Author Topic: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?  (Read 9194 times)

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Red1979

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #60 on: January 18, 2011, 04:10:15 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.

But its an opinion until the poster cites where it came from or puts it in ettiquette.  If you want anything to be considered *not* an opinion you need to cite a source.  Yes, there are etiquette rules and people typically cite a location be that "in my social circle" or "Ms. Manners."  If you read a post and are unclear and would like to know more just ask the poster.

However, what you've stated above was not what we were specifically discussing.  The examples being discussed were in relation to the issue of having to state "in my opinion" for things that are clearly subjective and obviously opinion.  One's taste in movies, books, music, clothes---all of that is obviously an opinion--they simply can't be fact.  

Some posters equate a "negative opinion of X" = some type of judgment on me for liking X.  This translates into people trying to *soften* their language with "in my opinion" and others assuming or lambasting posters who don't explicitly say "in my opinion" and put negative connotations on their posts where none have been stated or implied.
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Hanna

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #61 on: January 18, 2011, 04:10:48 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.
And it always shows!  :)

TurtleDove

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #62 on: January 18, 2011, 04:12:17 PM »
When one makes blunt, harshly negative comments about things that others enjoy, they should not be surprised that others may become offended and defensive.

Here is where not everyone agrees.  The "harsh, negative comments" are about the "thing," not about posters who enjoy that thing.  Unless the "harsh, negative comment" expressly says, "People who like green tacks are morons," a statement of "green tacks are useless" is not making any statement whatsoever about people who disagree or hold other beliefs about green tacks.  In my opinion, to become offended or defensive about a statement that someone believes green tacks to be useless says more about the person offended than it does about the person who made the comment.

aventurine

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2011, 04:14:57 PM »
 In my opinion, to become offended or defensive about a statement that someone believes green tacks to be useless says more about the person offended than it does about the person who made the comment.

Yup.




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Red1979

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2011, 04:15:28 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.

Because that's what you *actually* believe?  It's pretty boring if everyone who liked or disliked something had only a very short list of "acceptable" words and descriptions they were allowed to use.

I like/love tons of things others dislike, why on earth does *their* hating things have any impact at all on me?  Why should that bother me?  For example, I love octopus. I think it is delicious.  Many, many people think it is gross and scary and state that vividly quite frequently.  Why should I be bothered by that?  More yummy grilled octopus for me!  

If I loved Twilight, and someone said it was trash, I'd think that was one less person I'd have to worry about being in line when I went to a midnight screening of the lastest Twilight movie.

--Red
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aventurine

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2011, 04:18:23 PM »
I used to have the thinnest skin imaginable about such things.  In addition to providing me with a spine, eHell has toughened my epidermis as well.   :)
I don't take things nearly as personally as I used to, and as a consequence, my BP stays lower and I stay happier.

Now, if I could just get some work done   :D




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Brentwood

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2011, 04:19:09 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.
And it always shows!  :)

Thank you for saying so. ;)

think2x

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2011, 04:19:48 PM »
When one makes blunt, harshly negative comments about things that others enjoy, they should not be surprised that others may become offended and defensive.

Here is where not everyone agrees.  The "harsh, negative comments" are about the "thing," not about posters who enjoy that thing.  Unless the "harsh, negative comment" expressly says, "People who like green tacks are morons," a statement of "green tacks are useless" is not making any statement whatsoever about people who disagree or hold other beliefs about green tacks.  In my opinion, to become offended or defensive about a statement that someone believes green tacks to be useless says more about the person offended than it does about the person who made the comment.

I'm going to play devil's advocate, since I really do not love writing IMO in all my posts.

But isn't it also obviously just an opinion that "People who like green tacks are morons"-- so why should people who like green tacks take offense? Obviously, they disagree.  And yet, it is clearly an insult, and clearly a rude thing to say. (To people who like green tacks).

Hanna

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2011, 04:24:40 PM »
Friends, I am outta this thread.  Have fun!!!
Hope you win!
;)

TurtleDove

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2011, 04:27:22 PM »
But isn't it also obviously just an opinion that "People who like green tacks are morons"-- so why should people who like green tacks take offense? Obviously, they disagree.  And yet, it is clearly an insult, and clearly a rude thing to say. (To people who like green tacks).

There is a world of difference between a statement about green tacks and a statement about people who like green tacks.  Yes, both would be opinions.  My point was that (IMO) it is silly to "read into" a statement about green tacks and become offended because you like green tacks.  While I personally would not care whether someone said that people who like things I like are morons, I can see how someone with thinner skin might be offended.  But a statement of "I don't like something you like" is NOT a statement about the person who likes the thing the writer dislikes.

Red1979

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2011, 04:28:42 PM »
When one makes blunt, harshly negative comments about things that others enjoy, they should not be surprised that others may become offended and defensive.

Here is where not everyone agrees.  The "harsh, negative comments" are about the "thing," not about posters who enjoy that thing.  Unless the "harsh, negative comment" expressly says, "People who like green tacks are morons," a statement of "green tacks are useless" is not making any statement whatsoever about people who disagree or hold other beliefs about green tacks.  In my opinion, to become offended or defensive about a statement that someone believes green tacks to be useless says more about the person offended than it does about the person who made the comment.

