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Off topic: A change of tone?
Thread poster: Andrew Morris

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:21
Member
English to French
+ ...
Re: linguistic awareness, etc. Apr 16

the default position for any thread is a mild form of paranoia


Also, from yesterday’s post:

In such an initiative, to ignore Facebook would be lunacy.


Translation Taliban… Troll Brigade… po-faced humourless fundamentalists…


Would it be possible to use less dismissive, alienating terms and/or arrogant ways when addressing ProZ members? It may help foster a more positive attitude in response. Linguistic awareness is important after all.



The fact is that several business decisions and ways of communicating stuff and dealing with situations here at ProZ.com (for example, some aspects of the division between paying and non paying members, although many non-paying members are valuable KudoZ and forum contributors) have alienated some colleagues to various extends.



That said, I agree there is room for improvement, in many respects, and from all involved.

For instance, I would expect language professionals who are by definition in contact with more than one language and culture would be more open and respectful to different points of view. I myself have fallen into this trap a few times.



As someone who has mostly seeked to provide assistance or contribute opinions rather than ask for help, there is one thing that just irks me: help requests from posters who have clearly taken no time to do their homework. Yes, the barrier to entry is low, but in a professional forum, I find that many assistance posts do not have their place. I generally do not participate in such discussions, as I—try to—treasure my time, but may give a more agressive comment than on other occasions when I do.

Generally, I marvel at many colleagues who bountifully provide their insights and time to others, often even when they clearly do not “deserve” it (as I envision it anyway, which would be something in the line of “How To Ask Questions The Smart Way” - http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html - for translators).

The attitude of not competing, but helping each other improve and excel is what builds a sense of “community” (however elusive that may be).

But business and community are typically antithetical concepts, so I would not set my hopes high.

[Edited at 2019-04-16 13:26 GMT]


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Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Shoes and caps Apr 16

The expression is "If the cap fits", ABCText.

I'm happy with my level of professionalism, thanks. But I appreciate your concern.


 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
That's more like it Apr 16

My dear Jean, I am not addressing all ProZ members, but a select few for whom aggression seems to be the default option, hence my post today.

As to your other observations, you raise some very interesting points, thoroughly consistent with the tone I personally would like to see more of. Space and time don't allow me to answer each one in turn, but I hear you.

Nevertheless, I try to refrain from judging the quality of questions. Some people are newbies, others less res
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My dear Jean, I am not addressing all ProZ members, but a select few for whom aggression seems to be the default option, hence my post today.

As to your other observations, you raise some very interesting points, thoroughly consistent with the tone I personally would like to see more of. Space and time don't allow me to answer each one in turn, but I hear you.

Nevertheless, I try to refrain from judging the quality of questions. Some people are newbies, others less resourceful than you, and we're all on a learning journey. Even the questions we experienced translators put may seem simple or obvious to people higher up the food chain. So I tend to proceed with caution.

Also, on whether business and community are antithetical, the point I am trying to make is that I have run groups for five years in which the two work very nicely together. I have ample proof to back my assertion, and will welcome you to either of those groups with open arms.

Thanks for your reasoned contribution.
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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:21
German to English
Irrelevant and often incorrect corrections of posters' use of English ... Apr 16

... is another recurring problem (here's a hint: hundreds of millions of people speak English in the world and they don't all use exactly the same words to say the same things - or mean the same thing when they use the same words).

amorrisproz wrote:

The expression is "If the cap fits", ABCText.

I'm happy with my level of professionalism, thanks. But I appreciate your concern.


I agree with the general point that you are trying to make, and I think you are drawing attention to a real and genuine problem on this site. I'm struggling to agree with you, though ...


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Jennifer White  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:21
French to English
+ ...
I'm out Apr 16

amorrisproz wrote:

Jennifer, I withdrew the Taliban comment and replaced it with "po-faced humourless fundamentalists". I referred to no-one in particular, but it is instructive you seem to think it refers to you. I never made such an allegation.

Having said that, in just two posts, I am beginning to build up a picture of the people who regularly respond in the same way. The exact same people. Must be a coincidence.

As for the other answer I gave you, which apparently "isn't good enough", then if you write to me at andrewmorris@proz.com or call me on +34689020727, I will willingly engage in an extensive debate with you about energy and matter. It's a subject to which I have devoted many happy hours of study. It simply wasn't relevant to a post about Facebook.


Andrew - I did not say that the Taliban comment refers to me. Please reread.
Two posts, yes, I haven't the time or inclination to - quote "set up and watch debates online (extensive as in every single working day for five years, often many times a day", but I take great exception to this;

"Having said that, in just two posts, I am beginning to build up a picture of the people who regularly respond in the same way. The exact same people. Must be a coincidence." That isn't fair or true. I rarely contribute, having better things to do, but I resent this implication.



[Edited at 2019-04-16 11:25 GMT]


 

Megan Hershey
Netherlands
Local time: 01:21
Dutch to English
Actually, shoes are just fine Apr 16

amorrisproz wrote:

The expression is "If the cap fits", ABCText.



