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Re^2: To help not to misguide

by Perl Mouse (Chaplain)
on Jan 03, 2006 at 15:49 UTC ( #520641=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: To help not to misguide
in thread To help not to misguide

Wow! I never realized the value of that!

Come on everyone! Start posting the most utter nonsense you can come up with! We will all learn from the experience!

Perl --((8:>*

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Re^3: To help not to misguide
by ptum (Priest) on Jan 03, 2006 at 17:48 UTC

    So, um, case in point, your (Re^2: To help not to misguide) post seems to have been a wrong answer. It may be that many people don't have a lot of patience with unkind sarcasm or exaggerated reductio ad absurdum arguments. I value the dialogue provoked by answers that are wrong but sincere, but I draw the line at answers that are 'utter nonsense'.

    Looking at your profile, Perl Mouse, I see that you have been around the monastery for a relatively short time, but have risen through the XP ranks fairly rapidly. I have read a number of your posts which were informative, correct, and generally very helpful. You are clearly an intelligent, articulate and skilled person with substantial knowledge of Perl. But sometimes you can be a little snippy in correcting people and you come across a little more harsh than you probably intend. I see that this thread has spun on downward and that you and a few others are continuing to argue about the potential benefits of posts that contain incorrect answers. In other online communities, I have found that my postings lack humility and are thus perceived negatively, even (or perhaps especially) when I am right.

    Admittedly, it is hard to be humble without being a little more verbose than you might prefer -- and perhaps you don't care about the few people who are hurt or offended by your occasionally abrupt corrections. My own experience is that I enjoy a community more where people observe some of the niceties of kindness and politeness, and I will generally try to raise the bar wherever I can.

    Ingredients for a post that will be perceived positively:

    • A healthy sprinkling of smiley faces
    • avoidance of absolutes like always and never
    • absence of words with strong negative connotations
    • occasional reminders that your words are opinion
    • lack of speculation or assumption about the OP's motivations
    • frequent use of phrases like 'it seems' or 'it may be'
    • a general air of diffidence

    These can substantially improve the way you are perceived. Take it or leave it, and please forgive my presumption in trying to instruct you. It was kindly meant. :)

    No good deed goes unpunished. -- (attributed to) Oscar Wilde
      Ingredients for a post that will be perceived positively ... A healthy sprinkling of smiley faces
      I agree with most of what you said, but I have a fundamental problem with smiley faces. But maybe I'm just an old grumpy codger who hates light and joy being spread to the world...

        Heh. Smiley faces are a little too cutesy for some people, it is true. As a 40-something monk, I tend toward a wry smirk more often than a bright-eyed smile, anyway. But there should be some way to communicate a positive intent or differentiate a kindly tease from a spiteful jab, <smiling>don't you think?</smiling> Written posts can be so cold, without those little non-verbal cues that expose the mindset of the author.

        Of course, in the case of some authors, I'd just as soon not have any insight into their minds. :)

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