I'm going to play devil's advocate, since I really do not love writing IMO in all my posts.

But isn't it also obviously just an opinion that "People who like green tacks are morons"-- so why should people who like green tacks take offense? Obviously, they disagree.  And yet, it is clearly an insult, and clearly a rude thing to say. (To people who like green tacks).

Because you are insulting an actual *person*.  You are being rude to people who like green tacks by judging them without appropriate criteria. Liking green tacks is not an appropriate measurement of whether someone is a moron.  And people are capable of being insulted whereas things and inanimate objects are not.  For example, I can scream at a chair and call it "stupid" but I am not being rude to the chair (just maybe a bit crazy).  If I did that to a person, then I'd be extremely rude.

Books, movies, music--are not people and they are set up as forms of entertainment/art--thus they can be judged on the criteria of being entertaining or moving to the individual viewing/listening to them.

You can of course insult the authors, actors, musicians who create said items---in which case one could argue you are being rude to those people.  However, in the arts it is accepted that one can critique/judge artwork without directly insulting the creator.  So you can say Twilight is awful but that doesn't necessarily mean you think Stephanie Myers is awful either as a person or a writer.

Simply disliking an inanimate object or thing does not automatically mean are you being rude to all people who happen to like it.  
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RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2011, 04:28:54 PM »
The problem with the Twilight example is that there really often is an undertone of "...and if you like it, you're an idiot."  I see it much more in other places than I do here on ehell, and there are posters (Cathy, for example) who could say that they think Twilight sucks, and I wouldn't think anything of it.  But there really have been times, even here, where I've sensed that undertone of "Twilight fans are idiots with no taste."  It really is specific to Twilight (and I'm sure a few other books/movies/etc), if someone said to me "Stephen King is garbage," or "rock music is garbage," or "dogs suck," or "potatoes are disgusting," it wouldn't occur to me at all that I was being judged for liking rock music and dogs and potatoes and Stephen King.  It's different for Twilight, because frankly, I am often judged for liking it, and there is very much a "Twilight fan" stereotype that many of us don't appreciate being wedged into.  

Cathy does have a point about diplomacy when expressing distaste for something, though.  You don't necessarily need to say "In my opinion and only my opinion, and this is only how I feel, I think Twilight isn't the best book in the universe," but I think it's much better to say "I didn't like Twilight at all," or "I don't think Twilight is appropriate for kids under 18" or whatever, rather than just declaring it garbage.


As for the original question, I've been frustrated by that behavior, but I'm probably guilty of it, as well.  I do think it's a good idea, if you find you've made 50% of the posts in a thread, to look back at what you're writing and ask if you're actually adding anything new.  

(there were five replies while I was posting, so if I seem behind the times here, I'll post again)

think2x

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2011, 04:28:57 PM »
Friends, I am outta this thread.  Have fun!!!
Hope you win!
;)

Aww.  ??? And I thought I was just debating.  Maybe I was repeatedly posting every few posts to reassert my opinion  ;), trying to convince everyone else. Sigh.

hobish

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2011, 04:31:35 PM »

>trimming<

Some posters equate a "negative opinion of X" = some type of judgment on me for liking X.  This translates into people trying to *soften* their language with "in my opinion" and others assuming or lambasting posters who don't explicitly say "in my opinion" and put negative connotations on their posts where none have been stated or implied.

...which, in turn, often leads to the same people stating the same thing over and over again. A little bit of understanding what is opinion would go a long way ... IMO  :P >:D
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DangerMouth

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Re: When should a poster STOP trying to convince everyone else?
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2011, 04:32:13 PM »
When one makes blunt, harshly negative comments about things that others enjoy, they should not be surprised that others may become offended and defensive.

Here is where not everyone agrees.  The "harsh, negative comments" are about the "thing," not about posters who enjoy that thing.  Unless the "harsh, negative comment" expressly says, "People who like green tacks are morons," a statement of "green tacks are useless" is not making any statement whatsoever about people who disagree or hold other beliefs about green tacks.  In my opinion, to become offended or defensive about a statement that someone believes green tacks to be useless says more about the person offended than it does about the person who made the comment.

I'm going to play devil's advocate, since I really do not love writing IMO in all my posts.

But isn't it also obviously just an opinion that "People who like green tacks are morons"-- so why should people who like green tacks take offense? Obviously, they disagree.  And yet, it is clearly an insult, and clearly a rude thing to say. (To people who like green tacks).

I don't love writing IMO, or IME, but I tend to do it alot, defensively. Because I've had a statements such as "They should have done X instead of Y" answered by "Well, that's your opinion."

Well, yes, it is, that's why I typed it out on my keyboard and posted it under my username. But making it clear that it's MO, or ME sometimes will cut off useless arguments that I "shouldn't make sweeping generalizations".

Or sometimes, I do want to make sweeping generalizations. Eating with your mouth open is rude and gross. Argue all day long, I'll never change my mind, nor will I cite an etiquette expert. It's my opinion, but one that I feel should be a 'truth universally acknowledged' :)