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Author Topic: Why I like this place.
Logoboros
We Three Blings


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On the importance of calling people on the "straw man" thing:

I agree with Pogue. And I think the tensions that build around this term are based on two different approaches to the board.

You do, sometimes, have people who say their attitude is "I'm here to have fun," to "express myself," to "share," to "socialize" and so forth. Such people have a tendency to enter a topic about which they don't really know very much, but want to "contribute" anyway, so they produce a very broad, hopelessly general argument, "for the fun of participating." These are usually strawman arguments.

The other camp, the "seekers after knowledge and truth," promptly jump on these, because they don't advance the discussion's quest for knowledge and truth. This camp sees the development of the debate itself as important and meaningful, and, yes, entertaining, whereas the latter sometimes are just after the entertainment of chatting with some friends.

I don't think either camp has a genuinely superior claim on virtue -- and, as someone who identifies with the "seeker" mindset, I realize that we can easily become rather pretentious, arrogant, pedantic, and, indeed, impatient. There is always room for some lighthearted fun and socializing. I think most people on the board come to be able to identify when a thread calls for one mode or the other, but there's always some lingering tension. Rantidote is a classic example -- sometimes rantidote is primarily a venue for venting, but at other times the valdity of potential solitions to the rant topic (or the validity of the rant itself) become subject to the the quest for truth. Some posters can't deal with their rant now being a subject of critique and debate, and some posters (of the seeking camp) don't always know when to leave well enough alone.

I see now that I'm not really building up to any grand point or conclusion. So I guess I'll just stop writing. For the moment.

This post brought to you by the Quest for Knowledge.(TM)

--Logoboros

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"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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Menolly
We Three Blings


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A long time ago, I told my husband I wanted to find another board like this one. One that generally treated each other with respect. He said it would be a waste of time to look.

Yeah, we have our disagreements here. But we generally play nice.

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Let's just pretend we're normal for a minute ~ New favorite T-shirt quote

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TallGeekyGirl
O Read, O Read, The Manual


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quote:
Originally posted by Logoboros:
You do, sometimes, have people who say their attitude is "I'm here to have fun," to "express myself," to "share," to "socialize" and so forth. Such people have a tendency to enter a topic about which they don't really know very much, but want to "contribute" anyway, so they produce a very broad, hopelessly general argument, "for the fun of participating." These are usually strawman arguments.

... uhm... guilty as charged... [Big Grin]

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See, if I tell you about it, it won't be a mystery. It'll just be a fact, an ugly, moist fact, squatting on your brain like an octopus. And you don't want an octopus squatting on your brain, do you, son? -- Stan Smith, American Dad

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jw
The First USA Noel


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I like this place, because I learn about many things that I otherwise wouldn't reason out so well on my own.
Petty arguing can be annoying but also necessary, as heated rows sometimes help people to dig deep to come up with clever answers. It can also be very entertaining, the sick perverted person that I am. [Wink]

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On my old guitar sell tickets, so someone can finally pick it.

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christmas tree kitapper
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
quote:
Originally posted by Psihala:
quote:
Everybody here seems to like to argue . . . a lot . . . EVERYWHERE. I mean, it's okay to be opinionated, but it's like some people go on a mission to be miserable and bitchy wherever they can on this forum.
*Psihala waits patiently for the obligatory disagreement post*

~Psihala
(*...tap, tap, tap...)

No, no, no: it was "Up on the Rooftop, Kitap tap tap!"

Silas (Disagreeing...but at a reall wonky skew angle!)

You remembered my user name at Christmas time last year?! *Faints.*

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"I have never in my life been more disappointed by a politician I voted for than I have been with George Bush. He is a total liberal."- overheard by me on the shuttle to the U of A game on Nov. 11th.

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Barbara
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
I know I've said it before, but what I like is that in Thread A, we can be screaming and yelling at each other, but in Thread B, the SAME people are having a polite discussion of fluffy kittens or something else innocuous.

