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Replace “Agree/Disagree” with “Correct/Wrong” in Kudoz
Thread poster: Robert Forstag
Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:30
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 17, 2009

This may seem to be a distinction without a difference, but I would argue that an option of “Disagree” really makes no sense for the following reasons:

1. If I or anyone else answers a question that has already been answered by several others, then we are ipso facto expressing “disagreement” with the other answers. But it really is not helpful to add an opinion of “disagree” to the other answers.

2. I think that if most regular users of the system actually posted “disagrees” to every single answer they really disagreed with, the number of posted “disagrees” would increase by several hundred-fold. But doing this would not be helpful, and in fact very few people do this. This leads to the next reason.

3. In terms of the way the system actually functions, at least in the language pairs I am aware of, “Disagrees” are usually given only for answers that are clearly wrong. I think that this is as it should be, but that the terminology of the feedback employed should reflect actual practice in Kudoz.

Obviously, the “correct/wrong” feedback would still represent an opinion, more or less informed, on the part of each individual. “Wrong” votes would be required to be accompanied by a reason (as “Disagrees) are now. The “neutral” option could be retained.

I’m sure this is by no means a starred agenda item for the staff of this site, but I think such a change would reflect current practice and make things clearer for users—especially new users.


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AnneMarieG  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:30
Member (2009)
German to French
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Why "replace"? Nov 17, 2009

Hi Robert,
why "replace" agree/disagree?
Why not give the choice to agree/disagree (it can be a question of style, idiomatic expression, etc.) and add the function correct/wrong answer.
Some answers are simply wrong coming from people who "just want to practice"...

Good point anyway -)

Anne-Marie


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
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English to Hungarian
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Is there always a "right" and "wrong" answer? Nov 17, 2009

I think the current Agree/Disagree is more suitable than Correct/Incorrect.
Often I find myself in a situation where there are many acceptable (correct) solutions among the answers submitted, but I would perhaps only agree with one of them, the one that I feel best fits in the given sentence/situation. This also means submitting a new, different answer does not necessarily mean in itself a disagreement with the previous answers. Often it is good to offer several options to the asker to choose from.

When an answer is clearly wrong, I mean dead wrong, there will be several disagrees to it, so it will become obvious.

I think it is better for a collaborative environment to express our agreement or disagreement with somebody else's answer (or opinion, etc.) than making statements as "correct" or "wrong".

I don't see how anything would improve by replacing the wording of Agree/Disagree with Correct/Incorrect.

Katalin

[Edited at 2009-11-17 14:39 GMT]


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
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TOPIC STARTER
@Katalin Nov 17, 2009

Of course there can be more than one suitable answer (although it is usually possible for the Asker to choose one that is clearly "most suitable" for his/her particular context).

My main point is that Kudoz partcipants are "disagreeing" in many ways other than by using the "disagree" button, and only (generally speaking) offering"disagrees" to express their view that an answer is clearly wrong. I think that this practice represents a sort of "collective wisdom" on the part of participants in that it reflects their discernment as to what offends the fewest people and renders the greatest utility--in other words, this is what has been found to "work."

So why not then have the "official options" reflect this?

Once again: hardly a life or death issue. Merely a mismatch between the paradigm of choices offered and the way users of the system actually behave.

[Edited at 2009-11-17 15:01 GMT]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:30
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English to Hungarian
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Cultural awareness? Nov 17, 2009

Robert,
Your opinion (as you stated) is based on the language pair(s) you work in. There are many other pairs, all with their own little sub-community, with their habits based on personalities, culture and "collective wisdom". Those are not necessarily the same as your experience.

I think it is important to disagree with answers that we disagree with (either because it is dead wrong, or because it just does not fit in the given context, or because the explanation is faulty/misleading, etc. whatever reason), because it is helpful for the asker.
Any tweaking of the system that discourages expressing such opinions would be counterproductive, IMHO.

