Author Topic: Interesting Assumptions and EHell  (Read 17802 times)

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rashea

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2011, 11:53:45 AM »
I wonder how you would have felt, Dotty, if the original had read: "Just so you know, sometimes using the phrase "interesting assumption" on another member of the forum comes across very harshly."

To me, that avoids the royal "we" and also clues someone into the culture of the board.

I do wish people wouldn't misuse the phrase, because I think it's very helpful in the right context. But, it's sort of like "bless your heart". It's polite and a shutdown at the same time. In reality, I feel like it's a sharky reply dressed up as a polite response. I'd only use it in extreme circumstances.
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Lynn2000

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #46 on: August 17, 2011, 11:59:11 AM »
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.

POD. I've never been able to figure out where I would use the phrase in real life anyway, unless it was with a total stranger who had said something really awful, in which case I would probably just ignore them as best I could and walk away. If I felt I must say something before walking away, The Phrase is probably better than a lot of other things; but to me, it still has the air of, "You are rude, and I will have the last word." I could be totally misinterpreting it, though--I tend not to read that section of the site, dealing with common etiquette phrases.

Also, with anyone I actually know, their response would be, "What do you mean? Why is this an assumption?" thus continuing the conversation...
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Aeris

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2011, 12:01:51 PM »
I know I've used it here before, but only maybe once or twice that I can recall. And it has only been in situations where the assumption was significant, and really, terribly offensive. I personally think it's appropriate, even on this board, in those circumstances. Even then, I don't *think* I've simply posted the phrase alone. My vague recollection is more like "That was a really interesting, and terribly offensive, assumption. <Continued explanation of *what* was offensive and why>."

I agree that in general use it's way too hostile for most conversations here, and *totally* agree that it's thrown around a lot when either the assumption isn't 'interesting' at all, but a rather reasonable one, or sometimes when there isn't even an assumption at all, just something the responder disagrees with being stated.

Wonderflonium

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #48 on: August 17, 2011, 12:13:00 PM »
OK, I'm only on page 1, but I have to comment.

I'm the person Dotty quoted (or if she didn't quote me, I know I have said it). I did say "try not to use," not "don't do it." I say that because of discussions (sorry, can't find the threads, but I do remember mods stepping in) in which it was determined that on this forum, we should be polite and give each other the benefit of the doubt. "What an interesting assumption" is slightly combative and, moreover, meant to shut down conversation, which is not the purpose of this board. If you think someone is making an unfair assumption, you should ask for explanation of their comment and/or explain your position more thoroughly, not try to lay the verbal smackdown on another poster.

Edited to add: Because mods were the ones saying that it generally shouldn't be used on this board, I felt "we" was appropriate because mods set the tone and culture of the board.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 12:21:50 PM by Wonderflonium »
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kingsrings

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #49 on: August 17, 2011, 01:36:11 PM »
I believe I read a mod stating that at some point.

I can see why it is frowned upon. It is phrase recommended to deflect people with unwanted and inappropriate comments. When posting here, comments are appropriate. I do not think it is wise to be dismissive of your fellow board members, particularly if you are the OP coming for advice.

Also, I often see people pulling it out on other poster when someone make an assumption based on the person's post because the OP worded things clumsily or did not provide enough information. If there is something wrong with the original message, I don't think its right to blame the readers.

If someone is really making huge and inappropriate leaps, I would report it to a mod or ignore it. "What an interesting assumption" is a bit combative for this environment IMHO.

POD to this. IRL it is meant to deflect, dismiss, and otherwise end the discussion with a person who is being rude. That's pretty counterproductive behavior to engage in on a forum--if someone else on the forum is being rude, I think it's better to report them to a mod, or politely ask for clarification of the statement you find offensive, rather than just posting this very loaded phrase.

Agreed. From what I can remember, this term came about as a way to politely tell someone you donít appreciate what they just said to you. But, IMHO, if you donít like the way someone is speaking to you on here, or you think theyíre being offensive or insulting to you, then posting this phrase just inflames the situation, I think. The best bet for handling someone you think is being rude or offensive to you is to simply ignore them.  Your lack of response to their post says more than that phrase ever could.

Yvaine

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2011, 01:49:03 PM »
I believe I read a mod stating that at some point.

I can see why it is frowned upon. It is phrase recommended to deflect people with unwanted and inappropriate comments. When posting here, comments are appropriate. I do not think it is wise to be dismissive of your fellow board members, particularly if you are the OP coming for advice.

Also, I often see people pulling it out on other poster when someone make an assumption based on the person's post because the OP worded things clumsily or did not provide enough information. If there is something wrong with the original message, I don't think its right to blame the readers.

If someone is really making huge and inappropriate leaps, I would report it to a mod or ignore it. "What an interesting assumption" is a bit combative for this environment IMHO.

POD to this. IRL it is meant to deflect, dismiss, and otherwise end the discussion with a person who is being rude. That's pretty counterproductive behavior to engage in on a forum--if someone else on the forum is being rude, I think it's better to report them to a mod, or politely ask for clarification of the statement you find offensive, rather than just posting this very loaded phrase.

Agreed. From what I can remember, this term came about as a way to politely tell someone you donít appreciate what they just said to you. But, IMHO, if you donít like the way someone is speaking to you on here, or you think theyíre being offensive or insulting to you, then posting this phrase just inflames the situation, I think. The best bet for handling someone you think is being rude or offensive to you is to simply ignore them.  Your lack of response to their post says more than that phrase ever could.

