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What bothers you about the forums? (Poor spelling?)
Thread poster: Bernhard Sulzer

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:05
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Thumbs up to this one Sep 10, 2014

Arianne Farah wrote:

Or 'thumbs up' or 'seconded', or something of the sort.


It would be very helpful!

S


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 05:05
Chinese to English
No bells and whistles, please! Sep 10, 2014

I have to disagree with Sheila and Arianne. I don't want editors or likes or anything else modern. With all the plain text in here, it's almost like having a real conversation with real people! That's why I spend much more time here than on Facebook or Reddit or other more up-to-date places.

I'm probably in a minority - looking at how popular FB is - and I shall gracefully accept change if it comes. But I just wanted to get this out there: that at least some of us love the low-tech
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I have to disagree with Sheila and Arianne. I don't want editors or likes or anything else modern. With all the plain text in here, it's almost like having a real conversation with real people! That's why I spend much more time here than on Facebook or Reddit or other more up-to-date places.

I'm probably in a minority - looking at how popular FB is - and I shall gracefully accept change if it comes. But I just wanted to get this out there: that at least some of us love the low-tech feel.

As for what I'd change... I would agree with Sheila's call for a "reply and track" button. I wish the daily poll discussion threads appeared on the main forum page. I wish there were more postings of translations for people to discuss - maybe translations by others, so that no-one feels too embarrassed about tearing into them if necessary.
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Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:05
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Like! Thumbs up! Sep 10, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:

No bells and whistles, please!


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:05
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
No like button, please! Sep 10, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:

I have to disagree with Sheila and Arianne. I don't want editors or likes or anything else modern. With all the plain text in here, it's almost like having a real conversation with real people!


I agree with Phil - I don't want a "like", "thumbs up" or "seconded" button. What purpose does it serve? If I have something to contribute to a discussion, I should take the time to formulate a reply. Having people vote for or against forum contributions by a single mouse click will degrade discussions to some kind of contest. We already have polls for that. I'd rather read real replies for which the authors have at least made some minimal effort.







[Bearbeitet am 2014-09-10 07:17 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Two issues Sep 10, 2014

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
Otherwise we should create a "Basic/Simplified English" forum language.


1. You seem to use the term "Simplified English" to mean "English of a lower standard" but in fact the term means "English of a higher yet simpler standard". If a person can't write properly in normal English, they certainly won't be able to write properly in structured, near-artificial Simplified English.

2. Your original question seems to indicate that you're talking about solveable problems. You can't solve the "problem" that people from all over the world communicate in a few major languages but don't have native speaker abilities in those languages. The only way to solve your problem would be to restrict the forum to those who have English as a target language and to have a moderator who bans users after making too many errors.

Or, create a subforum that has such rules, but I think very few people will use that forum, because most users are tolerant of non-perfect language in forums, and forums are only useful if they are frequented by a large number of users.

Besides, I think many instances of poor English may be related not to lack of ability by the writer but to the fact that forum communication tends to be conversational, and very few people monitor their own conversations for grammar glitches.


 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:05
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Predictive writing tool! Sep 10, 2014

I would rather suggest a predictive writing tool for forum posts than implementing spell checkers or native-speakers-only barrieres: As soon as you begin to write your post about common issues like underpayment, rude behaviour of outsourcers, getting established, banking fees etc., the text will automatically be completed by setable tones: friendly mode, unfriendly mode, open offensive mode, disguised offensive mode, social mode, neoliberal or troll mode (especially for the German forum) etc.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The purpose of a Like button Sep 10, 2014

Erik Freitag wrote:
I don't want a "like", "thumbs up" or "seconded" button. What purpose does it serve? If I have something to contribute to a discussion, I should take the time to formulate a reply.


What people "should" do and what they actually do aren't always the same.

What people should do is to reply only if they have something unique to say or something informative to add to the discussion, but what actually happens is that people reply to a post simply to say "I agree" or "I disagree" (often quoting large parts or entire posts). If such useless replies can be removed from the discussion by the introduction of a "I agree" and "I disagree" button, then that would be worth while.


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:05
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
I don't mind "I agree" posts Sep 10, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

Erik Freitag wrote:
I don't want a "like", "thumbs up" or "seconded" button. What purpose does it serve? If I have something to contribute to a discussion, I should take the time to formulate a reply.


What people "should" do and what they actually do aren't always the same.

What people should do is to reply only if they have something unique to say or something informative to add to the discussion, but what actually happens is that people reply to a post simply to say "I agree" or "I disagree" (often quoting large parts or entire posts). If such useless replies can be removed from the discussion by the introduction of a "I agree" and "I disagree" button, then that would be worth while.


(my emphasis)

If these replies are useless, isn't an anonymous number of agrees or disagrees useless as well?