Believe it or not, there are sub-communities here, where direct public disagreement is usually avoided, for deeply rooted cultural reasons. If there is a disagreement (either on KudoZ or on the Forums), it is worded much more mildly, gently, indirectly, than it would be in some other language sub-communities. If the wording was changed to Correct/Wrong, that would be perceived as a harsher, more direct phrasing. Do you think it would help?

Katalin


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:30
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
@Katalin Nov 17, 2009

You wrote:
Believe it or not, there are sub-communities here, where direct public disagreement is usually avoided, for deeply rooted cultural reasons. If there is a disagreement (either on KudoZ or on the Forums), it is worded much more mildly, gently, indirectly, than it would be in some other language sub-communities. If the wording was changed to Correct/Wrong, that would be perceived as a harsher, more direct phrasing. Do you think it would help?
*****

This kind of indirectness/avoidance is what I've noticed in the 4 pairs I have some familiarity with. Others have noticed it in several other major pairs. This practice therefre seems to reflect fairly wide practie here. And that is why when someone comes along and--knowingly or unknowingly--violates the norm, that it is so noteworthy.

I think my suggestion reinforces the norm we've identified while at the same time being conducive to more honesty on the part of those giving feedback. This is mainly because the feedback of "wrong" would be something that would be resorted to very infrequently, and (assuming it is properly backed up), would clearly send the message that there is something objectively and grossly faulty about the answer--not that it is a matter that one "disagrees" with it because s/he "just doesn't like it" for one reason or another.

[Edited at 2009-11-17 15:53 GMT]


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xxxAguas de Mar
I beg to "disagree"... Nov 17, 2009

Robert Forstag wrote:

I think my suggestion reinforces the norm we've identified while at the same time being conducive to more honesty on the part of those giving feedback. This is mainly because the feedback of "wrong" would be something that would be resorted to very infrequently, and (assuming it is properly backed up), would clearly send the message that there is something objectively and grossly faulty about the answer--not that it is a matter that one "disagrees" with it because s/he "just doesn't like it" for one reason or another.


Not that you are "wrong", Robert, but what I think would happen (at least in the EN-ES pair, which is the one I visit the most), is that people would continue to frequently use the "wrong" option, even when the answer in question might not be wrong, or without backing their choice with suitable evidence, and participants who get their answers marked as wrong would be way more upset than they sometimes are when they get a disagree. At least in my case, if anyone gave my answer a "wrong" when it is not completely wrong, I would be much more upset than if I get a "disagree". We would also be doing away with the "neutral", which I find useful in cases where, for instance, the asker needs a term for Mexico, and someone comes up with a right word, but for Spain or Argentina. The answer in itself is not incorrect, except in only does not apply in the particualr case presented by the asker.

Also, as Katalin pointed out, at least in Latin American cultures, I believe it has to do with a cultural background of trying to tell someone they are wrong, but in the mildest terms possible.



[Edited at 2009-11-17 15:51 GMT]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:30
English to French
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I would replace attitudes instead Nov 17, 2009

I agree with the colleagues above who say that it is better to agree and disagree rather than to be categoric and to decide unilaterally what is wrong and what is right.

Instead, what we would need is to replace some people's attitudes. As I have said in an earlier similar topic, distributing disagrees like there's no tomorrow after answering the question is anything but helpful and it only pulls the conversation in a direction most people don't want to go (nitpicking, competing, even downright fighting).

So, what I think is really needed is for people to understand what the point of KudoZ is, how KudoZ features are properly used and that KudoZ is not a kindergarten yard where people can call each other names and pretend that their daddy is the strongest and the scariest. In short, some people need to understand that childish behaviour belongs to the kindergarten and not to a website for grown-up professionals.

As for a solution to this problem, I am sorry to say I don't see any. As I have observed many times on this site, there is no controlling people's behaviours.