This is one of the things I hate about the board, that whenever one of these threads arises, someone is sure to say what Mahlruhn just did, thereby setting up yet another batch of clueless newbies for the trip down the garden path that leads to them getting their arses booted from the board. You cannot be "screaming and yelling at each other" in Thread A (or in threads of any other letter) and have that considered by the powers that be as just a normal slice of the way things are supposed to be around here. If you feel the need to treat others that way, then go elsewhere, and stay wherever the heck that is until the urge passes. But don't introduce such behaviour to these boards or ask that it be winked when you happen to fall into it, and certainly not under the guise of "But we're really all best mates so it's all right." You ain't, and it's not. Take that horrible behaviour you've convinced yourself is a praiseworthy component of scintillating debate and dump it into the trashcan. Before it dumps you there.

On a related note, as for the purpose of "chowing" another's post, I wish folks would please try to remember that it's not done for the purpose of saying "Hey, you arse, we had a thread about that back in 2002, and only a loser or an irredeemably lazy sod wouldn't have known that," but as a "I remember that the board talked about this before, and on the off chance you hadn't seen that thread, here's a pointer to it, which I offer in case there was something in that earlier discussion you might have found interesting but otherwise have missed." Chowing is not an exercise in "Look at me! I'm so smart!" preening, it is an exercise in kindness, the sort of thing one does in hopes of building and maintaining this online community.

Barbara "peace on earth, goodwill towards men" Mikkelson

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Logoboros:
The other camp, the "seekers after knowledge and truth," promptly jump on these, because they don't advance the discussion's quest for knowledge and truth. This camp sees the development of the debate itself as important and meaningful, and, yes, entertaining, whereas the latter sometimes are just after the entertainment of chatting with some friends.

Ya' know, I tried to cut it with the "seekers of truth" camp, but I just couldn't stand the curfew.

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The salty fragrance of L’Eau D’I’mNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
There's arguing and there's arguing, I guess. The attraction of the boards is that we do argue, a lot, in the sense that we debate pretty much everything which comes up on the boards, and nobody is allowed to make a point without having some supporting arguments or evidence. Some of us learn a lot from this, about our own and other people's perspectives.

No, see, on other boards, it's arguing. On Snopes, it's debate. [Smile]

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I believe I'm growing skeptical of cynicism.
Myspace NWN Board

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1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:
[QB] Yes, sometimes when you examine people's posts, you will find contradictions. When I bring them up, it's generally to ask which of the two opposing viewpoints the poster believes, or to expose a flaw in his argument.

Sure, but three years ago on obscure thread #11934, you said "people will find contradictions." Now, you're saying "you will find contradictions", implying me personally. Which is it?

Seriously, I agree with you. But sometimes a thread will reach the point where every post is the same two people picking apart each other's previous posts, and it's very petty.


quote:
And sometimes, they are arguing against a point I didn't make, or claiming I said something I did not. Sometimes, I wonder if they really did read what I said.
Did you even read my post? I never said that doesn't happen. I'm only complaining about the times people use it the wrong way.


quote:
Sorry, but people who do this should be called on it. It's a common, weak argument that should be exposed for what it is.
Absolutely, if they give a weak argument, call them on it. But just make sure it fits the definition of "strawman" before you use the actual word, or just avoid the word altogether. For some people, "strawman" seems to mean, "any argument with which I disagree".

But of all the little complaints I listed, "strawman" is the most easily discarded. It's my own personal pet peeve. After watching one of our many 20-page abortion threads degenerate into "Your argument is a strawman because life begins at conception!" "No, your argument is a strawman because it relies on religion!" etc, I became sick of the word altogether.

Really, for all my complaints, I'm talking worse-case scenarios. But they are scenarios that I've unfortunately witnessed on more than one occasion.

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I believe I'm growing skeptical of cynicism.
Myspace NWN Board

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snapdragonfly
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by MissE:
I agree with what was said here, both in favor of and the "gripes" (?) about the board.

This is the one and only messageboard I belong to because of the fact that it is so mature and decent. I've found that most other messageboards are just people cursing and being rude to one another.

