Author Topic: Etiquette on the etiquette board  (Read 6841 times)

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Ms_Shell

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #45 on: December 16, 2010, 05:54:30 PM »
I have an example from a recent thread which got heated and then locked. The comments are rephrased by me, but in essence this is the exchange that took place:

OP describes incident:
We were doing (X), then (Y) happened. This ruined the thing (X) we were doing.

One poster says:
Can't you just to (Z) to fix it!?

Other poster says:
I agree with that. How is it possible that you don't know anything about (Z)? I've never studied (X-thing) and I'm pretty sure I could figure out how to do (Z).


IMO, the other poster's post was unnecessarily harsh. There's no need to insinuate the OP is unskilled/stupid. It would have been better to say something along the lines of, "I agree, would it be possible to fix the problem with (Z)? I've had a crack at it myself, and I don't find it too difficult".  


I'm pretty sure I know exactly which thread/exchange you're talking about.  I can see where the reply may have come across harshly.  That's one problem with a text-based communication medium, though - you can't get across tone of voice or expression.  And, if it's the thread I'm thinking of, I believe the example was a valid question and not an insinuation, since (Z) was the person's college major. 

It goes back to personal levels of sensitivity.  I myself wouldn't be bothered by the example you posted or find it rude.  The only thing you could do in that situation is to tell the poster, "hey I don't appreciate that insinuation" and give the person the chance to apologize/clarify/edit as needed.   
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high dudgeon

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #46 on: December 16, 2010, 05:59:45 PM »
I also think it's good to ask if the insinuation was intended. Because I sure know there have been times when I read something with a tone or implication the other poster did not intend at all. And if you ask what they meant by it, you're giving them the benefit of the doubt and an opportunity to apologize or clarify, instead of issuing a counter accusation and ratcheting up the tension. Why jump to conclusions when you can just ask directly?

Ms_Shell

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #47 on: December 16, 2010, 06:03:58 PM »
I also think it's good to ask if the insinuation was intended. Because I sure know there have been times when I read something with a tone or implication the other poster did not intend at all. And if you ask what they meant by it, you're giving them the benefit of the doubt and an opportunity to apologize or clarify, instead of issuing a counter accusation and ratcheting up the tension. Why jump to conclusions when you can just ask directly?

Very true, and succintly put.
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jpcher

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #48 on: December 16, 2010, 06:45:13 PM »
There have been times when I've responded to a thread and someone came back and said "I think your post was snarky."

Honestly? I never mean for my responses to be snarky -- sometimes it doesn't seem snarky to me at all until it is politely explained by (several :D) other posters. Then I'll apologize for being rude. It might take a few posts for me to fully understand what I did wrong. There even have been times when I stood behind my post and others finally saw what I meant and apologized to me.

You have every right to question a response. You also have every right to disagree. How many times has the term "We'll have to agree to disagree" come up? I've also seen "I hope you didn't mean it in that way, please explain."

That's the beauty of this board . . . polite debate.



I don't think that anyone purposely slams another poster here.



The mods are here to make sure that doesn't happen (or if it does, it doesn't happen again.)

OP -- interesting thread! Thanks for posting!

Wavicle

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #49 on: December 16, 2010, 07:11:04 PM »
While you can soften how you say things, I think it is natural for people to react negatively to disagreement. That doesn't make it wrong or rude to disagree, but being told you are wrong is going to hurt a little even if it is worded as far from saying "I think you are wrong" as possible. Since forums are centered around discussion, all we can do is try to manage out debates politely and try not to take it personally when someone disagrees.

If you think someone crosses the line from debate/disagreement to rude/snarky, report it to the mods. Unless the thread is clearly something that can become heated I wouldn't assume they would see it. It isn't a "Please get this person in trouble" message, it is "There is a situation that needs to be evaluated by a mod" message.

Allyson

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #50 on: December 16, 2010, 08:58:04 PM »
I think part of the problem is that even more so than in real life (where this problem still crops up) we have so many different people of different backgrounds and experiences. What to one person seems completely polite, to another comes off as snarky. And neither poster did anything wrong. I'd say that it's equally up to posters to avoid being unnecessarily snarky or aggressive, and to readers to give the benefit of the doubt. I really don't want to be treated with kid gloves, and while I've definitely seen posters' reply in a way I thought was snappish, I also have seen posters get very upset when they're disagreed with. Even when I would personally consider the way they were disagreed with fine and polite, obviously they don't.

I do think that if someone asks "Was I too sensitive" it's not rude to say "Yes, you were", for instance. I don't even think it's rude to say it if several others already have. I have to say I personally have a bit of a bad reaction when someone starts a thread, gets mostly disagreement, and then says something like "I should never have posted" or instructs people to stop posting to the thread.

ettiquit

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #51 on: December 16, 2010, 09:02:05 PM »
I think a lot of people start threads with the assumption that everyone is likely to agree with their POV.  When that doesn't happen, it's likely to put the OP on the defensive, and things can get ugly.  I absolutely think that there are people who go out of their way to turn a situation around so that the OP is wrong, and the lengths they go to are pretty ridiculous.  Obviously compared to many, many other forums, we are sickeningly polite, but we are also dealing with many different personality types.  Just because we all have an interest in etiquette does not automatically mean that we're experts at it, and always know the best way to respond to something.

