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Off topic: A change of tone?
Thread poster: Andrew Morris

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
Apr 16

It was my first foray onto this forum yesterday, but since then I've read quite a few threads. And in many I am surprised at the speed with which a certain number of people pounce on the poster, as if the default position for any thread is a mild form of paranoia, the sense that people are out to get you, and that the only way to respond is to attack.

Several private messages sent to me in the wake of my own baptism of fire have confirmed that this creates an atmosphere of fear, where translators are reluctant to post in case they fall prey to the Troll Brigade.

The tone of many comments is dismissive at best, and openly hostile at worst. Sure it makes the adrenaline flow, and no doubt it's great for the popcorn industry, but in my extensive experience of setting up and watching debates online (extensive as in every single working day for five years, often many times a day), it is clear to me that another way of engaging with each other is possible.

Is there no one out there who likes a little levity, a sense of taking oneself with a pinch of salt, the odd dash of self-deprecating humour? Or are such notions banished from this hallowed space?

What purpose does aggression serve, apart from maybe as a release mechanism for the aggressor? What is achieved by rapid-fire tit-for-tat? It's easy to get sucked into, and momentarily gratifying to score points, but what is the actual benefit?

Just putting this out there. I can already foresee some of the responses. But go ahead, prove me wrong. Surprise me, Make my day.


Tina Vonhof
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:16
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Bowed out Apr 16

Yesterday you posted "I am now going to bow out of this discussion" and Jared terminated the thread with a remark that made me smile: "...this discussion has sailed into less than productive waters.."

I suggest we keep it that way.


Fiona Grace Peterson
writeaway
Yvonne Gallagher
Michele Johnson
Christel Zipfel
Hedwig Spitzer Cáceres
 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Thinking beyond one post. Apr 16

My question is a more general one. Yesterday's post was a fairly non-controversial announcement and I bowed out only when the discussion was hijacked.

Here I am thinking about posts that are yet to be born, and the wellbeing of all who sail in this ship...


 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:16
Member (2012)
French to English
Agreed Apr 16

amorrisproz wrote:

My question is a more general one. Yesterday's post was a fairly non-controversial announcement and I bowed out only when the discussion was hijacked.

Here I am thinking about posts that are yet to be born, and the wellbeing of all who sail in this ship...


I always thought that the default attitude on a forum should be politeness, even if one can't quite manage outright friendliness.

Perhaps some people don't realise how hostile they sound? That in itself is quite worrying, as you would expect language professionals to be aware of the tone of the words they use.


Tom in London
Khalid Sabili
Alison Jenner
Thomas Pfann
Paul Malone
Dan Lucas
Christel Zipfel
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:16
Member
Italian to English
All aboard! Apr 16

Tom in London wrote:

Yesterday you posted "I am now going to bow out of this discussion" and Jared terminated the thread with a remark that made me smile: "...this discussion has sailed into less than productive waters.."

I suggest we keep it that way.


Excellent post, Tom. Agree 110%.


Tom in London
writeaway
Yvonne Gallagher
Hedwig Spitzer Cáceres
 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Language awareness Apr 16

Absolutely, Elizabeth. A lack of linguistic awareness, combined in some cases with a lack of self-awareness?

 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Unbowed Apr 16

@Fiona and @Tom not sure what you mean by "keep it this way"? You mean that I remain bowed out? So that you are in fact telling me to "shut up"? Again, you're proving me right, not wrong. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Ramey Rieger  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:16
Member (2010)
German to English
Could you repeat the question, please? Apr 16

We are NOT here to have FUN.
Every other translator on the planet is my potential opponent.
I MUST come up with a sharper, more cutting comment or expose myself as a person with heart - heaven forbid.
Being kind = wishy-washy
Levity? Isn't that derived from laver? To wash?


ABCText
Paul Malone
Emma Page
 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Give this woman a medal! Apr 16

Love it Ramey. It would be hilarious if it weren't a pretty accurate summing up of the attitude I outline...

