Author Topic: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?  (Read 9486 times)

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Hanna

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2011, 03:10:59 PM »
About the opinion thing...
I don't think one has to say "in my opinion" each time, but there are times writing styles that leave no indication that they realize what the are saying is merely their opinion and that not everyone agrees. 

Using phrases like "In my experience" and statements like "I think", "I believe", "I feel" helps...

Cathy, you may not use these, but I have never gotten the impression that you think your opinion is the only valid one, nor that you are posting with th idea that you speak with authority on all subjects.


Red1979

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2011, 03:20:30 PM »
About the opinion thing...
I don't think one has to say "in my opinion" each time, but there are times writing styles that leave no indication that they realize what the are saying is merely their opinion and that not everyone agrees. 

Using phrases like "In my experience" and statements like "I think", "I believe", "I feel" helps...

Cathy, you may not use these, but I have never gotten the impression that you think your opinion is the only valid one, nor that you are posting with th idea that you speak with authority on all subjects.



But how can it not be considered their opinion?  If someone states something that is subjective it is an opinion.

For example:

Poster A:  Coach bags are the best bags and the other brands just don't compare.

How would anyone consider that anything but an opinion?  They don't use "I think" or anything else but its *obviously* an opinion.  One might of course disagree with it and have a different opinion, but Poster A believes that to be true and it is subjective.  Therefore it is in opinion.

Something that is not an opinion:

Poster A: I've purchased Coach bags on discount at X store.  I've found them at a huge discount from retail.

This is a fact.  Thus obviously not an opinion.


To say its about being concerned that the poster is stating something unilaterally is disingenious to me, because its illogical.  This issue comes up as a way to try to argue with a viewpoint one opposes, but simply ignoring the core of the argument and going after semantics.  If someone states something subjective it is *their* opinion unless they are transcribing something or posting on behalf of someone else.

If you (general you) truly think someone doesn't *know* that there could possibly be other opinions out there simply state what those other differing opinions might be.  Don't get on the posters case that they didn't make it clear that a statement wasn't just *their* opinion and list a bunch of required modifers in order to make their post acceptable.
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DangerMouth

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2011, 03:39:09 PM »
I think it comes down to you shouldn't treat your opinion as if it is the only valid one.

So, state "Twilight is garbage" all you want (though those be fightin' words in these here parts ;)), but don't say, "Of course Twilight is garbage!  ::)"

But your opinion is the only valid one for *you*.  You can be respectful to someone and fervently believe that Twilight is garbage and nothing anyone else posts or says will change that opinion.

For example:

Poster A:  I love Twilight, it's the best!
Poster B: Not for me, Twilight is garbage.
Poster A: Ah, well I love Twilight and nothing will change that.
Poster B: I think its' garbage and nothing will change that.

Each one's argument is entirely valid only for themselves and the other person's opinion really doesn't need to mean anything or factor in.  I've never ever understood why someone else's personal opinion of something matters at *all* in how you form your own.

I love plenty of things other people don't, but if they intensely hate something or think its fluff, I'm secure enough in my opinion that it doesn't matter to me at all.  Why on earth should the fact that Susie hates Twilight, have any bearing at all on my opinion of it?  It seems pretty self-centered to immediately think someone else's opinion of something was directly formed or has some direct link to your own.

Why can't people just like what they like and dislike what they dislike and leave it at that?

It's easy to laugh it off or ignore it when it's that type of opinion. But because of what this board is, some of the most heated debates come when someone says:

-I did/saw/heard XYZ, what this rude?
-Absolutely rude
-It would be rude, except for ABC exceptions, and since you can't know that, it's not rude.
-No, it's rude regardless.
-Could be rude, but family and friends won't care.
-Miss Manners says it's rude, so it's rude, period!
-Not if the person has Tourettes/social anxiety disorder/tunafish for lunch.
-Well, it doesn't bother me.
-Rude! Always has been, always will be!

All of those are opinions, and I even saw a thread recently where the prevailing opinion was that Miss Manners was out of touch, or speaking to a level of formality most of us don't encounter in our daily lives.

I love a good debate, but there does come a time when you're beating a dead horse. And thinking of all sorts of reasons that the person was rude if-, is a bad as thinking of all sorts of reasons why rudeness should be excused.

Red1979

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2011, 03:43:51 PM »
I think it comes down to you shouldn't treat your opinion as if it is the only valid one.

So, state "Twilight is garbage" all you want (though those be fightin' words in these here parts ;)), but don't say, "Of course Twilight is garbage!  ::)"

But your opinion is the only valid one for *you*.  You can be respectful to someone and fervently believe that Twilight is garbage and nothing anyone else posts or says will change that opinion.

For example:

Poster A:  I love Twilight, it's the best!
Poster B: Not for me, Twilight is garbage.
Poster A: Ah, well I love Twilight and nothing will change that.
Poster B: I think its' garbage and nothing will change that.

