Author Topic: "Is there an etiquette question here?"  (Read 23093 times)

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Lisbeth

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #60 on: October 01, 2010, 11:29:47 AM »
Well, I personally think it would be more polite if it were limited to moderators and not regular members.
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Morticia

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #61 on: October 01, 2010, 11:38:02 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.
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Brentwood

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #62 on: October 01, 2010, 08:33:41 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.

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #63 on: October 01, 2010, 08:51:38 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.  :)
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Wordgeek

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #64 on: October 02, 2010, 12:23:45 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. 

cass2591

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #65 on: October 02, 2010, 03:54:17 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."
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Lisbeth

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #66 on: October 02, 2010, 10:38:09 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.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 10:47:26 AM by KeenReader »
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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #67 on: October 02, 2010, 10:42:11 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.

Wordgeek

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #68 on: October 02, 2010, 12:59:11 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."


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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #69 on: October 03, 2010, 05:56:16 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.
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Lisbeth

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2010, 02:52:09 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.
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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #71 on: October 03, 2010, 04:15:02 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.

Lisbeth

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #72 on: October 03, 2010, 04:20:28 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.
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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #73 on: October 03, 2010, 09:37:21 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.

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Re: "Is there an etiquette question here?"
« Reply #74 on: October 03, 2010, 10:10:49 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.