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  #1  
Old 05-05-2012, 08:45 PM
Charlie Wayne Charlie Wayne is offline
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Guests and the Pit

I understand that bad language is restricted to the pit.

But I'm curious about the way Guests can post in the pit.

I just saw something in The Pit that I'd like to ask about.

Someone posted a thread complaining about the way they had been treated by a large corporation.

Then some guest replied to their post by attacking them and calling them names.

Many people may deny this, but I believe they feel bad to some extent whenever someone else attacks them and calls them names - even if that person is a stranger or a so-called "guest".

I wonder about allowing anyone and everyone to enter this board and making those kinds of attacks on members and I'd like to ask if people think this is really a reasonable kind of thing.

Some people who are somewhat emotionally disturbed enjoy taking out their anger by making "over the top" kinds of attacks on others. And some people actually feel hurt when they are the victims of these kinds of diatribes.

So, is it really a reasonable policy to allow anyone and everyone to come into this forum and behave like that?

I realize there is one place designated as "The Pit" and it is clearly explained those kinds of posts are expected there and people understand that if they post in The Pit, they should expect those kinds of responses.

But on the other hand, those kinds of posts don't really help anyone. They just give miscreants an outlet to blow off steam at the expense of innocents.

I'm a newcomer here and I'm sure this kind of question has been raised before. I'd just like to ask if anyone could direct me to some posts that explain the rational as to why this is a reasonable thing to allow.

Why allow "guests" to be able to post anything they like in The Pit? If they are going to indulge in abusive conduct towards members, is it not reasonable to at least insist they provide an email address and make themselves vulnerable to the responses of other members?
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:02 PM
Idle Thoughts Idle Thoughts is offline
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Everyone deserves and needs a place to vent sometimes. It's the internet. It's a message board. Although you can sit there and wish we could all hold hands and sing hymns around a campfire, the reality is that sometimes tempers flair and arguments happen. Nothing wrong with getting so annoyed by someone (either in real life or on here) and wanting to let them know just how stupid or assholish you think they are or are being.

How else would they know if they didn't already?

Nothing wrong with a forum set aside for this. Usually there are "uncensored" forums on every message board, in some fashion.
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:32 PM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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OTOH, some people come to the board expecting to be greeted with great pomp and circumstance ... and they get very upset when their postings are questioned.

We can't please everyone and we can't be all things to all people. This is a medium cranky message board that can be incredibly compassionate when called upon but also can rip people to shreds for any number of reasons. So it all depends on the circumstances and everyone's circumstances be different.

While we hope everyone will be at least reasonably civil to their fellow posters, that's not always a given. In some situations here that's okay, but you have to know when and where to play that.

For some people this is a great sandbox to play in. For others, it's the last place they need to be. How you find it and what you do with it matters.
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:35 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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I don't think you understand the term "Guest". A guest is not a person who has just started posting to the SDMB. A guest is someone who is registered to post but who has chosen not to pay the yearly subscription fee and who thus has to see the advertisements, while a member is someone who has chosen to pay the yearly subscription fee so they don't have to see the advertisements. Many people who are listed as being guests have posted to the SDMB for years. Yes, we know that some regular posters are jerks in the Pit. There are some posters who acted like such utter jerks that they got banned eventually. Others have managed to hold their jerkiness within bounds sufficiently that they can continue to post for years while being thought to be jerks by other posters. They confine their moderate jerkiness to the Pit. The rest of us have learned to ignore them.
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:44 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
For some people this is a great sandbox to play in.
...and The BBQ Pit a litterbox?
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2012, 10:05 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazlo Hapsburg View Post
I understand that bad language is restricted to the pit.
You understand incorrectly. You can curse in any forum on this board. What you can't do outside of the Pit is insult other posters, including calling them names. There is a sticky thread in the Pit with further restrictions on certain language, which may not be directed at posters even in that forum.
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2012, 10:28 PM
living_in_hell living_in_hell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
OTOH, some people come to the board expecting to be greeted with great pomp and circumstance ... and they get very upset when their postings are questioned.

We can't please everyone and we can't be all things to all people. This is a medium cranky message board that can be incredibly compassionate when called upon but also can rip people to shreds for any number of reasons. So it all depends on the circumstances and everyone's circumstances be different.

While we hope everyone will be at least reasonably civil to their fellow posters, that's not always a given. In some situations here that's okay, but you have to know when and where to play that.