I know one thing, I'm not going anywhere. [Big Grin]

I guess I have had unusual messageboard experiences because I've belonged to several that have been very polite - perhaps almost more so - than this one.

And that's because any discussion of any topic other than the one single messageboard mission was prohibited. Organizing only. Painting only. No religion, medical, (even asking if coca cola was upsetting to someone's stomach was banned and quickly removed with a big NO NO because it was "medical advice") political, etc.

It was boring as hell.

There *is* a happy medium, and this board gets it right most of the time.

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"Wolves, dragons and vampires, man. Draw the nut-bars like big ol' nut-bar magnets." ~evilrabbit

(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

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1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by redsnapperdragonfly:
I guess I have had unusual messageboard experiences because I've belonged to several that have been very polite - perhaps almost more so - than this one.

And that's because any discussion of any topic other than the one single messageboard mission was prohibited. Organizing only. Painting only. No religion, medical, (even asking if coca cola was upsetting to someone's stomach was banned and quickly removed with a big NO NO because it was "medical advice") political, etc.

It was boring as hell.

There *is* a happy medium, and this board gets it right most of the time.

That's a very good point. I've been on a couple of boards where we lived in constant fear of offending the moderators. I was on one board where even the slightest disagreement was considered "flaming", and a crime worthy of banishment. Needless to say, those boards got old pretty fast.

(edited for spelling)

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I believe I'm growing skeptical of cynicism.
Myspace NWN Board

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Jay Temple
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
There's arguing and there's arguing, I guess. The attraction of the boards is that we do argue, a lot, in the sense that we debate pretty much everything which comes up on the boards, and nobody is allowed to make a point without having some supporting arguments or evidence.

One time my dad and I were discussing something, and my mom said to stop arguing (or maybe she said "fighting"). It's funny how quickly we both turned and told her that we weren't. We had a difference of opinion, and each of us was asking the other to defend his position. It's the same thing here.

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"Well, it looks we're on our own ... again."--Rev. Lovejoy

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Mad Jay
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by 1958Fury:

But of all the little complaints I listed, "strawman" is the most easily discarded. It's my own personal pet peeve. After watching one of our many 20-page abortion threads degenerate into "Your argument is a strawman because life begins at conception!" "No, your argument is a strawman because it relies on religion!" etc, I became sick of the word altogether.

You know, in all the abortion threads that I have read, I don't recall such an argument. Yes, we have gone around in circles with the "life begins at XXX" arguments, but I don't recall anyone calling their opponents argument a strawman.

I agree with you that we shouldn't be calling strawman on every argument that we don't agree with (and same goes for all other fallacies, too). It becomes tiresome when people go "You just violated rule# eleventy-one, so your entire post is invalid". I don't remember that happenning with the strawman fallacy. Maybe because I have been trying to avoid going through threads that are pages long, I am missing some of the arguments

quote:
Originally posted by Logoboros:


You do, sometimes, have people who say their attitude is "I'm here to have fun," to "express myself," to "share," to "socialize" and so forth. Such people have a tendency to enter a topic about which they don't really know very much, but want to "contribute" anyway, so they produce a very broad, hopelessly general argument, "for the fun of participating." These are usually strawman arguments.

The other camp, the "seekers after knowledge and truth," promptly jump on these, because they don't advance the discussion's quest for knowledge and truth. This camp sees the development of the debate itself as important and meaningful, and, yes, entertaining, whereas the latter sometimes are just after the entertainment of chatting with some friends.
--Logoboros

I think this is the best description of the current culture of the board that I have read.

I remember about a year or so ago, there was a rash of "fluff-bunny" threads (I am borrowing the term from Tiggress). Many "seekers of knowledge" expressed their distaste for these threads, because these threads were coming in the way of serious discussion. I think the current environment where we have fluff-bunny threads dedicated to chat and socialization is a good one.

--------------------
Nico Sasha
In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel.

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by kitapsail fish:
quote:
. . . it was "Up on the Rooftop, Kitap tap tap!"

