Therefore my best plan is to speak as I best can.


Socrates: The disgrace begins when a man writes not well, but badly.

bj0rn: what do you mean badly?

Socrates: In good speaking should not the mind of the speaker
know the truth of the matter about which he is going to speak?

bj0rn: yes, of course. but what has that got to do with writing badly?

Socrates: Let me put the matter thus: When will there be more chance of deception --when the difference in truth is large or small?

bj0rn: small

Socrates: He, then, who would decive others, and not be decieved, must exacly know the real likeness and differances of things?

bj0rn: of course

Socrates: And if he is ignorant of the true nature of any subject, how can he detect the greater or less degree of likeness in other things to that of which by the hypothesis he is ignorant?

bj0rn: cannot

Socrates: Then he who would be a master of he art must understand the real nature of everything.

bj0rn: yes

Socrates: He then, who being ignorant of the truth aims at appearances, will only attain an art of rhetoric which is ridiculous and is not an art at all.

please excuse if this slight modification offended anybody. if so, i must say that i had no intention of doing so.

i am perhaps doing something out of the ordinary. i am taking a subject from the pit the subject involves several threads) and posting it in the debates, because i want to cool things down a bit. the usual way is to go from the debates to the pit with an overheated subject. i do hope this will not present a problem for anybody, or should i say; i do not think this will present a problem. well anyhow, let us begin.

a few people have complained about not understanding my posts, evidence of that can be found in several threads in the pit, but those threads also include people who claimed to have understood my posts, so i am confused here.

since i am not a native speaker of the english language, i have often have problems when writing a post. for example i figure out what i want to say, but there is one word in the sentance i dont know exacly how to spell correctly. i do realize of course that i might be misspelling some words i do post, but that is something beyond my knowledge at that time, or a type error. anyway, if i do not know how to spell the word i try to figure out another way to spell out what i want to say. i find a different approach to the matter in hand. naturally success is variable, but i have always felt that what i was trying to say go through to the reader.

i am not worried about one or two people who dont understand what i was trying to say. i generally do not like to explain what i am saying as i go along, the words should speak for themselves, so i basically ignore it. well, saying that i ignore it is maybe a little harsh. i dont do quite that, i do take notice. but so far people havent corrected me. they have only yelled at me. a strange notion indeed, for i even explained that english isnt my native language. the reactions i got then were something like:
“then you shouldnt post in an english message board!”, and stuff like that. i will let that sentance speak for itself, for it is a matter of opinion.

the fact that most of those post have been in the pit, i am bound to think that people are just jabbing at me and have found this to be a good way to do it, in their opinion. now, as time went on i noticed that people were really misunderstanding what i was saying (although not all of them). not due to what i said was wrong in any way, but because they had a different perspective on the matter than i did. so most of the replies i got were right from the perspective of their speaker. recently i saw another tread where another straighdoper complained about the same thing (i feel no need to provide the link). so that got me thinking, how can i make a good post?
i reasoned that the speakers statements remain true and right until the time they are proven wrong by other statements. but in order to prove the original statement wrong you must know the truth of that statement. you can not post a reply to the original statement based on you own opinion of that statement. you must base your opinion on the truth of the original statement.

i belive i will make that my closing statement, the subject is now open for debate.

Socrates: There is nothing of which our great politicians are so fond as of writing speeches and bequeathing them to posterity. And they add their admirers’ names at the top of the writing, out of gratitude to them.

bj0rn: what do you mean?

Socrates: Why, do you not know that when a politician writes, he begins with the names of his approvers?

bj0rn: yes, what about it?

Socrates: If the speech is finally approved, then the author leaves the theater in high delight; but if the speech is rejected and he is done out of his speech-making, and not thought good enough to write, then he and his party are in mourning. So highly do they value the practice of writing.

warning!!! contents of this post can by misunderstood. i
myself intentionally inserted text that might cause confusion. if
you find anything else confusing, please dont hesitate to ask. - bj0rn

That’s the most coherent post I have ever heard from you. Even if you did quote from the Phaedrus (Aiiee! Evil name. And it doesn’t exactly bring up connotations of coherent and reasoned argument anymore).

If you always wrote with such ability, I would have no problem with your posts. But in all honesty, I am not an unintelligent person yet I often must read your posts 3 or 4 times to get even a vague idea of what you intended to express. Is it any wonder people often misinterpret you? Could you try a little harder to write as well in all your posts as you do in this one? You can justifiably be upset at someone misinterpreting you only if you write well enough so that most reasonable people can understand what you say.

“Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.”