Each one's argument is entirely valid only for themselves and the other person's opinion really doesn't need to mean anything or factor in.  I've never ever understood why someone else's personal opinion of something matters at *all* in how you form your own.

I love plenty of things other people don't, but if they intensely hate something or think its fluff, I'm secure enough in my opinion that it doesn't matter to me at all.  Why on earth should the fact that Susie hates Twilight, have any bearing at all on my opinion of it?  It seems pretty self-centered to immediately think someone else's opinion of something was directly formed or has some direct link to your own.

Why can't people just like what they like and dislike what they dislike and leave it at that?

It's easy to laugh it off or ignore it when it's that type of opinion. But because of what this board is, some of the most heated debates come when someone says:

-I did/saw/heard XYZ, what this rude?
-Absolutely rude
-It would be rude, except for ABC exceptions, and since you can't know that, it's not rude.
-No, it's rude regardless.
-Could be rude, but family and friends won't care.
-Miss Manners says it's rude, so it's rude, period!
-Not if the person has Tourettes/social anxiety disorder/tunafish for lunch.
-Well, it doesn't bother me.
-Rude! Always has been, always will be!

All of those are opinions, and I even saw a thread recently where the prevailing opinion was that Miss Manners was out of touch, or speaking to a level of formality most of us don't encounter in our daily lives.

I love a good debate, but there does come a time when you're beating a dead horse. And thinking of all sorts of reasons that the person was rude if-, is a bad as thinking of all sorts of reasons why rudeness should be excused.

That's a really good point.  Stretching all threads of credibility to every possible "what if" can really derail a thread--especially once one of those random "what ifs" gets intrepreted by a later poster as an actual and then you've got lots and lots of posts trying to correct that and more continuing the "what if" train.
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think2x

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2011, 03:45:06 PM »
Saying IMO / IME can soften a post that may otherwise seem dictatorial to some.

It may be illogical, but (IME) it is nevertheless true.  I was called rude once for not stating "IMO" and thought, 'why should I? Obviously whatever I write is my opinion!' But I got into the habit of including it-- not to tag my own posts as my opinion, but to convey a certain respect or appreciation for every post that may disagree (or the author's right to disagreement):

POSTER 1:  Twilight is garbage!
POSTER 2: (Thought: Poster 1 thinks I have bad taste because I like Twilight.)

vs

POSTER 1: IMO, Twilight is garbage!
POSTER 2: (Thought: Poster 1 doesn't like Twilight. But she leaves room that that's just her. She isn't saying I have bad taste just because I think it's awesome.)

Brentwood

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2011, 03:46:18 PM »
I dislike the extreme contortions sometimes used to excuse or explain rudeness. Possible explanations that don't involve complex mental gymnastics are fine, of course, but we really should be using Occam's Razor when discussing situations about which we have very little information.

Bibliophile

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2011, 03:50:48 PM »
I think that if one doesn't like the direction a thread is going that it needs to be either reported to a mod (if appropriate) or simply ignore the thread.  It seems like more and more thread topics pop up where some posters do not like the way others post.  After awhile they tend to just be a bit venty and people post round-about, vague examples that basically just call out other posters in a very PA way.  

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Red1979

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2011, 03:51:00 PM »
Saying IMO / IME can soften a post that may otherwise seem dictatorial to some.

It may be illogical, but (IME) it is nevertheless true.  I was called rude once for not stating "IMO" and thought, 'why should I? Obviously whatever I write is my opinion!' But I got into the habit of including it-- not to tag my own posts as my opinion, but to convey a certain respect or appreciation for every post that may disagree (or the author's right to disagreement):

POSTER 1:  Twilight is garbage!
POSTER 2: (Thought: Poster 1 thinks I have bad taste because I like Twilight.)


That's the problem.  Right. There.  Why does Poster 1 thinking Twilight is garbage immediately jump to the conclusion that Poster 1 thinks everyone who likes Twilight has bad taste? Where on earth is that stated? Why is that an appropraite and immediate conclusion? Isn't that rude?  To make an assumption that someone thinks the absolute worst rather than just look at what is *actually* written?

Maybe Poster 1 is just different than Poster 2?  Why not just assume different people like different things and one man's trash is another man's treasure and so on.  It's particularly obvious in things like books, movies, music--where its all about being *subjective*.  

It's like assuming that because someone hates the color green, but you love it means they think that you're an idiot or something.  Why?  It makes absolutely no sense.

--Red
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think2x

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2011, 03:56:59 PM »
I don't know, Red. I've just noticed that's how it seems to work.  Maybe some people are just naturally defensive. And it can really get a thread off track and into snarksville.

Brentwood

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2011, 03:59:16 PM »
I don't know, Red. I've just noticed that's how it seems to work.  Maybe some people are just naturally defensive. And it can really get a thread off track and into snarksville.