You remembered my user name at Christmas time last year?! *Faints.* [/QB]
It was one of the cleverest name-puns anyone has ever posted here!

I'mNotDedalus: More Hemingway, less Poe. Now go and memorize "Strunk and White" and then go and field-strip "Hamlet" to make it conform. Repeat after me: "And then." "And then." "And then."

Salamander: After you have taken off your shoes, we will enter the temple of the Pseudo-Intellectuals. Notice the lofty ceilings, the ivory towers, and the intricate computer-generated scrollwork. Here is the library, with lovely leather-bound volumes of the classics -- see the gold-leaf lettering? -- each book pristine and untouched.

Now, please take your seats and be as quiet as possible. The officials have just spread sand upon the mat, and we will soon see an exhibition of Pseudo Wrestling. The two contestants enter, attired in their traditional costume. The Pseudo Conservative wears a tweed jacket with leather patches on the elbows; the Pseudo Liberal wears a torn t-shirt and a leather biking jacket. Both are entirely bare below the waist, for the entire principle of the Pseudo Philosophy is based on the Emperor's New Clothes. A true Pseudo-Intellectual is able to say, with a perfectly straight face, "I am fully clothed" while wearing no pants at all.

The two contestants enter into a series of gestures, passes, katas, stances -- parries and thrusts and recoveries. None of these is effective in any way, but such is the weight of tradition behind them that each motion is treated as if deadly. This is as ritualized as a Balinese temple dancer, or a Las Vegas Elvis impersonator.

And...as quickly as that, it is over. The Pseudo Liberal alluded to the "Hatfields and McCoys," and the Pseudo Conservative was able to show that this phrase derives its power from a prejudice against rustico-ethnic stereotypes. The P-L slipped over the line into political incorrectness, and is ejected from the arena.

He bears his shame inwardly and privately; outwardly, for all to see, he is self-assured and even smug, declaring himself the victor. But once in his private chambers, he will grimmace and squat and perform ceremonial abasements, ensuring that the burning pain of his defeat will never be forgotten.

It takes years for a youth to develop into a seasoned Pseudo Wrestler. It is a sport -- or a way of life, some say -- where the scars are all on the inside.

As we pass the shrines dedicated to George F. Will and Isaac Asimov, we come to the Ayn Rand minaret, the tallest of the ivory towers in the complex....

Silas

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
I'mNotDedalus: More Hemingway, less Poe. Now go and memorize "Strunk and White" and then go and field-strip "Hamlet" to make it conform. Repeat after me: "And then." "And then." "And then."

Incidentally, I grew up a few blocks away from Hemingway's childhood home. And, by the decree of Oak Park law (formerly Cicero), we kiddo hoodlums were forced to sock the hell out of any shrimp named Ernie or Nick in hopes of alienating a youth, to seed another glorious monster for the city's success.

More importantly: Do people still read Strunk & White's style guide?

quote:
Notice the lofty ceilings, the ivory towers, and the intricate computer-generated scrollwork. Here is the library, with lovely leather-bound volumes of the classics -- see the gold-leaf lettering? -- each book pristine and untouched.
*And then I'mNotDedalus perused the oaken shelves. And then I'mNotDedalus came to find a complete lack of "genre" titles. And then I'mNotDedalus said, "I'm going to like it here."*

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The salty fragrance of L’Eau D’I’mNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Silas, which way to the Pseudo Wrestling? I want to point and giggle at them.....

guru "semi-Pseudo-Intellectual" wan2b

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
. . . And...as quickly as that, it is over. The Pseudo Liberal alluded to the "Hatfields and McCoys," and the Pseudo Conservative was able to show that this phrase derives its power from a prejudice against rustico-ethnic stereotypes. The P-L slipped over the line into political incorrectness, and is ejected from the arena. . .

Silas

Are you makin' fun 'o me? [Wink] In one thread, I said something like "Carry on with yer Hatfield 'n McCoyin'," but I can't find it at the moment.

Now, where are those wrestlers?

