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#2628 - 05/19/00 04:38 AM Rules of engagement
jmh Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
I have noticed a few ruffled feathers and wondered if anyone would like to discuss a few rules of engagement now that we are coming of age as a group.

Here are a few ideas.
(i) Everybody has the right to ask a question, no matter how obvious the answer maybe to anyone else.
(ii) It isn't necessary to pick up on people's grammatical, spelling or typing errors unless it is done in order to help re-state the question in a clearer way. (If you want to sent a "by the way, did you notice" e-mail directly to the person so that they can correct/amend the posting - then on your own head be it).
(iii) Some of the questions posed offer people the opportunity to do some pleasurable research and do not require an immediate answer. We cover a large range of time zones so not everyone gets to see the question, so it may be best to hold back on an answer, so as not to spoil it for others. I've seen cryptic answers and clues used to help the discussion along without taking away other people's rights to find out for themselves.
(iv) That said, if you really do want a quick answer, than say so.
(v) Everyone has a an equal voice, so only speak for yourself.
(vi) If a thread has got a long way from its initial discussion it may be best to start a new thread. This makes it easier for newcomers to find their way around.
(vii) The site should allow for discussion of controversial issues. We probably don't want to have an "eighteen certificate" imposed on us, so care should be taken in the kind of language used. Words can inspire or upset people so try to move controversial discussions to a new thread, so that people can choose to opt in or out.
(viii) This "begs the question" how long should a thread be - I have no views on this subject
(ix) If people use lots of complicated words we don't understand, fine, isn't that part of the fun?
(x) It's fine to disagree and people may even be quite rude to each other from time to time but shouldn't need to be offensive.
(xi) I would hate to see anyone driven away from the site because of their race, creed, gender, disability .... but that doesn't mean that those subjects cannot be discussed in an even handed way.
(xii) Some subject like sport are fair game. If people get upset by sex, religion and politics we have to have something we can be rude about ...

If this differs from how you see the site I know you will add your comments. Feel free to accept/reject any of the above.

From a mere mortal

#2629 - 05/19/00 06:19 AM Re: Rules of engagement
Philip Davis Offline

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 81
As a bases for discussion in this area I am posting a copy of my response to a personal email I recieved from tsuwm this morning.
Dear Micheal

> I am not interested in arguing manners with you in public on the web.
That is your privilege. I can choose to construe this as an acknowledgement that you are unable to defend your manners.
> My
> comment about cricket and baseball being different I think you have
> misconstrued.
I may have done but I see no relevance to the point I was making
> I have a friend who often diffused arguments about whether one
> thing one better than another by saying they were simply different. I
> thought it applied here because the two are more different than they are
> alike and it seemed silly (yes, to me) to continue to compare them in that
> manner. This was (and is) my opinion.
This is perfectly acceptable to me. My ire was at your use of the word we rather than I. Had you said 'I' then I would have no complaint. You said 'we', which I have suggested is either a poor use of language or a rude abuse of others personal rights to their own individual opinions

> Which brings me to the comment about
> politics. There are lots of venues to talk about politics and it was (again)
> my opinion that we were talking much more about politics than about words.
> I was just stating my opinion, irrespective of my manners.
Yes and once again I have no problem with you expressing your personal opinion about any matter. I consider it ill manners when you pretend to speak for others.

> Take your ire
> offline in the future and I will have a good bit more respect for it, and
> you.

Because my ire is about your ill manners to all in the BB I posted my comments for all to see.

I certainly think you have no right to tell me what to do with my anger.

I have chosen also to post this email on the BB. Please do not email me directly again.

> regards,
> Michael

Philip Davis


It is not my usual practice to post personal email in a public forum but as this matter is very much about the speaking only for oneself and my opinion that it is very bad manners to speak for others I have decided that if tsuwm is going to try to justify such ill manners he should be compeleded to do so in front of the people for who he is proporting to speak.

I really can't be arsed enough to spell check this so if there are any spelling errors in it I'm sure someone will be petty enough to point them out. (this is me be petulant, it 's not funny and I'm not pretending it's a joke)

