Author Topic: "Is there an etiquette question here?"  (Read 22076 times)

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Scuba_Dog

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #45 on: September 30, 2010, 11:00:17 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.

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Granny Takes a Trip

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #46 on: September 30, 2010, 04:18:45 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.
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whatsanenigma

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #47 on: September 30, 2010, 05:13:33 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!

Lisbeth

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #48 on: September 30, 2010, 05:21:25 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.
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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #49 on: September 30, 2010, 05:52:16 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!
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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #50 on: September 30, 2010, 05:57:58 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....

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Scuba_Dog

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #51 on: September 30, 2010, 08:50:38 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.


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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #52 on: September 30, 2010, 08:54:25 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.

Scuba_Dog

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #53 on: September 30, 2010, 09:17:47 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.

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #54 on: October 01, 2010, 02:15:27 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!


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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #55 on: October 01, 2010, 03:20:51 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.
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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #56 on: October 01, 2010, 10:19:01 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.
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gollymolly2

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #57 on: October 01, 2010, 11:13:44 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.

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2010, 11:17:29 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.

Scuba_Dog

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #59 on: October 01, 2010, 11:18:17 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?
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