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Suggestion: new category for squashing: no context provided/refusal to provide context
Thread poster: writeaway

writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 14:58
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Feb 19, 2004

I am personally getting really tired of questions with pleas for help and no context provided, even when people ask for it. Since this then reduces us to wasting our time playing 'guess the context', I suggest squashing be allowed for such questions. Time is spent looking up what one presumes/hopes is the context and perfectly valid answers can end up looking ridiculous because the 'wrong' context has been guessed. The Asker is fully aware that people have requested more info yet prefers to ignore this, presumably out of some fear of someone stealing the job. Combined with the fact that so many questions seem to be asked out of laziness or insufficent knowledge of the subject matter of the job, the refusal to provide context is all the more infuriating.

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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:58
Member (2004)
English to Italian
I couldn't agree more... Feb 19, 2004

writeaway wrote:

I am personally getting really tired of questions with pleas for help and no context provided, even when people ask for it. Since this then reduces us to wasting our time playing 'guess the context', I suggest squashing be allowed for such questions. Time is spent looking up what one presumes/hopes is the context and perfectly valid answers can end up looking ridiculous because the 'wrong' context has been guessed. The Asker is fully aware that people have requested more info yet prefers to ignore this, presumably out of some fear of someone stealing the job. Combined with the fact that so many questions seem to be asked out of laziness or insufficent knowledge of the subject matter of the job, the refusal to provide context is all the more infuriating.


If these people fail to provide context, I usually ignore their request. Unfortunately, there's always some idiot prepared to guess, perpetuating this sad state of affairs. I believe the question should be squashed automatically a couple of hours after the first request of context.

Giovanni


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xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 14:58
French to English
+ ...
possible solution Feb 19, 2004

Why not provide a box for context that has to be filled in as an obligation? At present, if you fail to complete one of the mandatory boxes (e.g. degree of confidence), the system will not take your reply. Why not use the same technique here?

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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:58
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
trying to urge the asker to provide more context BEFORE the question can be posted anyway? Feb 19, 2004

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:
If these people fail to provide context, I usually ignore their request. Unfortunately, there's always some idiot prepared to guess, perpetuating this sad state of affairs. I believe the question should be squashed automatically a couple of hours after the first request of context.

Giovanni


I know I post this plea for the third time (it must be boring, I'm afraid), but I think some confusion / irritation could be avoided if the asker should be urged to provide more context before the question is posted. Sometimes it seems people have difficulties in translating while they don't really understand the importance of context.
http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/new&ViewTopic&post=71573
http://www.proz.com/topic/10863


If Proz would force the asker to provide a context / description with a minimum length of 5 times the number of asked words, with a minimum of 25 words AND (if possible) at least three sentences (the concerning sentence and the preceding and following one) before the question is posted, the answerers would have a firm argument to squash a question.


The disadvantage of squashing is undoubtedly that some answerers (idiots?) have already replied or are preparing an answer (what about "Schelle am Oder", writeaway? Well, I know, that was a different situation). Anyway, one could squash too right away, writeway. Don't you think?
Please don't use the word idiot; it's hard to decide who's a hard worker and who's an idiot.


[Edited at 2004-02-19 10:06]


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Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 14:58
German to English
+ ...
Aye! Feb 19, 2004

Those in favour say 'aye'

Good suggestion IMO!


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 08:58
SITE FOUNDER
context is required now Feb 19, 2004

There is a context box already, and putting something in it (at least one character) is required. Different suggestions have been made for a minimum of context, but none of the ones I have heard allow for questions like this:

term: boxer
context: dog

Isn't this question fully intelligible? If so, nothing is gained in forcing more context here.

Thoughts?

As for squashing, that does go one step beyond "ask the asker". Is it justified?


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:58
English to Polish
+ ...
Another suggestion Feb 19, 2004

Most, if not all of us have encountered "no context" translations - tables, tables of contents, captions etc. They happen and there isn't much we can do then.

If there was a minimum length of text required in such a box, I would write "sorry no context available xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" until I hit the minimum number of characters.

Sooo - if this makes any sense, because personally I just don't answer these questions if I cannot make a reasonably educated guess - how about another tick box beside the "test/ homework" and "offensive" ones. It would simply say "sorry, no context available" or something to this effect.
Maybe it would somehow codify the matter and appease or warn those who need more information to answer a question...

Cheers,
Pawel Skalinski

[Edited at 2004-02-19 10:49]


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:58
Member (2004)
English to Italian
not that difficult... Feb 19, 2004

Henk Peelen wrote:
Please don't use the word idiot; it's hard to decide who's a hard worker and who's an idiot.


It's not hard at all, I'm afraid. People who answer just to get points and not to educate. There's plenty around on Proz.com. Never met one? I have.