Point of order: levity, mid 16th century: from Latin levitas, from levis ‘light’.icon_biggrin.gif


 

ABCText  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:16
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
This is just great! Apr 16

While clients are looking for translators to work on their projects, some translators (professionals?) engage in the most useless discussions ever. Well, in the meantime, I am going to take as many of these projects as I can. Thanks to these colleagues (competitors...?) ***Headshake***

 

Jennifer White  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:16
French to English
+ ...
It's pretty obvious what Tom and Fiona mean, isn't? Apr 16

We should leave it there. I don't know why you persist , - you did cause offence by reference to the taliban and the "extreme minority, (of which I seem to be a part). Moreover, you preferred not to answer my question on the meaning of a phrase you used. Your reply -"Jennifer, if it makes no sense, then it suggests we don't speak the same language. Don't worry about it. "
Sorry but that isn't good enough.


Tom in London
Elizabeth Spacilova
 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
As easy as ABC Apr 16

ABCText, the challenge was to prove me wrong. But unfortunately you are proving me right.

Presumably if you are on this forum, and reading this thread, you are not engaging with clients. And if it is the most "useless discussion ever", what does it say about how you use your time that you choose to be part of it? A contradiction that might be worth exploring?

I think the way we conduct discussions here is extremely important. And in my new role, it's my duty to point it out. You're free to disagree of course.

Moving swiftly on. By adding a question mark after "professionals", you are implying a lack of professionalism. Well in fact, this is now my professional job. And I have a professional agency that's ticking along quite nicely, thanks.

Good luck with getting those projects. There's plenty to go round for all of us!icon_smile.gif


Paul Malone
 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Taliban no more Apr 16

Jennifer, I withdrew the Taliban comment and replaced it with "po-faced humourless fundamentalists". I referred to no-one in particular, but it is instructive you seem to think it refers to you. I never made such an allegation.

Having said that, in just two posts, I am beginning to build up a picture of the people who regularly respond in the same way. The exact same people. Must be a coincidence.

As for the other answer I gave you, which apparently "isn't good enough", then if you write to me at andrewmorris@proz.com or call me on +34689020727, I will willingly engage in an extensive debate with you about energy and matter. It's a subject to which I have devoted many happy hours of study. It simply wasn't relevant to a post about Facebook.


 

ABCText  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:16
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
I was not referring to you in particular, Andrew. Apr 16

There are others around, too. But: If the shoe fits, wear it!

[Edited at 2019-04-16 11:13 GMT]


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Hypermedia seduction Apr 16

Dear Andrew "influencer" Morris,

First, I'd like to share a dire secret with you:
Everyone and everything--both living or not, directly or not--makes positive or negative influence.
Furthermore, a negative influencer for one may be positive for the other.

Second, while I see the good for the ProZ and its partners in co-op, you seem not like/understand my relevant and specific question regarding possible benefits for very ProZ users, considering even at other platforms one is still linked to the same ProZ rankings. (Not to mention most real prospects are NOT taken up with liking, posting, and making selfies.)
The problem is not the question, but the answer.


Third, your a-la "Company publicity vs Personal brand" presentation (even with good intentions) didn't resonate as you expected, because it's not the audience who has to tune in, but the speaker.

Fourth, the communication includes many things like Culture awareness, Interpersonal skills, Assertive behavior, Emotional intelligence, Non-violent communication, with their components; For example:
Nonviolent Communication is based on the premises that:
• We are all simply trying to get our needs met.
• We fare better if we know how to get these needs met through cooperation rather than aggression.
• People naturally enjoy contributing to the well being of others when they can do so willingly.

So, with an approach like yours, I don't think our people here will behave differently at other forums/networks.

While I partly agree with you that some may have overreacted about it a little too, yet it's the price for working mostly with papers and wasting spending online too much... clasping the circle.

Just show how it makes big difference and win our trust)


 
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