RE: Intentionality & The Writer/Reader Interface

Subject: RE: Intentionality & The Writer/Reader Interface
From: "Kight, Cindy K." <Cindy -dot- Kight -at- Gilbarco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 12:18:25 -0700

Tom Murrell writes:

<Yet offense is taken. Not only is offense taken, someone else reading the
interchange takes offense that offense was taken in the first (or second)
place. I
would argue, as a point of logic (which may be a mistake), that where
offense is not
intended offense is not given; however, it is always possible for offense to
taken whether it was given or not. The reader in this case took offense that
was not
given, and another reader took offense at that, again where offense was not
(though that was implicit rather than explicit).>

Ya know, there are some people whose way of 'winning' the game of life
consists of trying to control everything by being unhappy and critical of

Years ago, I worked with a woman who took great pride in being particular
and hard to please. Eventually, I realized that it was a control mechanism.
When we ate as a group, we ate where she wanted to eat because she was the
only one who was inflexible. She found fault in innocent remarks, found
most of life irritating, and was generally not much fun - an unhappy woman.

It's similar with writing. I can't tell you how many times I've written a
quick little comment on this list, only to have someone rip it to shreds.
It's almost like they intentionally want to misinterpret things in order to
have a discussion. It's discouraging and the main reason I mostly lurk.

I worked with someone who was deeply offended when the company sent out a
PowerPoint presentation that had a repeated word and a misplaced comma. She
took it as a personal offense that someone would send her something so
unprofessional. (I just thought, "Oops, Marketing was in a hurry. They're
going to be embarrassed, if anyone notices.")

With any communication, do your best. Be respectful and try to keep in mind
the other person's point of view. But realize that you can't please

And quote Emerson, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Cindy Kight
Technical Communications Manager
RMS Group - Gilbarco, Inc.
Glendale, CA

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