I agree with everyone who suggested that if you do feel that someone has crossed a line, alert a mod.

baglady

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #52 on: December 16, 2010, 09:03:46 PM »
POD. If someone asks, "Was I rude?" "Would this be rude?" or "Am I too sensitive," chances are s/he is prepared to hear "yes." It's all in how the response is phrased. And 99 percent of the time, those responses are very polite and diplomatic. "I think you could have handled it better" rather than "Yes, you were rude, you uncouth B-word!"

Calling someone out on rudeness is rude. Giving someone guidance on etiquette when asked is not.
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ettiquit

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #53 on: December 16, 2010, 09:03:59 PM »
I think part of the problem is that even more so than in real life (where this problem still crops up) we have so many different people of different backgrounds and experiences. What to one person seems completely polite, to another comes off as snarky. And neither poster did anything wrong. I'd say that it's equally up to posters to avoid being unnecessarily snarky or aggressive, and to readers to give the benefit of the doubt. I really don't want to be treated with kid gloves, and while I've definitely seen posters' reply in a way I thought was snappish, I also have seen posters get very upset when they're disagreed with. Even when I would personally consider the way they were disagreed with fine and polite, obviously they don't.

I do think that if someone asks "Was I too sensitive" it's not rude to say "Yes, you were", for instance. I don't even think it's rude to say it if several others already have. I have to say I personally have a bit of a bad reaction when someone starts a thread, gets mostly disagreement, and then says something like "I should never have posted" or instructs people to stop posting to the thread.

I think that brings up a good point - we need to be careful with how we construct and phrase our queries to the board.  Be honest, of course, but if you don't want to hear "You're too sensitive", don't ask.

jimithing

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #54 on: December 16, 2010, 09:10:39 PM »
Calling someone out on rudeness is rude. Giving someone guidance on etiquette when asked is not.

I can't believe you would say something so rude! ;)

I have seen this come up a couple of times on this thread, and I think the statement that calling someone out on rudeness is rude, is sometimes blown out of proportion. I believe that that often applies to things like chewing with your mouth full, or using the "wrong" fork, etc. But I don't believe that if someone is being a complete Donkey and saying rude, offensive things, one is required to not say anything.

MsMarjorie

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #55 on: December 16, 2010, 09:15:32 PM »
Sometimes I think the bluntness is justified.  There has been the occasional poster who simply hasn't been able to "hear" what the commenters are saying until it gets quite direct.  There can be pages of people politely telling the poster that perhaps they were wrong and the OP denies, objects and qualifies every time.  Thats when I've noticed that the commentary on the OP can get quite blunt because the commenters want the OP to get what they are saying.  

Its a bit like where someone says "My mother won't stop buying me biscuits" and the responses are "tell her to buy you something else" "tell her to buy another brand" "tell her to save her money" until finally someone steps in and says "tell her NO, stop it".

kareng57

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #56 on: December 16, 2010, 09:17:36 PM »
My opinion is that sometimes OPs are so focused on their individual situation that they really can't see beyond it - hence, the cliche "can't see the forest for the trees".

I hate to keep going back to the cellphone-call example, but it's the only one that I can think of, at the moment.  If a similar question were to come up again, and an OP was irritated about being called about a non emergency while driving, I don't think it's wrong for posters to ask "but was there a reason why you were answering it while driving in the first place?"  No lectures about safety, laws etc.  In a case like that, sometimes an OP might stop and think - no, there was no reason why I had to answer it right then, I knew I'd be parked in a couple of minutes anyway and could have answered a voicemail at that time.

I very rarely see rudeness on this forum and I've been here for quite some time.  Some folks are more abrupt/direct than others while still being polite.  That's simply life.  We all know people IRL who can be rather sharp-tongued without being rude - and at the same time, others who pussyfoot so much about what they mean that it's a bit irritating in the end.

JenJay

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #57 on: December 16, 2010, 09:49:09 PM »
I think it is perfectly possible to have a polite argument.
Being polite doesn't mean always pretending to agree.



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Lisbeth

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #58 on: December 16, 2010, 09:58:22 PM »
Well, I often wish that people use kinder language in this forum, so I know where you're coming from, but honestly, it's never going to happen.  Some people are just curt and brusque or pithy and rather sarcastic and come off as hostile and/or cold, and yet they're not rude or uncivil in what they're saying.  I can think of posters, of earlier versions of this forum and of the current version, who are like that.  It can make this forum perhaps a less pleasant place, but there's no guarantee, either within etiquette itself or the rules of this forum, of pleasant treatment.

It unfortunately will always be that way because etiquette regulates behavior, but it can't really regulate basic personalities.
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jimithing

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Re: Etiquette on the etiquette board
« Reply #59 on: December 16, 2010, 10:45:54 PM »
Well, I often wish that people use kinder language in this forum, so I know where you're coming from, but honestly, it's never going to happen.  Some people are just curt and brusque or pithy and rather sarcastic and come off as hostile and/or cold, and yet they're not rude or uncivil in what they're saying.  I can think of posters, of earlier versions of this forum and of the current version, who are like that.  It can make this forum perhaps a less pleasant place, but there's no guarantee, either within etiquette itself or the rules of this forum, of pleasant treatment.

It unfortunately will always be that way because etiquette regulates behavior, but it can't really regulate basic personalities.

Ehelldame herself, can actually be very curt and brusque, but it's not rude. Speaking of, she hasn't seemed to be around lately!