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"I'm amazed/would you really do that?"

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I've seen people respond this way in threads to proposed courses of action that they disagree with.

I'm wondering if etiquette and this forum really support this-yes, the "amazed" person has the right to feel as they do, but so does the person who says that they will take that course of action, and it can come across as really snarky, even if that's not what was intended by the "amazed" poster.  I don't think a person who says that they would do something would say so if that wasn't the case.

I dislike it to honestly. I don't know if it's rude but it really comes off as disapproval of the poster(s) they disagree with.

I've both done this, and responded to this.

While I really think it's it's OK to say "wow, I am absolutely gobsmacked by that attitude" I do think that just substituting an "I disagree, and here's why..." works fine in most cases.

Except, there are a few things that I really am gobsmacked about. As with everything else, I'll go with forum concensus on this issue.

The trouble is that tone is so hard to convey by text alone. 

When a friend tells me something, and I say, "Really?"  I am expressing amazement, shock, sympathy.  When I say this, it comes across the way I mean it.  But I'm almost afraid, anymore, to type it.  Especially when it's so often seen as snarky.

I think there's a sort of reverse Occam's Razor in effect:  if it's possible to read something as snarky, some folks will (and no, I don't mean here specifically; I mean forums in general). 

I think it's very possible that when a person expresses amazement, that they simply are amazed. When I see the word "Really?" I read it kind of like this:

Me: "Wow, people in Ruritania really eat grilled parsnips? Amazing!" 
Politia:  "Yeah, Ruritania is really cool, and I was surprised how good grilled parsnips were!"

And not this:

Me: "Wow, people in Ruritania really eat grilled parsnips? Amazing!" 
Rudine:  "Saphie, how dare you say that?  Politia LIVES in Ruritania, she should know! And as a fellow Ruritanian, I'm offended by your attitude."

The latter exchange would leave me scratching my head, trying to figure out what I missed.

The former exchange would have me fishing for a recipe.  ;)

Well, I often see this when someone suggests cutting off a relationship or going to the authorities, as in: "Would you really call the police?" or "I'm amazed people are suggesting that the OP cut him off."  So in those circumstances, it does sound rather judgmental that someone made these suggestions.


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