  • Bertrand Russell

You also might want to avoid posting topics that start with a conjunction. :wink:

Having said all that, with the very best of intentions and having done everything humanly possible to make yourself clear, it is still obvious, from reading through the other threads, which I have spent a lot of time doing, that usually most of the responses will be based on misunderstandings of one sort or another - and this includes responses to posts by some of the most articulate and skilful posters, so it’s sth to a large extent independent of quality of expression. It just seems to be the nature of the message board as a medium of communication - maybe it’s because there are always huge quantities of things to read through if like most people you are fitting this in to a fairly full life. I know I don’t read things properly, simply because I always have one eye on the clock - also I only read the board very late at night and I’m often half-asleep, and I wd think that was quite common too. So don’t get discouraged if even after your best efforts there are people who still don’t grasp your points. (Sorry - can’t do the little yellow smily things).

The bells of Hell go tingalingaling…

Well, if nothing else, it’s better than the stuff that got that 7th grader in Texas arrested… Barely…

Yer pal,

thanks gaudere.
perhaps it is because i am a complicated person. but i have had time to figure myself out(sort of).
i just resent when people respond to a post they dont fully comprehend. yes, i know its a difficult subject, but people should be more careful with what they say.

tracer: conjunction?? you must remember…

durnovarianus: in spite of that you seem to have a good understanding on the posts you read, considering how you reply to them.
eh…one more thing, ive noticed that “sth” thing of yours, you seem to be the only one using it so im wondering what it means.
how to make a smily “: + )” skip the puls. another variation ; + ). have fun.

satan: you are going to have to excuse me for not knowing what the 7th grader did. people are always getting arrested in the states and frankly, im not really interested in watching the news about it. the only thing i think about when i hear of a shooting in some school or office building, is “what the f**k is wrong with theese people”.


Yeah, I think I understood that.

“sth” = something, “wd” = would, etc.

A 7th grader is a kid who frequents the 7th grade in an American High School. A good point in this matter: perhaps people could indicate what age the kid in question is, so that us foreigners could compare it to our own school systems.



“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

i know what a 7th grader is…but its true that i have no idea how old he is…i belive we were talking about what that 7th grader did to get arrested.


That’s a beautiful post, bj0rn. Unfortunately for you, that just means you have no excuse to have another incoherent post. :slight_smile:

speaker of English as a second language

The young man in question is 13 years old.

Nicely done Björn. As a tribute, I will even post your name correctly.

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

hehehe, good one. i was wondering who would get that one in first :), congrats.
but no, i havent made incoherent posts. the difficulty of comprehending posts has got nothing to do with total incoherent ones.
so what i am saying is, my posts are sometimes difficult to comprehend, never incoherent.


unclebeer: hell…even i cant do that right :wink:

bj0rn < see!

For better or worse, this is exactly the ‘‘art’’ that many posters practice.

I think your point is that some people don’t respond to what you write, but rather, they respond to their erroneous interpretation of what you write. That happens a lot around here.

The only thing you can do is be as clear as possible, try to set the record straight when you are misunderstood, and hope for a modicum of civility. You can’t force people to understand you if they don’t really want to. Let that be their problem, not yours.

Temujin: you can bet its their problem, and i dont really see it as a problem the first time around. but continuous replies hammering their own truth…not the truth of the original statement, even though having been explained to them that they are arguing about the wrong subject. that is what is wrong. and if that is their art maybe there are some who should enlighten them to better path in the art they are trying to practice.

that would be one of the purposes of this thread. so that people can read for themselves how it is supposed to be done.


Coldfire has answered for me and quite rightly - sth/something, wd/would, cd/could etc

My first proper job was in the English Civil Service before computers were used for anything except payroll and investments, and virtually everything was hand-written - all our letters were hand-written and sent to another building to be typed (actually, I think it was another town, let alone another building: at a busy time of year, the time between writing your letter and having it returned typed was three weeks). Also, all internal memos, file notes and so on were hand-written. So we had a whole battery of abbreviations to try and reduce the labour a little. The above are the only ones I can remember, except for icl and ogl (incoming letter, outgoing letter), wh are not esp useful…

One good thing, though - it taught me to read virtually any hand-writing, however bad

Back to the subject: another difficulty with understanding on the board is that the rate of exchange is nearly always SO slow compared to conversation - unless both you and your “postee” (it’s late, I’m tired, you know what I mean) are both on at the same time, and for a longish period, it takes hours, if not days, to sort things out between you - and during that time, hordes of other people will have come in between with their misunderstandings - I think this must be the best training in written communication ever invented

<:+)> [?]

<:+)> [?]

bugger bugger bugger - sorry everyone

Dumvarious: Try typing a colon “:” followed IMMEDIATELY by a right-parenthesis “)” with no space in between.
bj0rn wrote:

Conjunction: A word that binds together different parts of a sentence, such as “and”, “or”, “but”, “so”, etc… “Therefore” is a conjunction.

– tracer, humming the “Conjunction Junction” song from Schoolhouse Rock

Woops – “Durnovarianus”. Don’t know why I thought your name was doom-various.