I'd say it's incumbent upon the reader to recognize an opinion for what it is and respond only to what's said, rather than reacting to something that hasn't been said. Asking for clarification if uncertain would be more productive than jumping to conclusions.

TurtleDove

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2011, 04:00:46 PM »
Isn't that rude?  To make an assumption that someone thinks the absolute worst rather than just look at what is *actually* written?


POD. I think many threads derail and end up with various posters defending their posts again and again because other posters assumed the worst (or assume at all) rather than simply look at what is actually written.  I think it is rude to "read into" posts to find some reason to be offended.  Read what is written and if any assumption is made it should be that what the poster wrote is what the poster meant....period.

Hanna

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2011, 04:03:01 PM »
About the opinion thing...
I don't think one has to say "in my opinion" each time, but there are times writing styles that leave no indication that they realize what the are saying is merely their opinion and that not everyone agrees. 

Using phrases like "In my experience" and statements like "I think", "I believe", "I feel" helps...

Cathy, you may not use these, but I have never gotten the impression that you think your opinion is the only valid one, nor that you are posting with th idea that you speak with authority on all subjects.



But how can it not be considered their opinion?  If someone states something that is subjective it is an opinion.
Etiquette is a combination of objective rules and subjective personal opinion.
There are numerous posters here that are very knowledgeable about those rules and each of us also has our own subjective personal ideas about how things should be done.

We don't all have the same level of knowledge about the rules and also, it is a dynamic field.  Thus how would anyone know that it's just your opinion or way of doing things?

So if I say:
"It is in poor taste to eat in front of your cat offering it a plate."  without indicating that is just your own opinion, it leaves open the possibility that this is a well-accepted tenet of etiquette.  Instead I would say "I feel it is in poor taste to eat in front of your cat offering it a plate." making it clear this is just my opinion. 

If I say "Knife blades should be turned in toward the plate when setting the table"  I mean that's how I know it is to be done.

If I say "I like to put a bottle of water by the bedside in the guestroom for visitors"  that's letting you know it's my way of doing things rather than what is dictated by etiquette.

It's not that tough to be specific in one's language and it definitely leaves less room for argument when we are clear about what we believe to be fact vs. opinion.

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2011, 04:06:05 PM »
Saying IMO / IME can soften a post that may otherwise seem dictatorial to some.

It may be illogical, but (IME) it is nevertheless true.  I was called rude once for not stating "IMO" and thought, 'why should I? Obviously whatever I write is my opinion!' But I got into the habit of including it-- not to tag my own posts as my opinion, but to convey a certain respect or appreciation for every post that may disagree (or the author's right to disagreement):

. . .


This makes me think of the recent episode of the U.S. TV show "The Good Wife." In the show (which is about a lawyer), a Circuit Court Judge requires attorneys appearing before her to preface every statement with "In My Opinion . . ."  If they forget, she prods them. Hilarity ensues.

Re: this thread, I just try to remember that because someone disagrees with me does not imply a criticism of me. But then, I have no opinion of "Twilight."  ;D
Just because you're disappointed in me doesn't mean I did anything wrong.

Hanna

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2011, 04:08:13 PM »
Saying IMO / IME can soften a post that may otherwise seem dictatorial to some.

It may be illogical, but (IME) it is nevertheless true.  I was called rude once for not stating "IMO" and thought, 'why should I? Obviously whatever I write is my opinion!' But I got into the habit of including it-- not to tag my own posts as my opinion, but to convey a certain respect or appreciation for every post that may disagree (or the author's right to disagreement):

POSTER 1:  Twilight is garbage!
POSTER 2: (Thought: Poster 1 thinks I have bad taste because I like Twilight.)


That's the problem.  Right. There.  Why does Poster 1 thinking Twilight is garbage immediately jump to the conclusion that Poster 1 thinks everyone who likes Twilight has bad taste? Where on earth is that stated? Why is that an appropraite and immediate conclusion? Isn't that rude?  To make an assumption that someone thinks the absolute worst rather than just look at what is *actually* written?

Maybe Poster 1 is just different than Poster 2?  Why not just assume different people like different things and one man's trash is another man's treasure and so on.  It's particularly obvious in things like books, movies, music--where its all about being *subjective*. 

It's like assuming that because someone hates the color green, but you love it means they think that you're an idiot or something.  Why?  It makes absolutely no sense.


Why on earth make a comment like "X is garbage"  in the first place though?  There's nothing polite about that.  Why not say "I don't care for X."?

When one makes blunt, harshly negative comments about things that others enjoy, they should not be surprised that others may become offended and defensive.

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2011, 04:09:41 PM »

Why on earth make a comment like "X is garbage"  in the first place though?  There's nothing polite about that.  Why not say "I don't care for X."?

I agree that there are diplomatic and non-diplomatic ways to state opinions. I prefer the former.