What may new subscribers post?

Subject: What may new subscribers post?
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 13:02:03 EST

In light of the recent brouhaha on techwr-l, let us consider the question of
what is appropriate for new subscribers to post.

To avoid attacking anyone by name, I will refer to two posters as Poster A and
Poster B. Poster A ventured onto techwr-l for the very first time with a post
that disagreed with another poster not discussed here, even in anonymous terms.
Poster A wrote "I'm sorry but (IMHO) you are wrong." The posting went on to
discuss reasons for this opinion.

Poster B took umbrage and wrote: "I think it's very anti-social for you to
muscle into this list with phrases such as 'I'm sorry but (IMHO) you are
wrong.'. Furthermore, it's particularly crass for you to do this when you
yourself are the one who's wrong."

Now comes Poster C -- me. IMNSHO, nobody muscles onto this list but those who
attack others. I didn't think Poster A's post was an attack. What are new
posters supposed to do, shut up until they agree with somebody -- and then post
that agreement? That sounds awfully boring to me.

When is a newbie allowed to post? I always thought that new subscribers could
post as soon as they had something to say -- and Poster A did. Furthermore, how
are we to decide who's right and who's wrong without discussion of this sort?
IOW, how do we know Poster A is wrong until we discuss the matter?

Poster B goes on to say, "Nobody minds an open discussion, but there is no place
for personal attacks here."

This struck me as itself being a personal attack. Open discussion sometimes
means saying "I'm sorry but (IMHO) you are wrong."

Techwr-l is not an exclusive club. Each of us may post. We frequently
disagree, and that's perfectly fine. But saying "You're wrong -- and you're
new, so put a sock in it" is completely uncalled for.

BTW, I don't know if I agree with Poster A or not. But I'm interested in the
discussion, so I hate to see anybody's opinion squelched or belittled.

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
(standard disclaimer, but please note that this is not my first posting)

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