For some people this is a great sandbox to play in. For others, it's the last place they need to be. How you find it and what you do with it matters.
This should come with the confirmation email when you join. If I'd known all this at the beginning things may have been different.
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2012, 11:19 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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Hi Lazlo Hapsburg and welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board! You are correct in being a little wary of the Pit. Its core function is to be a safety valve when discussions in other parts of the board get out of hand. It props the "No insult" rule by creating an environment where personal and inflammatory discussion can take place.

I tried to avoid the place for years. After a while though, I got used to the culture: for myself, I find it convenient to the extent that I often present a less substantiated argument there than I would in Great Debates or General Questions. Still, I think it's a good idea for newbies to avoid the Pit in the beginning: there are terrific discussions in other parts of the board that provide a better introduction.
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2012, 07:23 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Anyone who is posting in the Pit should be aware that name-calling is permitted there. It's pretty well advertised. Anyone who doesn't like that sort of environment should avoid posting in the Pit. I personally never (well, hardly ever) post there.

For example, in the situation you describe, the person complaining about treatment by a large corporation could have posted in IMHO or MPSIMS, where insults cannot be directed at other posters.
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2012, 07:26 AM
srzss05 srzss05 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle Thoughts View Post
Nothing wrong with a forum set aside for this. Usually there are "uncensored" forums on every message board, in some fashion.
Not really. Perhaps I don't "get out much", but they are quite rare in my experience (and personally I don't find them necessary, as if you get so upset by a message board that you need to insult someone in a "special place" then perhaps you need a more productive hobby). I kind of get the point of the "venting" about outside events, but again I personally don't get so upset that I feel the need to do so to the entire world (then again I almost never start threads on any message board).

Last edited by srzss05; 05-06-2012 at 07:27 AM..
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2012, 07:49 AM
Munch Munch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazlo Hapsburg View Post
even if that person is a stranger or a so-called "guest".
I've been here for 12 years and have over 17,500 posts. Am I a "stranger"? If you need to send me an e-mail, it's right there in my profile.

Welcome to the SDMB - maybe you should spend some time getting to know the place.

Last edited by Munch; 05-06-2012 at 07:51 AM..
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:48 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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This is a pretty funny concept considering how many of us are here as guests. Though I rarely go near the pit these days.

Is bad language actually restricted to the pit? I thought it was just bad language aimed at other posters that was.
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:54 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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AFAIK it's fucking fine to use mother-fucking profanity anywhere we god-damn please, within bloody reason, damnit.
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:22 AM
Munch Munch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
Is bad language actually restricted to the pit? I thought it was just bad language aimed at other posters that was.
Restricted language in the Pit. It's a list of 5 phrases (and variants thereof) you cannot direct at other posters.
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2012, 10:57 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munch View Post
Restricted language in the Pit. It's a list of 5 phrases (and variants thereof) you cannot direct at other posters.
So the op seems to be misinformed then from his first line:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazlo Hapsburg
I understand that bad language is restricted to the pit.
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2012, 11:04 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Victor Lazlo. I remember Casablanca.
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  #17  
Old 05-06-2012, 11:10 AM
Charlie Wayne Charlie Wayne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
I don't think you understand the term "Guest". A guest is not a person who has just started posting to the SDMB. A guest is someone who is registered to post but who has chosen not to pay the yearly subscription fee and who thus has to see the advertisements, while a member is someone who has chosen to pay the yearly subscription fee so they don't have to see the advertisements. Many people who are listed as being guests have posted to the SDMB for years. Yes, we know that some regular posters are jerks in the Pit. There are some posters who acted like such utter jerks that they got banned eventually. Others have managed to hold their jerkiness within bounds sufficiently that they can continue to post for years while being thought to be jerks by other posters. They confine their moderate jerkiness to the Pit. The rest of us have learned to ignore them.
You are correct.

I did not understand the term "Guest" properly and I did not understand that bad language is allowed in other forums just so it is not directed at other posters.

I apologize for any inconvenience and thank you all for educating me about that.
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  #18  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:35 PM
Charlie Wayne Charlie Wayne is offline
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I belong to at least a half dozen other message boards. I use one or two of them quite often and the rest very sparingly. For those of you who may not have experienced very many other boards (and this is probably a very small number), I'd like to say this is probably the most "adult" board I've ever experienced.

