Jonathan Chance, are you trying to drive new posters away?

In Great Debates, a completely new poster asked a question, asking for information on current events in Syria. Jonathan Chance’s response?

Bolding mine. While it can be argued that the OP was somewhat vague, I would guess that they’re a younger person, or maybe someone whose first language isn’t English. EVEN IF THAT’S NOT THE CASE, I would say that Jonathan Chance’s response was totally snotty, and doubley so coming from a moderator. I mean, the guy admitted, hey, I’m asking for information, please enlighten me, pardon my ignorance.

You could have said, hey, we like OPs a little more fleshed out. Or, this probably isn’t in the proper forum. But “this isn’t up to our usual standards?” WTF kind of response is that? :dubious:

I’ve said it before: There are some mods here who are burnt out and should take some time off. Nobody, except they themselves, expects them to keep at it, day after day, year after year, while maintaining a real life, too.

Well, I suppose I made my feelings on the matter clear in post number 13 and number 16.

What I find especially peculiar is that Jonathan Chance saw fit to chastise and shame the new poster, but did not take what would seem to be the obvious action of moving the thread out of Great Debates and into another forum where a request for information would be more appropriate.

If a banana fell into the apple barrel, why berate it for not being a good enough apple when you could just throw it in the banana bin?

Poor sad banana.

Good food metaphor.

Wow, yes, That was snotty! “Not up to our standards” - indeed! :eek:
We have standards?!

Of course we do. If you consider questions pan-fried semen standards.

I was thinking more along the lines of our high standards regarding acceptably detailed descriptions of the pus and other detritus that Dopers have squeezed out of the zits and miscellaneous other lesions located on and in the more unseemly parts of the body.

I hear your OP, Guin, but tomndebb’s post immediately following Jonathan’s certainly addressed the question for the OP. It’s almost as though he went overboard a bit in his answer due to being embarrassed by another mod’s short-shrift answer. Perhaps Jonathan ran out of lozenges for his throat or something.

No shit. See C K Dexter Haven’s “apology” in the Game Room. He goes out of his way to do something tremendously helpful and gets run out of town by the other mods.


Yeah, I did screw up that sentence, didn’t I?

I’ve sent out, I don’t know, dozens of such greetings over the past year. My aim there is to present friendliness and to provide some guidance for new posters about our ways. Clearly, this time I failed. Mea culpa.

Parenthetical aside: Apparently a search on the word “greetings” and my username returns no hits as “greetings” is either too short or considered too common. I’d hoped to show other places I’d used that form.

I will say that the analogies to the pan-friend semen thing seem less than apt. At a minimum, they indicate that we’ll welcome pretty much all content (though I doubt I’ll read it unless forced to if it ends up in Great Debates) provided it’s written coherently.

Again, mea maxima culpa. I’ll dash off a note to the OP of that thread now.

Okay, then. I take back all of the terrible things I hadn’t said yet, Jon.

I continue to think that Jonathan Chance misunderstands the role of the moderator. Too often he appears to take more of the role of an editor.

Cool, JC, and I hope your apology is accepted.

No actual apology. (Mea culpa is hardly an apology) No apparent comprehension of what the problem with the post was. (It’s not the form of the “greetings.” It’s the content and the tone) An attempt to demonstrate that this all is perfectly common for him. (Maybe that’s part of the problem) Criticism of another of the OP’s posts (The pan-fried semen was a joke. She was riffing on what the previous poster said)

But hey, that was better than I thought we’d get out of him.

How about “I fucked up. I’m sorry.” That would have been a whole lot better and it’s only 5 words.
**Jonathan Chance **-
Perhaps you might want to consider knocking it off with that condescending “the moderator clears his throat” stuff. You can make it clear that you are acting in your capacity as a moderator without being supercilious about it. And you don’t have to mention that you’re a moderator all the time. It was in the post in the OP FOUR times! It’s in your custom title. It says “moderator” under that. You titled it “The Moderator Speaks” AND you signed it “Moderator.” We get it. You’re a moderator. You’re a very very important man. You’d get a lot less shit if you stopped with the lofty posturing. Or maybe it’s too late for you. I dunno. I just know I cringe every time I see one of your posts that has anything to do with moderation.

To be fair to Jonathan, that poster did use the abbreviation “plz”, which in some societies is punishable by banishment or death.

Well, I’m thinking of starting a thread reaching out to our less-literate friends. A person born when we joined is now old enough to post–a full generation, netwise–and if the board is to thrive we may have to make allowances when they are new. Like we do when people use neuter, but plural, pronouns because English lacks singular ones. Wasn’t that long ago when people got shit for that here.

All due respect to your Latin scholarship, are you quite sure about that?

“I acknowledge that I made an error” is not the same as “I am sorry for my error.”

Nuances of dictionary definitions aside, in American English, “mea culpa” projects a lot less sincerity than “I’m sorry.” I hear it used sarcastically more than sincerely. Adding the “maxima” only makes it seem more like a throwaway line.

Besides, he’s getting reamed for acting all superior and stuff. If he genuinely understood the problem, would he be using Latin?

Viridi Faba,
Latin Scholar. For 4 years in high school, anyway.
p.s. Semper ubi sub ubi!

I agree Jonathan Chance could stand to lay off “The Moderator speaks.” or “The Moderator clears his throat.” or “The Moderator spills coffee all over his lap.” I see no problem with his letting people know when he’s moderating and not speaking merely as a poster. It’s not only helpful, but expected when moderating. Just a simple “Moderating.” in the title of his post or [Mod Hat on] [/Mod Hat] or a simple signoff like “Jonathan Chance, Great Debates Moderator.” Any one of these would be fine. Anything else like [* blows whistle] or [* clears throat] is a bit excessive and not needed to get the point across.