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Arturo Delgado  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:30
English to Spanish
You might not be correct; I disagree Nov 17, 2009

I think agree/disagree is fine.
You say that if somebody answers a question then we are ipso facto expressing disagreement. Not necessarily:
Sometimes, I do not answer a question, but I look at other answers and express my disagreement with one or two. Sometimes I answer a question giving an alternative or another option, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I disagree with someone else's answer.
I don't think we can dictate who is right or wrong. Like Katalin said, when someone is dead wrong, that answer will get a lot of disagrees.
(The purpose of "neutral" is what I don't understand.)


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Kitty Maerz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:30
English to German
+ ...
Leave it as is Nov 17, 2009

Personally, I would prefer keeping the "agree/disagree" option instead of changing it to "correct/wrong".

Not so much because I dislike the "wrong" (though I rather do), but more because I feel it would be hard to use "correct". When I use "agree" I am trying to say that this is in my opinion the best option of the offered answers (and that I can't come up with anything better myself). Sometimes, if I feel that several answers would work equally well, I might give an "agree" to more than one answer, but usually I will choose one alternative.

Still, many of the other options might also be "correct". This is especially true in cases where someone is looking for the best word choice etc.. Usually most of the answers are "correct" and would be okay in the context. Still, I might feel that one of them has a better sound/rhythm/whatever and agree with that choice. However, that does not make the other choices "wrong".

@ Arturo: In my language pair "neutral" usually seems to be used as a polite way to disagree. It generally means, "I disagree but don't want to go so far as to GIVE you a 'disagree'". Disagrees are mostly kept for instances where the answer is obviously wrong, exacerbated by a high confidence level or offered by an answerer who habitually offers answers that make little or no sense.


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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Neutral Nov 17, 2009

"Neutral" allows you to comment on a particular answer without agreeing or disagreeing with it. It allows you to make comments such as, "(Your term) is used only in Honduras", or, "While your answer is technically correct, many people would find this turn of phrase a little harsh", or similar remarks.
Explanatory comments and additional information can also go in the discussion area, but if it relates to one particular response, it is clearer to put these under the answer being discussed.
BTW, I would prefer to keep "agree" and "disagree".


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 04:30
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
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No, please don't change it! Nov 17, 2009

I do see your point, Robert, but I know how it would affect me. In my pairs, far too few "disagrees" are given as it is, for reasons that Katalin and others have stated. People are afraid to offend, so they disagree via "neutral" most of the time. Changing the term to "Wrong" would seem very harsh and be used even less.

Please keep things as they are.

And by the way, IMO, your suggestion very definitely does NOT sound like a "distinction without a difference"!


Jane

[Edited at 2009-11-17 18:38 GMT]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:30
Member (2003)
French to Italian
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I agree Nov 17, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:
Believe it or not, there are sub-communities here, where direct public disagreement is usually avoided, for deeply rooted cultural reasons. If there is a disagreement (either on KudoZ or on the Forums), it is worded much more mildly, gently, indirectly, than it would be in some other language sub-communities. If the wording was changed to Correct/Wrong, that would be perceived as a harsher, more direct phrasing. Do you think it would help?
Katalin



In the pairs to Italian in which I moderate (for example) there are users (many I must say) who feel offended with a neutral, not to mention a disagree, I can't imagine what could happen with "wrong and correct"-

Bye bye all

Angio



[Edited at 2009-11-17 19:42 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Indeed Nov 17, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:
I think the current Agree/Disagree is more suitable than Correct/Incorrect.
Often I find myself in a situation where there are many acceptable (correct) solutions among the answers submitted, but I would perhaps only agree with one of them, the one that I feel best fits in the given sentence/situation.

This is correct... errrrr.... I agree.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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A personality problem Nov 17, 2009

Angio Garbarino wrote:
In the pairs to Italian in which I moderate (for example) there are users (many I must say) who feel offended with a neutral, not to mention a disagree, I can't imagine what could happen with "wrong and correct"

This is just a personality problem of the users you moderate. I wonder how they have learnt to be translators, a profession in which we so frequently find disagreement among peers outside of Proz.com.


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