By "adult", I don't just mean the topics are adult. I also don't mean the kinds of posts made do not seem to be full of childish behavior. Many of the other boards seem largely populated by children. They seem to have very little life experience and very little ability to express a broad view of most subjects.

Mostly by "adult", I mean people here (for the most part) seem to treat each other in a civilized or dignified fashion. I know there is a lot of joking around that doesn't seem too dignified. But when it comes down to it, most interactions on these boards seems to me to be more considerate and caring of other members.

I really admire that and I take my hat off to all of you.

In this thread, it would have been so easy for many people to criticize me for not having taken the time to learn the meaning of "Guest" or to read through the rules to properly understand the use of bad language as it applies to The Pit.

Yet no one replied to me by implying the problem I described was all my fault - even though it was.

I'm really impressed with the level of maturity here. And I will try to be more careful in the future. I have tried to be careful. I have only made a very small number of posts in the time I have been a Guest here. But I will try to be even more careful in the future.

Thank you all.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 05-06-2012 at 01:37 PM..
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  #19  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:33 PM
srzss05 srzss05 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazlo Hapsburg View Post
But when it comes down to it, most interactions on these boards seems to me to be more considerate and caring of other members.
Sort of ironic that they feel there is a need for the pit, rather than simply ignore minor irritations, isn't it? Other than that, I pretty much agree with you, or at least won't disagree.
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  #20  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:45 PM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srzss05 View Post
Not really. Perhaps I don't "get out much", but they are quite rare in my experience (and personally I don't find them necessary, as if you get so upset by a message board that you need to insult someone in a "special place" then perhaps you need a more productive hobby). I kind of get the point of the "venting" about outside events, but again I personally don't get so upset that I feel the need to do so to the entire world (then again I almost never start threads on any message board).
This board has been around since March of 1999 and existed on AOL before that. Many of us older members have gotten close to each other, both here and in real life. It's spawned marriages and babies (my own included), and when people we've known from here have died, we've mourned their loss. For a lot of us, it's a community of people we know and know well.

Consequently, we need the safety valve of the Pit. It's kinda the SDMB equivalent of taking someone outside to let them know they're behaving unacceptably. It's just a place to hash out differences and either encourage the person to knock it off with the behavior or at least to come to an understanding about it. It's healthy and keeps most of the poison out of the rest of the forum.
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  #21  
Old 05-06-2012, 05:34 PM
srzss05 srzss05 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsRobyn View Post
For a lot of us, it's a community of people we know and know well.
I can kind of understand that, but my main objection was to "most Boards do it", and while I admit I don't read dozens and dozens of boards, those that I do read don't have a special place for fights. They are message boards, not communities (and they like it that way).

ETA---or they just air their grievances in the thread that caused it

Last edited by srzss05; 05-06-2012 at 05:37 PM..
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  #22  
Old 05-06-2012, 05:40 PM
Sister Vigilante Sister Vigilante is offline
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Personally I'd rather curse at people than sit around a campfire singing songs.

I do believe, however, that the titles are a bit misleading especially to new members who might not notice the date some of us signed up. I was even a Charter Member once but let mine lapse so now I'm just a "guest".

Maybe the titles could be changed:

Guest 1-100 posts
Member 100 or more
Charter Member - the ones who pay

Based on the number of posts the person has. The software can do that.
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  #23  
Old 05-06-2012, 05:43 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sister Vigilante View Post
Personally I'd rather curse at people than sit around a campfire singing songs.

I do believe, however, that the titles are a bit misleading especially to new members who might not notice the date some of us signed up. I was even a Charter Member once but let mine lapse so now I'm just a "guest".

Maybe the titles could be changed:

Guest 1-100 posts
Member 100 or more
Charter Member - the ones who pay

Based on the number of posts the person has. The software can do that.
No need for such a 3-tierd system, but I like your idea of changing "guest" to "member". Anyone registered is a member.
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  #24  
Old 05-06-2012, 06:09 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
No need for such a 3-tierd system, but I like your idea of changing "guest" to "member". Anyone registered is a member.
No, anybody who hasn't paid is by definition a freeloading parasite guest.
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  #25  
Old 05-06-2012, 06:11 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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Membership has its privledges. Well, sort of.

Er -

As of the moment there are 3 tiers

Guest - Non-paying
Member - Paying, but not a charter member
Charter Member - Has been paying at a discounted rate continuously since the board started passing around the plate.

