Language and the Use Thereof

Subject: Language and the Use Thereof
From: Moshe Koenig <alsacien -at- NETVISION -dot- NET -dot- IL>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 08:54:01 PDT

I've read the comments regarding what was regarded as use of improper
language. Without going into any deep philosophical discussion, I think
it's safe to say that if it wouldn't go into our documentation, it does
not have a place in an online forum. Offline, the rule of consenting
adults applies, but online, the choice of words can disrupt. I've
seen it happen before, and my experience is that it doesn't matter
what background a person comes from; the presence of questionable
language very quickly gives way to online bashing that leaves everyone
involved with a bad feeling.

As I say, offline, as long as nobody objects, anything goes. I know that
if I fainted every time I heard a four-letter word in my work, I'd be
all the time in intensive care. I can't say that it shocks me or pleases
me; there is the matter of context to consider in every case. However,
cyberspace discussion groups aren't the place for it. The rule of thumb
has to be the common denominator, and if there's a question about
acceptability, then it's a sign that it's out of place.

- Moshe

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