if incorrect, assumption.
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Aeris

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #44 on: August 17, 2011, 12:34:45 AM »
That kind of begs the question (that phrase "begs the question" is often used incorrectly as well - am I using it right?) of whether it's snarky in the real world, too.  I'm not saying it is or isn't, but I'm curious as to whether it's also seen as that elsewhere.

I wouldn't have mentioned it if you hadn't asked, but actually, no - the incorrect usage is using it to mean 'that raises the question'.

In reality 'begging the question' is a logical fallacy. One way to remember it is just that 'begging the question' is a bad thing. The idea is that the support you are using requires a proof that you are simply assuming, essentially 'begging' your listener to accept the conclusion before/without you proving it.

You'd hear someone commit the fallacy, then you'd hear the other person say "But you're begging the question!"

:D