1. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Sticky for Argument Basics

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by funkybassmannick, May 28, 2011.

    I think there should be a sticky thread in every "Writing Issues" forum that just gives the basics to arguing/discussing. It seems like generally, people:

    1) Misinterpret what others are saying
    2) Argue over the misinterpretation
    3) Argue over minor details
    4) Argue over definitions of words or terms used in the OP such as what "Writer's Block" truly means to them, etc.
    5) Take things personally

    And ultimately:
    6) Get distracted from the original topic of the thread.

    I've seen too many great, innocent threads get closed off because of this tendency to get locked into an argument, leaving the original discussion behind. I'm not saying I don't have a tendency to do any or all of the 6 things on the list, because I love arguing, but I feel like sometimes it gets way out of hand. There's a sticky to help guide people to write and receive reviews better, and I think there should be a similar guide in each of the "Writing Issues" forums, giving basic pointers on how to argue as well as how to interpret another's argument.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    isn't this info already contained in the rules 'n regs somewhere?
     
  3. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Not yet, anyway. All that is really said on this topic is: "Remain respectful in all posts, PMs, or other forum communications." This is still too vague. What I'm saying is a much more in-depth "How To Argue Respectfully and Efficiently." Basically the same basic idea as these stickied threads on constructive critiques and receiving a review:

    Constructive Critique How-To
    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=20627

    Receiving a Review How-To
    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=6165

    I found these both very helpful, and I think the same concept applied to both how to make an argument as well as respond to an argument would be very helpful.
     
  4. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    So what you're saying is Avril Lavine is a 'good' artist, and by good you obviously mean a genius, which I have to disagree with on the grounds that a genius is only someone who doesn't realize it and this one time in an article she said she thought she was pretty popular so she's obviously aware of it so can't be a genius based on my (and the world's definition) and honestly she's so terrible I take it personally that you think she's 'good,' whatever 'good' means.

    My point being you missed posts like this, where people go off topic just to make jokes or screw around, which then becomes misinterpreted and argued over, etc, thus starting your cycle of argumentationalizing and then they come back in 4 pages later and say 'oh, btw I was just kidding!'

    I get where you're coming from, but don't see it happening. The people that are considerate, will consider such guidelines about how to discuss/argue effectively, though are considerate and probably don't need it... and those that aren't considerate or just ignorant will keep on keeping on.

    The only thing that would potentially help if forum moderator's got into the business of basically being debate moderators, but that not only would take a ton more work (and probably more mods) but gets a bit tricky as it's a slippery slope that could be seen as them taking sides or overly censoring people.

    The worst is when mods start judging whether arguments are okay ones or not, then eventually all debates or disagreements immediately get awkward as people start shouting illegal argument, come close it down just because people are discussing alternate viewpoints.

    I've seen forums try to enforce discussions staying 'on topic' but that's equally murky, as a question about writing may lead to a very on-topic discussion about reading, but a mod may see one post out of context and think it's off topic, or be expected to then read every post in every thread to ensure everyone is always staying on topic. Or they have to trust the report function, and then people start reporting left and right when they just don't like something, claiming it's off topic.

    I don't think there's the manpower to enforce anything other than stepping in when arguments turn personal, though until then it is annoying, especially when you're arguing for others to stop arguing off topic so you can go back to arguing on-topic, lol.

    In the end, though, I really think it's the sort of thing where people who would read and follow such guidelines aren't the ones that need it, but it wouldn't be feasible to try enforcing such things on those that do.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    We aren't here to teach the basics of good manners. In my opinion, it is sufficiently covered by:
    Trying to pin down specific aggressive/obnoxious behavior results in more troublemakers dancing on the razor's edge and arguing they never crossed the line.

    The chronically belligerent will quickly rack up infractions, if not get banned outright.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i see nothing 'vague' about 'remain respectful'!

    isn't that akin to what your mommy taught you [without having to give you a pageful of instructions on how to do it]?
     

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