Giovanni


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 14:58
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not instant squashing Feb 19, 2004

Henry wrote:

There is a context box already, and putting something in it (at least one character) is required. Different suggestions have been made for a minimum of context, but none of the ones I have heard allow for questions like this:

term: boxer
context: dog

Isn't this question fully intelligible? If so, nothing is gained in forcing more context here.

Thoughts?

As for squashing, that does go one step beyond "ask the asker". Is it justified?


I don't mean instant squashing. What is so annoying is when the context is unclear and willing colleagues ask for more context and this request is simply ignored. I feel if the Asker is clearly refusing to provide more context (perhaps after several requests), then it should be possible to squash the question. Otherwise a mad guessing game begins and afaik, that is not what Proz is about.


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Aye Feb 19, 2004

Maybe there should be increased requirements for pro questions: not quite as complicated as described above, but more than just a dot. (Naming context may be the "price" for asking a pro question.)

Concerning easy questions it might help to explain to the asker that even some preceding or succeeding words might be used as "context" (in case the asker does not know how to abstract).

Usually you don't get jobs consisting of only one word.

[Edited at 2004-02-19 12:36]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:58
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Just delete the question from your mailbox and forget it! Feb 19, 2004

Henry wrote:

There is a context box already, and putting something in it (at least one character) is required.
Thoughts?

...
...

As for squashing, that does go one step beyond "ask the asker". Is it justified?

------------------------------
IMHO, no. Each question comes out to dozens of people. A few don't get answered, but most do.

I delete all KudoZ questions in my mailbox as soon as I've answered them or decided not to. Life is too short to worry about the impossible ones.

When I have time, I go and check 'my pairs' on the community site, or I get the feedback if I've answered a question. That way you can see the interesting ones - and spring over the rest.

What I find obvious, trivial or boring seems to be quite interesting to some people - and no doubt the converse is true....

Find a joke or a good forum somewhere else on the site - there's enough to choose from!


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:58
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
context OR description Feb 19, 2004

PAS wrote:

Most, if not all of us have encountered "no context" translations - tables, tables of contents, captions etc. They happen and there isn't much we can do then.

If there was a minimum length of text required in such a box, I would write "sorry no context available xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" until I hit the minimum number of characters.
Cheers,
Pawel Skalinski


Yes, I agree with you that some questions have no "immediate" context, but in such cases the asker could perhaps something about the branch, type of document, country of origin or, what could also work very well, (s)he could tell what he thought it COULD be.
Of course, whatever measure you take, there'll always be borderline cases.

By forcing the asker to provide, for instance, a minimum of 25 words, you could probably force / urge him / her to THINK ABOUT context. Those who are really lazy, will get lost immediately OR provide things like xxxxxx. In that case, the question isn't posted at all OR the answerers have a firm argument to squash the question.

THAT'S THE ADVANTAGE OF FIRM MEASURES.


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:58
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Thoughts? Yes Feb 19, 2004

Henry wrote:

There is a context box already, and putting something in it (at least one character) is required. Different suggestions have been made for a minimum of context, but none of the ones I have heard allow for questions like this:

term: boxer
context: dog

Isn't this question fully intelligible? If so, nothing is gained in forcing more context here.

Thoughts?

As for squashing, that does go one step beyond "ask the asker". Is it justified?



If you should take a measure like a minimum of 25 words, the "boxer asker" should have to add at least 24 words. This is much more reasonable than the situation in which an asker asks a difficult question with absolutely too less context, because in that case 100 answerers spend a lot of time because they really want to help somebody!

Be sure I'm not a squash lover, but we should consider that it has an educating character as well. The same counts for (other) measures.


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:58
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Don't know Feb 19, 2004

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

It's not hard at all, I'm afraid. People who answer just to get points and not to educate. There's plenty around on Proz.com. Never met one? I have.

Giovanni


I doubt the word idiot. I can't imagine someone really doesn't want to educate in the long term. As to answering questions with little or no context, I don't like it, but please bear in mind that people who work in the concerning field sometimes don't need much context. Secondly, a humble beginning with the lowest confidence level could encompass both an translation proposal and a request for more context / info from the asker, so being a better and more stimulating dialog than a pure request for more context / info, plus it could put somebody else on the right track. As to "I believe the question should be squashed automatically a couple of hours after the first request of context". Sounds good at first glance, but what if the asker isn't on line?

[Edited at 2004-02-19 12:39]


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Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 14:58
German to English
+ ...
too bad Feb 19, 2004

Henk Peelen wrote:
Sounds good at first glance, but what if the asker isn't on line?


Then, too bad! When the asker notices that the Q has been squashed, s/he can post it again, this time WITH context. Not so difficult, or?


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