#2630 - 05/19/00 09:21 AM Re: Rules of engagement
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
You-all know what? All of this underscores, heavily, the
obvious fact that people are all different. I personally
feel that I can't stand arguments--but on the other hand,
I can't stand it when people say things that are not correct. SO--if my husband says, for example, that
something happened at 3:00 and I say no, 4:00, HIS view of
that is that I am arguing with him. So in that sense, we
argue about what an argument is!
Each person has different "sore spots" and tolerance
levels. Some people do not mind being corrected in a very
forceful manner; others read more into the slightest hint
than was intended. I must reluctantly ackowledge also that
sometimes people deliberately try to cause hurt. This is
where each individual's ability must stand on its own, and
be able to decide: not to respond, to respond in kind, or
to respond at a higher level of civility.
Sometimes the recipient can be harmed when none was
intended. This also presents a choice: whether to let
their hurt be known, and in what manner. AND--whether the
hurt was intentional or not, if the person causing it
knows of the harm, one would hope a non-hurtful explanation
and apology would be forthcoming. Sometimes a simple,
"Oh, no, that wasn't what I meant at all" can work wonders.
There are also times when I have said, "If this upsets you,
I'm sorry, but the fact remains that...".
I guess my primary concern about arguments arises when
there are harsh feelings caused unnecessarily. If there
is a possibility of resolution, or near-resolution, I say
that it is worth working through hurt feelings in most cases. But arguing on and on about something that is not
going to be resolved, ever (ex.--if someone tried to argue
that I should get interested in politics!), is to me not only a thorough waste of time and energy that could be better spent elsewhere, but actually detrimental, and
should cease as soon as possible.
That said, I will add that I agree strongly with Jo, in
that it is extremely difficult to interpret a speaker's
intentions from printed words alone. The :-) faces can
help, but there just aren't the cues we get from seeing/hearing the other. I hope we can all allow for the
possibility that we may not be getting the writer's true meaning.
I would ask that everyone just do their best at not being antagonistic, and take into consideration the
importance/relevance(y?) of each situation. I myself
happen to be a good speller, and always notice if something is mis-spelled. But here, I see no point in commenting on this as long as I understand the meaning--I make the decision each time that considering the other's feelings has a higher priority than my discontent. If I see a mis-spelling on a store sign, I tell them. Different setting, different relevance, different response.
Peace, y'all! (She said in Atlantan.)

#2631 - 05/19/00 10:16 AM Re: Rules of engagement
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
gosh, Jackie, I was just about to post something like this:

maybe we should all just agree that Philip and I are different (but that's my own opinion). [note use of pleonasm with "my own"}

...but you got here first and said it better, so I'll restrain myself.


#2632 - 05/19/00 01:00 PM Re: Rules of engagement
Philip Davis Offline

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 81
I was and am angry. I've not had my anger reduced in anyway by suggestions that I am different from others. I understand that all people are individuals. Some of my annoyance is about an individual using language form appropriate only for groups or group leaders.

My anger would be satisfied by an apology to me for the upset caused to me by the marked, public, petty correction of a simple spelling mistake and by a commitment to speak only for oneself in future.

#2633 - 05/19/00 05:58 PM Re: Rules of engagement
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Thank you for the compliment, Michael, and for the restraint. (I think.) I agree with your own opinion, and
will reiterate my own opinion that each of us is different
from the other. You and I are different. For example, I
have used some take-offs (aside--what's the word for that?)
of your acronym. This was my way of showing that I liked/
appreciated what you wrote. Since you have never given any
indication that you did not mind that, I now assume that you
DID, and will (probably) cease! You certainly have the
right not to want your hard-earned title corrupted, and I do
appreciate your restraint in not telling me off!
I hereby offer a challenge to one and all, as a
demonstration of how different I am: if there is anyone
reading this who likes peanut butter and tomato sandwiches
with mayonnaise, post that fact and I'll eat one in
your honor!

#2634 - 05/19/00 06:21 PM Re: Rules of engagement
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
>I now assume that you DID

Why would you ass/u/me that? (It's assumptions that generally get us into trouble, as they have gotten me of late.)

BTW, I do not like peanut butter and tomato sandwiches as I suffer from arachibutyrophobia (the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of my mouth).


#2635 - 05/19/00 09:34 PM Re: Rules of engagement
David108 Offline

Registered: 05/09/00
Posts: 112
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
I posted this under Wordplay and Fun > Crosswords. I think it appropriate to put it here as well.

Isn't it odd that a topic that started out as "crosswords" quickly deteriorated into cross words?

Come on, guys, there has to be some disparity, and thank goodness for that. Please let's enjoy the forum for what it is - a place to discuss and appreciate the fun of the language we use. Let's celebrate our differences, and learn from them and leave out the personal barbs.

Let's also accept that our levels of learning differ, and that there will be those whose use of language might not match the expectations of others.

I joined this forum for fun, learning and a means of communicating with others who share my interest in English. Ain't that what it's all about?

I think that the discussion should be closed. Anybody feel otherwise?

That said, I must agree with the "Rules of Engagement" posted by Jo. We should all be adult enough to realise that nobody owns this forum (except possibly Anu), so a modicum of restraint and a good deal of common sense should prevail.

#2636 - 05/20/00 06:08 AM Re: Rules of engagement
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Best put,
Well said!
The End!

#2637 - 05/20/00 11:56 AM Re: Rules of engagement
Philip Davis Offline

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 81
"Blessed are the peace makers"

Well not in my book.I consider I have been attacked in a petty and childish way, the appropriate response to which would be an apology. Instead there have been numerous calls to celebrate differnces which have, by their vagueness implied that I have not done this. I consider that I have done nothing else. I know feel doubly insulted both by Tswum's childish pettiness and the by the implication that because I call him out for it I am as equally petty.
Being even handed might seem fair but it is not just.

Well I am now going to fulfil these expectations and be petty. S o d off the lot of you.

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