So we would need another term. "Newbie" might work for <10 posts. But that would encourage post-padding.
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  #26  
Old 05-06-2012, 06:32 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sister Vigilante View Post
Personally I'd rather curse at people than sit around a campfire singing songs.

I do believe, however, that the titles are a bit misleading especially to new members who might not notice the date some of us signed up. I was even a Charter Member once but let mine lapse so now I'm just a "guest".

Maybe the titles could be changed:

Guest 1-100 posts
Member 100 or more
Charter Member - the ones who pay

Based on the number of posts the person has. The software can do that.
The software can do it easily but that is not the model they choose. I believe they can also do it by time on the board. So Guests could be broken into categories in a way that wouldn't promote post padding but I doubt it would really make any difference.
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  #27  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:15 PM
Sister Vigilante Sister Vigilante is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
The software can do it easily but that is not the model they choose. I believe they can also do it by time on the board. So Guests could be broken into categories in a way that wouldn't promote post padding but I doubt it would really make any difference.
Yes of course they can create multiple titles and requirements for those titles. They could create different levels.

None of it makes a difference to me, but making people who have been here since 2000 "guests" is well, retardation. And by that I mean "slowness".
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  #28  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:34 PM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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In all fairness, I've made thousands of posts - but most of them are retarded. I don't think it would be appropriate to label me as a member.

eta: Perhaps village idiot?

Last edited by Darth Panda; 05-06-2012 at 08:36 PM..
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  #29  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:37 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sister Vigilante View Post
Personally I'd rather curse at people than sit around a campfire singing songs.

I do believe, however, that the titles are a bit misleading especially to new members who might not notice the date some of us signed up. I was even a Charter Member once but let mine lapse so now I'm just a "guest".

Maybe the titles could be changed:

Guest 1-100 posts
Member 100 or more
Charter Member - the ones who pay

Based on the number of posts the person has. The software can do that.

Oh, that'd be a bad idea -- at least with "Charter Member". For some people, that title is almost sacred. There'd practically be riots. I'm only half-kidding.
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  #30  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:24 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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At 43K posts, you get eggroll.
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  #31  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:28 AM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sister Vigilante View Post
None of it makes a difference to me, but making people who have been here since 2000 "guests" is well, retardation. And by that I mean "slowness".
It's not a new idea. Public radio and TV do exactly the same thing. They call people that chose to donate money members, and offer them small additional perks. The SDMB is doing the same.
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  #32  
Old 05-07-2012, 12:22 PM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazlo Hapsburg View Post
You are correct.

I did not understand the term "Guest" properly and I did not understand that bad language is allowed in other forums just so it is not directed at other posters.

I apologize for any inconvenience and thank you all for educating me about that.
We do expect more civility in other forum areas not called The Pit.

You don't have to use profanity, though at times a well-placed curse is salutory and maybe even necessary. But not every other fucking word, goddammit.
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  #33  
Old 05-07-2012, 12:54 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Tuba, you replied in the wrong thread, dear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sister Vigilante View Post
I do believe, however, that the titles are a bit misleading especially to new members who might not notice the date some of us signed up. I was even a Charter Member once but let mine lapse so now I'm just a "guest".
The titles mean exactly what they mean. Just because it might not be explicitly clear to newbies doesn't make it necessary to change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
No need for such a 3-tierd system, but I like your idea of changing "guest" to "member". Anyone registered is a member.
Well, there is a reason for at least 3 tiers - people who aren't paying, people who pay the standard rate, and people who pay the special rate. What labels you choose to differentiate those groups may be a personal choice, but that is three distinctions to keep.

I personally have no animosity toward being called a "guest" even though I've been an active poster since 1999. (There was a hiatus when the board went P2P.)

I see no real need to differentiate those with less than 10 or less than 100 posts or whatever. "Newbies" show themselves by what they post, and if they hang around and fit in, they become accepted regardless of what label they carry. If not, well, there's a fourth category we have reserved for them. (There's also at least two other categories that haven't been mentioned.)
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  #34  
Old 05-07-2012, 06:44 PM
Cheshire Human Cheshire Human is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
(There's also at least two other categories that haven't been mentioned.)
Yeah. What's a Registered User?
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  #35  
Old 05-07-2012, 06:52 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Yeah. What's a Registered User?
They haven't finished the registration process.
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  #36  
Old 05-07-2012, 08:50 PM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
At 43K posts, you get eggroll.
I've always wanted a goal in life...
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  #37  
Old 05-08-2012, 02:41 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazlo Hapsburg View Post
Mostly by "adult", I mean people here (for the most part) seem to treat each other in a civilized or dignified fashion. I know there is a lot of joking around that doesn't seem too dignified. But when it comes down to it, most interactions on these boards seems to me to be more considerate and caring of other members.

