Author Topic: Thank you to those with forum courtesy  (Read 16921 times)


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Thank you to those with forum courtesy
« on: September 02, 2011, 07:50:10 AM »
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Dear All

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all those contributors who chose not to get embroiled in the recent heated debate, which regrettably spilled across several threads at the end.  It was very encouraging to see you trying to maintain courtesy and pertinent discussion.

For the small number who were not able to respond so calmly, may I offer the following advice, so that you will be an encouragement to us next time:

- Personalities do shape a forum.  That's why we allow them.  I have no doubt that you, like the rest of us, want a forum with enjoyable debate, and no personal insults.  But that requires a strong will, to be able to ignore an insult when it appears to you.  Don't let an insult pull you off-topic.  Stay firmly focused on the core of the question/discussion in hand.  Neither respond to, nor provoke  strife; what I believe is referred to as eristic posting.

- Don't descend to the levels of crude, blasphemous or common swear words or insults, no matter how they are disguised.  We have had young visitors here, and whilst I understand not every home seeks the purity of speech to which my home aspires, nonetheless I believe that you are all well accustomed to using, hearing and viewing considerate and polite language.

- There are often local differences to take into account.  My dictionary still does not list the American definition for the noun 'butt', for instance, just 3 British definitions.  I have had to learn that what to me is crude, is an acceptable word there.  But it is the application of the meaning that makes the difference.  A simple anatomical reference is not a personal insult.  The proper meaning of the word is intentionally degraded when it is clearly intended as an insult.

- Don't make a big issue out of a statement that doesn't say what you expect, just ask politely if your re-phrased understanding of it matches what the other person meant.

Forum courtesy isn't something that should need talking about, it's something that should be practised as naturally here as courtesy would anywhere else.

Anyone interested in the Internet standards for courtesy might like to read

Glenys Chew