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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Mama Duck
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Ok, people, I know you're not trying to hang my munchkin, but it's snopes, not Snopes. It's not capitalized. I realize this is petty of me, but then I'm petty in general. [Wink]

~Continue on with your previous conversation now. Thank you~

ETA: Cite because I know what cite hounds we all are.

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There is no interpersonal problem so big that it can't be solved with a suitably large amount of high explosives. ~ Bufungla

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Do we really need a cite when it is at the top of every page? And in the address bar?

Oh, every now and then some newbies will come in and make a list of how much they like the board. They will wax poetic, throw around praise and then.... wham. We stick them in the initiation thread. The pirate shows up and the next thing you know the newbie is listed on the MIA thread....

Silas, Signora and I still want to know where the wrestlers are.... We don't get much quality entertainment here in Oklahoma.....

guru

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by guruwan2b:
Do we really need a cite when it is at the top of every page? And in the address bar?

Considering how many times we've had the "But it's a proper noun" discussion, as seen in MamaDuck's link, apparently we do. She was just heading that line of conversation off at the pass with a cite.

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"You're the opposite of troll. It's a compliment!"

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Got it!

Now about those wrestlers....

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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Barbara
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Jenn re 'snopes' or 'Snopes':
Considering how many times we've had the "But it's a proper noun" discussion, as seen in MamaDuck's link, apparently we do.

I live with that noun and so know this: While many days it could be described as proper, there are some when such descriptor would fail to do it justice.

Barbara

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Eve MG
Happy Holly Days


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I love it here because we have the trifecta of good manners, good moderators, and computer skills.

Another board that I've used frequently is from a church curriculum publishing company, and while the people there are pretty nice, even the moderators aren't too internet-savvy. It's kind of frustrating.

My favorite snopes rule, which I wish was implemented at the above-mentioned board, is the one about descriptive topic names. The topic "HELP!!" is used way too much there.

Edited for grammar/clarity.

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I love dairy! Does that mean I can't be a vegan?

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Amigone201
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by 1958Fury:
That's a very good point. I've been on a couple of boards where we lived in constant fear of offending the moderators. I was on one board where even the slightest disagreement was considered "flaming", and a crime worthy of banishment. Needless to say, those boards got old pretty fast.

On Teens-4-Christ, if you disagree with anyone else, your posts get deleted. If it becomes hard to discern who is right in the thread, it defaults to the board moderator, and anyone who disagrees with him gets their posts deleted.

If you disagree too many times, you get banned. If too many people in a thread start disagreeing, the thread gets closed.

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Check out my blog! http://fundiewatch.blogspot.com

Posts: 1527 | From: Buffalo, NY | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
Good King Wal-Mart


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I just love the free cookies.

...the cookies aren't free?

Uhhh....look, it's Fred Phelps! *takes the cookies and runs*

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"One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes

"Vote Republican! We won't burn you at the stake for your religious beliefs or slaughter your family and steal your land." -- Ramblin' Dave

Posts: 3555 | From: Florida | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
VersesBatman
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
1. The level of writing. I don't mind the occasional typo (I've made a few), but everybody writes in pretty much standard English.

I like that too. It really grates to see posts in that chat speak.

I like that there isn't any trolling or spamming.

I don't mind when people hijack a thread. If it bothers me, I just scroll down until I find the existing topic. I noticed staying on topic isn't as enforced like in other chat forums.

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It's like they took a bunch of movies, put them in a blender and turned it on really fast!-Mystery Science Theater 3000

Posts: 2603 | From: Magna, Utah | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by VersesBatman:
I don't mind when people hijack a thread. If it bothers me, I just scroll down until I find the existing topic. I noticed staying on topic isn't as enforced like in other chat forums.

Heck, sometimes hijacks are the best part! It's an "art of conversation" thing. It's not like we're getting paid for this, or working together to publish a book. We're simply discussing, and sometimes a good discussion takes a few sharp turns.

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I believe I'm growing skeptical of cynicism.
Myspace NWN Board

Posts: 917 | From: Nashville TN | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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