It's generally a good idea to check your facts carefully before correcting someone in a public forum. The expression "if the shoe fits, wear it" has been in common usage in the US since the 1700s.

https://grammarist.com/idiom/if-the-shoe-fits-and-if-the-cap-fits/
https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/if-the-shoe-fits.html


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Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Caps, shoes, whatever Apr 16

Fine, I'll withdraw the caps/shoes comment. It's not such a big deal, and is, once again, a sideshow which enables us to avoid tackling the actual point of the post.

It was a response to an insinuation that I am not a professional, from a person who has never met me. Which seems, it turns out, to have been directed at anyone who is on this thread.

Although I'm pretty sure ABCText has met none of them either. Go figure.


 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
In or out? Apr 16

@Jennifer, my point about the exact same people is easily verified by comparing the responses to my posts. It's not quantum physics.

Again, I didn't specify it was you, although by sheer coincidence, a mere glance proves that you HAVE commented multiple times on both my posts, and in a fairly aggressive way each time, giving you a 100% record, no less. So I'm not exactly sure why you take such umbrage at the assertion?

I wish you luck with getting on with the "better t
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@Jennifer, my point about the exact same people is easily verified by comparing the responses to my posts. It's not quantum physics.

Again, I didn't specify it was you, although by sheer coincidence, a mere glance proves that you HAVE commented multiple times on both my posts, and in a fairly aggressive way each time, giving you a 100% record, no less. So I'm not exactly sure why you take such umbrage at the assertion?

I wish you luck with getting on with the "better things" from which my posts have clearly distracted you, and apologise for forcing you to read them.
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Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Tone on site Apr 16

@Michael

My initial assertion was simple: there is too much hostility from a certain group of people towards those who post. That group of people has obligingly proved my point by showing up once again today, and I name no names.

I am sorry to hear it's a struggle to agree with this, but I do appreciate you making that struggle.


 

Jennifer White  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:21
French to English
+ ...
Multiple posts? Apr 16

2 this time.
2 on the last. Hardly multiple posts.
Correction - these were new - the rest were answers to your posts.

Really, I'm done with this nonsense now.

[Edited at 2019-04-16 12:56 GMT]


ABCText
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:21
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
What? Apr 16

I am here since 2003 and have posted many times asking stupid questions, but never have I had any negative comment, only helpful ones. Quite often I have tried to assist someone but missed the point or my advice was not really helpful, but again nobody ever told me to shut up.

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Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Good news. Apr 16

I'm delighted to hear it Heinrich. Then it must just be me.

 

Natasha Ziada  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 10:21
English to Dutch
+ ...
Change of tone? Apr 16

amorrisproz wrote:

@Michael

My initial assertion was simple: there is too much hostility from a certain group of people towards those who post. That group of people has obligingly proved my point by showing up once again today, and I name no names.

I am sorry to hear it's a struggle to agree with this, but I do appreciate you making that struggle.


Andrew, I'm astounded at your attempts to change the tone on this forum, seemingly by engaging in exactly the kind of behaviour you condemn. This thread is filled with passive-aggressive barbs, hostility, and provocations, and although certainly not all on you, I'd urge you to read back on your posts on this thread and see how your contributions might not be very conducive to creating a more positive, less hostile environment- the very thing you set out to do.


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Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Fair comment Apr 16

You know what, Natasha, I'm inclined to agree. The original post was neutral, I think, but we all rise to the bait when provoked. It's just too easy, and we're hardwired that way. Our inner keyboard warrior is never too far beneath the surface.

Yesterday's post was even more neutral. It simply announced the existence of a Facebook group. No provocation, hostility or animus whatever in the post. You can check it. But the intensity of the reaction took me aback.

I would a
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You know what, Natasha, I'm inclined to agree. The original post was neutral, I think, but we all rise to the bait when provoked. It's just too easy, and we're hardwired that way. Our inner keyboard warrior is never too far beneath the surface.

Yesterday's post was even more neutral. It simply announced the existence of a Facebook group. No provocation, hostility or animus whatever in the post. You can check it. But the intensity of the reaction took me aback.

I would ask you to consider, by contrast, the years I've spent leading groups online in which there has been very little aggression, with hundreds, and sometimes thousands of people involved.

My point is that we learn more when debates are conducted, from the outset, in a more collaborative way, which involves not jumping on the poster from the off.

But anyway, my post set out to raise awareness of an issue. It's done that. Now back to work.

Thanks for helping me see a contradiction. I take note.
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Natasha Ziada
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:21
Member (2018)
French to English
My personal experience Apr 16

My personal experience is that this is an online community neither better nor worse than many others I have joined. You can get some amazing advice, but you can also be ripped apart, especially if you claim to be a native speaker of English then make non-native mistakes in your posts. There are the usual resident grumps and jokers, along with a higher proportion of grammar nazis than elsewhere - which is normal given that we are all linguists. Most of all there's a slew of highly experienced tra... See more
My personal experience is that this is an online community neither better nor worse than many others I have joined. You can get some amazing advice, but you can also be ripped apart, especially if you claim to be a native speaker of English then make non-native mistakes in your posts. There are the usual resident grumps and jokers, along with a higher proportion of grammar nazis than elsewhere - which is normal given that we are all linguists. Most of all there's a slew of highly experienced translators who know their stuff and who are generous with their time, explaining things to noobs, and who have been very helpful to me in setting up my business. People don't always agree and this is only to be expected given the sheer numbers.Collapse


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