I agree that it would be a good thing to get rid of posts quoting large parts of earlier postings just in order to say "I agree". But instead of dumping these to an even less useful junk pile of "likes", they could be discouraged by forum rules and possibly even deleted. However, I don't mind posts where a non-anonymous peer says nothing but "I agree" - at least I can see who is it that does the agreeing.

OTOH, maybe I don't understand well enough how a like button works (being abstinent from Facebook et al.)


[Bearbeitet am 2014-09-10 09:26 GMT]


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 05:05
Chinese to English
Elaboration, resources Sep 10, 2014

Erik Freitag wrote:

If these replies are useless

Exactly, if. In fact, there are very few pure agree replies. The act of replying and quoting encourages people to elaborate and add their ideas. Even if they don't, the act of replying gives more information than a plain "like", perhaps from the additional effort, perhaps from the part they chose to quote.

Moreover, what's the problem with simple agree posts? Pixels are free, nothing is being wasted. Sound like you're trying to solve a non-problem.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Nothing to be done Sep 10, 2014

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Many times, the spelling in the English forums is just atrocious. A spell-checker might come in handy.
What else is bothering you? Maybe things could be improved. Thank you for any suggestions.

(edited) spell-checker.

[Edited at 2014-09-10 01:24 GMT]


I agree. I get so tired of "everyday" instead of "every day", "loose" instead of "lose", and so on.

But I don't think the "return to illiteracy" (as it has been called) can be halted; in fact, it appears to be gathering momentum. Just leave me out of it!

[Edited at 2014-09-10 09:59 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Me too Sep 10, 2014

Josephine Cassar wrote:

I get tired of reading extremely long answers, and I just don't read them.


Me too. I just skip them.

Very long comments are very common in the Italian forums. Is it a cultural thing? Are long posts more common in particular languages?


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Sympathy Sep 10, 2014

I feel sympathy for people here who aren't native English speakers, and have learned bad English (although they may think it's good English). Well done, I say, for making a good stab at it.

But I have no time for them if their profile says that they translate into English !


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
On uselessness Sep 10, 2014

Erik Freitag wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
If such useless replies can be removed from the discussion by the introduction of a "I agree" and "I disagree" button, then that would be worth while.

If these replies are useless, isn't an anonymous number of agrees or disagrees useless as well?


The value of a reply should be consistent with the amount of space it takes up. Seeing how many people agreed with something is not useless, but it is less useful if those "agrees" are peppered throughout the conversation in places far away from the post that is being agreed with.

OTOH, maybe I don't understand well enough how a like button works (being abstinent from Facebook et al.)


Well, a "like" button itself would be really useless, IMO, but buttons similar to that (such as "agree" or "disagree") might be more useful. Sorry, that was what I was referring to. The real purpose of the "like" button on Facebook is to help prevent the person from unfriending you due to lack of activity (if you think about it...).


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:05
Russian to English
+ ...
I think the spell-checker on this site works really well, Sep 10, 2014

at least with Safari. I haven't noticed that many typos or mistakes here, plus the people whose English is not their language of habitual use may have the right to write in slightly incorrect English, since English is the lingua franca of most fora here, and they have no choice.

A certain degree of nastiness or pettiness is something that bothers me from time to time, but it is still less pronounced than on many other sites.

Otherwise the fora are really fine--there
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at least with Safari. I haven't noticed that many typos or mistakes here, plus the people whose English is not their language of habitual use may have the right to write in slightly incorrect English, since English is the lingua franca of most fora here, and they have no choice.

A certain degree of nastiness or pettiness is something that bothers me from time to time, but it is still less pronounced than on many other sites.

Otherwise the fora are really fine--there is nothing wrong with them, except perhaps that it would be nice to hear more interesting things, from different cultures around the world, here as well. I really don't care if someone, occasionally, writes "everyday" instead of "every day", if what they write is really interesting.

There is a famous saying, I forgot who said it unfortunately --one of the writers, that the only value of someone's writing was that the spelling was correct. Wouldn't that be horrible if someone described somebody else's post like that, not to mention a literary work?

[Edited at 2014-09-10 11:51 GMT]
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Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:05
French to English
Another vote for simplicity Sep 10, 2014

Technically, the only feature I'd like to see is a "skip to the last post you read" button. Other than that, I quite like the minimalist approach. No distractions.

In terms of user behaviour, quoting long posts in full irritates me, especially when it's just to say "I agree". Sure, quote the start and end of what you're agreeing with, but snip the middle out, or something.

Other than that, I wrote a blog post a while ago which may or may not have been inspired by here:<
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Technically, the only feature I'd like to see is a "skip to the last post you read" button. Other than that, I quite like the minimalist approach. No distractions.

In terms of user behaviour, quoting long posts in full irritates me, especially when it's just to say "I agree". Sure, quote the start and end of what you're agreeing with, but snip the middle out, or something.

Other than that, I wrote a blog post a while ago which may or may not have been inspired by here:
http://cbavington.com/blog/2011/04/28/forum-frolics/
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