If you don't know the answer, don't post in GQ

It’s amazing to me how many times inaccurate, incomplete, and downright wrong information is posted in GQ threads in response to a question. My intention is not to slam any particular individual… but to rail against the practice in general.

Cut it out! If you don’t know, don’t guess. Don’t post something you heard. Don’t propagate an urban legend, or a myth, even if it’s already well-circulated. We’re here to debunk legend and myth, not spread it. What’s wrong with simply shutting up? Wait until someone who does know can post. Or research the issue yourself, and post the results. But is seeing your name on the screen so all-fired important, is incrementing your post count so critical, that you have to leap ahead and blather every random bit of unverified information that ever crossed your brain?

If you have an OPINION, or if you just want to share some random, pointless comment… we have fora for those purposes. If you have an ANSWER, post away in GQ. If not, stop adding garbage.

Thank you, in advance, for your kind attention to this request.

  • Rick

[small voice on] but what if I have a question?? can I still post it in GQ??? [small voice off]


Very small rocks?


That’s easy for you to say Mr. High and Mighty. You actually know things.

Us idiots who don’t know shit like to show off answering questions, too, you know?

Who the hell do you think you are to disenfranchise us?

I have to go with Bricker, and yet slighty alter the rant. Don’t seize on something you DO know in the GQ and run with that.

About six months back I posted a question about whether muscle relaxants used for menstrual cramps lengthened a woman’s menstruation time because the muscles couldn’t contract and clear the uterus, because they were relaxed.

I got maybe two answers to the question, and about sixteen people telling me how THEY deal with cramps.


Rick, I see no harm in posting what you understand to be the truth, duly noted as such, and pending a definitive answer from someone else – in the absence of a well-Googled answer being available.


I’ll go along with that. It makes perfect sense to add a caveated good-faith answer, even if it ultimately turns out not to be true. Those were not the target of my wrath. It’s the people who post with confident authority, when the source of their knowledge is sketchy or outright suspect, that evoked my ire. Maybe I should amend my rant to castigate those who post absolutes without qualifying the source or surety of their knowledge.

No one, except Cecil, knows everything. But even Cecil hits the research sources before popping off an answer, except, apparently, in cases involving pigeons.

Point well taken, Polycarp.

  • Rick

Thank you for posting this. I agree completely, and also with Polycarp’s note.

Well, I have found that looking at the poster’s name is a handy way to know if they’re blowing smoke. :wink:

:: smirk ::

I wonder how many other people thought the same thing upon reading the thread title? :smiley:

Concur with Polycarp; sometimes incomplete or unverified information posted by one member is key to the searches performed by another.

Shit. I gotta go delete all my GQ posts now. Both of 'em.

Bricker, I feel your frustration. Recently it seems that there are a lot more people offering up answers that are just plain wrong.

Answers which, hopefully, will be corrected, thusly getting more Ignorance-smashing per thread.

What’s the big deal? Is everyone supposed to tap into some huge, extensive Bricker network to find out if their answer is right or not? If their answer is wrong, just tell them, and then that’s one more person who you have helped educate. If they argue about it, THEN that’s when you get pissy.

Who knows… maybe an answer that you think is wrong might be right after all.

I sometimes post answers in GQ that I would not stake my life on. However, I do try to state clearly when I’m stating something I “believe” or “understand” to be true (sometimes going so far as to actually state how much of a WAG it is) as opposed to answers I can provide citations to back up.

Hoping he’s worth the trouble he causes

Scylla said

Could you post a link to the question you answered in GQ? :stuck_out_tongue:

I must confess to this very transgression. Maybe eighteen months ago, in response to a linguistic question, I posted, “According to The Story of English, blah blah blah.” I had a cite and everything and felt really smart.

Then somebody came along and smacked me down: “That book is not notorious for accuracy.” Additional clarification was included, along with a less erroneous answer to the initial inquiry.

Ever since then, when providing an answer in GQ (which doesn’t happen very often), I’m careful to differentiate between what I know to be true (and why) and what I believe to be true based on some half-remembered article. In other words, I subscribe to the method set out by Polycarp, because it’s possible that my hazy recollection, while not strictly accurate or thorough on its face, may provide the stimulus required for a more complete examination of the topic.

I’m not holding myself up as a paragon of virtue here: I do this because I screwed it up and learned my lesson therefrom.

The frustration of the OP, I think, comes when certain individuals regularly and persistently provide inaccurate information despite previously having suffered the darts of correction. That’s a position I can thoroughly agree with. Simply by the nature of the board, we’ll regularly get new users who through unfamiliarity with the cite-based philosophy of the SDMB will offer what on other boards is a perfectly legitimate contribution, only to find themselves asspaddled by longtimers. Look no further than “Comments on Cecil’s Columns” for the clockwork-like predictability of theories about “the whole nine yards” offered by new members as gospel without so much as a single contemporary source for backup. Posters who so err are quickly corrected, and they either learn their lesson and become productive Dopers, or they flee with stinging posterior and never return.

Either way, it should be a self-correcting apparatus, and the serious annoyance comes when said correction, for whatever reason, fails to stick.

I think Bricker is talking about a certain individual in the thread about Communion ettiquette who claims to have all this knowledge about Catholic protocol-and who insists that it is true no matter how many times said person is corrected.

I can partially agree with the OP’s sentiment. Some posts in GQ piss me off no end. However, I reckon I’m going to have to put myself in the other camp.

Most, if not all, of the information OPs ask in GQ can be found through non-SDMB sources (Google, Encarta, your local library… you name it). We could tighten right up to a point where there wouldn’t be a GQ. The real time, real life responses from people I’m familiar with are often much more useful than a cold and sterile encyclopaedia entry.

Before you lot jump on me for posting in the wrong debate (I know this isn’t another of those “Google is your friend” threads), I’m going somewhere with this: once we accept that the personal touch of GQ is in some ways superior to other online reference sources, it’s a short leap to having the occasional aside or joke creep in to GQ. Those things really don’t bother me. If you post a sensible question in GQ, the Dopers virtually always come through with the answer you need. Free, timely, and accurate information from a friendly group of people with experts in nearly every field. If there’s a small amount of trimming around the edges you need to do, then deal with it. For mine, that’s an aspect of the SDMB I really love.

Excellent point. The debunking is often as enlightening as the real answer. F’instance…

SPOOFE’s GQ OP: What’s the moon made out of, anyhow?

UncleBeer: The moon is made out of green cheese.

Ukulele Ike: Contrary to popular belief, the moon is not made out of green cheese. It is made out of moon rocks.