Hmmmm...... This all seems quite serious for what is meant to be a high-brow fun web-site. I may be a new boy to this list (and I missed out on the reason for this bickering) but everything seems to have blown out of all proportion.

A few comments - nay, let's say observations.

Firstly, we all seem to have an interest in words or subjects in which the more obscure and interesting words crop up. In this case it is politics and, as boring and time-wasting as it may appear, politics plays a huge part in everybody's life from Foriegn policy through environmental issues right down to local waste disposal. It may not be your favourite topic of discussion but it is a necessary evil to take stock of the way that your lives are being propelled by others especially of those that you think are making a mess of it all.

But back to words. I use computers everyday - it's part of my plan for paying the rent at the end of each month. My university degree also tells me that I am damn good at it (if only my boss shared the same view!). Still, I am human and I do make mistakes at the keyboard. Now, I don't want to go down that road of 'we're all individuals' but some people are new to this computer lark and are prone to making more typos than most - when I write a long email to a friend (sometimes running into thousands of words) you can be sure that it will be peppered with errors and this is not uncommon amongst all my correspondents from whom I receive mail - and there are many. I also type fast and mail messages immediately without spell-checking which I can presume is becoming the norm amongst emailers (and noticeboard posters) so I often misuse a word or my sentence is quite confusing in its structure.

But not one person has ever criticised my style or my typos or my many errors in my many years online, and vice-versa. And I wouldn't expect it from educated, well-meaning and understanding individuals. Nobody likes to be criticised - even for the smallest mistake because it can cause resentment and lasting damage and ill-will (as has sadly happened here). Some people will expect an individual to take criticism and see it as a form of 'character-building' but I say no. Express an opinion on somebody's subject but leave out the 'petty' things. I go with the Rules of engagement (as stated in the first posting) most whole-heartedly.

So far as the confrontation goes I can't comment on the source of the problem. Come on guys - this noticeboard is about words, not confrontations. I've read all your postings and I would find this list a poor place without your valuable contributions (and good humour), but settle your differences - without the interference of others on the noticeboard - and start over. If it takes an apology then so be it. It doesn't take a lot to say you're sorry!