Re: You're Wrong! It's this way!

Subject: Re: You're Wrong! It's this way!
From: Michael Priestley <mpriestley -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 1997 17:47:55 EST

Don Timmerman wrote:
>> However, I remember from my years as a teacher
>> that you should praise in public and punish in private. If this same
>> philosophy were to be used on this list, the last part of that
>> statement would read, "... correct in private."

and Chuck Martin replied:
> In many of my school classes, the mistakes of students were turned into
> teaching tools for the entire class....
> In many ways, this list is the same as those classes.

In many ways, and for many people, this list is nothing like those classes.
I didn't see the original post being discussed, but it sounds as if the
mistake was not a barrier to understanding or communication. This sounds
like it could be considered parallel to a grammatical or spelling mistake,
where Internet etiquette prescribes withholding any comment, unless of course
you are deliberately pissing the person off.

FWIW, I definitely do not regard this lists as anything like a class.
I regard it more as an informal discussion group, like the kinds of gatherings
that might happen during a coffee break at a conference. In other words,
I fully expect to learn things, and every now and then I might even
contribute to the discussion, but if I say "usability ain't the only
requirement for a user interface" and someone ignores the blatant hook
and corrects my use of the word "ain't", I will not feel gently corrected
and enlightened, I will feel annoyed.

I guess my main point is simply that, in general, it's not worth the trouble
of posting minor corrections to the list. If you have an issue with a
person's argument, that's one thing; if you have a quibble with their
expression of that argument, well, this ain't Rhetoric 101.

Michael Priestley
mpriestley -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com
Disclaimer: speaking on my own behalf, not IBM's.
PS: I noticed your post lacked the usual techwr-l administrivia footer. Did
it make it to the list, or was it posted to the newsgroup only?

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