I really admire that and I take my hat off to all of you.

In this thread, it would have been so easy for many people to criticize me for not having taken the time to learn the meaning of "Guest" or to read through the rules to properly understand the use of bad language as it applies to The Pit.

Yet no one replied to me by implying the problem I described was all my fault - even though it was.

I'm really impressed with the level of maturity here. And I will try to be more careful in the future. I have tried to be careful. I have only made a very small number of posts in the time I have been a Guest here. But I will try to be even more careful in the future.

Thank you all.
So what you are saying is that I read this thread too late to make fun of you with a clear conscience? And I can't even make an Austro-Hungarian Empire jab? First GermanicPride gets banned before he even made the Pit and now the rest of you have made us seem adult and tolerant?




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  #38  
Old 05-08-2012, 02:43 PM
mlees mlees is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazlo Hapsburg View Post
Why allow "guests" to be able to post anything they like in The Pit? If they are going to indulge in abusive conduct towards members, is it not reasonable to at least insist they provide an email address and make themselves vulnerable to the responses of other members?
I am a "guest". I used to be a member, but I let my subscription lapse.

The "guest" title means nuthin'.

Just so you know.

EDIT: Aack! I see my point was already made. Nevermind me. Ooooh look! Shiny!

Last edited by mlees; 05-08-2012 at 02:44 PM..
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  #39  
Old 05-08-2012, 03:02 PM
Munch Munch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlees View Post
Edit: Posting before finishing the thread. Still in the middle of page 1!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlees View Post
EDIT: Aack! I see my point was already made. Nevermind me. Ooooh look! Shiny!
Maybe now you'll actually read through the whole thread before posting?
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  #40  
Old 05-08-2012, 03:14 PM
mlees mlees is offline
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Originally Posted by Munch View Post
Maybe now you'll actually read through the whole thread before posting?
Nope. Can't make me. *stick tongue out* nyaaah!

Basically, I post as soon as the thought hits me, otherwise I'll forget what I was going to say. (I'm old, and easilly distracted.)
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  #41  
Old 05-08-2012, 03:21 PM
Munch Munch is offline
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Originally Posted by mlees View Post
(I'm old, and easilly distracted.)
You're 47 years old. Quasimodem is 62, has early-onset dementia, and HE manages to make it all the way through 37 post-long threads.
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  #42  
Old 05-08-2012, 04:48 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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I'm a fire truck!
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  #43  
Old 05-08-2012, 08:56 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazlo Hapsburg View Post
Mostly by "adult", I mean people here (for the most part) seem to treat each other in a civilized or dignified fashion. I know there is a lot of joking around that doesn't seem too dignified. But when it comes down to it, most interactions on these boards seems to me to be more considerate and caring of other members.

I really admire that and I take my hat off to all of you.
Ironically, this board spun off a column that typically starts with an insult to the letter writer. Judged by the standards of typical face to face interaction, we are a pretty raucous bunch. And yet the discussion here is a model of decorum at least relative to most comment sections of the internet. It think our sense of mission -fighting ignorance- makes a big difference.
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  #44  
Old 05-09-2012, 09:31 AM
Drunky Smurf Drunky Smurf is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlees View Post
I am a "guest". I used to be a member, but I let my subscription lapse.

The "guest" title means nuthin'.

Just so you know.

EDIT: Aack! I see my point was already made. Nevermind me. Ooooh look! Shiny!
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet but you really should read the thread before you post just in case someone else has already made your point because God forbid two people express similar thoughts.
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  #45  
Old 05-09-2012, 09:44 AM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
It think our sense of mission -fighting ignorance- makes a big difference.
We really need to change that slogan to

Fighting Ignorance - and then making fun of it when that doesn't work - and then banning it when it eventually lashes out at us for making fun of it

Last edited by Darth Panda; 05-09-2012 at 09:47 AM..
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