The more I think about it, the more I think the fact that it's an eHell "trademark phrase" makes it more inflammatory on the board. Because people here know the whole history of it and some of the stories in which it's been used. So it's like saying "You're as bad as that mean person that such-and-such ehellion met in the supermarket last week." And that can sometimes be an accurate message! But it's a loaded one.

Whereas if it's used on a non-eHellion, they don't have the weight of all those stories behind it, and while they may think it's curt, they'll be more likely to think it's just a random thing that popped into your head or else it may actually make them think.

Dindrane

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2011, 11:50:20 PM »
POD. I've never been able to figure out where I would use the phrase in real life anyway, unless it was with a total stranger who had said something really awful, in which case I would probably just ignore them as best I could and walk away. If I felt I must say something before walking away, The Phrase is probably better than a lot of other things; but to me, it still has the air of, "You are rude, and I will have the last word." I could be totally misinterpreting it, though--I tend not to read that section of the site, dealing with common etiquette phrases.

Also, with anyone I actually know, their response would be, "What do you mean? Why is this an assumption?" thus continuing the conversation...

I don't think I'd ever use that phrase in a situation where I could just end the interaction/conversation.  I really think that phrase and many others that people have come up with here are only truly useful when someone has been so rude you can't just let it pass, and you can't just leave.  Sometimes, you're stuck in a situation where you can't physically remove yourself, but really don't want to talk to the person who has made the "interesting assumption."

The real reason why I would probably never use that particular phrase, however, is that I don't honestly think it would work.  I don't know that most people would really understand that, in saying it, I meant, "You have said something so offensive that I am now going to pretend you don't exist -- please do not talk to me."


Allyson

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2011, 12:07:13 AM »
I do find it snarky on this board, most of the time. Mostly I don't like it because it seems like a code that everybody knows. In the real word, we're told to use the 'interesting assumption' line on someone who's being rude, to basically deflect and call them out without saying 'you're being rude and obnoxious'. So because everyone here *knows* that's how it's used, it feels like a passive-aggressive way to say, 'you're being rude'. If it's an offensive assumption, I'd rather the person just say *that*.

It'd be like if my friend and I have a whole conversation about how we use 'sorry, I have to catch up on some schoolwork tonight' as a way to politely decline invitations. Then the next time my friend asked me out to something, I said 'Sorry, I have to catch up on some schoolwork."

Yvaine

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2011, 12:19:04 AM »
I do find it snarky on this board, most of the time. Mostly I don't like it because it seems like a code that everybody knows. In the real word, we're told to use the 'interesting assumption' line on someone who's being rude, to basically deflect and call them out without saying 'you're being rude and obnoxious'. So because everyone here *knows* that's how it's used, it feels like a passive-aggressive way to say, 'you're being rude'. If it's an offensive assumption, I'd rather the person just say *that*.

It'd be like if my friend and I have a whole conversation about how we use 'sorry, I have to catch up on some schoolwork tonight' as a way to politely decline invitations. Then the next time my friend asked me out to something, I said 'Sorry, I have to catch up on some schoolwork."

Good analogy! Yeah, it blows the polite fiction.

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #54 on: September 25, 2011, 04:23:15 PM »

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.

 

Sorry to say, Dotty, that "beg the question" does mean what you think it means.

It actually means "to question the truth of the underlying assumption," as in:

     "I need to shoot that dog because it's spotted." 
     "That begs the question of whether spotted dogs are inherently dangerous."


Your usage is "raises the question," as in (example stolen from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question ):

  "This year's deficit is half a trillion dollars, which begs the question: how are we ever going to balance the budget?"
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TychaBrahe

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #55 on: October 02, 2011, 12:34:24 AM »
The implied meaning of the phrase, "What an interesting assumption," is "You are wrong, but you aren't work the time it would take me to explain why you are wrong." 

It's the italicized part that I think makes this phrase inappropriate to use on other Ehellions.
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Spoder

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #56 on: October 02, 2011, 12:37:44 AM »
The implied meaning of the phrase, "What an interesting assumption," is "You are wrong, but you aren't work the time it would take me to explain why you are wrong." 

It's the italicized part that I think makes this phrase inappropriate to use on other Ehellions.

Exactly. It's used to shut people down when they're not worth the effort of engaging with any further.

Winterlight

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Re: Interesting Assumptions and EHell
« Reply #57 on: October 07, 2011, 10:15:08 AM »
The more I think about it, the more I think the fact that it's an eHell "trademark phrase" makes it more inflammatory on the board. Because people here know the whole history of it and some of the stories in which it's been used. So it's like saying "You're as bad as that mean person that such-and-such ehellion met in the supermarket last week." And that can sometimes be an accurate message! But it's a loaded one.

Whereas if it's used on a non-eHellion, they don't have the weight of all those stories behind it, and while they may think it's curt, they'll be more likely to think it's just a random thing that popped into your head or else it may actually make them think.

This. It's part of our board's culture, so when it's used we all know exactly what's meant by it.

I have seen it used on the board in an (IMO) appropriate context, when someone was making inflamnatory and insulting comments. As a general rule, though, I think we're better off steering clear.
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