Is the OP perhaps scratching at the difference between discourse IRL and that based solely on a textual medium, such as this board? If so, yes, I have seen people become upset at a poster’s response to something where I can see how they read it vastly differently from what I perceived that poster as attempting to communicate. Dry humor, in particular, can be tricky.
This could be an example: Dex is not understanding my question, even though it is perfectly straight forward question. Curious, what exactly do you not understand about my question, *CK Dexter Haven?
You were probably reading too much into it… I am not comparing this to any other board or anything else. It’s just that from my POV, if I don’t understand post, I inquire further instead of assuming their position.
I should make this very clear though: No offense to the members here, there are a ton of great people here, a ton. Just seems like many people have a quick finger here. But I could be mistaken.
This is actually a really good example. I asked a straightforward question, and this individual tagged me with some obscure position, and assumed I was asking about some outlandish idea.
To answer your question, no. Of course there would not be enough people with such an obscure, twisted idea on these boards to cause me to realize it as a rampant problem. What I mean is that, there are more misunderstandings about easy concepts on this board then I would think there should be. Someone posts something which ought to be understood, but it isn’t. This is by far the more sensible interpretation of my OP, isn’t it? Then why did you make your other assumption, [khadaji**?
It’s as if, if someone doesn’t understand someone else’s post on this board, then they assume, since they don’t understand, then there must be something “wrong” with the other person and they should assume that they are speaking about something odd or obscure.
Does anybody else see this? This is not just a problem with my posts, mostly I see this happening to other people. Just about every post has some of this going on.
The problem is that we don’t think we don’t understand the post. We read it and go from there.
My parents both grew increasingly deaf as they aged and they had some absolutely hilarious arguments based on what they THOUGHT they heard. There was no need to “inquire further.” They heard what they heard, even if it wasn’t what the other had actually said.
This is a board full of people with different levels of education, different political and social backgrounds, even different grasps of the English language based on where they grew up and whether English is even their primary language. Misunderstandings are inevitable. We just have to try and straighten them out as they come up.
Don’t get worked up over it. Such is the nature of communication. People don’t always decode the same information from your message that you thought you encoded. It’s not limited to the Boards, it happens everywhere. The more information you transmit, the more likely your recipient will get close to your actual meaning.
In face-to-face speech, there are many clues to add to the information: tone of voice, rate of speech, posture, choice of analogy, phrases known to be commonly-understood to the sender and receiver. In a message board post, all the receiver has to go on is a short block of text. Other details get filled in by the receiver’s experience with the topic at hand, and knowledge of the sender.
It’s easy to be misinterpreted if you simply state things, without elaboration and without using a structure common in this medium. Most of the clues I mentioned above are missing, and the contextual overtones of the structure (common ways of writing and choice of vocabulary) are lacking. So people take what you say the way they’d have meant it if they’d said it that way, or the way they expect someone might mean it. Which may not be what you actually meant.
Instead of lamenting the difficulties of communication, practice, observe, and study the peculiar characteristics of this medium. Message boards call for a different use of the language than other situations, and the SDMB in particular has some linguistic mores and customs.
Then learn to say things in a way that’s likely to be understood by your audience, rather than clinging to your own habits. And learn to give allowances for the differences in the way people communicate. You’ll likely find yourself much better understood, and more likely to get what others really mean.
LOL. I’m sorry, I was just playing. I was deliberatly pretending to misunderstand your post about misunderstanding. In retrospect I see it was much too subtle. Oh well, most of 'em are just for me anyway.
I have noticed this quite a lot. I think there are quite a variety of things which may cause it.
In some cases it is someone being deliberately obtuse, either for a joke, to steer a thread in a particular direction, or to avoid valid points in a post. Sometimes it seems that people take a very literal view rather than understanding the actual meaning behind a post. Sometimes it is people giving far too much meaning to a post when it should be taken literally. I think sometimes, that it is simply a lack of reading comprehension skills. Some people are better at accurately interpreting the written word than others. Then of course others aren’t as adept at getting their thoughts across.
It is probably a mix of several of the above reasons most of the time.
I’m not sure why you perceive it to be more common on this board. Personally I think it occurs frequently on most boards. My only theory would be that it most often seems to happen during debates/arguments and there are a lot of those on the SDMB!
Count me in with those who sometimes misread/don’t get the real intention of posts of others, which has to do with English not being a language I learned but also as mcuh with my birthgift dyslexia.
I am also on a lot of occasions myself a “victim” of others who misread my posts or don’t distilate out of them what I wanted to bring across.
Especially when using this language I face on several occasions the difficulty to be clear (and coherent) when writing down my opinion or my information on a certain issue.
There are posters who show me the courtesy to ask for clarification, which is really appreciated.
But there are others who obviously really like to misread and misintreprete.
Instead of having a decent flow of the debate at hand it ends in me being brought in a postiion where I would have to “defend” my own earlier writings in a thread.
I’m really getting tired and bored by this. Not in the least because there seems to be some habit to quote, or give reference, or come back to posts of mine in other threads (where I do or do not participate).
There are currently some threads about Islam and related running on the GD (there is always one or more running on that, which is an sich already tiring because it often comes down to the same) and on which I could contribute a lot.
Yet I choose not to do this.
It really is too much work and time consuming for me to write constructive (and historical correct) arguments and explanations, since I can already predict that there shall be no appreciation at all. Quite the contrary; the “normal” attacks will start as soon as I show up. So why would I even bother to try to fight this ignorance.
I’m sorry for people who really like to get informed, but those who just use the boards to play child games are too prevalent for me at the present.
I guess I’m not the only one with this “problem” on the SDMB.