Re[2]: slamming

Subject: Re[2]: slamming
From: "Walker, Arlen P" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 08:44:39 -0500

I've been reading this list's comments for months and months. But
this is the first time I am posting to the list, in part because I've
been afraid of being WRONG.

Debbie, some advice: One of the many things I learned from my dear departed
grandmother is that if you're afraid of being wrong, you'll never be right.
If you'll pardon the gender-specificity: The reasonable man accepts his
surroundings and adapts himself to them; therefore all progress depends
upon the unreasonable man.

First rule is that you can only be wrong when facts are concerned. When
expressing your opinion, you are *always* right. After all, only you know
what your opinion is; none of the rest of us, no matter how much we may
disagree with it, can know if it's truly your opinion. You can feel free to
modify your opinion at will, because it *is,* after all, yours. And when it
comes down to it, opinions are like feet; everyone has two and they *all*
stink.

If so many emails are abrasive and offensive to others,
unintentionally or not, we really need to consider how our
professional work is interpreted by readers. Are we demeaning/
insulting to them, do we talk over their heads? If we cannot
communicate effectively among ourselves, how can we communicate
effectively to our intended audience?

Or could our standards be so delicate that we're demanding everyone around
us walk on eggshells? If someone takes offense at your words, is it
*always* your fault?

There are different styles of communication. We work in the world of
corporate communication. Are we expected to carry the standards of that
world to this list? Or, rather, is this list a more informal forum, with
different expectations? If the rest of you are expecting corporate-
communications-level prose from me on this list, you're going to be waiting
a long time. I get paid for that sort of thing; no one pays me for the
messages I post here.

That being said, now that I've taken the plunge, I will continue to
contribute to the list, regardless of the risks of being slammed.

Good! Welcome aboard!

On a more general note: I'm equally puzzled by the apologetic tone several
people have taken in this area. Yes, there have been times in the past when
things got a little rough out here. But, unless I've been missing
something, those times have not been recently. This group has been
remarkably well- behaved of late, and I don't see any reason for such
groveling.

Let me perform an experiment, with the list's kind assistance. From now
until the end of April, if any one of you feels some "slamming" is going on
here, send me (privately) a copy of the offending post, indicating who is
the slammer and who is the slammee. I'll evaluate and tabulate and post the
results, naming no names. It would help if you'd begin the subject line
with "slam:" but I can cope with it if you don't.

My expectation is that we'll see that it happens far less often than some
of you seem to think it does.


Have fun,
Arlen
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
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