RE: ADMIN: Civility and content

Subject: RE: ADMIN: Civility and content
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 12:41:38 -0400

While we're about it, there's also a difference between paraphrasing someone in an attempt to twist or distort their meaning, and paraphrasing in an attempt to *clarify* their meaning. At the risk of straying too far off-topic, I have to say that it really bugs me when people automatically assume you’re doing the former. There have been a number of occasion on which someone has made a statement to me that seems ambiguous or unclear, and I've asked them, "Did you mean A or B or C?" to which they respond very angrily, "I MEANT ... " followed by the exactly same ambiguous or unclear statement they made before, word for word. Part of understanding what somebody else says is figuring out how it fits into your particular way of seeing things, which is what constructive paraphrasing is intended to do.

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael West [mailto:mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- net -dot- au]
Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2003 8:21 PM
Subject: Re: ADMIN: Civility and content

> ... Likewise, when
> somebody paraphrases you incorrectly, consider those words. If you
> feel they aren't a good representation of your ideas, then post a
> clarification. Don't get personal or nasty, just clarify.

All very well, but there's a big difference
between an "incorrect paraphrase" due to
misunderstanding and a deliberate attempt
to distort, ridicule, or belittle another's opinion
or intelligence. That this difference is not
explicitly mentioned in the FAQ does not mean
there is no difference in "civility" between the
two. The latter is a form of verbal bullying.

Mike West
Melbourne, Australia


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